WATSON FLIPS THE BREAKER ON WATT AT DELAWARE OPENERadmin
Written By: Alison Watson
Delmar, Delaware- Jordan Watson powered by pole sitter Ryan Watt to earn the Delaware International Speedway opening night event. “When a guy like Ryan Watt is leading, you cannot show them your line before you know you can clear them. When I got under him, I knew I had to go,” said Watson in the Victory Graphic’s victory lane.
Ryan “The Electric Company” Watt who has dominated the northeast modified circuit looked to be unstoppable with his pole starting position. From the drop of the green, Watt was under pressure from Delaware regulars Jamie Mills, HJ Bunting, and Jordan Watson. The trio rushed into turn one, with Watson on the bottom, Bunting in the middle, and Mills on the outside rim of the small ½ mile. Mills cleared the duo on the backstretch temporarily, as Watson dove to the bottom of Mills entering turn three.
On the next circuit, Watson continued his tear and successfully passed race leader, Ryan Watt, exiting turn four. Jamie Mills followed in suit. The top three, Watson, Mills, and Watt equally spread out their distance from the remainder of the field. Mills continued to race the top-side of the speedway to inch closer to Watson.
By halfway, Watson had developed a half straightway lead over second place, Mills, and was approaching dense lap traffic. Watson strategically approached the lap traffic, as Watt had closed to the bumper of Mills. On lap 17, Watt passed Mills for second and had his sights on Watson.
On lap 21, Howard O’Neal spun in turns one and two, bringing out the first caution of the event and erased Watson’s 2.289 second lead over Watt.
On the single-file restart, Watson controlled the race and precisely managed the slick race surface for the final four circuits. Watt, Mills, a hard-charging Brad Trice, and HJ Bunting rounded out the top five.
Heats were won by Bunting, Mills, and Watt.
For the season opening event, all Delmar residence received free general admission. Rain was in the forecast late in the event, and the final checkered flag waved as the sprinkles started.
With no point averages, drivers drew for their heat race starting position. The feature line-up was heads up, with the fastest lap in the heat race earning the priority position. Watt, Bunting, and Mills were the top three.
With rain in the northeast and the upcoming Short Track Super Series event at Delaware International on May 24th, a few invaders joined the field, including, Ryan Watt, Richie Pratt Jr., and Jim Britt.
Victory lane was fun for Watson and AC Delco Crate Modified victor, Greg Humlhanz. The two were unofficial team mates in 2014, when Jordan Watson won the Big Block Modified Championship and Humlhanz won the Crate Modified Championship. Both joined victory lane for the first time together in four years on Saturday night.
Brandon Watkins, in his third season in the Big Block Modified was impressive, finishing sixth, and highly competitive in his qualifying event. He is one of the multiple father/son duo’s at Delaware International.
Young racing fan, Austin Shaffer went viral, after his mother captured his excitement of Watson winning the feature event. Shaffer has been receiving racing fan mail throughout his recovery of a traumatic brain injury. He was all smiles with the feature event trophy!
Hurlock Auto and Speed Big Block Modified Feature Finish: JORDAN WATSON, Ryan Watt, Jamie Mills, Brad Trice, HJ Bunting, Brandon Watkins, Shawn Ward, Jim Britt, Richie Pratt Jr., Matt Hawkins, Joseph Watson, Mike White, Kevin Sockriter, Robert Dutton, Scott VanGorder, Jordn Justice, Kyle Fuller, Kenneth Peek, Brian Hitz, Dale Hawkins, Bobby Watkins, Howard O’Neal, Carson Wright, T.J. Williams