The Ronnie Sanders No. 18 held off a charge from the Fathead No. 7 at Tri-County
This is becoming something akin to a dream season for Hunter Robbins and Ronnie Sanders Racing after winning the Southern Super Series race at Tri County Speedway on Saturday night.
The triumph continues a successful campaign that already produced Pro Late Model victories in the Alabama 200 and a Show Me The Money race at Montgomery Motor Speedway alongside another in the Allen Turner Pro Series at Five Flags Speedway.
And yet, the elusive victory in a Super Late Model in the Southern Super Series persisted … until Saturday.
Starting sixth and falling as far back as ninth in the early laps, Robbins began working the iconic No. 18 through the field until he was directly behind leader Carson Kvapil in the Go Fas Racing No. 32 halfway into the 100-lap main event.
There was incidental contact between them early in the battle, but Robbins opted to ride behind Kvapil until forcing a mistake and capitalizing on it with 19 laps remaining. A Tyler Crash crash with 10 to go set up a shootout and Jackson Boone was unable to drive around Robbins.
Mission accomplished for the veteran Alabama racer.
"I think he finally just made a mistake," Robbins said of Kvapil. "The kid is really good. We had a run in here last year and I don't think we got off on the right foot. I bumped him too early tonight; didn't mean to. I knew our car was really good, so I just kept pushing, pushing, pushing until he got loose in Turn 1."
At that point, Boone walked over to Victory Lane and congratulated Robbins, who in turn thanked him for the clean race.
"Our car started to get tight," Robbins added. "We struggled to make the corner. Jackson is very good. I worked with him a little bit before I started driving again. He could have knocked me out of the way and didn't."
For his part, Boone was willing to use the bumper but not outright knock Robbins out of the lead.
"Five more laps," Boone said. "We could have cleared him, I think. Last thing I wanted though was to wreck someone for a win. I tried to move him a little bit, but he did everything the right way and kept his car planted on the bottom. Congrats to him on the win."
Kvapil lead the first 81 laps but was unable to close out.
Meanwhile, the Southern Super Series championship battle drastically changed over the past two races. Bubba Pollard had opened the season with dominant performances across Opp, Cordele and Pensacola but tapered off at Nashville and failed to finish both Montgomery and Tri-County.
As a result, Stephen Nasse now leads Robbins by 18 points and Pollard has fallen to 22 points. Even Jake Garcia has a puncher’s shot with a third-place finish on Saturday. He’s 71 points back.
"It was definitely a good points day," Garcia said. "We're quite a ways back with those crashes this year. We've got to hope those guys ahead of us slip up one more time, and that's probably not going to happen because they're all very good."
Robbins has long wanted this win, but a championship would certainly be icing on the figurative cake.
"We've wanted to win one of these for a long time," Robbins said. "Everyone has worked really hard to get this program where it's at now. What a year."
Before posting his seventh place finish, Nasse enjoyed a multiple laps battle with Michael Hinde for position just outside the top-10. It was notable because they were former teammates at what was Stephen Nasse Racing before their mutual crew chief Chris Cater left, leaving Nasse to rejoin Jett Motorsports.
A Pollard spin due to his mechanical woes was the only other caution prior to the Church crash with 10 laps to go.
The Southern Super Series continues on July 9 at New Smyrna Speedway.
Southern Super Series Keen Parts 100 Tri County Speedway June 25 2022
-Story By Racing America