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TUESDAY

 October 9th, 2018

Outlaw Racing News

Dukes Goes Wire to Wire for First Win with Domination on the Dirt

Weston, OH - After a week off from writing, I'm back to provide some ORS recaps, starting off the week with the truck series after their run of the Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway. Much like the previous years' trek to the half mile clay oval, cautions were barely noticeable, the racing was intense among the front and mid pack, and one name once again stood out among the many. Aaron Dukes led all but the opening lap in a race that saw Dukes maximize his points, and make himself a stand out in championship contention early in the year.  

Dukes started off the night sitting on the pole, grabbing his first of the year, and only second of his truck career in ORS. The fight started from the drop of the green flag. Dukes and Wigent, who started to his outside, fought side by side for the opening 3 laps before Dukes would eventually clear the 8 and begin to widen his lead. From there the fight was on for second, Robbie Richards from 3rd proved early his speed would be one to reckon with. Pulling past the 8 of Wigent and beginning the pursuit of Dukes. Even with a caution breaking up the stage, no one would be able to provide a viable challenge for the stage win, as Dukes would cruise to a solid 3 second margin before the end to capture his season high 6th stage win of the year. 

With Stage 2 providing the opportunity for most to make adjustment, everyone but Dukes would utilize the chance. As most of the pack would stay closer to the 40, again Dukes pulled ahead, trailed only by Richards who hung close by within a second and a half of the 40. Another caution would split this stage as well giving ample opportunity for Richards to attack Dukes off the restart, and being able to work beside the 40 momentarily before Dukes would keep momentum from the high side to keep the lead and once again open up a commanding lead. With various changes within the top 5 occurring in the stages final laps, for the 7th time on the season Dukes would claim the stage with Richards close in tow a second back.

The races final stage saw the final 60 laps go green, forcing drivers to minimize their mistakes over the course of the homestretch. Dukes stretched his legs early over Richards, opening an early 2 second lead over the 98 Toyota. Wigent however wouldn't settle for riding behind Richards and the 2 would spend several laps battling before Wigent would prevail and begin working on the lead of Dukes. With about 40 to go, disaster nearly struck the 40, as lap traffic began taking it toll. In a collision with the 2 of Michael Scimia, Dukes would cough up nearly a second of his advantage over the 8, pulling Wigent to just under a second behind. That would be until the same fate would befall Wigent with 18 to go, as the 8 and 24 would get together costing Wigent precious time. In the end, Dukes would maintain his lead to pick up his first ORS truck series win of the season. Wigent would come home a solid second with Richards maintaining his strong performance in 3rd. Zach Gandee overcame early issues working himself through the field to come home 4th, as J.J. Spires, subbing for Daniel Williamson in the 4, took advantage of late issues for other drivers to round out the races top 5. After Eldora, Dukes gains a solid foothold on the point lead after finally picking up that first win by 27 points over the now runner up Pacey Wigent. Richard McGinnis who had a sub for night after sickness had befallen him drops to 3rd 38 points back. Zach Gandee moves up a spot after another solid performance to 4th, 49 points in back of the top spot. As Steven Peplinski not having the night he had hoped for, drops only one spot to 5th, 53 points behind. Next week we trade in the clay for the concrete jungle of Thunder Valley and the Bristol Motor Speedway as the short track racing continues.

 

 

 

 

TUESDAY

 October 16th, 2018

Outlaw Racing News

Dukes Triumphs Over Stack in Fierce Door to Door Finish at Bristol

Bristol, TN - Two drivers stood out among the rest as the final stage begun, Aaron Dukes and Brett Stack. In a place that promotes bump and runs, and a little grinding of the sheet metal, much of the battle for the lead remained contact free. The final 92 lap stint saw these two never outside of a few car lengths of each other, with each driver having to be up on the wheel for the entire run. Stack who had dominated all of the races' opening stages, looked poised to lay claim to Thunder Valley until a late race pass put Dukes in the driver seat. Dukes would be able to defend from multiple attacks from Stack to pick up back to back wins, and take commanding lead of the points going into Iowa. 

Starting off the night would see another new face take the pole. Kyle Kolbe put together the top time, to set himself up front but it would be Brett Stack off the drop of the green flag use the outside line to grab the lead before the field came back to complete lap one. From there the stage was all but decided. Stack would open up a 4 second advantage over the next 55 laps, leading all of stage 1, to pick up his first stage victory of the season. With the domination of stage 1 in the books stage 2 followed much of the same suit. As the battle for second between Zach Gandee and Dennis Boggess raged, Stack was able to quickly open up a several second lead early in the stage that he would not relinquish. Aaron Dukes after having to start the race from the rear had made his way into the runner up spot by the end of stage 2, but seemed to not quite be on the same level of Stack who again finished the stage with a 4 second advantage as the green checkered graced the 02 Chevy for the second time on the night. 

With the final stage set, Stack and Dukes stole the show. From the drop of the green to restart the race, the 02 and 40 rapidly put a second plus over the field. The difference this stage would find Stack not shaking the 40 from his rear bumper even after the races only caution brought a stage break 35 laps into the last stage. With the field making their final pit stops of the night courtesy of the caution, the restart played out nearly identical. Dukes remained close in tow as the 2 out paced the field giving themselves plenty of room to decide it amongst themselves. As laps began to tick down, Dukes was having a tough time figuring out a way around the stout 02 of Stack. Both ran the track differently with stack backing up the corners more for what would be an unmatched drive off, as Dukes had him beat on corner entry. Several times over the final run did these two contrasts meet on the middle of the turn but nothing that became overly egregious. Eventually with just uner 40 laps to go Dukes saw an opening. Carrying that entry momentum a half lane higher allowed the 40 to get to outside of Stacks corner panel. A move Dukes would get to stick, and keep himself just to the outside of Stack as the two embarked into the next corner. Being to the high side, Dukes was able to take away the drive off of the 02 and with 36 laps to go, the race saw its first lead change. With the top two leaders swapped, by no means did the intensity drop. Stack would now apply the pressure to Dukes attacking several times over the last 30 laps. As Stack maintained his superior drive off, he would look to the inside of Dukes numerous times, but the 40 would defend with his outside line on corner exit to keep Stack at bay. The constant chipping would nearly come to a head as on the races final lap, Stack would again get the run off of turn 2 with an opportunity going into the final corner. With a small bump moving Dukes up the track in 3 and 4, he would be able to keep his momentum high around the outside and just hold off Stack as the two came back to the stripe side by side. Dukes would just be able to hold off Stack to claim his second win in as many weeks, extending his points lead nearly two fold after issues effected many of the top contenders. Brett Stack in a commanding performance came up 15 feet short of a victory in just his second truck start, leading a race high 142 laps. Kyle Kolbe fought back after early issues to come home 3rd as Matt Liptrap with a good points night finished 4th. Robbie Richards would round out the nights Top 5. Dukes soared out to a commanding points lead as provisional finishes effected 3 of the championship top 5. Pacey Wigent maintained his second place in points, as Zach Gandee who was on his way to a top 5, fell to mechanical issues in the late running. Gandee would still move into 3rd in points, dropping McGinnis to 4th. Steven Peplinski would as well hold on to his 5th, as electrical issues plagued his race before it began relegating Peplinski to a 14th place finish. Next week the short track streak continues, as the truck series heads to the mid west and Iowa Raceway. 

 

 

ORS Truck Series -  Oct. 16th

Bristol, TN - Two drivers stood out among the rest as the final stage begun, Aaron Dukes and Brett Stack. In a place that promotes bump and runs, and a little grinding of the sheet metal, much of the battle for the lead remained contact free. The final 92 lap stint saw these two never outside of a few car lengths of each other, with each driver having to be up on the wheel for the entire run. Stack who had dominated all of the races' opening stages, looked poised to lay claim to Thunder Valley until a late race pass put Dukes in the driver seat. Dukes would be able to defend from multiple attacks from Stack to pick up back to back wins, and take commanding lead of the points going into Iowa. 

For more head over to the ORS News tab for the full breakdown of Tuesdays truck race...

ORS Late Model Series - Oct. 17th

Richmond, VA - Pacey Wigent stood well out among the rest in Wednesdays' contest at the clay covered Richmond Raceway. 80 laps in all, other that a small part of stage 2 seeing the 8 of Aaron Dukes lead, much of the saw Wigent out pace the field in a dominant showing. Winning all stages, as well as capturing the checkered flag, the race was never in doubt. The win marked Wigents' second on the year as well as retaking the series point lead by a single point over contender Dukes, who was able to salvage a third place finish after a mistake on pit road saw the 8 deal with a overheating problem for much of the races late stage. Robbie Richards took further foothold of his third place standing in the points as Richards came home 2nd in a strong performance. Greg Miller racked up his third top 5 of the season, as Dawson Kemp continued his consistent ways, rounding out the fields Top 5. 

ORS Xfinity Series - Oct. 18th

Richmond, VA - After starting off the season on a rough note, the past 2 weeks have seen Aaron Dukes stake his claim of championship contender status. Following up a strong weekend a week prior, Dukes flashed his dominance in front of the field as he cruised to his 1st win of the Xfinity series season. Few drivers as the race trudged on, shown the speed to challenge Dukes. Pacey Wigent in stage 1 and 2 put up solid speed but was unable to stay consistent enough to stay with the 40. Matt Liptrap and Robbie Richards, through the mid race and into the final stage, found pace not allowing Dukes to gallop out to a huge margin, keeping the 40 within a second. However as the races cautions mounted, each giving new hope to much of the field. Dukes would eventually stretch out to a near 3 second lead by the end en route to claim Richmond for himself, taking max points on the night after winning both stages as well as the pole and a race high 118 laps lead. Pacey Wigent took second after a strong race, moving into third in the championship hunt. Dennis Boggess finished an impressive 3rd, not moving up in the points, but bringing himself up into a tight fisted battle as 5th through 8th are separated by a mere 2 points. Matt Liptrap who also moved himself up into that championship battle in the mid field with a 4th place finish. Lee Petty would salvage his points lead with rounding out the top 5, by a single point over Dukes in 2nd.

ORS Cup Series - Oct. 21st

Sparta, KY - This finish was one for the history books, with nearly 7 different drivers in the closing laps in contention for the race victory. The early stages looked to show only a handful of drivers to have the winning pace, with Zach Gandee and Aaron Dukes taking the first two stages as well as Brett Stack leading much of the race as well. Even as cautions were abound, fuel strategy would prove to reign supreme as the final restart with 33 laps to go, left most everyone 2 laps short. Yet the final stage wore on, with Stack and Dukes setting the pace for the pack, setting themselves ahead by just over 2 seconds. Dukes would be the first to submit to pit stops, as Stack and Richard McGinnis would come down a lap later with 13 to go. Dukes and Stack would elect on two tire stops as McGinnis went fuel only. If the race up to this point had proven anything, tires proved most important late in runs. The fresh right side rubber gave the 2 and 14 quite the advantage, however with 6 drivers attempting to go the distance this would set Dukes and Stack, 7th and 8th respectively. Over the final 10 laps, it was a jockey for position among the top 6, as the saving game had begun. Gandee was the ultimate inheritor of the lead, but as the need for fuel conservation rose, Lee Petty did as well, taking the lead with 6 to go. The pace to save what was needed, was slow and painful, and as 6 lessened to 5, and then to 4 to go, Dukes had caught the top 6 with Stack a second behind. With better rubber and fuel a non issue, Dukes worked quickly through the field, going as far as 3 wide in turns 3 & 4 to move into 3rd as the white flag graced the field. On the final lap, some drivers would give in as tanks ran empty. Gandee was among the first, running out in 2nd going into turn 1, and Steven Peplinksi would fall from the top 5 in pursuit of going the distance. Lee Petty nearly played his mileage to perfection, but as the 10 came off turn 2, the sputtering began. Petty would last until well into turn 3 & 4 before Dukes would overtake, and claim victory out of the final corner for the number 2 and J.J. Spires. Stack would rebound just as well, finishing runner up in his first ORS cup start. Dennis Boggess saved enough to push late, moving into 3rd before the checkered befell the field, as Petty would salvage 4th with a car out of fuel. Richard McGinnis would take home 5th after pitting would serve to pay off in the end, and maintain his stranglehold on the points lead. 

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Week of

October 23rd - October 29th

 

ORS Truck Series -  Oct. 23rd

Newton, IA - Late race magic spurred the win for Pacey Wigent on this night as pitting just a few laps prior to the man who up to that point led most of the evening, Zach Gandee, gave him the advantage needed to secure his second win of the season. Even though Steven Peplinski started on pole, it was evident early that one of the trucks to beat was the 19 of Gandee. Snatching both stage 1 and stage 2, and leading for much of the races' third stage, Gandee flexed his muscle but Wigent never let the 19 run away with the night. As laps wound down, and green flag pit stops becoming ever more prevalent, Wigent was the first of the two to come for fuel and fresh tires. Those precious few laps on new rubber proved vital as Gandee was forced to overcome a 2 and half second deficit over the final 30 plus laps. The 19 would close that gap to just over a second, but Wigent preserved enough strength to maintain his lead and win for the second time on the season. Gandee came home second after a very strong points night, as Daniel Williamson finished third to post his 4th top 5 of the season. Aaron Dukes maintained his solid points lead with a comeback to finish 4th as early trouble has shuffled his back to 8th. Steven Peplinski in his final full time race rounded out the top 5

 

ORS Late Model Series - Oct. 24th

Taggert, IN - In the series first trip to Taggert, Dukes seemed to look quite strong early on, but Wigent adapted, and dominated the races' second half for his third win of the year. Dukes and Wigent would split the first two stages of the night, but Wigent found something as the race went on and ran a mistake free race in the final stage. Even with a late caution bringing numberous contenders to his back bumper, Wigent held off the pack for his third win, matching Dukes as the only two winners thus far this season. Robbie Richards struck for a runner up in a strong night, as Richard McGinnis came home third. Dukes who with late contact on the final restart was unable to fight back from fourth and had to settle, as Scott Roundtree rounded out the top 5. 

ORS Xfinity Series - Oct. 25th

Indianapolis, IN - In what became a controversial finish, Dennis Boggess played the field against the fuel in the late race, to secure his first ORS win. Pacey Wigent locked up the pole for the first time this year, as he led the field down to start the night. Even as early cautions shuffled the field, Wigent proved to be one of the cars to beat. However trouble found him, opening the door for other contenders to run the point. The two drivers who have dominated in stage wins, Lee Petty and Aaron Dukes continued those ways as Petty locked up stage 2 for his 6th stage win and Dukes took the first stage for his 4th on the year. Yet the story of the night would be the cautions, most of which claimed some of the front runners at different times of the night. Most notably being Dukes, whose late race troubles relegated him to a ninth place finish. With fuel playing a factor in the late running and cautions breeding cautions, most drivers would succumb to fuel after the races final restart. All but Boggess, who would take advantage and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, moving him up 2 spots to inside the top 5 in the championship standings. Zach Gandee would finish the race 2nd, while Wigent would have to settle for 3rd on the night. Petty would come home 4th after leading the most laps, as Matt Liptrap kept up his consistency with his 4th top 5 on the year with a 5th place effort. 

ORS Cup Series - Oct. 28th

Avondale, AZ - A man in his first start, overcame the late odds in the Sonoran Desert sun, to win in his first race with ORS. Yet early on, Jimmie Smith looked strong, earning himself his second pole in as many weeks. Smith would lead the opening 5 laps before Aaron Dukes driving for Daniel Williamson, took the lead and never looked back. Dukes would take the races first stage, as well as the races second after running down Pacey Wigent in the latter laps of the stage. Wigent and Dukes looked to be the cars to beat even as the third and final stage raged on. Wigent would lead for most of the stage before green flag pit stops brought everyone to the pits. Dukes, short pitting, would regain the lead after pit stops would cycle through. Wigent, however, would eat up all of Dukes' 2 second lead over much the races last 35 laps. As the race looked to be between the 4 and 3, Donald Kight racing in his first ORS series race, managed his tires beautifully. Erasing all of the 4 and a half second deficit he was at after pits, to take the race lead with 3 laps to go. Kight would cruise for those final laps to claim victory in his first start. Dukes and Wigent would finish 2nd and 3rd respectively. Brett Stack would wind up 4th in a strong outing in his 2nd ORS start, and Richard McGinnis managed his points lead with another top 5 to add to his name. 

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Week of 

October 30th - November  5th

 

ORS Truck Series -  Oct. 30th

Burkton, ON - Little was in question for much of the twists and turns of Canadian Tire, Aaron Dukes had the speed, the strategy, and the discipline to pull off a win that few could challenge. Between having the truck to beat and the fuel mileage to stretch every run, Dukes dominated both stages by virtue of pace and tactics. Tallying himself now 9 stage wins on the year. The races final stage wasn't much different with a caution early in the stage throwing a wrench in the following restart, sending Dukes to restart 4th. Daniel Williamson and Richard McGinnis would assume the lead, with McGinnis showing out as one of the few to challenge Dukes on pace alone. Dukes however would run down McGinnis over the course of the run before McGinnis would give in to his final pit stop of the race. Dukes would pit a few laps later giving the lead over to Pacey Wigent. When pitting was all said and done, Dukes sat upon a 9 second advantage thanks to a splash and go pit stop giving him just what he needed to make it to the end. Dukes would cruise for the final run to complete the nights point sweep, picking up his 3rd truck win, and extending his points lead. Wigent, who was number 2 to Dukes most of the night, finished runner up, but fell to now 54 points behind Dukes. Richard McGinnis finished the night 3rd, retaking his 3rd place points position over Zach Gandee. Brett Stack showed up with a solid performance with a 4th place finish as Dennis Boggess salvaged his first top 5 of the year, while moving up one spot to 8th in points. 

 

ORS Late Model Series - Oct. 31t

New Weston, OH - The seemingly king of Eldora, showed up once again, moving from cleaning up the truck races here, into the late model series as well. Aaron Dukes never saw his lead change, leading every lap but the first, Dukes took both stages as well as the race to pull the championship lead back into a tie. Pacey Wigent kept that championship tied with his runner up performance, as Robbie Richards further cemented his 3rd place in the standings with a third place on the night. Richard McGinnis came home on the night 4th as Dawson Kemp finished 5th to move into 5th in points. 

ORS Xfinity Series - Nov. 1st

Newton, IA - Iowa once again produced a finish for the history books, with Aaron Dukes pulling off the late comeback to overtake Zach Gandee in the closing laps to secure his 2nd Xfinity win, and claim the top of the Xfinity standings. Dukes and Gandee proved to be the class of the field from the drop of the green, splitting the races two stages each. Gandee ran away with the opening stage, as Dukes used some pit strategy to steal the second. Dukes would lead the opening laps of the final stage until an early caution would shuffle the line up. Pacey Wigent, with some of the races best pace, inheritied the top spot, leading much of the races last stage. Another caution would end up splitting the stage leaving most drivers just a few laps short of making it to the end. Gandee and Wigent would battle it out for laps on end after the events final restart, until Gandee would eventually retake the lead with 29 to go. The two drivers along with Dennis Bogges set themselves aprt from much of the field, with Dukes in 4th over 3 seconds back. Yet as the run wore on, the tires did as well. Boggess would bow out of the fight for the lead first, falling back to Dukes with 21 to go. As the laps ticked away, Dukes sluggish start to the stage had rewarded him with the better long run tires, going as far as running down and passing Wigent, and eventually erasing all of his 3 second gap to Gandee, overtaking the 35 with 8 laps to go. Even with the fuel mileage in question, the early saving of tires from Dukes gave the 40 just enough fuel to make it to the checkers under power, to claim his 2nd win of the season. Ryan Heckathorn, overcame several drivers running out of fuel on the races final lap, to finish the night 2nd for his 3rd Top 5 on the year. Pacey Wigent salvaged 3rd out of the night despite running out of fuel with  half lap to go. Dennis Boggess squeaked out 4th over 5th place finisher Zach Gandee, after Gandee ran out on the final lap as well. With that solid night Boggess moved into 5th in points as Gandee cemented his 4th in points just 27 points out. 

ORS Cup Series - Nov. 4th

Pocono, PA -  For what had been a rather lack luster race, the finish produced all the drama needed as a last lap, last turn pass for the lead overcame late pit strategy. Pacey Wigent squeezed a win just ahead of Zach Gandee, to score the number 9 Chevys' first win of the year. The race for much of the opening stages seemed to come down to 3 drivers yet again, Wigent, Gandee and Aaron Dukes. Dukes used a bit of fuel strategy to amass a sizable lead to capture stage 1,  as Pacey Wigent used straight pace to outlast the other 2 in stage 2. Yet his magic would be found in the races final laps, as green flag pit stops had set up quite the challenge to overcome. Gandee gambled after a mistake cost him time to the leaders, by pitting first under green, and quickly rejoining the race with a blistering 2 tires stop. Dukes and Wigent would pit laps later, a lap between them, for 4 tires and fuel, only to find themselves 4 plus seconds behind the new race leader Gandee. Late adjustments went right for Wigent and wrong for Dukes on the final pit stop, allowing Wigent to close up the full second advantage Dukes had over the number 9 Chevy and easily overtaking him for 2nd. The duo would from the use that draft advantage to run down Gandee and his haggard lefts, closing to the 48's back bumper on the final lap. Gandee maintained his lead through the first turn but the fresher rubber proved too much in the tunnel turn, allowing Wigent the run underneath down the short shoot and into the final turn. With the preferred line, Wigent came off turn 3 clear for the checkers, as Gandee would have to settle for 2nd, while Dukes was unable to capitalize on the leaders battle for 3rd. Brett Stack finished another solid night in 4th, as Will Oltz secured his 2nd Top 5 of the year with 5th.