The battle for the 2023 iRacing World of Outlaws Buttkicker Late Model Series championship has become pronounced only three races into the going.
While defending champion Evan Seay won the first race of the season and continues to lead the points, the last two races have now been won by 2019 champion Blake Matjoulis, both times besting Seay heads up, as the championship points battle slims down to seven.
The 50-lap Feature race at Cedar Lake Speedway saw the two tussle once again, and while Seay had the upper hand with the early speed and pole position, it was Matjoulis who took the lead straight away, leading every lap of the event.
Seay laid down the quick time for the night, which meant a pole start in the opening Heat race. Logan Rumsey was second, JD Brown third and James Edens was fourth, each set to lead their respective heats off of the line.
Matjoulis was relegated to sixth fastest time, which meant a second place start in Heat 2. That worked out tremendously. While Seay, Brown and Edens all won their Heats from the pole position, Matjoulis was able to slide around Rumsey right way in Heat 2 and take the top spot, leading all eight laps en route to victory.
Feature advancements via Cedar Lake Heats
|POS||HEAT 1||HEAT 2||HEAT 3||HEAT 4|
|1||Evan Seay||Blake Matjoulis||JD Brown||James Edens|
|2||Kendal Tucker||Logan Rumsey||Dylan Yeager||Dylan Wilson|
|3||Tanner Tomasi||Tristan Ladouceur||Robbie Buchanan Jr||Chase Barbara|
|4||Kaden Honeycutt||Barrett Bishop||Mike Augustine||Colton Zimmer|
The final two chances of the night to make the Feature were pretty straight up. Both Ethan Toedter and Dezmond Busby won their LCQ races without fail. Behind them, Chase Hardy and Logan Herbert respectfully finished second and also transferred to the main event.
|POS||LCQ 1||LCQ 2|
|1||Ethan C Toedter||Dezmond Busby|
|2||Chase Hardy||Logan Herbert|
Seay would start on the pole position with Matjoulis on his outside. The green flag dropped and Seay was away, but into the third corner, Matjoulis sent it low. Seay went high to get the grip off the corner, but Matjoulis had already cleared him before crossing the line.
Now in the clutches of Brown and Edens, Seay was hanging on while Matjoulis started to pull away slightly. It didn’t last long, however.
On the fourth lap, the first and only caution flew for a wreck towards the back of the field. The resulting damages saw Kaden Honeycutt and Chase Hardy both retire from the event. Honeycutt had lost his right front tire in the contact while Hardy had flipped over slowly.
On the ensuing and final restart, Matjoulis was able to easily clear and continue marching forward. Seay cleared his competition as they fought over third, eventually being won by Edens. Seay kept Matjoulis honest, but Matjoulis was able to score the win and close on the championship lead, now trailing by seven.
WoO LM Race #3 – Cedar Lake Feature Top 10 Results
|1||2||127||Blake Matjoulis||50 LAPS||49||78|
|2||1||33||Evan Seay||+0.222 secs||0||75|
|3||4||52||James Edens||+1.000 secs||0||72|
|4||3||21||JD Brown||+1.628 secs||0||69|
|5||7||48||Dylan Yeager||+1.976 secs||0||65|
|6||5||00||Kendal Tucker||+2.085 secs||0||62|
|7||8||80||Dylan Wilson||+2.328 secs||0||59|
|8||6||41||Logan Rumsey||+2.632 secs||0||56|
|9||9||09||Tanner Tomasi||+2.785 secs||0||52|
|10||10||92||Tristan Ladouceur||+4.433 secs||0||49|
Points Standings following Race #3 – Cedar Lake
Next up: Port Royal Speedway
The fourth race of the 2023 season will take the Late Model World of Outlaws tour to Port Royal Speedway for the first time in series history.
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.