by Jacob Hord @HordRaceWatcher
In the five previous races, at Attica Raceway Park, there have been five different winners. There were only two drivers in attendance Friday night that have claimed victory at the ⅓ mile oval this season, and 23 other drivers were looking to add their name to the 2021 winners list. Zeb Wise was one of those drivers in the latter category. Wise had a runner-up finish a few weeks ago when the All Stars were in town, and since the All Stars were off this weekend, he took the opportunity to build his notebook. It paid off.
Wise had himself just two laps short of an absolutely perfect night. He went quicktime overall in hotlaps/qualifying with a 12.582 second lap, he won his heat race in convincing fashion, and was able to draw a three for his feature starting position, behind Stuart Brubaker and Caleb Griffith.
The 30 lap feature went green, and it was Brubaker who took the early advantage over Wise. With only one lap in the books, the feature’s only stoppage came for an incident involving Gary Taylor and Nate Dussel, with Taylor tipping over. In that lone lap, Trey Jacobs went from 16th to 9th.
The restart came, and Wise knew he could make a move on Brubaker for the lead, and that’s exactly what he did. Wise got under Brubaker in turns one and two, and never looked back. Meanwhile, Jacobs picked off two more spots to get up to seventh.
“I knew the top is where I wanted to be, but I knew I would have to use a different line to either get Stuart to make a mistake or to get by him,” said Wise. “Both of those happened at the same time.”
Within five laps, Wise had built a 2.434 second lead, which grew to 3.548 seconds two laps later while Wise was still in clean air. By laps nine and ten, Wise had reached the back of the field, and would have to navigate his way through heavy traffic for the next 20 or so laps. What was Trey Jacobs doing at this point? Still passing cars, he was up to fourth by this point.
Lapped traffic can be a young driver’s downfall, but that definitely wasn’t the case for Wise tonight, his lead kept growing and growing as he sliced and diced his way through lapped traffic with ease. His lead eventually grew up to 4.388 seconds on lap 14, and the lead was holding steady around the 4.4-4.6 second range on Lap 18.
“I was trying to find a groove that would work around lapped cars,” Wise said. “The dominant line was the top, so I had to maneuver and not clip a tractor tire on the bottom to work my way through it.”
Trey Jacobs check: he had claimed third place, and was battling hard with second-running Caleb Griffith through this heavy traffic, which is what Wise wanted to see, as his lead grew to over five seconds. Wise’s lead was so big that Jacobs thought he was racing Griffith for the win.
Jacobs talked about his charge: “I knew I’d have to get my wing back a little bit, and I just had a really aggressive start. I tried to move some people out of the way and made it work. I thought Caleb was leading the race, and once I cleared him with three or four to go, I thought we were leading until the white flag came out. I looked up to the scoreboard and saw that the 10 car was leading. He was so far ahead that I couldn’t see him.”
Jacobs would have also liked a late caution to see what he had for Wise. “I would have liked to at least give him a go. I couldn’t see where he was running, but I would have at least liked a shot. That green flag run, I was liking it, but if I could have gotten a yellow, I would have seen what we had for him, but I can’t complain about a second after a night like this.” We’ll have more on Trey’s busy night in the weekend Quick Hits.
With five circuits left, there would be nothing stopping Wise, as he cruised to a 5.089 second win over Jacobs and Griffith, in what was a textbook beatdown. This was Wise’s first Attica win, his first with Wise-Priddy Racing, and Attica’s fifth first time winner in 2021.
“It feels good to put it on the horse track for my team. It’s not easy. I’m really happy with how the track was all night, they left the cushion there all night, which played into my hands because I love running the top,” added Wise.
Wise has gotten better each time he’s been to Attica this season, finishing ninth, second, and now first in three 2021 starts.
“We’ve been pretty strong, especially here. We came here for our first race and honestly it was pretty good for our debut race. Then we came back and ran second with the All Stars. I’m really happy with how things are going Wayne [Priddy], and my dad. Things seem to be jelling between all of us.”
305 Feature: It was Luke Griffith and Jamie Miller that paced the field to the green flag of the 25 lap feature, with the No. 26 of Miller going to the point, with Dustin Stroup taking second. Miller held a steady 1.131 second lead running the top over Stroup, who danced around the tractor tires. Miller’s lead started to shrink around laps eight and nine as he approached lapped traffic, and by laps nine and ten, Stroup was right on Miller’s back bumper.
Stroup made the pass for the lead on lap 11, using the bottom to his advantage around Miller. Stroup’s lead was short-lived though. Miller worked the high side to blow back by Stroup on lap 14 down the back stretch. From there, it was smooth sailing for Miller as he worked through traffic until a rash of cautions with three laps to go.
A restart with three to go saw Stroup stick his nose under Miller, but Miller was able to power by as another yellow flew. That restart was Stroup’s best, he slid Miller in turns one and two, but again, Miller was too strong on the top and powered back by. Stroup would get one more shot as yet another caution flew. Stroup didn’t have anything for Miller, though. Miller cruised to his second Attica win in a row, and his third win in three races.
410 Feature, 30 Laps: 1. Zeb Wise, 2. Trey Jacobs, 3. Caleb Griffith, 4. Cole Macedo, 5. Stuart Brubaker, 6. Travis Philo, 7. Cap Henry, 8. Craig Mintz, 9. TJ Michael, 10. Greg Wilson, 11. DJ Foos, 12. Chris Andrews, 13. Cale Conley, 14. John Ivy, 15. Skyler Gee, 16. Harli White, 17. Ricky Peterson, 18. Chad Wilson, 19. Nate Dussel, 20 Gary Taylor.
305 Feature, 25 Laps: 1. Jamie Miller, 2. Dustin Stroup, 3. Luke Griffith, 4. Mike Keegan, 5. Matt Foos, 6. Tyler Shullick, 7. Shawn Valenti, 8. Seth Schneider, 9. Zeth Sabo, 10. Larry Kingseed Jr., 11. Logan Riehl, 12. Brandon Moore, 13. Chris Verda, 14. Kody Brewer, 15. Mike Moore, 16. Bryce Lucius, 17. Kasey Ziebold, 18. Jeremy Duposki, 19. Steve Rando, 20. Kasey Jedrzejek, 21. Jud Dickerson, 22. Paul Weaver.