This past weekend, the heat was ON, not just as the penultimate round of the 2020 Sprint Series season, but also temperatures. With triple digit numbers, drivers had a lot to contend with and for this event, the results now bring the points battle to an exciting precursor for the upcoming finale…
Classico CCW set the stage for Round 7– during qualifying, a different name would score pole position. After running the Sprint Series a good 2 years, it would be Jacob Reis grabbing his first career pole with a quick 58.639, outpacing the rest of the field by 3/10ths.
Qualifying Top 5
The start of the first heat had Reis on pole, followed by Donnie Clarke and Evan Lawrence. Clarke quickly took control of the race from the green flag, already running seconds ahead of Reis. Meanwhile, Lawrence bounced back from an injury to keep the pressure on Reis, showing that he hasn’t slowed down a bit. Drivers behind the top three would also stay in arm’s length and eventually Reis would fall to Lawrence’s attack while Clarke enjoyed a comfortable 2-second lead. The checkered flag would fly with Clarke at the front and Lawrence 2nd and Reis 3rd.
Heat 1A Results
For heat 1B, the start of the race saw season points leader Diego Alvarado steal P1 right away from pole sitter Chris Fox. The latter however kept close, allowing zero chance for Alvarado to take it easy. Fox was able to stay out of the fight for 3rd but come the final lap, he’d go for the pass and score his first heat win over Alvarado, stealing a couple valuable points from his championship lead.
Heat 1B Results
Heat 1C originally got off to a rocky start that caused a full restart due to the excessive heat but once things got under way, Matt Steele led the field with Michael Martin and fellow rival Tommy Haake in tow. Martin would go in for an aggressive move ahead of Steele, and the shuffling of the top 3 would begin. At the halfway mark, Haake had the helm, successfully staving off any attacks from both Martin and Steele to cross the finish line first for the heat 1C win.
Heat 1C Results
The C-Main went off without a hitch for Jeff Latimer, veteran in the sport, as he started the race uncontested. Infighting behind him made things nice and calm to his benefit–however, in this pack, the performers of note would be Abel Diaz and newcomer Jack McNeel. The pair would slice and dice their way forward, and would wrap up the C-Main behind Latimer to score 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Jacob Abrams started the B-Main as a dominant force, already outpacing competitors by 2 seconds after a lap had gone by. Meanwhile, Mike Gonzales and Carl Zhu made some noise to wrestle with the rest of the field. With each lap, the pair closed in on the front pack, passing driver after driver until finally, the checkered flew with Abrams winning ahead of Gonzales and Zhu.
Come time for the A-Main, Clarke made it clear that he was on a mission. For several laps, he had what appeared to be a tremendous gap over the field, but the duo of Alvarado and Haake headed straight on for an attack. At lap 6, Haake had stolen the lead, but Clarke was not letting him have it easy. The pair broke away from Alvarado, who was meanwhile having to contend with the likes of Matt Steele and a hornet’s nest of drivers. Haake would have the lead only for 1 lap– Clarke would come down for the final pass at the white flag, scoring the Sprint Series Round 7 win ahead of Haake with Alvarado settling for 3rd.
Clarke’s perfect points day put him in 3rd for the overall championship going into the finale, a huge jump up from his previous position. Although Alvarado settled for 3rd this race, he remains 48 points ahead of Steele in 2nd. That isn’t to say anyone is locked into the hardware– it was Haake’s best points day in his season, putting him now only 2 points outside of the podium for the 2020 Sprint Series Championship. Action and drama await at the next and final installment of the 2020 Sprint Series on October 10!
Sprint Series 2020 Current Points Standings