Michael Torres Wins the Inaugural Event at Anderson Motor Speedway
WILLIAMSTON, SC (August 17th, 2015) – After months of preparation and years of dreaming, the Xtreme Racing Series made its debut on August 14th, 2015, at the Anderson Motor Speedway in Anderson, South Carolina. A promotional body set on giving back to legend car racers with huge payouts throughout the field, drivers came from all surrounding regions to compete.
Race day started off with an optional 12-4 P.M. open practice, where drivers could pay a small fee for ample amounts of track time. By the time the first group rolled off pit lane at noon, over fifteen drivers were registered and preparing for the day. The most laps by any single driver in the practice was 86, a total set by Holden German. The fastest driver of afternoon practice went to Chase Purdy, setting a 17.103 lap-time and completing 33 circuits around the track.
A total of 26 cars in total showed up in support of the Xtreme Racing Series, all determined to take home the $1000 payout and mark his or her name down in the history books as the inaugural XRS winner. The race format was simple: single-car qualifying with 1 lap per car that set the grid for 11th – 25th place. The top 10 drivers would go into the Racing Electronics 10-10 Shootout, where for 10 laps they would decide amongst themselves who started where for the main event. After the 10-10 shootout, the drivers would put on their final set of sticker tires for the feature. The feature race was 50 laps in total, split into two-25 lap segments with an hour break in between for chassis adjustments.
Peyton Saxton proved that he was the man to beat in qualifying, laying down a blistering 16.966 lap time, the only driver to crack the 16-second bracket in the session. Starting alongside him in the 10-10 shootout would be his teammate, Cameron Morga, with Anderson local Justin Ashley rounding out the Top 3. Michael Torres would qualify fourth, and Jordan Black in fifth just .314 seconds off the pole time. In the 10-10 shootout, Saxton and Ashley broke away from the field as they tried to balance saving their tires with challenging for the pole position in the main event. Ashley would maneuver his way around Saxton around halfway and hold him off to take the pole position in the inaugural Showdown at Sundown.
In segment 1, the racing was fairly calm and clean up until the halfway point, where drivers began to grow more anxious about their starting spots for the second segment. Battling for the lead, Chase Purdy, Peyton Saxton, and Justin Ashley all traded spots multiple times. Saxton led the majority of the segment though, until Purdy finally got around him at the 2/3rds point with Ashley attempting to follow. Saxton hang on to the second groove, he and Ashley made contact, sending the number 10 into the outside retaining wall in turn 2 and ending his night. Chase Purdy would go on to win segment 1 only to be DQed for being three pounds light in post-tech, handing the first place to Jordan Black, who rode in fifth place most of the race.
Finally it was time to close out the night with segment 2, losing a couple of cars during the break that could not fix their damages. Black led them to the green on multiple occasions, but it seemed that nobody wanted to get the race underway as half an hour after the initial start of segment 2 only four laps were complete. This had allowed Michael Torres, who had a poor finish in segment 1, to work his way methodically up the order sporting a new set of tires. Torres had to go to the tail of the field for changing tires during the segment break, but the strategy call was made because of his low result anyway in the first half. When the racing finally got going, Torres had moved up to the second spot and was all over the #14b of Jordan Black. Black did all he could to hold off the hard-charging Torres, but eventually the #15 worked his way around the leader and took over command.
A late race caution set up a Green-White-Checkered attempt to decide it all, with Black taking the outside lane in hopes of one final charge. On the restart he remained side-by-side for the first lap, but the difference in tire wear gave Torres the advantage he needed to clear Black and take home the inaugural Showdown at Sundown victory. Justin Ashley was shuffled at points throughout the event but was able to work his way back up to third place by the end of the show, with Justin Bolton coming home in fourth and Anderson local Rex Brown taking fifth place.
Overall, the first-ever Xtreme Racing Series event was a success, where all drivers who started the main had their payouts ready to be handed out in exchange for their rental transponders at the end of the night. The XRS staff would like to show their appreciation for the tremendous support that they have gotten both at the track and away from it, as they now go back into work-mode to prepare for round #2 of the XRS Tour at Senoia Speedway on the red Georgia clay on September 4th – 5th, 2015.
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