ROSSBURG, Ohio – official release — Travis Branch photo — Caleb Armstrong crossed the finish line first, but it was Jerry Coons, Jr. who outlasted all challengers to close the Eldora Speedway Four Crown Nationals with a win in Sunday afternoon’s Silver Crown race at the half-mile.
Coons’ seventh series win came aboard the Fred Gormly – RPM Enterprise #98 DRC/Chevy after apparent race-winner Armstrong was docked a lap for changing a tire earlier in the race that was not flat.
Coons started from the pole after setting the ProSource Fast Time, but had his hands full holding off point-leader Kody Swanson in the early going. Swanson snuck under Coons to lead lap 13 but his turn-one slide up in front of Coons was countered, putting Swanson back to the second spot. He wouldn’t go away, though, and wrestled the lead away on lap 20.
The track was abrasive and tire wear became a serious issue, with several cautions towards the end of the race coming due to flat right-rear tires. The final restart with five laps to go saw Armstrong advancing on the high side to pass Swanson on lap 47 when Swanson began having tire issues of his own. Coons also moved by Swanson on lap 48 before Chris Windom, who had changed a right-rear tire, passed Swanson coming to the white flag.
Armstrong, who had earlier gotten into the backstretch wall and flattened his right-rear tire, was found to have also changed his left-rear tire, necessitating the one-lap penalty per series rules following the race.
Coons was awarded the win upon that change, with Windom coming home second in the Rotondo Weirich – Curb Records #17 Beast/Triad Toyota, and Tracy Hines completed the podium in the Lightfoot Racing – Hughs Brothers #16 Beast/Chevy.
Shane Cockrum completed his busy day with a fourth-place finish in the Hardy Boys Racing – Marion Underground Construction #66 Beast/Foxco and Bobby East rounded out the top-five in the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing – Chevy Performance #10 Maxim/Kistler.
Equally disappointed at the final rundown was Swanson. Swanson’s tire went completely flat on the final lap and he nursed his car home ninth to take a slim 12-point lead into the season finale in three weeks at Syracuse.