FONTANA, Calif. — Audio and recap by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor and iRacing Correspondent Jacob Seelman — Jacob Seelman/iRacing.com photo —
In racing, it’s often right place, right time and Wednesday night in the opener for the 2015 =RSR= Asphalt Assault TV Series, Thomas George was in the lead when it counted.
George, who led a dominant 54 of 80 laps on the evening, caught a lucky break when William Kempf and Gregg Omo got together to bring out a caution flag coming to two laps to go, ending the race under caution and giving the Steel Horse Racing driver his second victory in his last four =RSR= starts.
“It wasn’t the caution we needed, that’s for … sure,” said George, who thought he had lost the event after he and teammate Jeff Ward stayed out prior to the race’s final restart with five laps remaining and saw the field behind him get fresh tires on pit road. “10 laps to go — me and Jeff Ward, we’re teammates at Steel Horse and we had great cars all night — we were just setting up for a fight between the two of us. We wanted the thing to go green … and we were going to race it out between us, but when the yellow came out it was like, ‘Here we go again…'”
“We decided to stay out and see what happened, and we got lucky, with that caution [at the end] otherwise we both probably would have gotten passed.”
The sprint to the finish was set up when Jared Comeau cut a right front tire and pounded the wall on the backstretch with nine laps to go.
Ward used the move of the race after the final restart to play defense for his teammate, throwing a massive block on =RSR= newcomer Anthony Palombo with three laps to go to prevent Palombo from splitting the two SHR machines up. The move ultimately locked up the top two sweep, with Ward saying afterwards it was the only way either one would take the checkered flag.
“I knew [those] guys were coming back there on four tires, so I just tried my best to protect Thomas there,” said Ward after starting on the pole and leading 10 laps early. “I knew if he and I tried to race that would be all she wrote.”
Palombo settled for third, with Kevin Linden and Doug Roth rounding out the top five.
The =RSR= Asphalt Assault TV Series returns on Wednesday, April 1 for the Sin City 125 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Audio from race winner Thomas George:
Audio with runner-up Jeff Ward:
Audio with third-place Anthony Palombo:
RESULTS: =RSR= Asphalt Assault TV Series; Auto Club Speedway; March 18, 2015
- Thomas George
- Jeff Ward
- Anthony Palombo
- Kevin Linden
- Doug Roth
- Christopher Hurlow
- James Thorndike
- Brennan Mercer
- Scott Simley
- Paul Williams II
- Jose Gonzalez
- Bryan Clark
- William Kempf
- Cody Gibson
- Gregg Omo
- J.R. Johnson
- Steven Haring
- Jared Comeau
- Matt LaCross
- Wyatt Wolfe
- Derek Hiatt
- Keith Brooks Jr.
- Mark Bratcher
- Bobby Whetsel
- Bryan Harvey
- Garrett Atwell
- Jamie Pitts
- Kris Hohn