Mike Ramsell Photo
Nason Ends Drought with Wayne Carter Classic Victory at Grundy
By: Kevin Ramsell
The last time Austin Nason visited victory lane was on June 16, 2019 when he won at the Milwaukee Mile. Just a little over two years later, he is back with a victory in the historic Wayne Carter Classic 100 at Grundy County Speedway in Morris, Illinois.
“It feels good,” a smiling Nason said after the race. “We always seem to run good at the big ones. We have been good all year, just some luck hasn’t gone our way. It’s good to be back.”
Nason ran fifth in the early going of the event and quickly worked his way up to second by lap 15. He chased down early leader Ricky Baker and stalked him for the lead.
On lap 39, he got past Baker coming off of turn four for the top spot.
The first caution flew on lap 40 when Stan Zolodz spun in turns three and four.
As the field chose their lane to restart, the top three went to the inside lane while Casey Johnson, who drove up to fourth, took advantage and was the first car to take the outside lane.
On the restart, Nason and Johnson battled for the top spot until the caution flew again on lap 43 for a multi-car wreck on the backstretch, causing a red flag.
After the cleanup, Nason and Johnson continued their side-by-side battle for the top spot, exchanging the lead back and forth.
Nason would get the outright lead after the two came off of turn four to the oncoming slow car of Steve Seligman, who was heading towards the pit entrance. Johnson fell back to fourth after hitting his brakes to avoid running into Seligman.
The final caution flew on lap 57 after Jonathan Eilen and Justin Mondiek made contact going into turn one, causing both to spin.
On the restart, Nason would get a good jump and drive away from the field to his fourth ARCA Midwest Tour victory.
Gabe Sommers, climbed all the way from his 17th starting spot to finish second. Baker would hold on to finish third.
Johnson bounced back to second in the late going and was trying to chase down Nason, until the same gremlin that almost cost him the Father’s Day 100 victory at the Milwaukee Mile, returned and he was able to salvage a fourth place finish.
Riley Stenjem also raced his way through the field, falling back to 21st in the early going, marching to a solid fifth place finish.
Sommers won the qualifier heat. Dean Cornelius won the odd heat, while Eilen won the even heat.
Levon Van Der Geest picked up his first ARCA Midwest Tour fast qualifier award with a time of 14.717 seconds.
The ARCA Midwest Tour will be back in action on Saturday, July 23rd for the Larry Detjens Memorial at State Park Speedway in Rib Mountain, Wisconsin.