Friday, September 17, 2021

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OSCAAR: Andrew Gresel wins Super Late Model Autumn Colors Classic 50 and championship

On Sunday afternoon, Andrew Gresel would lead flag-to-flag en route to winning the OSCAAR Super Late Model Autumn Colors Classic 50 for the second straight year in a row. As a result of his solid season all year long with no finishes outside of the top six, he would be crowned the 2014 OSCAAR Super Late Model Champion.


Gresel got to start on pole alongside of Jesse Kennedy virtue of their one-two finish in the Chase for the Colors event during the summer. Kevin Cornelius would start third, followed by Corey Jones, Shawn Chenoweth, Mike Beyore, J.R. Fitzpatrick, Kelly Balson, John Owen, Jeff Dunford, Mark Dilley, Tyler Hawn, Dwayne Baker, Charlie Gallant, Kevin King, Brent McLean, Glenn Watson, Shane Gowan, Justin Jones, Gary Passer, Rob Bickle, Dave Doucette, Donny Varco, Craig Stevenson and Paul Harris. Before the green flag even dropped, there’d be problems for Cornelius as he would have to head down pit road to get the battery changed in his super late as a result of electrical problems. As a result, he would have to drop to scratch on the field.


Once the green flag fell, there’d be problems for the competitors as Beyore would get sideways off the corner, resulting in contact behind that sent both Corey Jones and Charlie Gallant around for the spin. There would then be a second caution at lap three for Cornelius getting into Bickle, sending Bickle down into the grass and collecting Justin Jones, Corey Jones and Doucette. With 47 laps to go, Gresel led Chenoweth, Fitzpatrick, Kennedy, Balson, Owen, Dilley and Baker.


The first attempt at a restart would bring forth the second caution as Stevenson would lose a tire, collecting Harris and Doucette in his mess. Cornelius would use the caution as an opportunity to try and diagnose his electrical issue. Fitzpatrick would be brought down pit road by officials to check whether he was leaking after some smoke was seen, but there’d no issues and he’d be allowed to return to the third spot. So now with 47 laps to go, Gresel led Chenoweth, Fitzpatrick, Kennedy, Balson, Owen, Dilley, Baker, Gallant, Watson, Gowan, Passer, Varco, King, Bickle, Beyore, Justin Jones, Hawn, Corey Jones, McLean, Dunford, Doucette and Cornelius.


Gresel would get a good restart to keep his advantage ahead of the field, while Cornelius would head down pit road at lap five, electrical issues still plagging the KDR Motorsports team. Chenoweth, Fitzpatrick and Kennedy would continues to run solid times, though Gresel would start to extend his lead ahead of the field a little. Behind them, Owen would begin his march towards the front, passing Balson for fourth before the caution flew at lap 17 for Justin Jones spinning, virtue of contact from Gowan. With 33 laps to go, Gresel led Chenoweth, Fitzpatrick, Kennedy, Owen, Balson, Dilley, Watson, Gallant, Gowan, Baker, Varco, Passer, Beyore, McLean, Corey Jones, Hawn, Bickle, Dunford, King and Doucette.


Gresel got another good restart, though it wouldn’t last for long as disaster would strike the entire field. Fitzpatrick’s super late would jump out of gear heading into turn one on lap 20, resulting in him slowly drastically. With some competitors not prepared for him slowing, contact would be made, with both Gallant and Varco catching some air in the process. In total, seven cars would get catch damage – Baker, Corey Jones, Varco, Passer, Gallant and McLean. With 31 laps to go, Gresel led Chenoweth, Kennedy, Owen, Dilley, Watson, Beyore, Gowan, Doucette, Bickle, Dunford, Corey Jones, Baker, Balson, King and Hawn.


Gresel would hold his advantage on the restart, staying in front of Chenoweth while Owen was able to get by Kennedy to move into third. Dilley would hold down fifth all the way till the caution flew at lap 26 for Hawn going flying off the turn one opening, as if he missed the turn. Hawn would get his car turned around, returning to the track. With 24 laps to go, Gresel led Chenoweth, Owen, Kennedy, Dilley, Watson, Beyore, Gowan, Doucette, Balson, Dunford, Bickel, Baker, King, Fitzpatrick and Hawn.


Another restart equaled another good job done by Gresel as he continued to hold the advantage over the field with Chenoweth and Owen keeping their spots, respectively. Kennedy’s car would start to fall off as he’d start to drop off the pace of the leaders, falling into the clutches of Beyore and Gowan. Meanwhile, both Baker and Fitzpatrick didn’t have the runs that they wanted as damage brought Baker to pit road at lap 33, with Fitzpatrick coming to pit road at lap 40 as a result of mechanical issues. The problems for competitors would continue with Doucette, King and Dunford getting tangled up together for a caution at lap 43. That’d be followed by a caution at lap 46 for Dunford going off the track in turn one. With four laps to go, Gresel led Owen, Chenoweth, Beyore, Gowan, Dilley, Watson, Kennedy, Balson, Bickel, Doucette, Hawn and Jones.


Andrew Gresel would get a good restart to claim his second straight Autumn Colors Classic victory. Shawn Chenoweth would get by John Owen in the late going to finish second, while Mike Beyore and Shane Gowan rounded the top five. Glenn Watson finished sixth, followed by Mark Dilley, Jesse Kennedy, Kelly Balson, Dave Doucette, Tyler Hawn and Rob Bickel.


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