By Justin Melillo
Another new winner on the 2023 season was added to the iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series books on Monday night, as Kendal Tucker scored the win at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 over defending champion and current points leader Evan Seay. With two laps to go, Seay was on Tucker’s door panel and looked to make the move for the lead, but a caution halted the race and Tucker was given a lucky break. On the one-lap shootout for the win, Tucker was able to hold off Seay for his first win of the season, the second of his career, and his first since 2020.
Tucker only mustered up the eighth fastest lap in qualifying, but like all of the other heats before him, the second place driver had the advantage as he went on to win over Chase Hardy in Heat 4. That also included Kaden Honeycutt winning the first Heat over Damian Kiefer, Chase Barbara stealing one away from Seay in the second and Dezmond Busby winning over Robbie Buchanan Jr., although Buchanan was hampered by some sort of technical issue after qualifying.
Blake Matjoulis was subjected to the last chance races for the second week in a row, but he was able to advance with JD Brown out of the first one as Jesse Wall and Nathan Waddell would move on to the Feature from the second. Barrett Bishop was the highest name in this season’s standings currently to miss out on the feature, finishing third in his LCQ race.
Honeycutt led the feature to the green flag, leading nearly the first half of the race. On the 23rd lap, Barbara was able to chase him down and take control, but Tucker was minding his machine, waiting in the wings back in third. A caution on Lap 32 bunched the field back together, and on the restart, Tucker pounced.
Barbara got a bit sideways from some contact, and that gave Tucker the preferred line, and ultimately the lead, with 17 laps to go. Honeycutt continued to fall through the running order, eventually finishing in ninth, while Barbara held up a little better, only faltering to fourth by the end.
But as it’s been all season long, you can never count out Seay. He moved into the runner-up spot with nine laps to go and immediately began to chase down Tucker. With three laps to go, he was right on his heels with a faster car underneath him. Seay made the pass, but an untimely yellow forced him to restart back behind Tucker. The field came to take the restart and the white flag together in a single file formation, and that was all Tucker needed to slide into victory lane for the first time in about three years.
With the victory, Tucker moves up into second in the standings, still 69 points out of first place which is still held by Seay. Last week’s winner, Logan Rumsey, finished eighth and falls to third in the points. Blake Matjoulis recovered to finish 11th after having to run the LCQ, remaining in fourth, just three points ahead of Dylan Wilson in fifth. Wilson finished in seventh at I-55 and sits 110 points out of the points lead with four races remaining.
iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series Round 6 results at I-55 were as follows:
|19||20||5||Nathan R Waddell||29||-21L||0||12.075||28|
iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series points through Round 6 are as follows:
- Evan Seay, 450
- Kendal Tucker, 381
- Logan Rumsey, 373
- Blake Matjoulis, 343
- Dylan Wilson, 340
- Chase Barbara, 317
- James Edens, 311
- JD Brown, 258
- Dezmond Busby, 253
- Barrett Bishop, 241
Williams Grove is the next venue that’s on deck for the iRacing World of Outlaws ButtKicker Late Model Series, and it will host the seventh round of the 2023 season. Last year, to no surprise, it was Seay who made it to victory lane. Tune in for the show live on Monday, August 21, 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.