AUDIO/RECAP: Right Place, Right Time II; Dan Murray Slips By For Full Throttle Cup Win in Phoenix

Jacob Seelman Audio, Featured, iRacing, West 0 Comments

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Audio and recap by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman — Jacob Seelman/iRacing.com photo —

For the second time in the last three =RSR= Full Throttle Cup Series races, the top two drivers crashed battling for the lead and third place snuck by to claim the checkered flag.

Monday night, the drivers in question were C.J. LaVair and Dwayne Vincent; Vincent tagged LaVair heading into turn three on lap 110 and sent the No. 4 FLASH Chevrolet skidding up the race track and into the path of defending series champion Eric Brundies, who spun in front of traffic when the field stacked up to draw the caution.

While LaVair and Vincent were trying to regain their momentum, the No. 5 Advocare Toyota was slipping by on the bottom to take the top spot away — and he never gave it back, even despite a late-race yellow that set up a three-lap dash to the finish.

“When they first got together in turn three, my first reaction was something I can’t repeat,” Murray laughed in Victory Lane, “I knew they were going to spin a little higher, I just wasn’t sure if I was going to have enough to clear them. Luckily we made it, but hats off to Steel Horse Racing. They gave me a great car and put in a lot of work with this new build — and it’s paying off in a big way.”

The win was Murray’s second career =RSR= Full Throttle Cup Series triumph and makes him the fourth different winner in four 2015 races.

Vincent hung on to finish second but was disappointed that the caution came out coming to the white flag (for a crash when Steve Ritter and L. Bryce Whitson Jr. got together).

“That’s a tough one tonight,” Vincent lamented. “I was just trying to be patient and work my way through the field. I got to the inside of C.J. and it just looked like he turned way too early. It is what it is, it kinda screwed us both, but we were coming back to Dan there and I just wish we could have had that last lap.”

LaVair, who completed the podium in third, was frustrated after leading the most laps (91) on the evening and not coming away with the win.

“I don’t really want to get into [what happened], but it was definitely just a racing deal,” LaVair said. “We were racing for the win and things happened. I didn’t see he was there, and we were just fighting for the same space. It’s all good though, we’ll take a solid finish and move on to Fontana next week.”

Polesitter Adam Benefiel, who took the top spot on the grid for the third straight week, led the first 14 laps of the event but was shuffled back on an early pit cycle and then involved in several of the event’s 12 cautions. Benefiel ultimately finished 31st.

The myriad of yellows slowed the pace for 45 of the race’s 135 laps (one in three) and was characterized by two sizable incidents. The first came on lap 20 when the No. 14 of David Comstock got into the No. 84 of Chad Coleman battling just outside the top ten. Both cars spun and triggered a chain-reaction crash that collected Benefiel, Stefan Marinak, Jeff Ward, Atlanta winner Thomas George, Rett McBride and others in the chaos.

“Big One” number two struck on a lap 90 restart when Brian Macklin slowed in the outside lane from his front row restart position. When Bobby Terrell jumped to the inside to go three-wide, he and Macklin made contact and it sparked a nine-car pileup — decimating a large chunk of the field and taking out two contenders (in Terrell and Macklin) for the win.

The =RSR= Full Throttle Cup Series returns to action on Monday, March 23 for the Auto Club 180 from Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

 

Audio with race winner Dan Murray:

Audio with runner-up Dwayne Vincent:

Audio with third-place C.J. LaVair:

 

RESULTS: =RSR= Full Throttle Cup Series; Phoenix International Raceway; March 16, 2015

  1. Dan Murray
  2. Dwayne Vincent
  3. C.J. LaVair
  4. Jose Gonzalez
  5. Corbin Himstreet
  6. Nick Silver
  7. Steve Gottschalk
  8. Nick Kohan
  9. Rich Jette
  10. Mitch Rollo
  11. Stefan Marinak
  12. Bobby Terrell (subbing for Chad Cole)
  13. John Abbott
  14. Chad Coleman (subbing for Jimmie North)
  15. Steve Ritter
  16. Jeff Ward
  17. Eric Brundies
  18. Doug Roth
  19. William Kempf
  20. Thomas George
  21. Bryan Harvey
  22. David Lanza
  23. Brennan Mercer
  24. Scott Simley
  25. Johnathon Caddell
  26. L. Bryce Whitson Jr.
  27. L.D. Sarabia
  28. Mark Bratcher
  29. Nathan Little
  30. Scott Stenzel
  31. Adam Benefiel
  32. Jason Lester
  33. David Comstock
  34. Matt LaCross
  35. Brian Macklin
  36. Sean Casto
  37. Joey Gattina
  38. Rett McBride
  39. Glenn Campbell
  40. Keith Brooks Jr.
  41. Harrison Widelitz (subbing for Landon Huffman)
  42. Kevin Linden
  43. Brandon Peterson

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