Matt Hall Wins Winchester SUPERPRO Race
First Time Winner Takes Saturday's 50 Lapper
Series PR Report
2009 Rookie of the Year Matt Hall led only one lap of Saturday’s Penske Racing Shocks 50 at Winchester but it was the last one as he took the checker for his first ever SUPERPRO victory. Hall’s win marked the third straight first time winner for the series.
Claude Plante, Jr. and Brett Rowe led the field to the green with Rowe jumping into the early lead. Fourth starting Jeff Fultz moved into second on lap two and into the lead on lap 3 with Hall, Tommy Cook, and Jason Dietsch moving around Rowe by lap 7. Tommy Cook grabbed second from Hall on lap 10 and set his sights on Fultz.
The first caution of the race flew on lap 12 for a Mike Kugler spin in turn two. Cook caught and passed Fultz for the lead on lap 21 with Dietsch moving into second two laps later. At the half way point it was Tommy Cook, Dietsch, Fultz, Hall and Plante.
Rowe’s night ended on lap 27 when a blown tire put him into the turn four wall.
On the restart, Dietsch powered his way past Cook for the lead. The “big one” occurred on lap 31 with six cars being involved in a turn two crash that eliminated Kugler and 2010 Corrigan Oil - Turbo Blue Rookie of the Year Reagan May. Tommy Cook went to the pits with mechanical problems and lost three laps and a chance at victory.
Dietsch, Fultz and Hall ran nose to tail over the final laps until Dietsch and Fultz got together in turn two after taking the white flag, moving both cars to the tail. Hall got the white and green flag together on the restart and cruised to victory. Plante was second, first time SUPERPRO competitor Jimmy Novak was third followed by Robbie Johnson and Kevin Todd. Another first timer Lonnie Saumier finished sixth with Dietsch, Fultz, Tommy Cook and Justin Matson rounding out the top ten.
Tommy Cook set a new SUPERPRO track record as he won the Aluminum Racing Products Fast Qualifier award with a lap of 16.221 seconds around the 1/2 mile paved oval with Rowe being awarded the ARP Hard Luck certificate. Johnson nabbed the ARP Hard Charger Award while Matson earning the Penske Shocks “Shocking Move“ of the race. May was once again the Turbo Blue Rookie of the Race.
Cook became a three time SUPERPRO Champion when he started the race. Consistency was the key for Cook’s title as he used a win at the season opener at Angola, six top fives and seven top tens enroute to his third title over the past four seasons. It was also the third title for crew chief Alan Chalfant.