AUDIO/RECAP: Michael Cosey Makes Late Rally to Claim Overall Win in Operation G.I. BBQ 150 at Iowa

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NEWTON, Iowa — Recap by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman — LSRTV audio — FAST Racing Series/ photo —

There was a near-scare involved before the end, but Michael Cosey Jr. (88) weathered the storm to claim the overall victory in Sunday night’s FAST Racing Series Operation G.I. Barbeque 150 at Iowa Speedway.

Cosey, who took the victory in the first two of three 50-lap segments making up the duration of the event, was involved in a crash with Keith Mac and Mike Rhyno on lap 108 of 150, just eight laps into the third and final segment of the race.

At that point Cosey fell to 15th in the running order, and with average finish determining the overall winner at the conclusion of the night, the Hagerstown, Md. driver knew he had to rally to claim the big trophy.

And rally he did, fighting back all the way to fourth at the end of segment three by the time the caution and checkered flags waved — giving himself the victory with a combined average finish of 2.0 (1, 1 and 4) across the three segments.

“This car was hooked up tonight — I can’t believe it had the speed that it did in it,” a jubilant Cosey said in victory lane. “To be honest, I’m still trying to process the fact that I just took the win like I did. I can’t get over how good the car was tonight, to have gone out and won the first two segments.”

“It’s huge for me to come into a track that I absolutely hate, with a car that I absolutely hate, and go and do what we just did. I wasn’t expecting to be anywhere close tonight. This is awesome.”

At the start of the night it was Sturgis, Kentucky’s Tim Bills who was fastest in practice and took the pole in two-lap qualifying, opening up a near-two second advantage over the field before the first caution of the race flew at lap 25. Bills would hold the top spot through the second caution of the race — at lap 33 for a spinning T.J. Graves — before Cosey came calling on the ensuing restart.

Cosey would get it done the hard way on lap 39, and pace the field through the end of the first segment break — where an inversion of the lead lap cars would force him to restart 19th for segment two.


The invert would put the No. 22 of T.J. Graves on the point for the restart on lap 51, where chaos would strike instantly after the No. 99 of Daniel Vining blew a tire and smashed into the outside wall in turn one. No caution would fly, however, leaving Vining to limp to pit road — his night over.

The fourth caution of the night would come out eight laps later when the No. 3 of Milford, Indiana’s Steven Whetten spun by himself, while a multi-car crash on lap 69 that swept up Ryan Borges, nearly collected Cosey and saw Bills, Spencer Prete and others involved in the aftermath slowed the field for the final time in segment two.

After that, it was green and clean through the lap 100 break, with Mike Rhyno taking the lead from Graves on lap 77 before Cosey completed the charge from 19th to pace the field from lap 90 and win segment two.

An invert of the nine remaining cars on the lead lap saw Steven Whetten start on pole for segment three, but contact between Graves and Ben Kilcrease on the lap 101 restart sent Kilcrease into the wall and saw the Alabama native barrel-roll four times in turn three before coming to rest.

After the restart, Robert Matthews stormed to the lead on lap 107 before the caution flag came out that nearly cost Cosey his shot at victory lane with 42 laps to go.

Cosey got a shot from Mike Rhyno’s No. 33 machine and because of that, got into the back of Keith Mac and sent all three cars spinning in turns one and two — leaving Cosey with damage to the front end of his machine and his chances of finishing, let alone winning, in doubt.

Cosey would not be denied though, using two caution flags over the next 17 laps to claw his way back into the top 10 and back into contention. By the time the green flag flew with 20 laps to go, Cosey was 10th — and charging — in search of victory lane.

Meanwhile, at the front of the field it was Graves who made a bonzai run on the outside stick to take the lead at lap 130, but just four laps later it would be 16-year-old Massachusetts young gun Ryan Borges who stormed up the inside to grab the point with 16 laps to go.

From there, Borges would hang on through two caution flags, including the race-ending yellow on a restart with three laps to go after a stack-up back in the pack, to take the segment three win over Randall Faulks, while Cosey would end up finishing fourth to claim the overall victory.

“Believe it or not, if we’d had a little more track position and a little bit more time I think we could have swept all three segments, to be honest with you,” Cosey added. “It wasn’t hurt that bad and we only had maybe 12 seconds worth of damage, so I gutted it out and just picked my passes there near the end. I think if that caution hadn’t come out I could have given Ryan a run for his money, but congrats to him on that last segment win. He earned it.”

Richard Hollyday used three top-five results in the three 50-lap segments to come home second (5, 5, 3) in the final standings, while Borges’ segment three win bolstered him all the way to the overall podium (6, 11, 1) with an average finish of sixth.

“Since I was out of contention after problems in the second segment, I was just ready to go for it in the last 50 laps,” Borges said. “Because of being a lap down I had to start mid-pack, in 11th, and just picked my way through there carefully because I didn’t want to get torn up. I didn’t want to rough T.J. up, but I did want to get through and once I got to the lead I felt like the car had a lot of speed. It worked out for us in the end.”

“I really wanted the overall win, but since we couldn’t get that — at least leading lap 150 takes some of the sting out of the trouble we had around halfway.”

Tim Bills (2, 10, 8) and Keith Mac (3, 6, 12) rounded out the top five in the overall results at the conclusion of the 150-lap event.

For more information on the Federated Association of Simulated Teams (FAST), visit and for more information on Operation G.I. Barbeque, visit


Audio with segment one, segment two and overall race winner Michael Cosey Jr.:

Audio with overall runner-up Richard Hollyday:

Audio with segment three winner and overall third-place Ryan Borges:



RESULTS: FAST Sim Racing Series; Operation G.I. Barbeque 150; Iowa Speedway; August 2, 2015

  1. Michael Cosey Jr. (2.0)
  2. Richard Hollyday (4.3)
  3. Ryan Borges (6.0)
  4. Tim Bills (6.7)
  5. Keith Mac (7.0)
  6. Randall Faulks (7.3)
  7. Robert Matthews (8.7)
  8. Mike Rhyno (9.0; best segment finish of second)
  9. T.J. Graves (9.0; best segment finish of third)
  10. Spencer Prete (9.7)
  11. Ben Kilcrease (10.0)
  12. Steven Whetten (10.7)
  13. Mike Alexander (13.3; best segment finish of seventh)
  14. Paul Boswell (13.3; best segment finish of 12th)
  15. Brandon Simmons (13.7; best segment finish of eighth)
  16. Paul Fugate (13.7; best segment finish of 10th)
  17. Robert O’Neal (14.7)
  18. Ben Nile (14.8)
  19. Forrest Gregg (17.0)
  20. Daniel Vining (19.3)

Segment Winners: Michael Cosey Jr. (Segments 1 and 2); Ryan Borges (Segment 3)

Lap Leaders: Tim Bills, 1-38; Michael Cosey Jr, 39-50, 90-100; T.J. Graves, 51-76, 130-133; Mike Rhyno, 77-89; Steven Whetten, 101-106; Robert Matthews, 107-129; Ryan Borges, 134-150.

Lead Changes: 8 among 7 different drivers.

Caution Flags: 10 for 48 laps


About the Writer

Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network. Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s. He is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for both the United Sprint Car Series and the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.

Email Jacob at:

Follow on Twitter: @Speed77Radio or @JacobSeelman77

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