Solwold wins amid confusion in Montana BILLINGS, Mont. -- Despite the confusion at the end of the Saturday, Aug. 19 National Sprint Tour race at Billings Motorsports Park, one thing was clear. On this night, there was no catching Jason ...
Solwold wins amid confusion in Montana
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Despite the confusion at the end of the Saturday, Aug. 19 National Sprint Tour race at Billings Motorsports Park, one thing was clear.
On this night, there was no catching Jason Solwold.
Solwold started the 40-lap main event from pole and never gave up the lead as he claimed his second NST win.
Behind him was the real excitement, especially at the end.
Points leader Danny Lasoski got by Jason Sides early in the race for second, and spent most of the race trying to track down Solwold. Following a lap 37 restart, Sides went low to reclaim second as Steve Kinser, the winner of Friday night's preliminary feature, also looked to move up.
On the final lap, Shane Stewart slowed to a stop on the backstretch. The yellow lights came on, but NST officials immediately yelled for the green to stay out. Green lights came back on, but by then Sides had already slowed down and was passed by both Lasoski and Kinser.
After review, Lasoski was credited with second. Kinser was third, Sides fourth and Travis Rilat was fifth. Rounding out the top-10 were Tim Kaeding, Jason Meyers, Brian Paulus, Kerry Madsen and Paul McMahan.
"I remember seeing the white, the yellow and then the green, so I did an extra lap," Solwold said. "Then finally they threw the checkered flag after we idled around four or five laps. It was mass confusion. We didn't know if it was over or what."
Sides, Lasoski and Kinser all had discussions with officials afterwards, trying to sort out the finish.
"The race isn't over yet," Kinser said later while signing autographs. "I didn't see the checkered, so I don't know happened. I have no idea."
Lasoski seemed confident the race was indeed over.
"I moved up a little on that last restart, and that let Jason (Sides) by," Lasoski said. "Then I got back by him on the last lap. I knew it was the checkered."
Sides believed one of two things should have happened.
"When the caution comes out, they should either go back a lap for the finishing order or they should have kept everyone out and run the final laps," he said. "I ran second a full lap or two, and slowed when the caution came out. When there's a caution, that's what you do. I slowed down, and two guys got by me.
"We came to turn 4, and they had the green back on," Sides added. "Shane was still sitting there. If I was sitting there, I would want the yellow on."
Solwold was dominant, but had Lasoski breathing down his neck while negotiating lapped traffic in the middle of the race.
"It was a little sketchy there in the middle," Solwold said. "I had one of the best bottom line runners in the country right behind me. The track was real nice on the bottom."
Solwold has had opportunities to win more races, only to have problems late. At one point last month, he was running top-five three straight races before dropping back.
"This feels really good," he said. "We probably should have won a few more races. It's been an up and down year for us. It was just our night tonight."
Solwold used lapped traffic to his advantage. At one point he put two lapped cars between himself and Lasoski just before a caution came out.
"Anytime you can get a lapped car between you, it's huge," Solwold said. "Late in the race I kept a lapped car right next to me. I knew Danny couldn't get by both of us."
Lasoski complimented Solwold for how he used traffic to his advantage.
"That's good racing on his part," Lasoski said. "Early in the race, we waited and just bided our time until we got to lapped traffic."
Kinser, who had won four of his previous five races at the Billings track, twice gained spots on restarts by going high.
"I was trying to get something to work," he said. "There wasn't much on the bottom. I was trying my thing to gain a spot."
Trophy dashes were won by Solwold and Sides, with Solwold choosing to start on the inside pole for the 40-lap main event.
Heat races were won by Solwold, Paulus, Kaeding and Chad Hillier. Lasoski was the fastest of 34 qualifiers with a time of 13.290 seconds, his fifth fast time of the year. The B-main was won by Tony Bruce, Jr.
Saturday's race concluded a weekend doubleheader in Billings, where Kinser won on Friday. The 'Wild Wild Northwest Tour' continues next weekend with an Aug. 25-26 doubleheader at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash. followed by an Aug. 29 show at Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore.
Solwold, a Washington native, certainly wouldn't mind getting a streak going in his home state.
"That would be huge," he said. "I would love to win Elma with all my family and friends there."