CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — In dramatic fashion, Chad Kemenah scored his first Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions victory of the season on Sunday night, driving around race leader Lee Jacobs on the final circuit to score $5,000 at Atomic Speedway.
The five-time and defending Arctic Cat All Star champion, who started sixth, used a late-race caution and a wide, slicked-off racing surface to help stage his dramatic finish.
“Before heading out for the feature, my car owner, who is the greatest guy in the world, told me: ‘Remember, this is where we won our championship.’ That really gives you something to think about before going out to race,” Chad Kemenah explained. “I can’t say enough about Rob Hunter and this team. My brother does one heck of a job. He really makes my job easy.”
Outside polesitter Lee Jacobs took command during the drop of the initial green flag, soon followed by fellow full-time All Star Ryan Smith and Cole Duncan to complete lap No. 1. Jacobs maintained control for the first 29 circuits, at one point separating himself from the rest of the field by nearly three seconds. Traffic came into play for the first time on lap eight, eventually allowing Armstrong, who overtook the second position just before halfway and Duncan to close in on the 1881 Racing/Simcox Grinding & Steel/No. 81.
Chad Kemenah, who already climbed two positions to find himself just outside of a podium spot, caught a big break on lap 20 when Duncan and Armstrong made contact with a spinning lapped car between turns one and two, also nearly collecting Lee Jacobs. Armstrong would get the worst of the incident and suffer from a flat left-rear tire, forcing the New Castle, Indiana, native to restart at the rear of the field. Despite wing damage, Duncan maintained his position in the running order; keeping momentum and not stopping on the race track after making contact. With Armstrong surrendering his position, Kemenah moved into third for the restart, eventually moving by Duncan for second on lap 22.
Chasing Jacobs through traffic, Kemenah made his bid for the top spot on the 30th and final circuit, driving by Jacobs at the exit of turn two and surviving a last-ditch effort pass by the No. 81 through the final corner. Lee Jacobs would hold on to finish second, followed by Ryan Smith, Cole Duncan and Dale Blaney.
For Kemenah, the victory was the 31st of his career during Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions competition and his second at Atomic Speedway.
“The clearer the race track got, the better I got,” Kemenah said. “We didn’t have a spectacular qualifying effort here tonight, but my crew kept plugging away. This is probably one of my favorite race tracks in the country. I want to thank all of you for coming out here and supporting [Brad McCown] and this race. Hopefully we put on one heck of a show for you guys.”
Chad Kemenah, Lee Jacobs, Ryan Smith, Cole Duncan, Dale Blaney, Jimmy Stinson, Tim Shaffer, Max Stambaugh, Danny Dietrich, Caleb Helms, Jac Haudenschild, Danny Smith, Cale Conley, Brandon Matus, Brandon Wimmer, Caleb Armstrong, Bryan Nuckles, Mitch Harble, Josh Davis, Tyler Esh, T.J. Michael, Jordan Harble, Ryan Linder, Brent Matus, Ryan Broughton, Ryan Myers.