Closing it out at Homestead

For the final race of the season, the NEORacingNews.com Pro Cup Series headed back to the state where it all began. Chris Cable came into the race looking to hold off Greg Netherwood for the overall championship while Nick Silver had the segment championship all but wrapped up. 23 drivers would take the grid for what turned out to be a thrilling finale.

Chris Cable started his race off right by securing the pole. He would pull out to an early lead over John Higman Jr and Shawn Powell. Cable’s strong start would quickly diminish as he lost control of his car coming out of turn 2 on lap 12. Cable would escape serious consequences as the field was able to avoid his stationary car. Higman Jr would lead the field onto pit road and to the green on lap 17. The field would next see the yellow flag on lap 20 as Patrick Hahe would lose control coming out of turn 2 after a near collision with the #25 of Nick Silver. This would leave Sean Casto as the leader on the next restart after he decided to stay out on the round of pit stops.

Casto and Shawn Powell would battle for the lead before Powell would take over from Casto. After another yellow on lap 40, it would be Nick Silver’s turn at the point after coming off pit road first. The first incident with huge championship implications of the night would come on lap 55. Higman Jr would get loose out of turn 4 with Cable sending him the rest of the way around. Shawn Powell would not slowdown in time, rear ending the #05 of Cable, causing massive damage. This suddenly put the #1 of Greg Netherwood back in the championship hunt as he would be tied with Cable points-wise at this point in the race.

Silver, Casto, and Netherwood would lead them to the green on the restart. “This is definitely a Greg type of track,” said Silver. With no shortage of talent at momentum tracks, Netherwood was suddenly a favorite to contend for the win. He would dog Silver for the lead over the next six laps until another yellow waved. Robert Barney would stay on the track to inherit the lead during the caution. Nick Silver would pull back into the second spot and retook the lead the following lap. Patrick Hahe would suddenly become a contender as he took over the second position. Unfortunately for Netherwood, his championship hopes would be dashed on lap 76 as he and the #52 of Casto would come together in turn 1. Netherwood would try to hang onto it but while doing so would make contact with the outside wall, not bringing out a caution, but severely damaging his car and chances of a top finish.

The rest of the race would continue under green with Nick Silver leading the rest of the race on his way to his ninth race win of the season and the second segment championship. Scott Walter would bring it home second. Shane Ewing, Sean Casto, and 

Colton Harvey would play bumper cars in turn 4 coming to the checkered. This would see Ewing coming home third, Colton Harvey fourth, and Sean Casto rounding out the top 5.

Chris Cable would hang on to take the overall season championship with Nick Silver taking the second segment championship. This brought what has been a fantastic, record-breaking season to a close. 16 different winners took home the checkered flag in what was definitely one of the most competitive seasons at Can-Am Racing to date.

Hahe takes Iowa, Brooks gets the title

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The Exclaim Graphics Late Model Tour took to Iowa Speedway for its 145 lap season finale. Justin Brooks came into the night with the points title all but wrapped up. He only needed to start the race as only 12 cars took the green flag.

The race went green for the first 109 laps until Chris Cable clipped the apron coming off from turn four and spun. In the first run, Brooks and teammate Cody Kelley separated themselves from the field. The rest of the field spread out quite a bit besides a few side by side battles here and there.

When the green flag dropped Patrick Hahe was the leader as the field had almost cycled through pit stops before the caution flew.  Hahe would hold onto the lead with Greg Netherwood charging in second with Brooks in tow.  On lap 120 Kelley and Josh Kotten would get together to bring out a caution.

Another caution slowed the field and set up a one lap shootout to the checkers. Hahe would separate himself on the shootout but chaos would hit coming out of turn four setting up a crash involving Brooks and Netherwood on the front stretch. Hahe got the win, with Brooks second, Trevor Williams third, Netherwood fourth and Tim Bills fifth.

Justin Brooks would be the series champion putting together an impressive season that included six wins, and nine top fives in his 9 starts.

Hahe finally gets one, while Palenica brings home the title!

10628089_835913893127877_382403849348252679_nThe Wednesday Smith Media Productions Super Speedway Series has shown itself to be one of the most exciting series here at CARS, and this week would prove yet another example. For 2 straight weeks, Patrick Hahe has finished runner-up to winner Robert Barney, both times in drag race finishes at the line. Bordering on insanity due to the frustration of being so close yet losing out both times, Patrick came out firing at Daytona.

Jerome Gustin would win the pole in his first event, and would lead some of the early going. However, while trying to help his teammate Palenica, he overheated and would lose his motor while running second, sending the field scrambling around to miss his rapidly slowing car.

Then as pit stops would ensue, 2 drivers decided to take a humongous gamble. Chris Cable, trailing by 12 points in the title chase, and teammate Greg Netherwood, decided they’d try something outside the box and run 1 extra lap, to try to turn the race into a 1 stop deal. So as the pack roared onto pit road, they stayed out. And it almost worked…..

But Hahe and Charles Churchville would come out with Bruce Perry and Ray Thompson, and for the next part of the race, it was the 4 of them leading the way. But secondary pit stops would ensue, and this would leave Hahe alone with Churchville up front.

With Cable and Netherwoood almost making it to the top of the board with their fuel saving, it would crash down on them as they took the white. Running 3rd and 4th, both ran on empty as they came off turn 2, and would fall to 8th and 13th respectively as they coasted to the line.

But the action was up front, as finally, Hahe would have the top spot coming off turn 4. With Churchville up his butt more than a proctologist, hahe had no choice but to hug the yellow line and pray for the best. Putting the hammer down, Churchville dove outside, and had a run for the ages. Had it been Talladega, he may have had him. But, alas, it was not to be, and Hahe would FINALLY be the victor.

Palenica rode a bad stop to a 7th place finish, but it was enough. Despite not scoring a win all season, consistent top 4 finishes gave him the backbone to a title. By a mere 13 points over  Cable, Shane Palenica is the 2014 Smith Media Productions Super Speedway Series Champion! Congratulations, Shane!

Cable Dominates at Texas

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The NEO Racing Pro Cup series made its way to Texas Tuesday night for 120 laps on the 1.5 mile cookie cutter oval. Chris Cable, who is from Texas, showed up early and stayed late to celebrate as he led every single lap on his way to his third win of the season.

The race went from the original green to the checkered flag without any cautions.  As a result, Cable was never really tested. As a matter of fact, the 05 was so dominant that there was only five drivers that would finish the race on the lead lap.  Nick Silver would come home in second to continue his excellent season with Greg Netherwood bringing the 1 car home in third.  John Hanna and Sean Casto rounded out the top 5.

The points battle for the full season is really heating up going into the last two races at Phoenix and Homestead.  With this victory, Cable opened up a 10 point lead over Scott Walter and a 12 point lead over Netherwood. In the third “mini” segment, Silver leads by 15 points over his teammate Casto.

Next week the series rolls into Phoenix to try out the open dog leg for the first time.

Brooks Keeps Streak Alive at Martinsville

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When the Exclaim Graphics Late Model Tour arrived at Martinsville, the championship was as close as it could get between the top three of Justin Brooks, Chris Cable, and Josh Kotten.  However, Brooks in the #33 has been riding a two race hot streak as he has won back to back races coming in to the historic paper clip.

Cable and Kotten would lead the field to the green to get 115 laps of racing action going.  The field would jostle for position throughout the pack as some great bumper to bumper racing would take place in the first 20 laps. On lap 20, Al Smith Jr. would get loose off from turn 2 and collect the #81 of Keith Brooks to bring out the race’s first of five yellows. All but Joel Clancy would head down pit road making him the leader for the restart. Clancy could not hold on with old tires and Brooks would take the lead on lap 29.

Another long green flag run would show great racing until Clancy would spin his car just passed half-way to bring out caution #2 of the race. Once again the lead lap cars would drop to pit lane to get another set of tires and enough fuel to get them to the end.  Brooks would not look back though as he would get his third win in a row and stretch his point lead over an ailing duo of Cable and Kotten.  Nick Silver and Cody Kelley would come home second and third as Kyle Wood and Sean Casto rounded out the top five.

Next week the series puts a cap on the season as they travel to Iowa Speedway for a 145 lap season finale.