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Kyle Hardy in victory lane at Delaware International Speedway. (RUSH Dirt Late Model photo)

Hardy Pulls Off Repeat Speedweek Win In Delaware

DELMAR, Del. — The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply RUSH Dirt Late Model Series presented by Born2Run Lubricants kicked off the fifth annual “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek presented by 3C Graphix on Wednesday night at Delaware International Speedway.

The southern Delaware half-mile track oval was able to complete the opening event for the Flynn’s Tire Touring Series for the fourth time in five tries. For the second straight year, sunshine and temps in the mid-80s graced fans, along with competitors from seven different states — Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia.

In 2021, Kyle Hardy swept the three completed “Battle of the Bay” Speedweek events in route to the Flynn’s Tire Touring Series Championship. After focusing primarily on super late model racing last year, Hardy was able to capture his first series win since winning the finale at Lernerville Speedway on October 15, 2021.

Hardy passed Canadian Charlie Sandercock for good on lap seven and pulled away during the second half of the event for the $3,000 victory — his first ever at DIS.

“Two years ago, we won the opener at Georgetown and last year we set fast time here, but it just wasn’t our night,” explained the 29-year-old. “It’s been a lot of work to get this car back in victory lane. This is really cool. It’s our family-owned operation; it’s just me, my mom and dad, and a lot of people that put a lot of effort into it. This a tough field.

“You have a World of Outlaw driver in Max Blair, who is a top 10, at least top 15, driver in the country and Trevor Collins is a heck of a wheelman. You know you have to pay attention because those guys will pounce if you mess up. I want to thank those guys for racing me clean tonight. I was surprised to move forward in the dash and pass Max, because I really thought he was going to be the car to beat.”

The 30-lap feature got off to a rough start when a six-car pileup ensued in turn two on the opening lap that collected sixth starting Delaware standout Matt Hill amongst others. When racing resumed, Sandercock powered into the lead, while Hardy passed Nick Davis for second with Max Blair and Trevor Collins also getting by Davis for second and third.

Hardy was able to pull alongside Sandercock on lap two and made the pass for the lead off the bottom of turn four. However, Sandercock used the momentum off the topside of the speedway to regain the lead on lap four. The duo continued to race side-by-side for the lead, which allowed Collins, who had passed Blair for third on lap two, to close in.

While Hardy challenged Sandercock for the lead, Collins nearly passed Hardy for second on lap six, before Hardy shot underneath Sandercock entering turn one on lap seven to make the winning pass. Collins, who started fifth, charged under Sandercock in turn two for second on lap eight. 

By lap 12, Hardy and Collins separated themselves from the field, but the event’s second caution bunched up the field one final time when Matt Glanden, who was running sixth, lost power. When green replaced yellow, Blair and Davis moved past Sandercock for third and fourth respectively. 

Hardy had opened up a lead of 2.058 seconds on Collins when he caught lapped traffic on lap 26.

Collins was never able to cut much into Hardy’s lead in the closing laps as Hardy took the checkered flag first for his ninth career tour win by 2.054 seconds in his No. 99 entry. Collins earned $1,500 for his best-career finish in second.

“The 99 (Hardy) was fast in clean air,” explained the 24-year-old driver. “I was wishing him and the 57 (Sandercock) would keep racing. I was catching them on the bottom and didn’t want to see that caution. We had a fast car all night, but got a little behind in the dash. That’s everything here because once you get behind it’s hard to catch up. Kyle did a hell of a job and I thank Max (Blair) for racing me clean. I’m looking forward to Georgetown — we’re always good there and hopefully we can pull one off.”

Blair earned third place in his first tour start since July 2, 2021. Davis was fourth. 

Feature Results (30 Laps)

1. Kyle Hardy (99) 2. Trevor Collins (72) 3. Max Blair (Briggs 1) 4. Nick Davis (92) 5. Garret Paugh (03) 6. Charlie Sandercock (57) 7. Ben Scott (80) 8. Demetrios Drellos (111) 9. Mike Wonderling (18) 10. Jeremy Pilkerton (8) 11. Jeremy Wonderling (3J) 12. Ashton Briggs (11A) 13. Michael Duritsky, Jr. (90J) 14. Jim Rasey (Wrightsman 21J) 15. Joe Martin (Snyder 10s) 16. Andy Michael (17x) 17. Cody Dawson (36) 18. Joe Warren (11) 19. Chad Sines (15) 20. Matt Glanden (01) 21. Matt Hill (84) 22. Tyler Hoy (71T) 23. Amanda Robinson (Dutchstar Motorsports 4) 24. Matt Latta (21) 25. Jason Knowles (4). (Note: Andy Michael took a Tour provisional)