Story by Matthew Overton
Images by Matthew Overton and Bob Roberson
March 22nd, 2022 – Two races this week as the MNRL took on Road America in the Datsun 510s while NARS wound their way around the Watkins Glen Short circuit in the Stock Car 2018Xs
Two sprint races at Road America made for some close racing as the elbows were out up and down the field. R1 saw the top five finish in their starting order, although it was only race winner Eduardo Beninca that kept his starting position from green to checkered flag. R2, with a starting order that reversed the top six from R1, was a different story. With the top three starters in that race having problems that saw them tumble down the order within the first three laps, the podium was up for grabs with Jason Whited fending off his rivals to get to the front and stay there. Gilles Lalonde fell victim to a drive-through penalty for track cuts, clearing the way for Eduardo Beninca to claim P2 ahead of him. Racer of the weekend was Bob “OldnSlo” Roberson, who claimed his best points count of the series.
With now 4 fixtures complete, Eduardo Beninca extended his slim lead over Jason Whited to 3 points, with Gilles Lalonde 10 points back. In the seniors competition, Steve Carman is leading Jerry Hamilton by 6 points with John Maher a further 9 points back.
NARS made a return trip to Watkins Glen, that circuit having been a special event for the SC2018X in 2021, for the Strikes and Misses 150, the third of the road circuits in the series.
Eduardo Beninca with a 1:08.710 took the PRO and overall race pole position, with the next five cars all within .5s behind his time. Top AM qualifier, with a time of 1:09.710, was Ross Smith.
After a rough opening lap that saw spins in both T1 and the Inner Loop, a front-leading quartet of Beninca, Brian Hall, Norm Graf and Jason Whited broke away. The four became two as Graf spun in T1 and then Whited fell off the pace as the pit cycle approached. Giving up the lead to pit, Beninca retook the lead as Hall pitted and then stretched his advantage consistently until the checkered flag. With a consistent and error-free performance, Jon Uyan claimed third place overall and in the PRO classification. In AM, it was Jair Oliveira holding off the challenge of Brendan McVeigh for the class win, with Ross Smith completing a strong recovery drive after a serious off at the Inner Loop about a third of the way into the race.
Next week, stays with the SC2018X series with the final oval race, this time at storied Daytona while both MNRL and VWSC prepare for their next races.
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