Last Thursday the cars and stars of the Upstate Racing League White Knuckle Clothing Inc. Pro Late Model Series headed to the Myrtle Beach Speedway for the Allied Financial Partners 150. Heading into the penultimate race of the Chase, Matt Kocher held a nine point advantage over championship rival Stefan Marinak and would win his series leading fifth Rumar Vinyl Speed Demon Pole Award. Stefan Marinak would have to start from the rear after his time was disallowed due to a penalty leaving pit road.
Kocher would dominate early, and would maintain a slim lead over defending series champion Nicklas Rasmussen. Stefan Marinak would begin to move forward but was faced with a huge uphill climb to get to his rival for the championship. A few yellows early would bring the field together multiple times and allow Stefan to move up into the top six. A yellow at lap fifty nine would allow the drivers of Al Smith Jr., Justin MacDuff, and AJ Hamel to come down and take their allotted four tires to try and play some strategy.
Kocher would continue leading on the restart and easily pulled away from the rest of the field while the fresh tired trio began to work their way forward. Hamel would make the most progress, getting all the way up to second before the yellow flag would fly spoiling his strategy. The rest of the field would take their tires which left Hamel and Nicklas Rasmussen on the front row as sitting ducks with twenty eight laps to go. They would fight valiantly, but eventually Marinak and Kocher would both get by. Marinak ended up coming out with the lead and the stage was set for a showdown over the closing laps of the race.
Marinak would fight as hard as he could, but Matt Kocher would not be denied. Kocher would slide on by and pull away to win his eighth race of the season! Marinak would rally from shotgun on the field to finish second and collect the Team Bushfink Racing Hard Charger Award and more impressively the Joker eSports Squeaky Clean Driver of the Race Award! Rasmussen held on for third, followed by Scott Naslund, and Rex Hoyle in the top five.
Matt Kocher now leads the Art’s Barber Shop Points Standings by eleven points over Stefan Marinak heading into the season closing Chasing the Checkers 200 at New Smyrna. Kocher also leads the Brian Rogers Motorsports Slammin’ the Dew Rookie of the Year Standings by three points over Scott Naslund. Can Kocher become the first driver to win both in the same season? Find out next Thursday at 9:30 PM EST on LSRTV!