ORRVILLE, Ohio – A sprint car legend taught Cap Henry a valuable lesson midway through Monday night’s Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek feature, and Henry ultimately used the knowledge he gained to steal the Duffy Smith Memorial at Wayne County Speedway.
After Haudenschild showed his nose to Henry in a battle for second, Henry quickly realized that the bottom groove of the three-eighths-mile dirt track was the fastest way around.
Shifting lines inside of 10 to go, Henry quickly cut a second-plus lead down to mere car lengths by lap 26 of the 30-lap Duffy Smith Memorial, then stalked Conley’s rear nerf bar for two rotations before striking.
With a deep slider into the fourth corner, Henry cleared Conley to lead lap 28, then drove off into the night over the final two circuits to notch his second win of Ohio Speedweek – this one worth $6,000.
In victory lane, Henry credited Haudenschild’s moves – and the realization he took from them – as being the key to his third-career All Star Circuit of Champions victory and second series win at Wayne County.
“Jac actually showed me the bottom there when he started showing his nose wing (for second), so I moved down to block him, and when I did I realized we were making gains,” explained Henry, who led just the final three laps. “From there I just stuck with it, and when we got to traffic, that line just kept working for me. I don’t know if Cale lost brakes or what, but it looked like he got committed to the top and couldn’t move down.
“I don’t care how we got it, though; I’ll take a win any day.”
Conley started from the outside pole and appeared to have the night all to himself, grabbing control of the race from polesitter Zeb Wise on the initial start and leading the first 27 laps virtually uncontested.
But as the No. 3c got into lap traffic, his near-two second advantage would slowly diminish each time.
Cautions on laps nine and 12 – for the stalled Broc Martin machine in turn three and the upside-down car of fourth-running Trey Jacobs, respectively – allowed Conley to escape into clean track, but once the feature resumed on lap 13 the final 18 rotations went uninterrupted and gave Henry his chance.
After fading in the final laps, Conley hung on to finish second, one spot short of what would have been his first All Star victory. Rico Abreu took the final step on the podium.
Haudenschild crossed fourth after starting 12th, and Justin Peck filled out the top five from 16th, but the drive of the night came from recently-crowned Pennsylvania Speedweek champion Kyle Larson.
Rallying from a heat-race incident that relegated him to the B-main, Larson won the B to advance into the show, started 21st and clawed his way to a sixth-place finish at the end of 30 laps.
It matched Larson’s worst finish on dirt in his last 24 races, a stretch dating back to May 30.
The Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions takes a day to rest and reset Tuesday before resuming Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek Wednesday at Brushcreek Motorsports Complex.
1. 4-Cap Henry , 2. 3c-Cale Conley , 3. 24-Rico Abreu , 4. 3-Jac Haudenschild , 5. 5x-Justin Peck , 6. 57-Kyle Larson , 7. 26-Cory Eliason , 8. 87-Aaron Reutzel , 9. 17-Josh Baughman , 10. 22-Brandon Spithaler , 11. 23-Cole Macedo , 12. 13-Paul McMahan , 13. 7bc-Tyler Courtney , 14. 81-Lee Jacobs , 15. 11-Zeb Wise , 16. 07-Gerard McIntyre , 17. 19r-Jordan Ryan , 18. W20-Greg Wilson , 19. 70-Sye Lynch , 20. 99-Skylar Gee , 21. 3j-Trey Jacobs , 22. 11n-Buddy Kofoid , 23. 83m-Broc Martin , 24. 35-Stuart Brubaker , 25. 28-Tim Shaffer .
SPEED SPORT’s Ohio Sprint Speedweek coverage is presented by Cometic Gasket Inc., a leading worldwide supplier of gaskets and engine sealing solutions for the automotive performance, powersports, original equipment and remanufactured engine industries. No matter what you ride, Cometic Gasket can seal your machine so you can focus on the finish line.
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