Pocono S12 G6
Congrats goes to Jesse Schwarz for winning at Pocono!
Friday Night the boys in the Ultimate Body Shop Gen-6 Series head to the track that’s too-tough-to-triangle during their one-week visit to the east coast. Heads are still scratching after last week, where most of the drivers who dominated the Daytona opener were hard-pressed to find any Vegas fortune. Due to this, only one driver has captured duel top-10’s so far. Bernard Person has finished exactly 10th twice, continuing his consistency streak from last season. It would take anything but a miracle to see him grab 9th or better tonight.
Last week’s Vegas winner Jimmy Mullis grabbed his second career Gen-6 Series pole with a lightning-round 53.37 second lap time. Alongside current points leader Jesse Schwarz, the two went green, leaving the 30+ car field in a frontstretch frenzy. The top-5 were already single-file after crossing the line for lap two. The back of the field remained in a nerve-racking battle for space, as Justin White veered directly into the outside wall out of turn one. Matthew Cissna slammed head-first into him, while Chris Pence and Brian Friend made contact attempting to evade the incident.
Despite starting in the second row, Mullis was able to pass Steven Pearson after the restart to re-take the lead. Christopher Fowler and Joshua Schwarz would tangle just afterwards in the upper-middle back, sending Joshua’s car pirouetting into Paul Krumrei on the frontstraightaway. JR Smith and Jeffery Porter would also tangle, causing the first big-one of the night in turn one. Thomas Brandner, Bernard Person, Alex French and Evan Schroeder were among the notables caught up from behind. For the first time in iWCR Gen-6 history, there will not be a driver that scores a top-10 in each the first three events.
Primarily due to the lack of time between the pace car dropping and the green flag, Mullis was able to anticipate new leader Daniel Smallwood’s restart to a tee. By the end of turn one he would already have flown by on the outside. Justin Wariner and Jarret Schwarz had no trouble getting by as well, with the dynamic duo of Jesse and Colton Davis following up. Nathan Sedlak’s turn one wreck would spoil their plans to pounce, getting loose off of turn one and over-correcting into newcomer James Lorello.
The next restart would see Mullis pull away as usual, with Jarret and Davis racing side-by-side for second. Davis took the spot into the tunnel turn and stalked Mullis from behind for several circuits. He would make his move in the tunnel turn again, successfully completing the pass for his first lead of the night. The two remained drafting partners while Jesse and Michael Gonzales observed from seconds on back. The #71 eventually broke away, continuing his progress with just under 30 laps to go. Jesse and Gonzales were among the first of the leaders to gamble on time by pitting in early. Just one lap later, Davis and Mullis entered themselves. Both would come out without any miscue.
Davis was ahead by 5+ seconds by the time our final yellow flag came out with 15 laps to go. He would be the one that spun, getting loose off of turn three and falling back to the fourth position, handing the lead to Mullis by miracle. After the restart, Jesse and Gonzales battle triumphantly for the second position in turn one. The #27 would loosen up off the corner, handing the position to Gonzo. He would take a look underneath Mullis entering turn one at the 10-to-go mark. Despite being unable to complete the pass, he would continue to shadow the #56 for another lap. A tunnel-turn battle between the two would leave Jesse and Jason Martin directly behind, making it a four-car race for the victory with 8 laps to go.
After several attempts to pass Mullis on the inside lane, Gonzo’s car eventually gave in as Jesse was able to sneak by on the outside. With three laps to go, Mullis and Jesse were making donuts in turn three. In what should have been a wreck, Jesse forced Mullis up the hill as the two became warped together. Somehow they managed to separate as Mullis held onto the top spot. Jesse was in a struggle to stay ahead of Gonzales before making his final move into turn one. Half of his car was on the inside of Mullis’s, and used all the side-draft he could on the first backstraightaway, hoping to remain side-by-side by the tunnel-turn. He pulled it off. Mullis was unable to pinch Jesse enough to destroy his momentum, relying on a turn three crossover maneuver to grab the victory. Both drivers got loose off of the final corner, with Mullis losing the most momentum on the inside. Jesse Schwarz would cross the line in the first position, earning himself his 6th career Gen-6 win and his first of the season. Congrats to Jesse for an excellent victory!
Pole: Jimmy Mullis
Race Winner: Jesse Schwarz
Top 5 - Jesse Schwarz, Jimmy Mullis, Jason Martin, Michael Gonzales, Colton Davis