LOCUST GROVE, Ark. — For the third consecutive year, Jordan Grabouski won the final qualifying program at the Race For Hope 71.
Racing action began early Saturday afternoon to make-up Wednesday night’s postponed rainout. Thirty drivers raced for 30 laps around Batesville Motor Speedway with 10 drivers earning the final qualifying spots.
Front row starters Tony Anglin and Tripp Gaylord battled for the lead early with Grabouski in tow in third.
After a quick caution on the opening lap, a light rain shower passed over the speedway causing a brief delay to get the track worked in. Gaylord distanced himself by five car lengths seven laps in as Grabouski worked the rear bumper of Anglin.
On lap eight, a 10-car pileup ensued in turn one. A car slowed on the low side of the speedway and forced a bottleneck. Cars piled into each other, blocking the entire corner. Getting the worst of it was Carl Murphy, who climbed the wall and came to rest with his front end straight up in the air.
With 14 to go, Gaylord found himself mired in heavy lapped traffic. Considerable contact was made between Gaylord and a lapped car, which nearly spun Gaylord around. Gaylord was able to save his car from spinning, but it allowed Grabouski to sneak by to take the lead.
Gaylord remained within striking distance until the checkers, but Grabouski held on to claim his third qualifying feature win at the Race For Hope 71.
“The lapped cars were tough. They are racing for all they’ve got and it took a lot to just be patient and go for it,” said Grabouski. “Seventy-one laps will be a long time tonight. I think we’ve got a good car and hopefully, we make the right adjustments.”
Anglin, Jason Ingalls and Eddie Belec rounded out the top five.
Feature (30 Laps): 1. 30G-Jordan Grabouski, ; 2. 77T-Tripp Gaylord, ; 3. G1X-Tony Anglin, ; 4. 12J-Jason Ingalls, ; 5. 3B-Eddie Belec, ; 6. 8-Kyle Strickler, ; 7. 7X-Mikey Bell, ; 8. 2T-Tyler Stevens, ; 9. 31M-Travis Mosley, ; 10. 7M-Peyton Taylor, ; 11. 9S-Ken Schrader, ; 12. 19XX-Brandon Spanjer, ; 13. 12T-Tyler Townsend, ; 14. 777-Jared Landers, ; 15. 71-Jessie Hoskins, ; 16. 10W-Brandon Walsh, ; 17. 29-Keith Hammett, ; 18. 02J-Rusty Jeffrey, ; 19. 17W-Ashton Wilkey, ; 20. 37-Randy Foote, ; 21. 21C-Chad Clancy, ; 22. 23-Brandon Smith, ; 23. (DNF) 915-Chris Elliott, ; 24. (DNF) 16-Joey Burch, ; 25. (DNF) 41-Rob Hughes, ; 26. (DNF) 8H-John Hansen, ; 27. (DNF) X2M-Carl Murphy, ; 28. (DNF) 73W-Shawn Walsh, ; 29. (DNF) 48-Alan Brown, ; 30. (DNF) 82-Jacob Poel,