By Andy Marquis, RacingForTheWin.com
MANASSAS, Va. (May 11, 2009) - Despite leading the most laps in every event run at Old Dominion Speedway in 2009, 18-year-old Kyle Hall (from Chaptico, Md.) had not won a race yet. That was until Saturday night, when he finally took his FirstCommand Financial Planning Chevrolet to victory lane, holding off a late charge by 2008 track series champion Willard Lawrence.
Matt Cannon and Roger Austin, Jr. brought the racing program to the green flag in a 30 lap INEX Legends feature. The event went problem free with Cannon and Austin leading Ryan Ellis most of the evening. That was until lap 29. Battling for the lead, Austin and Cannon made contact. Matt Cannon spun out, and Roger Austin, Jr. took the lead and held off Ryan Ellis in a "green/checkered" finish for the win.
The average race speed in the 30 lap INEX Legends feature was 71.545 mph. Roger Austin, Jr. set the best lap time of the race at 17.47 seconds (77.271 mph). It took only 9 minutes and 266 seconds to complete the race which was only slowed by one caution.
Greg Compton and Mike Arnold brought the NASCAR Whelen All American Series late model feature to the green flag. Mike Southard started third, but he quickly moved in to second place.
The first caution came out on the third lap in turn 3. Rich Graves, Bob Harman and Tommy Hall were involved. Graves would only go on to complete more two more laps before packing up, Harman and Tommy Hall were able to continue. In the NASCAR All American Series, caution laps do not count until after the third caution, so the restart took place on the same lap on the scoreboard. Kyle Hall had already worked his way up to third, moving up four positions (from his 7th place starting position).
The only other caution of the race took place on lap 16 for a scary crash in turn 1. The accelerator on Mike Arnold's car hung going in to turn 1, and Arnold was unable to slow the car down sending him careening head on in to the outside barrier. He was okay, but the car was devastated. The accident brought out a red flag. That accident will likely sideline Mike Arnold's race team for a few weeks. Arnold is unsure when he will be back but he says he will be back this season.
The action resumed shortly after the restart. On lap 25, Mike Southard took the lead from Greg Compton and Kyle Hall followed him through to move to second. One lap later, Kyle Hall took the lead from Mike Southard and went on to lead the remaining 52 laps. Willard Lawrence, defending track champion, took second from Southard on lap 28.
The only challenge Kyle Hall got was from Willard Lawrence when both drivers were working lapped traffic late in the event. Hall was able to work his way around the slower cars better than Lawrence, giving him the advantage he needed to hold on and score his first win of the 2009 season. Willard Lawrence finished in second, about a half second off of Kyle Hall. Mike Southard finished third, six seconds off the leader.
"I'm definitely glad to win," Kyle Hall said. "We've been trying all year, and worked really hard. It just feels amazing to pull it off... all our hard work finally paid off."
Now that he's got one win, Hall says he's going to continue going for for wins.
The average race pace was 75.684 mph, taking 22 minutes and 17 second to complete. The race was slowed by two yellow flags. Not including the best lap times for Bob Harman and Davey Callihan (telemetry provided erroneous data), the best lap of the race was a 16.591 run by Mike Southard on lap 3.
1. 8 - Roger Austin, Jr.
2. 71 - Ryan Ellis (Trailer Care)
3. 09 - Rick Carlson
4. 31 - George Cushman
5. 97 - Steve Ward
6. 82 - Van Skyes
7. 3 - Ryan Polnez (Mookie's Ice Cream)
8. 89 - Matt Cannon
9. 25 - Jeff Harms
10. 88 - Cody Scott
NASCAR Whelen All American Series
1. 69 - Kyle Hall (FirstCommand Financial Planning)
2. 7 - Willard Lawrence
3. 5 - Mike Southard (Try-It-Racing)
4. 21 - Greg Compton
5. 01 - Les Miranda (Foster's Grille)
6. 33 - David Polnez
7. 11 - Tommy Halll
8. 12 - Kevin Hall
9. 77 - Jody Cahall (Dr. James Lucas)
10. 27 - Bob Harman
11. 41 - Davey Callihan
12. 10 - Mike Arnold (Danny's Auto Service)
13. 18 - Mike Carte
14. 1 - Rich Graves
Timing and scoring provided by AMB Identification & Timing.