Cory Hall Avoids Adversity to Claim Redeeming SLMS Victory!
(July 8th, 2023) - Cory Hall (#83) earned his first career Super Late Model Series victory in dramatic style Saturday night, holding off a hungry Dylan Gosbee (#16) in a fight for the win over the final 50 laps in the Fog City Auto Spa 150. A capacity crowd at Petty International Raceway witnessed the exciting duel and saw Steve Halpin’s (#03) mighty drive to finish third, as Robbie MacEwen (#40) and Dustin Tucker (#52) rounded out the top 5.
The fight for the win between two of the best thrilled fans, as Gosbee made several attempts to pass Hall on the bottom - getting side by side with the driver of the #83, but just not getting enough grip to make it stick.
For Hall, he became the third different winner in as many races and found redemption after facing many struggles in the opening two races.
While Hall’s win didn’t come easy, he was certainly the benefactor of track position - taking the lead on the seventh lap, which enabled him to avoid attrition which played out in his mirror. Outside of Hall, nearly every competitor in the field faced adversity - which was race ending in several instances.
A trio of multi-car pileups - two the result of mechanical issues on cars - were amongst the nine cautions to slow the race and generate excitement.
The race commenced with Ryan Messer (#1) and Dustin Tucker (#52) on the front row, with Messer leading the opening laps. On just the sixth lap, top five points contender Lonnie Sommerville (#23) has issues on the frontstretch while charging to the front, dousing the track in fluid and leading to Gosbee, Troy Burke (#01) and others sliding and spinning to avoid.
The ensuing restart saw Hall get the lead - one he would never relinquish - but just a few laps later contact for second place saw Messer spin off the bumper of Darren MacKinnon (#18). Both drivers would have to work their way through the field.
After a lengthy green flag run that saw Jonathan Hicken (#2) stalk Hall, the most catastrophic incident of the night occurred on the fifty-ninth lap. On a restart after the race’s third caution, Greg Proude (#29) would break a power steering hose and dump fluid on the track which Proude would spin in. Coming to a rest in the middle of the soaked track, Proude was a sitting duck and would get rammed by Messer and Dave O’Blenis (#48), who were unable to avoid as they slid through fluid.
The next fifty laps saw many more contenders struggle. First it was Jonathan Hicken bringing out the caution for an issue, followed by Darren MacKinnon suffering heartbreak while battling for the lead. The aftermath of these yellows was another multi-car incident on lap 103, when a restart went wrong and a chain reaction resulted in cars from the front to the back receiving damage as many piled up into turn one. While everyone was able to drive away from this wreck, it would end the night for several drivers.
The races final green flag run would go for thirty-two laps, and was a duel between Hall and Gosbee, but Halpin closed the gap in the waning laps as he drove through the field and had the best view of the battle to the finish.
Darren MacKinnon (#18), Cory Hall (#83), and Greg Proude (#29) all earned victories in 10-lap heat races to start the day.
Points will be updated in the coming days. The next race for the Super Late Model Series is Saturday August 5th, with a return trip to Prince Edward Island and Oyster Bed Speedway for the Universal Truck and Trailer 150. Start time is 6pm for that one. With the season now half complete, Dylan Gosbee has extended his points lead, being the only driver to put together three top five finishes, but the wild Fog City Auto Spa 150 is sure to shake things up in the standings.
Stay tuned to SLMS.ca, Super Late Model Series on Facebook, or @SLMSeries on other social media platforms including YouTube for highlights, recaps, and updates on the next event!
Fog City Auto Spa 150 Results