Through the first four races of the 2015 Sprint Series season, there had yet to be a repeat winner. Four winners in four races speaks volumes for the competition level in the Sprint Series, but the big question on every driver’s mind was, will it be five for five?
Several drivers looked to put a stop to that trend, including Sean Fite, who entered into Round 5 just two points out of the overall lead. Also looking to take his second win of the season was Steve Jasinski, who entered the race third in points. These two drivers would enter Round 5 in a similar position, but would have wildly different results.
The points leader heading into the race, Ariel Rubio, didn’t have the start to his day that he was looking for, qualifying outside the top 15. Rubio would spend the entirety of the day trying to make up that ground.
Up front in qualifying was Nick Marascio, who took pole position. Behind him was Alyssa Yauney. Both Marascio and Yauney are not competing in the entire Sprint Series championship, so both were simply looking for wins.
Heat 1 was the first out on track, and this race was dominated by Scott Kennedy. Kennedy is a front runner in the Super Series, so it was no surprise to see him out front in his first Sprint Series start of the year. Behind him throughout the race was Sean Fite, Steve Jasinski, Jason Collins and Marcin Balazy. The entire top 5 finished with seven tenths of a second, proving that the day’s A Main was going to very hotly contested.
Next up was Heat 2, and this time it was controlled by Alyssa Yauney who took the victory. Matt Hart came across hot on her heels in second. Hasller Ortega was third, Vince Burke fourth and Alex Bermudez took fifth in his first Sprint Series start.
The top 15 finishes from each heat race made their way directly to the A Main, while the rest would have to race their way in via the B Main. There were a lot of new faces in the B Main, but a familiar name ended up out front when the checkered flag flew, and that was Steve Frame. Frame made his way to the front quickly, and once he got there he managed to pull a gap over the rest of the field. With the win, Frame would transfer to the A Main. Finishing second in the B Main was Johan Lindbrandt, next was Elijah Kleeman, then it was Tony Wika, Isaac Rodriguez, Owen Lerman, Bryton Bobbitt, Junior Perez, Philip Guiral and John Fedele rounding out the top 10.
Finally it was time for the A Main. Starting on pole thanks to his heat race win was Scott Kennedy, alongside was Alyssa Yauney. Both drivers appeared to have a one track mind heading into the 10 lap final, and that was simply to go for victory.
When the green flag flew, it was Kennedy jumping out to the early lead. But, after just one lap, Sean Fite took his shot at the top spot. Fite succeeded in taking the lead from Kennedy, and in the process, Kennedy found himself freight trained all the way back in 11th. Now it was Fite in control of the race with Matt Hart up into second. Yauney continued in third for the next couple of laps before losing the spot to Hasller Ortega.
The top two remained single file until they crossed the stripe for three to go. It was at that point that Hart decided that he wanted to lead and he made the move on Fite. Fite slotted in right behind Hart, however, and looked poised to take a shot at the lead on the final lap.
The white flag flew, signalling to the drivers that they were now on their final lap. Fite tried to set up Hart heading out of the hairpin onto the back stretch, but Hart proved to be too much. Hart sailed into the Carousel and the Classico esses unchallenged. And that is how it would end, with Matt Hart taking his first Sprint Series win, extending the streak to five winners in five races.
Behind him, Sean Fite did his championship efforts a big favor with a strong second place run, and became the new points leader. Hasller Ortega came across in third, keeping his championship hopes alive, as did Vince Burke in fourth. Then it was a battle across the line between Jason Collins and Steve Jasinski. Collins ended up with the fifth spot, but the bigger story was that championship contender Steve Jasinski would be disqualified after the race for unsportsmanlike conduct. Jasinski would be credited with 31st place points.
The rest of the top 10 would be, Alyssa Yauney, Ashley Arnott, Alex Bermudez, Scott Kennedy and Jake Hood.
For Matt Hart, this win continues his momentum from the Grand Nationals where he won his semi-final race. Hart has continued to move forward and is looking for a big weekend at Super Series Round 8, the Classico Grand Prix.
Full points standings can be found here – POINTS STANDINGS
The Sprint Series record book can be found here – RECORDS