"LOVE CONQUERS ALL" - ESPECIALLY AT CONCORD by Matt Kentfield
Query's Second-Place Makes Championship Race His To Lose
A dominating performance and a little bit of a nudge by the guy with the romantic name was just what it took to beat points leader Freddie Query in the second round of the Big 10 Series playoffs at Concord Motorsport Park Saturday night.
Query, who started third, led the early stages of the event before giving up the lead to Love on lap 50. Love stretched his lead to nearly five seconds under a long green flag run. The yellow flag finally flew on lap 125 after Preston Peltier, who was running third, spun by himself at the exit of the third turn.
At this point, most of the leaders pitted for four tires and fuel, with the exception of second-place points man, Jimmy Simpson, who elected to take fuel only. Simpson led the field back to green, but it took just two laps for Query to take the lead with his fresh tires. Love followed Query by Simpson, who was quickly eaten up by the cars with fresh rubber.
Query continued to lead until just 25 to go, when Love made the winning move.
Kevin Love and his winning car found their way into Victory Lane Saturday night in Concord.
“I knew that I was going to have a shot at Freddie towards the end,” said Love. “My car was just so fast through the center of the corner. On that second set of tires, I was pretty dominant, but the front end was hopping a little bit. I think I had either had a power steering leak or a bent wheel.
"No matter what, it was I was able to get around him because the car was super fast tonight; it was fun to run that good.”
Query’s second-place finish keeps him 16 points ahead of Simpson going into the final Big 10 event. Regardless of his points position, Query was frustrated that he
Love's #6 was the only car that had anything for Freddie Query Saturday night.
Kevin Love set fast time in qualifying and went on to dominate most of the 200-lap event before giving the lead up to Query after pit stops at lap 125. Query, fighting handling problems, caught a bumper from Love coming off the first turn to take the lead with just 25 laps to go. Love never looked back while Query recovered to finish second, maintaining his points lead with just one Big 10 points event remaining.
“I had a super good car,” said an ecstatic Love after the win. “The car was just so fast all night, it felt good to be able to drive that way and pull away from Freddie a couple times as much as we did.”
Before he could check out from Query in the late stages of the race, however, it took a small Love tap to allow the lead change.
couldn’t earn his sixth Big 10 Series win of the year on Saturday.
“(Love) was better than everyone tonight, but I’m not on my game,” said Query. “I’ve got a problem. I just wasn’t good enough to win.
"I don’t know what’s wrong with my car, but I’ve had it for a couple races and I can’t quite put my finger on it. I’m lucky to be finishing as good as I’ve been finishing.”
Query and Simpson, who finished fourth, maintained their 1-2 positions in points. Ted Musgrave, Jr.’s third-place finish positioned him third in points going into the Big 10 season finale on October 29th.