TJ Harron Photography / TJHarron.com
Nason Finds Redemption in Rockford’s ARCAMT Kar Korner All-Star 100
It was 364 days ago that Austin Nason saw his hopes of adding his name to the Kar Korner All-Star 100 go away as Ty Majeski passed him for the victory with three laps to go and take the checkered flag.
364 days later, Austin Nason came back to the famous Rockford Speedway in Loves Park, Illinois with one goal in mind and he achieved that on Saturday night with a statement run to earn his second victory in the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment.
But…the road that victory on a hot Saturday night on the tough quarter-mile oval wasn’t an easy road for Nason. He would take the lead on lap 16 over Andrew Morrissey and would start, what he hoped, was to a defining victory.
It was on lap 30, when he had a tire go down causing him to slow and practically come to a stop in turn two causing a caution. He would get his car to the pits and his pit crew made a tire change to get him back out before the green flag.
On the restart, point leader Paul Shafer Jr. made contact with Dalton Zehr in turns three and four with Shafer making hard contact with the wall. He was sent off the cook with an early exit and was credited with an 18th place finish.
One by one, he would pick off cars marching his way to the front. By lap 37, he was back up to the fourth position.
Four laps later, Nason would get by Casey Johnson to take back the lead. Johnson would stay close to Nason but would not be able to challenge Nason as he would go on for a big win for himself, his family and his race team.
“It feels awesome, we dominated this thing,” an exhausted Nason said in victory lane. “I don’t think I have ever drove through a field that fast to get back to the lead and walk away with it.”
Johnson picked up his third straight second place finish in the first four events of the 2018 season.
“She got really bad there at the end. I don’t know if I have a tire going down or what, but she plowed like a dump truck,” Johnson explained after the race.
He was smiling about another second-place finish.
“Isn’t that something?” Johnson said with a chuckle. “I can’t really complain, but I know the wins will be there…shortly.”
Jonathan Eilen, making his 122nd ARCAMT start, earned his career 33rd top-five finish with a third-place finish.
“The car was actually really good on the long run. It started out real tight on the bottom and near the end, it was almost better on the bottom then on the top,” Eilen said about his run. “All in all it was a good finish and I can’t complain, especially at Rockford.”
Dalton Zehr bounced back from his early caution to finish fourth. Michael Bilderback, who earlier in the evening won the Star Spangled 76 for the Rockford NASCAR Late Models, rounded out the top five.
The ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment will be back in action on Saturday, July 14th with the Rod Baker and Illinois Truck Equipment Wayne Carter Classic at Grundy County Speedway in Morris, Illinois.
Visit midwesttour.racing for a full schedule and be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (/midwesttour) and Twitter (@MidwestTour).
Lap Leaders: 1-12 – Michael Ostdiek, 13-15 – Andrew Morrissey, 16-26 – Austin Nason, 27-39 – John DeAngelis Jr., 40 – Casey Johnson, 41-100 – Austin Nason