AUDIO/RECAP: Kenny Humpe Gambles and Hits the Jackpot to Win Sin City 250 at Las Vegas

Jacob Seelman Audio, Featured, iRacing, NASCAR, Touring Series, West 0 Comments

LAS VEGAS — Audio and recap by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor and NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Correspondent Jacob Seelman — NPAS photo —

Kenny Humpe was looking for a little extra luck on a one-lap dash to decide Tuesday night’s NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

As it turned out, he didn’t need it at all.

Humpe, who dominated the Sin City 250 by leading 93 of 167 laps, took the checkered flag first after a massive stack-up coming to the final lap restart saw Tyler Hill spin off the bumper of Brad Davies and drew the caution flag just before Humpe reached the line, freezing the field and handing the sophomore NPAS driver his third career series victory, and first of the season.

The dash was set up by an incident in turn three coming to five laps to go, when Humpe and Nick Ottinger got together while dueling for the top spot. The contact sent Ottinger hard into the outside SAFER Barrier and Humpe ultimately on to Gatorade Victory Lane.

“First off, I have to apologize to Nick for that accident there; I don’t know exactly what happened but I had a good run off of turn two and tried to go for it,” Humpe said of his late-race skirmish with the Rheem Toyota. “I just started hitting the bumps in turn three and it’s so hard to pass on the bottom at Vegas — I should have known better than that.”

“The first 75 percent of the race was really pretty uneventful for us, but there towards the end it got a little hairy as everyone saw,” Humpe added in victory lane. “I screwed up on pit road and it got us behind. Just glad we were able to fight back from it. You hate to get a win like this one tonight, but it’s still a W in the record books and we’ll take it on to Fontana in a couple weeks.”

Defending NPAS champion Michael Conti, whose best finish at the 1.5-mile oval coming into Tuesday night’s race was 24th, parlayed a yeoman’s effort into a runner-up result after a disastrous Daytona effort saw him come home 31st in the season-opener.

Conti said he was happy with the result after fighting what he called his “worst track” over his three prior years in the series.

“I don’t know (if we had anything to challenge for the win),” Conti admitted when talking about the closing stretch. “It was hard to restart with the way that the tires went through the heat cycles and lost a lot of grip. That last restart was really tough — I was trying to plan it but Kenny and Chad did a good job of backing up the field and getting a run. I’m happy with how it turned out, our car was not championship material — it felt like it had the tapered spacer on it a day early — but we ended up with a really solid result.”

Matt Bussa crossed the line third, followed by first-time polesitter Chad Laughton in fourth. Conti’s Drill Aisle teammate Danny Hansen¬†rounded out the top five.

The event was run remarkably clean from the outset, with only one caution for a spin by 2013 series champion Tyler Hudson slowing the pace before the halfway point. Laughton led the first 28 laps after sitting on the pole, but once the No. 58 took the lead for the first time at lap 29, Laughton wasn’t able to find his way back to the top spot again.

The field was shuffled and the complexion of the race changed dramatically when a caution flew in the middle of a green-flag pit cycle on lap 84, trapping Laughton, Ray Alfalla and other heavy-hitters a lap down and miring them behind the 8-ball for much of the remainder of the event. Humpe, who was able to just remain on the lead lap after completing his service when the caution came out, stayed out to re-assume the lead.

A quick caution for a spin involving Landon Harrison and Alfalla did nothing to slow the momentum of Humpe’s machine, which paced the field until lap 119, when Tyler Laughlin stayed out on the final round of pit stops to lead the field back to green — Laughlin would have a problem on the restart and drop to the apron, seeing his chances at victory slip away. The Monster Energy No. 51 was credited with 31st at the checkered flag.

Ottinger’s Rheem Toyota assumed the point from that lap 122 restart and held it until Humpe began charging forward from sixth inside of 20 laps to go. The No. 58 would dispatch all challengers with 13 laps remaining and set his sights on Ottinger before ultimately diving inside down the backstretch at lap 162 — sparking the chaos and controversy that saw Ottinger pound the wall and end up out of the race, 36th at the final flag.

By virtue of being the only driver to finish in the top ten in both series races to date in 2015, Patrick Crabtree — who finished sixth — assumes the points lead by three markers over Humpe. Conti’s stellar performance lifted him from 29th all the way to tenth in points, just 24 off the lead.

With Sin City behind them, the stars of the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series take their online war to Fontana, California for race three at the Auto Club Speedway — where Ottinger is the defending winner. With a new build to debut before the event and the unknowns of potential new setup combinations, can the Gale Force Sim Racing pilot rekindle the spark and make it three winners in three races? Or will Humpe continue his dominance of the early season, potentially becoming the first repeat winner in 2015?

Find out on Tuesday, March 24 as the NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series takes the green flag for the Auto Club 250 live at 9 p.m. Eastern time on iRacing Live and FansChoice.tv, with additional supplemental coverage on Race Chaser Online and the Performance Motorsports Network!

 

Audio with race winner Kenny Humpe:

 

RESULTS: NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series; Sin City 250; Las Vegas Motor Speedway; March 10, 2015

  1. Kenny Humpe
  2. Michael Conti
  3. Matt Bussa
  4. Chad Laughton
  5. Danny Hansen
  6. Patrick Crabtree
  7. Cody Byus
  8. Corey Vincent
  9. Trey Eidson
  10. Thomas Davis
  11. Jake Stergios
  12. Taylor Hurst
  13. Brad Mahar
  14. Teemu Iivonen
  15. Michael J. Johnson
  16. Brad Davies
  17. Tyler Hudson
  18. Allen Boes
  19. Chris Overland
  20. Alex Warren
  21. Justin Bolton
  22. Brian Schoenburg
  23. Ryan Lowe
  24. Bryan Blackford
  25. Kevin King
  26. Casey Tucker
  27. Ray Alfalla
  28. Andrew Fayash III
  29. Landon Harrison
  30. Rob Ackley
  31. Tyler Laughlin
  32. Tom Lewandowski
  33. Adam Gilliland
  34. Tyler Hill
  35. Benjamin Burmeister
  36. Nick Ottinger
  37. Steven Gilbert
  38. David Rattler
  39. Nathan Wise
  40. P.J. Stergios
  41. Justin Trombley
  42. Brandon Schmidt
  43. Brian Day

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