Rothbury, MI (Tuesday, April 20, 2021) - Travis Stemler would take advantage of his pole position in Friday night’s Late Model feature event at Winston Speedway, and pick up his 2nd win of the new 2021 season. The ‘Ionia Outlaw’ rocketed out to the early lead over front-row starting partner, Robbie Taylor. Taylor would fade slightly as the battle for the runner-up spot was hot and heavy between Ryan VanderVeen and Greg Gokey.
A lap 12 caution would bunch the field back up for a two-lap run before another caution would be displayed for Nick Kurtz. It was now Gokey and Brandon Thirlby restarting behind Stemler, in search of their first victories of 2021. On the restart, it was Thirlby getting by Gokey, and rocketing past Stemler to take over the race lead. But another caution would immediately fly, forcing Thirlby, who charged from his 10th starting position, to go back to work.
On the ensuing restart, it was Gokey who staked his claim to the runner-up spot, before the #3 machine of Scott Wenell would bring out the red flag after going over on his lid on the front stretch. On the restart, Gokey would make a great move to get by Stemler, but once again the dreaded caution would appear. This time Stemler had a solid restart and would bring Thirlby in tow. Thirlby would get to the rear quarter panel of Stemler as the white flag was displayed and looked to be making his move, before another caution flag, setting up a green/white/checkered finish.
Stemler would hold off Thirlby during the final two laps, with Gokey completing an excellent run, bringing his Scott and Pam Phillips Motorsports #50 machine home third.
“With everything that happened last year, 2nd feels like a win,” commented Thirlby on Horsepower Happenings on Monday. ”We’ll come back and be ready for the Challenge Series races at Tri City and Merritt in a couple weeks.”
Winston Speedway will once again be back in action on Friday, with the Late Models, Pro Late Models, IMCA Modifieds, Street Stocks, Warriors, Cyber Stocks, and Mini Wedges on the race card.
For more stories from around the region, be sure to log ontowww.horsepowerhappenings.com. Listen to on-demand episodes of the Horsepower Happenings Podcast, with new episodes every Monday night at 9:00 pm.
Story - Rich Frantz, Horsepower Happenings
Photo - HD 5 Photo