Kaz Grafix Photo
Red River Co-op Speedway capped off the Monday Night Racing Pure Stock Stock program on Thursday while the WISSOTA classes were away running the WISSOTA 100 in Hurron, SD. The championship night presented a three-way points battle in the V8 Pure Stock class as Nick Audette led the standings by just a single point over Rob Wiens and just six ahead of veteran Kevin Delaine. This would come down to the last lap of the last race of the year. Here is how the action played out.
Starting the night by points, Nick Audette and Kevin Delaine led the field to green. When green flew Audette was able to jump to the lead as Kevin Delaine did his best to fend off Crysta-Mae Thomas in third. Racing into turn three, Delaine thread the needle and raced under Audette and outside Thomas to drive out of turn four with the lead. Thomas followed Dealine and moved into second past Audette who was now in third. The field lined up single file and Delaine took the heat win well ahead of Thomas in second and Audette rounded out the top three. This heat win put Delaine just four points behind Audette for the championship battle.
Rob Wiens and Les McRae got ready to lead six cars to green. McRae was able to jump out to a healthy lead early in the heat. The field lined up single file and raced the entire heat under green as McRae drove to the heat win a full straight away over Rob Wiens who was just able to hold off Rob Legross for second. This put Wiens in a tie for Audette for the points lead as the top three cars in points were now separated by just four points.
Kevin Delaine and Les McRae used their heat wins to start on the front row of a thirteen car field. When green flew McRae used the outside line to take the lead over Delaine who had his hands full of Rob Wiens for second. Coming to lap 3, Wiens found himself falling back as Rob Legross, Nick Audette and Kyle Pellaers all passed Wiens low driving out of turn four.
Coming to lap four, Pellaers got high and wide driving out of turn four and steered down a bit, taking the line away from Wiens who was right behind him. As the two made contact, it flattening Wiens’ right front tire and ripped off his nose cone. Caution came out and in a controversial call the race director parked Wiens for the night. This call instantly ended the championship run for Wiens as he and Audette were dead even heading into the feature. This would turn the championship into a two-car battle between Delaine and Audette.
When green flag racing resumed, McRae led until turn four when Delaine took the lead away coming to the line. With Delaine now leading, Audette had fallen back to fifth. If the race ended now, Delaine would have picked up enough points to pass Audette and steal the championship away. With laps winding down, coming to the white flag, Audette was able to take advantage of a bobble by Thomas and move up a spot into fourth.
Nothing more would change and Delaine drove to his first feature win of the year well ahead of McRae in second and Rob Legross in third. With the win, Delaine picked up four points on Audette and after an entire season left the two teams tied in points, wins, top 5s and top 10s. It will be interesting to see how the facility decides this class championship. Delaine did what he needed to do tonight to get the job done, that’s for sure!
The points ended in a tie between Audette and Delaine with Rob Wiens coming in third 9 points back after his disqualification, Les McRae placed fourth 16 points back and Crysta-Mae Thomas rounded out the top five 32 points back of the leader.
Congrats to Kevin Delaine on his first feature win of the year, coming at the right time to tie Audette for the points lead.