Shafer Flies to Second ASAMT Wayne Carter Classic Victory at Grundy

Paul Shafer Jr. was all smiles in victory lane and said it was the best car he has ever had, as he captured his second ASA Midwest Tour Wayne Carter Classic 100 at Grundy County Speedway in Morris, IL.

The 2020 winner from Portage, IN had a dominant car as he went from his eighth starting spot to the lead in just 17 laps and would lead the final 83 laps, caution-free to grab the win over current ASA Midwest Tour point leader Gabe Sommers and Dalton Zehr.

“I can’t thank my crew chief enough, I mean I feel bad for you fans to watch that, but that was a drop in the bucket best car I have ever had hands down,” Shafer said in victory lane. “I can’t think Chris Purdy (crew chief) enough for giving me that car.”

Only two early cautions slowed the event with the first happening on lap 15 when fast qualifier James Lynch and DJ Weltmeyer got together in turns one and two, collecting Max Kahler. Kahler sustained heavy right side damage.

Two laps later, Blake Brown spun in turn one trying to avoid hitting Bryan Syer-Keske. He would re-join the field.

On the restart, Shafer worked his way up to the second spot and was on the outside of Riley Stenjem at the drop of the green flag. Shafer would get by Stenjem on the backstretch, and would not be challenged for the top spot over the final 83 circuits.

Behind Shafer, Sommers and Zehr were in a battle to get the third spot from Ricky Baker. Baker would get move to second on lap 36 as he got by Stenjem for the position.

On lap 72, Stenjem would fall back to fifth after Sommers and Zehr got by the Kulwicki Driver Development program participant.

Nine laps later, Baker would fall of the pace allowing Sommers and Zehr to move up to the second and third spot. By that time, Shafer had a 2.5 second lead.

Sommers would close the gap to 1.380 seconds, but would be too late as the checkered flag flew for Shafer.

“That was a long green flag run, its tough racing and hard to pass,” Sommers said. “Congrats to Pauly, he had a good car. We just needed a caution at the end to have a shot at him.”

Sommers almost didn’t make the start, as he was experiencing electrical issues while coming out to lineup for the main event. His crew went to work and got the issue resolved prior to the start of the race.

Zehr, the 2017 winner of the Wayne Carter Classic, picked up the final podium position.

“I was following Gabe and I was thinking, man we are not going to catch him (Shafer), and I didn’t know if I could get Gabe,” Zehr recalled. “I tried to get a good run at him and then I slipped up off of four and after that we were hoping for a yellow, that would have been the only  thing to help us.”

Stenjem held on to finish fourth with Justin Mondeik rounding out the top five.

Mondeik and Harley Jankowski won the odd & even heats. Weltmeyer won the qualifier race.

Lynch set a new track record with a time of 14.651 seconds.

The ASA Midwest Tour will be action on Saturday, July 22nd for the Larry Detjens Memorial at State Park Speedway in Rib Mountain, Wisconsin.

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