LAS VEGAS – Taylor Miinch turned a sub-par qualifying effort into a trip to victory lane with the Lucas Oil Modified Series on Saturday night at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The reigning series champion qualified eighth, but fast qualifier Justin Johnson drew an eight for the invert for the 75-lap race. That put Miinch on the pole and the 23-year-old proceeded to lead every lap en route to the victory.
“We ran good all weekend, but we were a little off in qualifying,” said Miinch, who had won at The Bullring last May. “We missed the setup and the car was really, really loose. But we knew we had a good car. Sometimes you’d rather be lucky than good.”
It’s even better when you’re good enough to answer opportunity’s knock, and Miinch and his Lineer/Plastpro team have proven themselves in that respect. Saturday’s 1.8-second win over Dylan Cappello was their third victory in as many tries this season and fourth in a row in championship points races over the past two seasons, and in the past 19 races over three years they have won eight times and never finished below fourth.
“It’s frustrating but we’re gaining on him,” said Cappello, who also finished second at Tucson, Ariz., three weeks ago. “He knows we’re here and if he slips up once we’ll be there to capitalize. That’s all you can do. Right now, we’re second-best.”
Cappello was followed across the finish line by Jason Irwin, Cameron Morga and fast qualifier Johnson.
Taylor Miinch, Dylan Cappello, Jason Irwin, Cameron Morga, Justin Johnson, Larry Gerchman, Ryan Schartau, Blake Rogers, Cody Kay, Eddie Secord, Sierra Furia, Michael Mitchell, Dave Arce, Mark Allison, Tom Pfundsein, Doug Carpenter, William Guevara, Aaron McMorran, Scott Winters, Shelby Stroebel, Jeremy Kay, Chris Cook, Jason Kiser.