by: Jacob Hord, @HordRaceWatcher photo: Jacob Hord
“Found it,” is what Trey Jacobs said in reply to a tweet saying that he was still looking for his first Attica Raceway Park win. Jacobs, the Attica points leader, had finished runner-up twice the last two races, falling only .083 seconds short last week. Now, thanks to an exquisite charge to the front, Trey Jacobs can now call himself an Attica Raceway Park winner.
A fourth place finish in his loaded heat race would put Jacobs as the 11th place starter for the 30 lap feature; he had his work cut out for him, but if there’s anyone who can pass cars at Attica, it’s Jacobs.
It was Brian Smith and Nate Dussel who led the field to green, which was only out for about seven seconds before the first yellow flew. On the restart, Dussel took the early lead from Smith and led lap one, Foos followed in second. On lap two, Foos had a tremendous run down the backstretch on Dussel, and they made contact. Dussel went flipping down the backstretch, ending his night, and Foos’ night was over as well. This promoted Stuart Brubaker to the lead, and Smith back to second.
On the restart, Brubaker jumped out to a 2.079 second lead, while Chris Andrews got by Smith for second. A lead that would be erased as John Ivy slowed to a stop off the backstretch on lap six. Brubaker, racing Rich Farmer’s No. 29 machine, held the lead on the restart. Here’s where Jacobs caught my attention, as he was up to fifth by lap eight. Brubaker once again enjoyed a nice lead over Andrews , as Travis Philo, Caleb Griffith, and Trey Jacobs started to battle for third.
Jacobs was running fourth on lap 14, battling for third as Brubaker started to see his lead over Andrews slowly disappear. A lead that would once again be erased. This time it was for Travis Philo. Philo and Griffith were battling hard for third, Griffith threw a slider and clipped Philo, sending Philo into the outside fence in turn four. This necessitated an #OpenRed situation, as the fence and traffic light needed some work done.
That wreck meant that Jacobs would be third, right behind Brubaker and Andrews. Jacobs got by Andrews for second on lap 17 and after a brief battle, would set his sights on Brubaker. Brubaker had a .924 second lead over Jacobs, as another red flew, this time for a fire under Andrew Fike’s 97J car with ten laps left.
Tell me if you’ve heard this before, but Jacobs went to the bottom on the restart, and made it work. He and Brubaker were side-by-side for a few laps, with Jacobs officially taking the lead on lap 24. Another yellow came out, setting Jacobs and Brubaker up for a six lap shootout.
“On the restart, I kept inching him [Brubaker] and inching him, and I knew once I got beside him he tried to go down to the bottom in one and two to protect. I knew he would be doing that, it’s what he had to do, he saw me coming underneath him. Whenever he went down to protect, I think he over-drove it and just left the bottom open on exit for me to squeeze by. I knew that once I had him cleared, I needed to stay calm and hit my marks so that he would really have to rip the top to get back by me,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs again went to the bottom on the restart, and he was just too good. Brubaker got close a time or two those last six laps, but Jacobs prevailed and picked up his first career Attica win, after finishing second a whopping six times in his career. This was Jacobs second win in a row, after picking up a win last Saturday at Wayne County Speedway.
“After coming as close as we could last week, we were able to get the win at Wayne County Saturday. To come here tonight and do it from 11th, I knew we could, but I wasn’t feeling super confident going into the feature starting that far back. I knew after the initial start, I think I was up to seventh in a lap, I kept working the bottom and the top getting thinner and thinner for those guys and we were really good at the end of the race. Bonzai, Tim and my dad had this car dialed in,” said Jacobs.
When it comes to rolling the bottom at Attica, you think of names like Dale Blaney and Greg Wilson, but Jacobs is making the bottom work, and is able to get things out of the bottom that the competition can’t seem to find.
“I think I learned to race the bottom really well because the first three or four years racing, financially I always knew that if I tore a racecar up, that I wasn’t going to race for a few weeks. The bottom is safer,” said Jacobs.
“Usually the bottom here holds so much moisture if you can just slow the car down enough and get the car to turn in enough in the center to hit it on the exit, you can really get down the straightaways. As the race track goes away, and the top gets thinner, I feel like the bottom stays, and gets better. I’ve been able to utilize that lately and make it work.”
It was a good points night as well for Jacobs, the Attica points leader going into the night. DJ Foos was second coming into Friday night, and was credited with 16th after his early exit. Third place Cole Macedo finished fifth as Attica goes on a two week break for the fair, with only five events remaining for the 2021 season.
Concluded Jacobs, “I’ve wanted to win here since I’ve started racing. Wayne County is the closest track to home, and my great-grandfather built it, but I feel like Attica Raceway Park is my home track. I’ve raced here more than anyone else.”
“I didn’t know it was six times [second place finishes], I thought it was more than that, it seems like I’ve ran second way too many times. It just feels really good, I’m really excited to finally get one done here. We’ll go on to Wayne County tomorrow [Saturday] driving the [Prosser] 19, and we’ll see if we can make it three in a row.”