No Surprise, Kyle Busch Tops Lettow Memorial
The 10-minute break didn’t seem to have much of an effect on Busch or the Sauters. Busch got another great restart, but Johnny wasn’t letting him get away. At least not for a few laps anyways.
Busch then put the hammer down and began to easily pull away from the pack. Team DOC 360 Touring Star, Chris Wimmer closed in on Johnny Sauter, but slipped up high in turn one on lap 98 allowing Travis Sauter to second spot. However by this time Busch’s lead was growing to almost a full straightaway.
Travis slowly got closer and closer to Busch, but he was running out of both time and daylight. On lap 109 it was decided by the ARCA Midwest Tour officials that it was getting way too dark to continue. They were going to throw the checkers at lap 115 instead of lap 150. Travis made a valiant effort to cut into Busch’s lead, but in the end the gap was just too big to overcome. Busch would flash across the finish line nearly three seconds ahead of Travis and another three seconds back to Johnny in third.
“The starting back in 14th was kind of fun,” said Busch. “It was a little dicey early there passing some cars and what not, but we got out to the front relatively early, actually a lot sooner than I expected. We were cruising out there a little bit and Johnny Sauter there on that one restart gave me a run for my money there for a while. He kept diving under me and I wasn’t sure if he was going to get me or not. He was close but we had a really good long run car. Our car would just run the same lap time all day long.”
Those same lap times is what kept the Sauters from catching Busch and keeping Travis from repeating as the Howie Lettow Memorial champion.
“That thing was really fast,” Travis Sauter said about Busch’s car. “I wasn’t very good in the first half and these guys, Kyle and Johnny were able to charge from the rear and drive by me no problem. I was barely hanging on at that point. We made some adjustments and got better but Kyle was in his own league. They asked me if it was getting too dark to race and I said it was pretty dark at that point, but I said no, because I thought I had a shot at catching him. About five laps later when he just totally drove away I was like it’s dark now, we’re good.”
Johnny Sauter couldn’t understand why his car was so loose all day long.
“At the beginning of the race I was really, really loose,” said Johnny Sauter. “I was loose qualifying and that was when I put the tires on that we had bought here and I got extremely loose. I hadn’t had that all weekend. I thought it was just the racetrack. When I started the race I was sideways loose and when the first caution came out the tires cooled off. Next thing you know my car was Jack The Bear and I was driving by everybody. Next thing you know I am in second and all over Kyle for about five laps and he was just really working the outside groove and had a lot of momentum. I thought I could get underneath him and get close to him but momentum just pulled him down the straightaway.”
Jacob Goede and Wimmer rounded out the top five.
Kyle Busch, Travis Sauter, Johnny Sauter, Jacob Goede, Chris Wimmer, Joe Nemechek, Griffin McGrath, Dan Fredrickson, David Ragan, Becca Kasten, Nathan Haseleu, John Hunter Nemechek, Kyle Benjamin, David Stremme, Matt Tifft, Trey Mitchell, Erik Jones, Jeff Storm, Steve Wallace, Mark Kraus, Eddie Hoffman, Skylar Holzhausen, Chris Weinkauf, Ross Kenseth, Matt Kocourek, Kenny Wallace, Bryan Ortiz, Travis Dassow, Chad Finley, Jeremy Lepak, Boris Jurkovic, Brandon Hermiller, Rich Bickle, Jonathan Eilen, Andrew Morrissey, Erik Darnell, Mason Mingus, James Swan, Johnny VanDoorn, Cardell Potter, Matt Kenseth, Jeremy Miller, Brett Moffitt.