Gordon Wins As Other Drivers Get Hot Under THe Collar
The fireworks that followed the Miller Lite 250 presented by Longhorn were merely an encore of the on-track action at the Lake Erie Speedway on Friday night.
Brad Rogers, driver of the No. 81 Knight’s Companies Ford, was sent spinning by Shelby Howard early in the event and dodged the flying cars down the stretch to come home second for the second time in as many races.
"These second-place finishes are just like wins for us," said Rogers, who finished second at Myrtle Beach on June 24. "It was an up-and-down night for us, but I can’t give enough props to this team. We’re definitely getting it turned around."
A.J. Frank was another driver to get turned around and still come home with a podium finish.
There were a lot of hot tempers at Lake Erie, with spins, wrecks and even a trown HANS device. (Kathy Bond Photos)
Frank, driver of the No. 11 LightningFast.com Pontiac, was tagged by Eric Corbett on Lap 216. Frank continued on and made a late-race charge to pick up his second consecutive third-place finish.
"It’s good to be running back up front," said Frank. "It’s been that way for two weeks in a row now, but I just wish I could get a little more respect out here. I tried to race everybody clean, but I guess some guys can’t do the same. We got dumped, but I think we got those positions back when [Jeff Agnew and Jack Bailey] got together."
The contact between Agnew and Bailey may have changed the overall outcome of the race. With Gordon,
Six rough-driving penalties were handed out, a HANS device was thrown and plenty of words were exchanged amongst drivers after the checkered flag waved. But on this wild night, Benny Gordon steered clear of the carnage and won his third race in a row.
"Right now, I think this team is at their best," said Gordon, driver of the No. 66 Predator Performance Ford. "All the guys are working together well, things are going well in shop and we’re creating things to make the car better."
But Gordon’s Predator Performance pit crew may have made best adjustment to the No. 66, moving him from sixth to first of the cars pitting on Lap 75.
After the rest of the lead-lap cars cycled through the pits, Gordon took over the lead on Lap 108 and led to the finish, beating Brad Rogers to the finish by 1.036 seconds.
"I did what I could to hold my position during the first part of the race, and my pit crew was awesome," said Gordon, who started seventh. "That made a big difference in this race."
For many of the other frontrunners, the chrome horn made the most difference in their nights.
Shelby Howard, Lonnie Rush Jr., Jack Bailey, Dominick Casola, Woody Howard and Eric Corbett all were sent to the rear of the field for altercations during the event.
On the other hand, two of the drivers that were on the receiving end of the bumper rebounded to match season-best efforts.
Agnew and Bailey nose to tail, Bailey got into the back of Agnew and sent the No. 73 for a spin with 20 laps remaining.
"You always have to worry about Agnew when he’s behind you," said Gordon. "He drives the car so hard. I was getting held up by [Lonnie Rush] a little bit, but I was making sure that I hit my marks and didn’t let Agnew by me."
Johnny Rumley was one of the few drivers that went unscathed during the event and brought his No. 8 Snow King/Black’s Tire Service Chevrolet in fourth.
Gary St. Amant, driver of the No. 72 JEGS.com Chevrolet, rounded out the top five.
Benny Gordon's smoke was not from a wreck, but instead a post-race burnout.