By Justin Melillo
As the 2023 iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series reached the halfway point of the season in Monday night’s festivities at Knoxville Raceway, a new winner and championship contender emerged in Logan Rumsey, who scored his first career win in the series after some late race contact with current points leader and defending series champion Evan Seay. While the ultimate result was Seay expanding his lead tremendously over Blake Matjoulis, who failed to transfer to the feature, Rumsey now moves up into second in the standings, 58 points behind Seay with half a season to go to make up that difference.
Rumsey laid down the quick time in qualifying, just barely beating Seay by 0.002 seconds. JD Brown and Dezmond Busby would round out the top four, and all four would win their heat races from their respective top starting spots. Behind that, each heat saw drivers who qualified outside the cut for the feature race their way in, as some of the bigger names in the series managed to fall to the last chance races. Drivers such as Tanner Tomasi in Heat 1, Jesse Wall in Heat 2, Cameron Cason in Heat 3, and both Logan Herbert and Landon Francis in Heat 4 all charged into the top four to transfer.
That left drivers like Talan Willis, Dylonn Fox, Barrett Bishop, Dylan Yeager, and perhaps most notably Matjoulis all fighting to make the main event through the pair of LCQ races. None of them would transfer, however, as the final four spots went to Dylan Wilson, Kaden Honeycutt, Nathan Waddell and Travis StClair, ending the night early for some of the top drivers through the season to date.
Rumsey and Seay led the field to the green flag in the feature. For the first eight laps, Rumsey was in control with Seay stalking right behind. Seay took over on Lap 9 and moved out to nearly a two second lead. The laps continued to tick down until 14 to go, when the first caution flew for a massive incident that involved Herbert, Damian Kiefer, and Nathan Waddell. Another quick caution following that set up what would be the final 13-lap run to the finish.
In the time where Seay was pulling away in the first run, Rumsey was saving. It would still be a fight for the top spot, however, as Seay maintained a strong defense as the laps wound down. With nine laps remaining, Rumsey once again found his way to the inside of Seay. The two leaned on one another once more, but this time, the contact was enough to send Seay out of the groove and back into the third position. Chase Hardy found himself in the runner-up spot following the lead change. Seay had to settle for third as Rumsey went on to collect the victory.
Rumsey becomes the third different winner in five races, leapfrogging from fourth to second in the points standings after a max points day of 78 points. Seay scored 72 points with his podium finish and heat win. That was 70 more points than Matjoulis scored, as the 2019 series champion now sits in fourth, not only 78 points out of the lead, but also now 20 points behind Rumsey and five behind Kendal Tucker, who remains in third.
iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series Round 5 results at Knoxville were as follows:
|12||18||5||Nathan R Waddell||50||-4.449||0||18.202||43|
|16||10||31||Robbie Buchanan Jr||50||-6.119||0||18.248||37|
iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series points through Round 5 are as follows:
- Evan Seay, 376
- Logan Rumsey, 318
- Kendal Tucker, 303
- Blake Matjoulis, 298
- Dylan Wilson, 282
- James Edens, 266
- Chase Barbara, 248
- Barrett Bishop, 238
- JD Brown, 226
- Dezmond Busby, 190
Next up for the iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series is a return to Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55, the sixth round of the 2023 season. Last year, it was Matjoulis scoring the inaugural event victory. Tune in for the show live on Monday, August 14, starting at 9PM ET on DirtVision and at twitch.tv/iracing.
For more information on the iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series, visit www.iracing.com/woolm. For more information on the World of Outlaws, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.