In the first four races of the 2023 iRacing World of Outlaws Buttkicker Late Model Series season, it’s been all Evan Seay and Blake Matjoulis. Knoxville, the fifth race of the season would end up as the first major shakeup to the norm with a new winner, controversy and the stage now set for a spicy second half of the calendar.
Just a few of the storylines included there being a new winner in Logan Rumsey, physically taking his first career win from the grasp of Evan Seay in the closing laps. There was also a huge shakeup towards the top of the standings with Blake Matjoulis failing to make the Feature, losing 70 points to the leader, Seay.
Matjoulis wasn’t the only driver to miss the main event for the first time either. Knoxville truly shook up the status quo as the series enters its mid point with five races to go to determine the 2023 championship.
All four heat races would not be so cut and dry this time around. In previous weeks, merely qualifying inside the Top 16 meant a Top 4 starting spot and finish in the respective Heat. This week, every single Heat had a driver outside the transfer at start drive their way into the Feature.
This was all behind the four winners who all were able to win from the Heat pole position. Logan Rumsey put down the quick time by a mere 0.002 seconds over Evan Seay, which meant both would start their respective heats out front, and after winning, would be starting from the Feature front row.
JD Brown and Dezmond Busby took Heats 3 and 4, and while names like Tanner Tomasi, Jesse Wall, Cameron Cason, Logan Herbert and Landon Francis all raced their way in after starting outside the transfer, names like Talan Willis, Dylonn Fox, Barrett Bishop, Dylan Yeager, and two-time winner this season, Blake Matjoulis, on the outside needing a big race in the LCQs.
Feature advancements via Knoxville Raceway Heats
|POS||HEAT 1||HEAT 2||HEAT 3||HEAT 4|
|1||Logan Rumsey||Evan Seay||JD Brown||Dezmond Busby|
|2||Tanner Tomasi||Chase Hardy||Mike Augustine||Chase Barbara|
|3||Kendal Tucker||Robbie Buchanan Jr||Damian Kiefer||Logan Herbert|
|4||James Edens||Jesse Wall||Cameron Cason||Landon Francis|
Dylan Wilson took the green for the first LCQ race, but behind him, the battle for second was heated. Once the dirt had settled, Kaden Honeycutt found himself in position, but Talan Willis was hot on his tail. In the final laps, Willis looked inside and moved Honeycutt out of the line, but Honeycutt fought back and took the transfer spot.
For the second and final LCQ, Nathan Waddell and Travis StClair were able to break away while Colton Zimmer and Matjoulis emerged from the carnage behind in the opening corner.
Zimmer and Matjoulis were able to track down StClair and contact was made. StClair held on as Zimmer fell back. Matjoulis recovered for third but his evening would end early as he would not transfer to the main.
|POS||LCQ 1||LCQ 2|
|1||Dylan Wilson||Nathan R Waddell|
|2||Kaden Honeycutt||Travis StClair|
Rumsey opened the race with precision as he took control from Seay and led the opening eight laps. Not to be denied, Seay was able to work him over for the lead and began a tear from the ninth lap onward.
With a clean and green race early on, Seay was able to pull out to a lead of nearly two seconds. It seemed as if Rumsey just didn’t have the long pace, but the tables turned when the caution flew on lap 36.
A massive shunt took out a trio of Logan Herbert, Damian Kiefer and Nathan Waddell, and it also closed the field right back up. There was another immediate caution on the following restart that took JD Brown out of contention, but when the green flew for the final time, Rumsey was back on it.
For laps, Rumsey would stick it low on Seay, washing up and leaning on the defending champion. Finally, push came to shove as with nine laps to go, Rumsey leaned too hard, sending Seay out of the way. Chase Hardy pounced and took the runner-up spot as well, but Rumsey would score his first win as a result.
WoO LM Race #5 – Knoxville Raceway Feature Top 10 Results
|1||1||41||Logan Rumsey||50 LAPS||17||78|
|2||6||99||Chase Hardy||+1.212 secs||0||74|
|3||2||33||Evan Seay||+1.907 secs||31||72|
|4||17||80||Dylan Wilson||+1.914 secs||0||65|
|5||5||9||Tanner Tomasi||+2.301 secs||0||65|
|6||7||19||Mike Augustine||+2.963 secs||0||62|
|7||8||23||Chase Barbara||+3.259 secs||0||59|
|8||19||36||Kaden Honeycutt||+3.372 secs||0||52|
|9||9||00||Kendal Tucker||+3.373 secs||0||52|
|10||14||2||Jesse Wall||+4.068 secs||0||48|
Points Standings following Race #5 – Knoxville Raceway
Next up: I-55
The sixth race of the 2023 season will take the Late Model World of Outlaws tour to Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55, a race that was won by Blake Matjoulis in the inaugural event last season.
Matjoulis is now in recovery mode due to falling down to fourth in the championship. We’ve seen that he’s been capable of winning just about every race, but will that even be enough to catch and pass the consistent and dominant Seay?
Things will kick off at 9:00 pm ET with the call from Tim Terry and Terry Radford, broadcasted live on DIRTvision or on the iRacing social channels.