Philip von Borries led a race high 178 laps en route to his first career win at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday. In doing so, the Cabanilla-Haas driver held off Corvega Clash winner Joshua Wilkinson, who led the second most laps (83) among all drivers.
Fred Martin would lead the field to green for the first time since Sonoma midway through the 2014-2015 season, but would get shuffled out of the top 10 early in the running, after leading just six laps. Von Borries, who started third, quickly jumped to the top of the leaderboard early on, and had a commanding lead before an early caution slowed the pace.
That first caution was a scary wreck, which saw the #51 of Rookie of the Year contender Itzel Vasquez, get airborne after contact from Lindsey Bumgardner. The wreck started, when Leigha Reid, another ROTY contender, was turned around by Dallas Whitaker entering turn 3. Reid hit the outside wall and spun down the banking, right in front of Vasquez, who was then rear-ended by Bumgardner. Marissa DeShields, as well as Pamela Stanley, making her first start of the year driving the #32 for GO FAS Racing, was also collected.
During the first caution, the leaders made their way to pit road, but not before Brendan Wolkowicz beat the pace car to the pit entrance line, and incurred a penalty for passing the pace car. As a result, Wolkowicz would have to serve the drive through penalty on the ensuing restart, losing a lap and ultimately contributing to the second wreck of the race.
On the heels of the first caution, the second soon followed. As Wolkowicz slowed to serve his penalty, the cars behind him stacked up on the exit of turn 4, and Tyler Itell and Pole winner Fred Martin got together. This sent both into the wall, and caused Martin to shoot across the frontstretch into Casey Blandford and former teammate Nick Dilbeck. This resulted in a multi-car wreck involving the likes of Lewis Black, Jay Pfluke, Cindi Warner, and Marissa DeShields and others. DeShield’s teammate Britton Baker was also involved, and would end up making over three dozen, separate trips, to pit road the rest of the race so the crew could try to fix the damage to the car.
Once the race resumed by lap 30, things had settled down. While drivers battled for position, everyone seemed to give each other room to make passes. The racing was hard, but clean and the race would go caution free for the remaining 295 laps. Of those remaining laps, von Borries and Wilkinson would swap the lead numerous times, until lapped traffic slowed Wilkinson enough to not only lose the lead with a few laps to go, but fall far enough back to keep from being a challenge for the win in the closing laps.
Among the remaining finishers, were Hunter Richardson in third, with John Williams and Joe Reynolds rounding out the Top-5. Daytona 500 winner Michelle Mostiler finished sixth, and holds the points lead, with a mere seven point advantage over John Williams. Defending, back-to-back race winner, TJ Howard finished 11th as the first car one lap down, after struggling much of the day. Defending series Champion Jay Pfluke would finish the race in 30th, nine laps down, after getting swept up in the lap 25 crash.
The Corvega Cup Series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway next, where Atlanta Pole winner Fred Martin will try and become the first repeat winner at the track, while teammate Philip von Borries tries to win two races in a row.