Sides was hanging on as best he could in the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim, but in a race slowed by seven cautions he eventually couldn’t hold off Schatz any longer as his right rear went down just past the finish line.
“The last couple of restarts, the tire was shaking really bad,” said Sides. “And the last corner coming to the checkered, it really eased up and wouldn’t stay where I wanted it and Donny got by. He’s one of the best out here so when he gets by you, there’s no shame in it.”
The winner of the third heat race, Kraig Kinser, worked the top early in the A-main to move up to second after starting fifth, and eventually settled for third in his Mesilla Valley Transportation Maxim.
“I dove up there and I knew the bottom would get cleaned off eventually, and I just didn’t expect it to go that early,” said Kinser. “I just stayed up there too long and gave it back to Donny. I stayed up there and got around him the hard way, and he got back around us on the bottom and he hung around there and got the win.”
Kemenah, who won the second heat race of the night, fell off of the podium and into the fourth sport. Championship leader and the night’s number one qualifier, Daryn Pittman salvaged a fifth-place finish to minimize the ding in the championship standings by Schatz.
Pittman maintains a 139-point lead in the season-long championship battle. Paul McMahan is second, 19 points ahead of Schatz.