The 2018 Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League had only one more round left in it’s inaugural season. In conjunction with the Crandon World Cup on sunday, it looked to be an action filled weekend of racing in all classes! Cory Winner in the #67 Fabtech/General Tire Pro Light came into the weekend with the points lead with 3 other drivers tied for the second spot by only 1 point! Saturday would decide who would take the Championship in 2018 while Sunday would be a no points, winner take all battle for the largest purse in off-road racing!
A 2 lap qualifying session Saturday morning would set the starting grid for the land rush start later on in the day. Winner headed out and laid down a couple of consistent lap times that were good enough for the 3rd fastest time out of the stacked, 17 truck field! After making some small adjustments on the truck after qualifying, the team felt they had a good chance to run up front and take home a Championship. Off the start, Winner would be 8th entering the fast turn 1 at Crandon, but would take the inside line and exit the turn in 5th place. After the first lap, Winner was consistently running in the 5th spot, trying to find his way around the #27 truck of Morris. He finally made a pass to move into the 4th position as the competition caution flag waved. He knew it was a great opportunity to make something happen. Off the restart, Winner was in a 4 truck drag race in to the gravel pit of turn 3. He would hold off the #27 of Shawn Morris and make an inside pass work against the #12 of Brock Heger to move into 3rd. Entering turn 4 though, Cory caught a rut and put the truck up on 2 wheels and saved it, but unfortunately let more than half the field drive by, almost immediately ending the hopes for a Championship. With no more cautions during the race, Winner ended up finishing in the 8th position. After a great season out in the Midwest, it was time to put the outcome behind and focus on improving for the big Cup race on Sunday!
Knowing they had a competitive truck that weekend, the crew got the truck cleaned up and re-assembled for Sunday’s race. The procedure for qualifying was the same for Sunday, a 2 lap shootout to put down your fastest time. Cory Winner put down the 2nd fastest lap time and would start 2nd, lined up next to 16 other trucks in hopes of making it to turn 1 first! The flag man waved the green flag and all the trucks roared towards the first turn! Winner would get a good start and make it into the turn in 4th place. The running order going into turn 3 would be Heger, Morris, K. Kleiman, Winner, and Beat in the top 5. As the first few laps passed, most of the top drivers were running mistake free and it was becoming more difficult to make passes. Winner had his sights set on the #42 of Kleiman though. He was making some time up every lap on Kleiman and Morris but a rollover by another driver would cause the 1st caution of the race. The field got bunched back up and the leaders got a good jump off the start. Once again it was a drag race going into turn 3 with the top 5 battling for position. Going into turn 4, Winner would get hit in the passenger door and be put up on 2 wheels again. Now sitting in 4th, Winner wasn’t going to go quietly and went for an inside pass for 3rd. He completed the pass only after contact with the #51. Now in 3rd, Cory would get a black flag for the contact during the previous lap, having to complete a stop and go penalty in the hot pits. This shuffled him back into 8th place with 4 laps remaining. Luckily for Cory, there was another caution late in the race. The restart was critical, and Cory would get a good jump and make an inside pass on the #45 truck of Geiser in turn 2 to move into 7th. Winner then used the inside line to pass the #28 of Siorek in turn 3 and the #21 of Reimers in turn 4. Now in 5th place, Winner was chasing down the #27 of Morris and would make another pass to move into 4th. He then put pressure on Cody Kleiman but unfortunately, the #48 truck would roll going into the Argonne turn, putting Winner back in the 3rd spot. With one final restart, it was the perfect opportunity to try and move into 2nd and challenge for the win. The #42 of Kyle Kleiman started to over heat on the final lap. Cory was right on his bumper, trying to make something work on the last 2 turns but couldn’t make pass happen. Despite issues early on, Cory drove the #67 Fabtech/General Tire Pro Light to a 3rd place finish at the biggest race of the year!
Winner Motorsports Group would like to thank our sponsors for their support:
Fabtech Motorsports, RaceGlass Inc, General Tire, Dirt Logic Shocks, Ultra Wheels, Maxima Racing Oils, Eibach Springs, Impact Safety/Mastercraft, FK Rod Ends, Inland Empire Recycling, QTM Brakes, Motive Gear, Powertrain Industries, MPI Innovations, Rhino Wraps, Power Steering Solutions, Crest Coatings, Magnaflow, Signpros Custom Lettering, and RevChem Composites!