Saturday, September 25, 2021

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ST: Shawn Chenoweth survives Autumn Colors Classic Thunder Car 50

To cap off the Autumn Colors Classic weekend, the Thunder Car feature would be last on deck. With cold temperatures on the outside, it’d be hot tempers behind the wheel as the race turned into a series of cautions with the majority of the cars in the field receiving damage at one point or another. In the end, it’d be Shawn Chenoweth surviving the chaos to pick up the victory in the 50 lap feature.


Virtue of their one-two finish at the Chase for the Colors, Ken Grubb and Dan Archibald would start on the front row. Todd Davenport would start third, followed by Daryl Fice, Shawn Chenoweth, Howie Crowe, Ryan Semple, Vaughn Lawrence, John Baker Jr., the 01, Paul Geniole Jr., Joe Adams, Willie Reyns, Jordan Latimer, Todd Musker, Cayden Lapcevich, Kenny McNicol, Robbie Sikes, Steve Cashmore, Luke Gignac, Jaymee Adams, Dan Price, Andrew Swindell, Dennis Cybalski, Mike Meyer, Craig Scott, Matt Bentley, Adam Misener, Brett Wheeler and Mike Wallace.


The feature would start off with a huge wreck as Fice would get sideways off of turn two, collecting a whole slew of cars behind him. Cars that got damage include Joe Adams, Gignac, Price, Scott, Misener, Lapcevich, Geniole Jr., Baker Jr., the 01, Sikes and Latimer. So with the involved cars (or cars that at least were counted involved by officials) sorted out, it’d be Grubb restarting at the leader ahead of Archibald, Davenport, Chenoweth, Crowe, Lawrence, Geniole Jr., Reyns, Musker, Lapcevich, McNicol, Cashmore, Jaymee Adams, Swindell, Cybalski, Meyer, Bentley, Misener, Wheeler, Wallace, the 01, Latimer, Scott, Adams, Lawrence, Baker Jr., Fice and Sikes.


Grubb would get a good restart to hold serve while Archibald would start to drop back some spots, allowing Davenport and Chenoweth to move up into second and third before the caution waved again. The second caution would be on lap six as a result of Lapcevich spinning Musker; Baker Jr. would head down pit road for more repairs to his car. With 19 laps to go, Grubb leads Davenport, Chenoweth, Lawrence, Crowe, Reyns, Archibald, Geniole Jr., Cashmore, McNicol, Latimer, Jaymee Adams and Sikes.


The first attempt at a restart brought forth another caution as Latimer has a flat tire, and would take Cashmore into the backstretch wall with him. The second attempt would go smoother with Grubb escaping ahead of Davenport and Chenoweth as the field continued to battle for positions throughout the field. All battles would be brought to a halt at lap nine as the fourth caution flew for Archibald getting spun by Geniole; Lapcevich would get a piece of the wreck, done for the event with a broken tie rod. With 41 laps to go, Grubb leads Davenport, Chenoweth, Lawrence, Crowe, Reyns, Bentley, McNicol, Jaymee Adams, the 01, Swindell, Wheeler, Musker, Meyer, Cybalski, Misener, Fice, Sikes, Baker Jr., Cashmore, Archibald, Scott, Adams, Geniole Jr., and Latimer.


With the race going beyond it’s scheduled time distance, officials would make the decision to begin to count caution laps. As a result, the restart would come at lap 13 with Grubb getting a good restart ahead of Chenoweth. Behind him, though, the contact continued as Swindells would get into Archibald on lap 14, with Archibald returning the favor. Both were able to continue, resulting in no caution. The caution would fly two laps later for Swindell stalled in turn four. Under caution, Swindell would take a swipe at the 01, therefore receiving the blackflag for rough driving.


The restart would come at lap 18, with Chenoweth able to get the advantage on Grubb to take over the race lead. Chenoweth would begin to stretch his lead out while on lap 22, Archibald and Cybalski would get together. The sixth caution would fly on lap 24, though for Grubb slowing on track and being done for the afternoon. With 26 laps to go, Chenoweth led Davenport, Reyns, Lawrence, Bentley, McNicol, Jaymee Adams, Crowe, Baker Jr., Wheeler, the 01, Meyer, Archibald, Cashmore, Sikes, Misner, Musker, Cybalski, Joe Adams, Geniole Jr., Scott, Wallace and Latimer.


The field would see the green flag once again at lap 26, only to see the caution once again as Meyer would get sideways on frontstretch, spinning and taking Archibald off the track with him; Misener and Geniole Jr. would also catch a piece of the wreck, as well. The second attempt at a restart came at lap 29, with Archibald taking his car down pit road a lap later. The caution flag would make its eighth appearance on lap 32 for Musker and Sikes coming together off of turn four, dropping debris on the track. Latimer would also push Cashmore for a good length down the frontstretch, obviously not happy about their contact earlier in the event. With 18 laps to go, Chenoweth led Reyns, Davenport, Bentley, Lawrence, Jaymee Adams, Baker Jr., McNicol, the 01, Crowe, Wheeler, Sikes, Musker, Cashmore, Latimer, Scott, Meyer, Misner and Wallace.


The field would get the green at lap 37 with Chenoweth holding serve ahead of the field, while Davenport got back by Reyns to reclaim second. Lawrence was able to get by Reyns to get third before the caution flew once again at lap 40 for Latimer going around. With 10 laps to go, Chenoweth led Davenport, Lawrence, Reyns, Baker Jr., the 01, Bentley, Jaymee Adams, McNicol, Crowe, Cashmore, Wheeler, Sikes, Musker, Scott, Meyer, Misner, Latimer and Wallace.


Back under green with six laps to go, Chenoweth would get the advantage ahead of Davenport while Baker Jr. would get by Reyns to move into fourth before the caution flew once again with three laps to go for Scott hitting the turn three wall. As a result, Latimer would be blackflagged for rough driving, done for the event.


The first attempt at a restarting the race to complete the final three laps would equal in caution #11 as Musker would send Crowe off the turn one edge of the track, with Lawrence taking a trip through the infield grass in the process. Crowe would get the “school bus” going again, heading to the pit area, done for the event.


The second attempt would be much more successful with Shawn Chenoweth holding serve to pick up the victory ahead of Todd Davenport, John Baker Jr., Matt Bentley, the 01, Jaymee Adams, Willie Reyns, Kenny McNicol, Steve Cashmore, Todd Musker, Bruce Wheeler, Mike Meyer, Robbie Sikes, Vaughn Lawrence, Mike Wallace and Dan Archibald.


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