|Posted by: RaceRap on May 23, 2018 at 7:17am|
CATAWBA, NC (May 22, 2018) - In front of a record crowd at Mountain Creek Speedway, Brandon LaChance wrestled his No. 9b QRC outlaw kart to victory in the inaugural Clash at the Creek on Monday night at Mountain Creek Speedway. LaChance outran USAC national midget star Logan Seavey and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson for the $2000 payday.
Time trials set the field for qualifying heat races early in the evening, where local driver Hunter Richards claimed the Boulay Logistics Fast Time Award, earning him $200 cash and a brand new Invicta watch for outpacing every competitor on the property. The 10.502-second lap was good enough to give him a front row starting spot for his heat race.
Five heat races were used to set the first ten transfers into the main event with the top two from each making their way into the trophy dash and the main event. Richards led the way for the dash, winning his heat in similar fashion as LaChance, Seavey, Daniel Whitley and Tanner Holmes. Richards also won the dash, giving him the right to start the main event from the pole position.
Though ten spots were set through heats, the final ten positions were set through last-chance B-main events, the first of which was won by youngster Brent Crews in dominating fashion. Kyle Larson, who was forced to a "B" following his heat, emerged as the victor in the second and final qualifying event. All other drivers were given the option to run the non-qualifiers race later in the night.
As the standing-room-only crowd gazed in anticipation, 20 outlaw karts took the green for the inaugural Clash at the Creek. LaChance used his second-place starting spot to outrace Hunter Richards through turns one and two to take the initial lead as Richards' No. 62 settled into third.
The field barely got their motors up to temperature before they were quickly slowed when an accident in turn three relegated several cars to the tail and ended the night of Ryan Israel after only one circuit. Karsyn Elledge, Derek Pernesiglio and others were also swept up into the chaos.
Four laps later, Tanner Holmes worked his way around Hunter Richards for third, but Richards slipped, coming down the track and collecting Kyle Craker and Tyler Seavey before his kart stopped at the bottom of turn four, forcing him to the tail and eliminating his chance at victory.
The biggest incident of the night occurred on lap 11 when, following a restart, Kyle Craker and Jesse Colwell raced wing-to-wing through turns one and two and made contact down the backstretch. Craker shot head-first into the wall and began a series of spectacular barrel rolls into turn three before finally coming to rest with nearly the entire field piled up around him. Despite the viscious nature of the crash, all drivers walked away.
The calamity on the backstretch helped Brandon LaChance solidify himself as the man to beat when racing resumed. He pulled away from Logan Seavey while Kyle Larson worked his way through the field and had one final shot at victory on a restart with six laps to go. Larson worked underneath Seavey into turn one but the No. 1k was unable to make the pass on Seavey. Brandon LaChance then motored away from the pair to claim the inaugural Clash at the Creek at Mountain Creek Speedway and the associated $2000 payday. Seavey, Larson, Carson Kvapil and Daniel Whitley rounded out the top five.
"This is pretty awesome," LaChance said in victory lane. "My team had me this whole time because we came all the way from the west coast to make this happen on the first night we're out here. They gave me a lot of confidence and what we're working with is the best on this Factory QRC Truck Stop Engine No. 9. I couldn't be happier right now. It's cool to come all this way and get one for two grand. I have to thank everyone here at the Mountain Creek Speedway, and I guess we're victorious tonight!"
In intermediate action, Tyler Letarte, son of former NASCAR crew chief and current NBC TV analyst Steve Letarte, parked his No. 09 kart in victory lane to claim the $500 prize offered for that division after early leader Brent Crews spun out of the lead with only three laps to go. Kyle Beattie took the No. 11 SKE Chassis ride to the winner's circle in the open division non-qualifiers race at the end of the night to claim its $500 winner-take-all bounty.
For more information on Mountain Creek Speedway, follow them on Facebook (@MountainCreekSpeedway) and Twitter (@MtnCrkSpeedway) or visit their website at MountainCreekSpeedway.com