Atlanta, GA. – Puryear wins with unlucky help from RCR teammates.
#13 Preston Puryear Takes The Win at Atlanta Motor Speedway
The Showtime Cup drivers took to Atlanta Motor Speedway Wednesday, January 13th @ 9:15 et for 100 laps.
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Patrick McLendon started on the pole with his #2 Money Lion Penske Ford in a race that would be plagued early by a caution on lap 2 as the #24 Liberty University Chevy driven by Wade Palmer V made contact with the outside wall coming out of turn 4. The #24 collected it up, but it set in a chain reaction as Kenny Coppola followed closely behind and bounced off the wall in the tri-oval. Those involved in the wreck were the #9 Matt Mackin, #77 Jon Coombs, #17 Tim Ingram, #19 Trevor Absher, #41 John Tuddy, #74 Jason Renowden, #22 Marshall Layton, #10 James Kerr, and #20 Chuck Stevens.
On lap 7 the green flag once again waved and shortly after on lap 8 the #48 Ally Bank Chevy of Myke Miller got loose coming out of turn 2 and spun down the track. The rest of the field made it past Miller without incident and the caution flag did not wave.
On lap 11th the #00 of Tim Wortman Jr took the lead from McLendon.
Wortman Jr held the lead for 11 laps, losing it to the #31 Pete Polini on lap 22.
On Lap 31 the #5 of Wade Palmer IV ran into the back of the laps down car of #66 Kenny Coppola. Palmer IV would retire from the race with a blown engine. Palmer IV was running 6th at the time of contact. No caution came out as both drivers made it safely to pit road.
Lap 33 saw the beginning of green flag pit stops. As with any high speed track getting to pit road can be quite a handful, but the Showtime Cup drivers were able to do so without incident. Though leader #31 Pete Polini made a splash as he locked up the tires entering the pits costing him valuable time.
Though getting onto pit road wasn’t the only challenge as #00 Tim Wortman Jr attempted to gain as much ground as possible, but slid into his box too close to the pit wall. Wortman Jr lost critical time as he took multiple attempts to get into his box.
Just when green flag pit stops were coming to a end the caution waved on lap 41 for #48 Myke Miller who wrecked coming out of turn four. The #23 car of David Douthwaite was collected as Miller slid towards the grass in the tri-oval. Miller would retire from the damage. This left only 4 drivers scored on the lead lap.
During the green flag pit stops #88 Nationwide Chevy of Ed Boyles Jr passed #31 of Pete Polini as they worked through traffic which put him in the lead following the caution.
At lap 55 #31 Pete Polini took the lead back from #88 Ed Boyles Jr bringing RCR teammate #3 Tommy Kelley with him putting Boyles Jr back in 3rd.
The field steadily logged laps until around lap 71 when green flag stops began. Second place #3 Tommy Kelley spun coming onto pit road on lap 74, but he wasn’t the only one with issues as his teammate #31 Pete Polini missed the entrance onto pit road and received a unsafe entry penalty a lap later. The 3rd place driver of #88 Ed Boyles Jr also had problems and was caught a lap down throughout the green flag pit stops.
The mistakes of the top three drivers gave #00 Tim Wortman Jr the lead only briefly as #13 Preston Puryear passed him on lap 79.
It looked like #3 Tommy Kelley had rebounded from his pit entry mistake as he was running 3rd until trouble with the lap car of #10 James Kerr on lap 84, no caution came out for the incident. Kelley was able to continue, but the damage slowed his car down tremendously ending his bid for a back to back victory as he had won at Pheonix the week before.
#13 Preston Puryear, who shares a technical alliance with the RCR cars, would lead the last 21 laps with only 5 cars on the lead lap.
1. #13 Preston Puryear
2. #00 Tim Wortman Jr (+2.996)
3. #21 Shawn Stamper (+18.508)
4. #95 Josh Noland (+24.305)
5. #4 Pete Woodrum (+31.744)
Points standings after 6 of 16 races before the chase are as follows;
Locked into the Chase:
1. Tim Wortman Jr
2. Tommy Kelley
3. Preston Puryear
4. Ed Boyles Jr.
In On Points:
5. Kaleb Leviner
6. Jason Renowden
7. Derek Cook
8. Trevor Absher
9. Ken Ehlert
10. Jimmy Absher
11. Stephen Wood
12. Alonzo King (+15)
13. Patrick McLendon (+14)
14. Micheal Buckley (+12)
15. Pete Woodrum (+11)
16. Marshall Layton (+6)
17. Pete Polini (-6)
18. Tim Ingram (-8)
19. Matt Mackin (-12)
20. Brandon Hinton (-14)
Next for the Showtime Cup in Chicagoland Wednesday, January 20th @ 9:15est.
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Written by #7 Chris Speer, Jan 20th, 2019.