Bar 31 Team

Weekend Wrap Up...and Down...and Up!
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5/19/2024

5/19/2024


Weekend Wrap Up...and Down...and Up!

The BAR31 Team had two races on the schedule this past weekend, and Mother Nature played nice and allowed both events to happen.

Friday night, Kye qualified 3rd fastest out of the 28 MARS Late Models in attendance. He finished 2nd behind Jason Feger in the heat race, and in the redraw, he pulled a 2 to start on the outside pole of the feature.

Kye jumped out to an early lead and lead the first 10 laps before a caution fell for debris on the racetrack. When they went back to green, Jason Feger pulled a slide job on Kye in 3 and 4 and barely took the lead with 29 laps to go; Kye returned the slide job on Feger in turns one and two and was able to wrangle the lead back. Then coming off four, the caution came out again; this time for a flat tire on Feger. With Feger out, Dillion McCowan was hot on the heals of the 31AUS. He was able to get around Kye, but another caution came out before a lap could be completed, so Kye inherited the lead back. Kye was running on the cushion banging off the wall in turn four when McCowan once again passed him for the lead. Kye raced back by McCowan, and Mike Harrison was close behind. Harrison and McCowan were racing when Harrison went high, jumped the cushion, and flipped, causing a red flag. Fortunately, Harrison was unhurt, but was done for the night. Several other cautions flew before the end of the race. Kye stayed married to the high side that worked for him all night, but in the last few laps of the race, McCowan got around him for a final time, and with a final push, Bob Gardner got a great run and barely pushed past Kye for 2nd place, and Kye wound up in 3rd.

Paul Stubber said, “After a couple of the restarts, he drove it into (turn) one so fast I thought if it didn’t turn, he would be halfway to Australia before it landed!”

In the post-race interview, Kye told Mike Norris, “If you told me 12 months ago that I would run 3rd in a MARS race, I would have been stoked, but man, to lead 30 odd laps and then run 3rd, that kinda sucks.”

Saturday’s race was at the World-Famous Highland Speedway. 36 MARS entries were on tap there, so qualifying was set up in groups. Kye qualified 9th in Group B. He started 5th in Heat number 3, where they transferred 4 to the Feature race. He finished in 6th place, which would put him in a B-Main, where they were only transferring 2. He finished 3rd, one spot shy of making the feature, but with his MARS points, was awarded a provisional to start the race. The BAR31 entry started shotgun on the field, and in a caution plagued race, was able to keep clear of the cautions and finished in 7th place – up 15 positions!

“Despite the time, we actually had a good car in qualifying. But (on the) first lap of the heat, I bottomed out and smashed the top arm into the shock. We didn’t catch it was bent until after the B. Changed the shock and got our car back!”

On Saturday, Kye brought home the “Fairbury Fasteners 7th place finisher” award, and the “MD3 Hard Charger Award”. After 2 top 10s this weekend Kye sits in 4th place in the MARS Series standings.

Next week’s schedule includes trips to Farmer City, Fairbury and Spoon River Speedway.

(Special thanks to Zackary Kuhel for use of the photo.)

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