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USRA Super Late Models

racepartsauction.com 125

Bendele Breaks Through in Spectacular Shootout

After setting fast times and having a couple tough draws for starting position, fast qualifier, Brandon Bendele got a break and drew the pole for the 125 lap USRA Super Late Model main event, with points leader, Heath Stewart along side. On the initial start Bendele got out front, but James Cole in the Bendele team car spun to bring about a complete restart.


Bendele and Stewart stayed side by side through turns 1-2, with Bendele getting the advantage to get lead on lap 1. Todd McLemore would get by Stewart for second, leaving Stewart door to door with Casey Smith for third. At the same time JC Umscheid and Chris Davidson were side by side for fifth. By lap 5 the top five had put a small gap back to C. Davidson and Bradley Reithmeyer battling for sixth.


The top had just started to separate themselves from the field when Jason Young spun with Tommy Grimes and Cole spinning behind him. On the restart, Umscheid would get by Stewart, with C. Davidson following through the hole. Reithmeyer would cut Stewart some slack and give him room to get back down to the lower groove. Bendele was just starting to pull away from McLemore and Smith until that duo made contact, with McLemore spinning to bring out yellow on lap 25. Stewart would pit under the caution.


Umscheid, now in second took a quick look under Bendele on the restart, but not be able to get by. Meanwhile in the pack Cole and Doug Lege’ got together to bring out the yellow. Once back to green, Bendele and Umscheid put space on C. Davidson and Reithmeyer. In a battle eighth Greg Davidson and Cory Roper were swapping some paint until G. Davidson finally took the spot on lap 45.


As Umscheid was putting pressure on Bendele during lap 50, Eddy Wallace would slide off the track in turns 3-4 while running fifth. Umscheid gave Bendele a knock on the bumper during the restart as the duo inched ahead the field. Second in points, T Wade Welch then moved in on Reithmeyer as they fought for fourth. Smith, working his way back to front was able to get by Lege’ for eighth as the race neared halfway.


As the crossed flags were shown it was Bendele, Umscheid, C. Davidson, Welch and Reithmeyer in the top five spots with Bendele putting distance on Umscheid who had a big gap back to the third place fight. Mclemore was also finding his way back up getting by Lege’ for a top ten spot. Four laps later, Lege’s car would erupt in flames as he expired a motor on lap 71.


Umscheid again laid the bumper on Bendele as the race resumed, but was unable to move or sway Bendele from his line. At the back of the pack, Tuffy Hudson and John David jr made contact to bring out a caution. The top three stayed together as green waved again, with Umscheid still sticking Bendele in the turns. Smith and Mark Chrudimsky had their own game of bumper tag going on as they slugged it out for sixth.


At lap 100, Bendele had been able to get a two car length margin over Umscheid as the top five spread out. Behind them, Chrudimsky, Smith and McLemore were now fighting for sixth. Smith picked up the position on lap 105 and as McLemore tried to follow, Chrudimsky slammed the door. In the meanwhile, up front, Bendele was increasing his lead over Umscheid who had a big margin on C. Davidson.


On lap 115, Smith gained another spot as he passed Reithmeyer for fifth, while McLemore was finally able to get around Chrudimsky for seventh. With five to go, Bendele held a healthy lead over Umscheid, as Smith was catching Welch for fourth. Bendele caught traffic on lap 122, but it wasn’t enough to slow the former ROMCO series champion. Smith was able to get past Welch in the final laps to grab fourth. But as the checkers waved it was Bendele taking his first ever Super Late Model win at Thunder Hill Raceway.


USRA Super Late Models

1. 8 Brandon Bendele

2. 52 JC Umscheid

3. 41 Chris Davidson

4. 13 T Wade Welch

5. 99 Casey Smith

****UNOFFICIAL TOP FIVE**** Smith penalized one position for jumping a restart****


I'll get quotes/notes added and posted on front page later.

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