By: Lucas Halbert
Photo: Brendon Bauman
Tulsa, Oklahoma (1/15/2021) – Justin Grant was untouchable in the A-Main on Friday night inside the Tulsa Expo Center. Grant started second on the outside of Princeton, Indiana native, Kyle Cummins. Down into turn one “JG” went, shutting the door quickly on Cummins and leading lap one by a wide margin.
After two cautions early on, a short green flag run for Grant gave him time to get away from Cummins and Ronnie Gardner while they battled for second. NASCAR Cup Series driver, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, brought the heat on Friday night, he passed 13 cars in ten laps to move into the top 10.
The first eleven laps brought three cautions; the final nineteen laps brought none. While Justin Grant was four-tenths faster than everyone else in open track, he was not so fast in lap traffic. Grant had difficulty navigating the lap traffic, letting the once big lead begin to get small.
Being slowed by Bill Balog, Grant had Cummins on his tail tank as he took the white flag. “JG” slid Balog in turn one, trying to get some separation from Cummins. The move worked down the backstretch and into turn three. Kyle Cummins could not quite reach Justin Grant out of turn four, and Grant would win on Friday’s Driven2Save Lives Qualifying Night.
Cummins wasn’t the only driver that closed on Grant in the closing laps. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. continued his charge from 18th to finish 3rd. He was right behind Cummins when they crossed the finish line. The third-place finish did not come without some difficulty for Stenhouse.
After getting caught up in an accident in his heat, Stenhouse had to start 6th in the C-Main, where he advanced. In the B-Main, Stenhouse started 15th and would go on to win the 15-lap race. The win in the B led him to an 18th to 3rd run in the A-Main. All in all, Ricky Stenhouse Jr passed 31 cars on Friday night.
Another driver who was on a tear throughout the night was Tanner Thorson. After flipping in his Heat, Thorson was forced to the C-Main. He advanced to the B-Main, where he had to start 13th. Nothing stopped Tanner there, where he passed eleven cars to advance to the A-Main. There, he started 20th, gaining sixteen spots on his way to finishing 4th. The Dave Mac Motorsports driver passed a total of 29 cars on Friday night. Tanner Thorson will be one to watch on Saturday night.
Feature Results (30 Laps):
1. (2J) Justin Grant , 2. (3G) Kyle Cummins , 3. (17S) Ricky Stenhouse Jr , 4. (08) Tanner Thorson , 5. (21) Daryn Pittman , 6. (71G) Damion Gardner , 7. (97K) Jesse Love , 8. (87) Aaron Reutzel , 9. (2G) J.J. Yeley , 10. (68) Ronnie Gardner , 11. (32W) Casey Shuman , 12. (19M) Ethan Mitchell , 13. (28) Ace McCarthy , 14. (57W) Kasey Kahne , 15. (27) Tucker Klaasmeyer , 16. (4CM) Cody Jessop , 17. (37X) Bill Balog , 18. (44X) Wesley Smith , 19. (73B) Tyler Edwards , 20. (15F) Kinzer Edwards , 21. (2X) Brent Beauchamp , 22. (10J) Lane Goodman , 23. (56I) Luke Icke -DNF, 24. (14) Jesse Colwell -DNF