by Jacob Hord, @HordRaceWatcher
It was the final tune-up before the Brad Doty Classic for the Attica locals, and even some invaders. In all, 25 410’s made the call for the AFCS race Friday night in Attica, Ohio. After a heavyweight bout for the win last week between Travis Philo and DJ Foos, it was going to be tough to top it. Foos, Chris Andrews, Byron Reed, and Trey Jacobs were up to the task and it was a slobberknocker of a feature for a nice $4,000 payday.
Foos described it as a game of cat and mouse- last week he was the cat chasing Philo, and this week he found himself in both positions in the 30 lap feature. It would be Byron Reed and Chris Andrews that led the field to green, with Reed taking the early advantage over Andrews and Foos. Reed was working the middle and bottom grooves as Andrews ripped the top to gain momentum. Just as Andrews took the lead for the first time on lap four, the caution came out.
On the ensuing restart, Reed was able to hold off Andrews, who had a huge run down the backstretch, with Foos lurking in third and Cole Macedo not far behind in fourth. The next lap, Andrews tried again to snatch the lead from Reed, and they were side-by-side at the line. Going down the backstretch, Andrews had too much momentum and Reed relinquished the lead. Reed wasn’t done, though. He tried to drive under Andrews on lap seven, but it was to no avail, as both Foos and Macedo were gaining.
Andrews was holding a steady half-second lead, as he was a touch better than Reed in turns one and two, but Reed was equally better than Andrews in turns three and four. By lap 11, you could throw a blanket over the top three. After two laps of hard racing, the leaders went into turn one, but Tyler Street had a loose fuel-line and was puttering to a stop on the top. This forced Andrews to check up and allowed Reed to take the lead. Reed would have to give up the lead, though, as the yellow came out for Street, followed by the red flag as Macedo, the Attica points leader, went for a ride in turns three and four, vanquishing him from the fourth spot and promoting Trey Jacobs, who was only five points back of Macedo, to fourth. More on that later.
Andrews, Reed, and Foos went three-wide on the restart, and Foos emerged as the leader for the first time on lap 14. Foos started to slowly build a lead, up to .621 seconds on lap 17. That is when Andrews and Reed went to war for second, and Jacobs had a front row seat for it.
“It was pretty exciting there,” said Foos. We all three were running different lines, and I felt really really good running through the middle
Foos grew his lead up to 1.144 seconds, but lapped traffic started to play a factor on lap 22. Foos maneuvered through the traffic, as Andrews and Reed navigated through as well. Lap 24 is when it went off the rails for Andrews. He slid off the top of turns one and two in traffic, forcing Reed to check up, which let Jacobs take over second. The caution didn’t come out right away, and Jacobs actually didn’t want to see the caution come out.
“I didn’t want to see the yellow,” Jacobs said. “I had just gotten around two of the lapped cars pretty nice, and I saw that DJ was running the middle to top. When the caution came out, he probably saw that the 3J was behind him, and I’m sure DJ knew where I would be.”
This set up a five-lap shootout for the win; deja vu for Foos. Jacobs got a good jump on Foos on the restart, working the bottom like Dale Blaney used to do. Jacobs kept taking a stab at Foos for the lead in turns three and four, but Foos knew exactly what he had to do to keep Jacobs at bay. That’s exactly what Foos did, as he held off Jacobs for his fifth win of the season, his second at Attica over Jacobs and Reed. Travis Philo and Craig Mintz rounded out the top five.
“I saw Trey Jacobs was in second, so I thought ‘Ok, I know he’s going to run the bottom, I have to protect the bottom.’ I had to run him kind of hard and I had him pinched up against the tires, but it was a good, clean race,” said Foos.
“DJ did what he needed to do,” Jacobs added. “I was able to get beside him, but he protected the bottom and stay in front of me. I came up just a little bit short.”
Foos continued: “I’m really happy for my guys. I feel like I let one get away from us last week, and I thought about that all week long and beat myself up over it. I wasn’t going to let another one get away. I did what I had to do, and got the win.”
On occasion, you get to see Attica’s top dogs go at it for an entire feature, and that’s exactly what happened tonight. Multiple driving styles were on display between Foos, Jacobs, Reed, and Andrews and it was an incredible sight to see.
“Chris is aggressive, I know he’s going to pound the top and be on the gas. Byron is calculated, he doesn’t take unnecessary risks. Trey, I knew he would be coming on the bottom, and that’s exactly what happened. I was able to fend him off, even though he may have had the better car,” said the race winner.
For Foos, he extended his Ohio wins lead over a gaggle of drivers that all have three. He has a runner-up and now a win at Attica in the last two weeks, going into Attica’s biggest race: The Brad Doty Classic on Tuesday. He and the Burmeister No. 16 machine are hitting their stride at the right time.
“It feels really good. But, local racing to All Star racing is a whole other level, and then All Star racing to Outlaw racing is even more. There’s going to be 50 cars here, and 35 of them could win with the right circumstances. It’s all about putting yourself in position, and being able to capitalize. I’m very excited, I feel like we found speed in our car from Speedweek. Since Speedweek, we’ve been pretty okay. I’ve felt the momentum shift, and I feel like our team has momentum that we can build off of,” Foos concluded.
Trey Jacobs will have to wait for another day to pick up his first Attica win, and the knocking is getting louder. Going into tonight, Cole Macedo had a five point lead on Jacobs for the Attica points championship. With Macedo taking a DNF and Jacobs finishing second, it’s safe to assume Jacobs now leads the Attica points standings with only up to seven points races remaining on the schedule. Jacobs may not have the wins yet, but he is confident in his abilities behind the wheel:
“The guys around here you know you can race side-by-side with them and they’ll race you pretty clean. It’s a lot of fun racing with guys like Byron, DJ and Chris. They’ve been doing this a long time and they’re pretty good here. It keeps building my confidence, and I know I’m just as good here as anybody.”
“I think we’re leading the points now, which is pretty cool. It would be a big help at the end of the year if we can win this deal. I just have to take it one race at a time, though. I’m more focused on getting a race win than winning the points at the end of the year. But if we keep plugging along and keep getting these good finishes, the wins will come and the championships will follow,” said Jacobs.
305 Feature: After seeing DJ win the 410 Feature, Matt Foos decided he needed to find himself on the horsetrack as well. This would be a little more difficult for Matt, as he started in the 12th position for the 25 lap Feature event.
Brandon Riehl and last weeks winner Dustin Stroup paced the field to the green flag, where Riehl held the early advantage over Stroup and Jamie Miller. It didn’t take long for these three to start a war for the lead. Stroup led lap two, but Miller took control on lap three. These two battled side-by-side for the lead, with Miller holding a slight advantage until lap eight, when Stroup took the lead again.
Next lap, next lead change; put Miller back at the top, but Stroup was still there. A lap 11 caution put Miller in clean air, and that Matt Foos guy? He was in seventh. The restart was crucial, as Miller eeked out a 1.272 second lead by lap 14. Foos had made some passes and was up to fourth and was battling for third at this point. He was fast and he was coming for Miller and Stroup.
Foos arrived to the top two on lap 16, and took second from Stroup on the next circuit. Foos then set sail, trying to catch up to Miller. Miller’s lead got cut down in traffic, and Foos caught right up to him. Lap 22 saw Miller get held up, and Foos took a shot in turns three and four, but Miller held on… this time. Foos got a run going down the backstretch the next lap, and took the lead, with Miller right on his bumper. On the last lap, Foos was able to put a lapped car between himself and Miller to claim his first Attica win of the year.
It wasn’t a bad night to be a Foos.