ANDERSON, Ind. – Bobby Santos III drove almost the perfect race to capture the Summer Sprint Showdown Saturday at Anderson Speedway.
Santos led the final 100 laps Saturday in the CB Fabricating sponsored event, but had to hold off Tyler Roahrig at the finish.
Roahrig set fast time during qualifying but with an invert of 10 for the 125-lap feature he along with Dakoda Armstrong and Jacob McElfresh would have to work their way to the front.
Travis Welpott led the first 25 laps at first chased by Brian Vaughn and Emerson Axsom.
The first of only two caution flags waved on lap 22 for a spin by Mark Hall by then Santos was running second and Roahrig was in ninth. On the restart Santos made an inside move of Welpott entering turn three and started to pull away from the field.
Behind Santos there was tight racing amongst the top ten drivers as they were all looking for any advantage when dealing with lapped traffic.
It was Roahrig that was able to use the inside groove in the corners to gain position.
Roahrig passed Caleb Armstrong, Scotty Hampton and Kyle O’Gara over the course of nine laps and after 50 circuits was running fifth.
By lap 75 Roahrig had moved up to second, but was still a long way from catching Santos when the final caution flag waved on lap 82 when Hampton slowed to a stop.
Santos was able to maintain the lead on the restart going on to win by 1.2-seconds over Roahrig with Dakoda Armstrong, Axsom and Kyle O’Gara rounding out the top five.
Santos joked in victory lane that Hampton brought out the caution flag to benefit Roahrig.
“This was a totally different race car than we’ve brought here before,” he said in the Riley & Sons Victory Lane. “My dad made all the right calls.”
Santos said he was worried on the final restart with Roahrig lurking in the wings.
“I knew he (Roahrig) would be right there,” he said of the restart. “Tyler is always fast at Anderson.
“I really want to thank Anderson Speedway for keeping pavement sprint car racing alive,” Santos said. “I think they’ve something with these 125 lap races.”
Roahrig said coming from tenth to finish second was a good night for the team.
“Our car was a little too free,” he said. “It was not quite right.”
In other action, Colin Grissom led the final two laps to capture the fifth annual Don and Mel Kenyon Classic.
1) Bobby Santos III; 2) Tyler Roahrig; 3) Dakoda Armstrong; 4) Emerson Axsom; 5) Kyle O’Gara; 6) Caleb Armstrong; 7) Travis Welpott; 8) Brian Vaughn; 9) Jacob McElfresh; 10) Issac Chapple; 11) Justin Harper; 12) Billy Wease; 13) Joe Ligouri; 14) Scotty Hampton; 15) Tom Paterson; 16) Doug Dietsch; 17) Mark Hall; 18) Tony Main; 19) Jim Payne; 20) Chris Jagger; 21) Tom Geren