Kyle Bronson Makes History With World Championship Race 3-Peat

Kyle Bronson of Brandon, FL drove the Brandon Ford Rocket into history at Bubba Raceway Park on Saturday night with his unprecedented third straight Chevrolet Performance World Championship Race win for the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series. Bronson had to drive hard early and often to collect the $10,000 top prize.

Bronson charged from the eighth starting spot to battle with the likes of Tyler Clem of Reddick, FL, Nick Hoffman of Mooresville, MC, and the defending Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Champion Ashton Winger of Hampton, GA in a race that saw seven lead changes. Bronson camped out on the bottom groove of the track and used it as his path to victory.

“I love running with the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series because I’ve always had good results,” Bronson said. “After I won this race last year, I went off to race super late models and got my butt kicked. I had to run a little harder than I wanted to early in the race, and Hoffman got up there, on the outside with a good run on me. Usually it’s me pounding the cushion up top and Hoffman running right around the bottom. Tonight we reversed roles.”

Winger started 17th in the Keyser Manufacturing Rocket and finished second to earn the VP Racing Lubricants Slick Move of the Race Award. Winger challenged Bronson for the lead late in the race, but lapped traffic let Bronson get away. Wil Herrington of Hawkinsville, GA took the third spot in the Middle Georgia Roofing CVR.

Earlier in the evening, Herrington recorded a lap in Heat Race competition in 13.999 seconds that was the fastest dirt late model lap ever recorded at Bubba Raceway Park. That includes both super late models with unlimited all aluminum engines and the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Models with $5,895 steel-block, aluminum-head Chevrolet Performance 604 Engines built and sealed at the factory to prevent any expensive modifications.

Joseph Joiner of Milton, FL was fourth in the Cole Services Special, and Clay Harris of Jupiter, FL drove the Dunnrite Construction Rocket to a fifth-place finish. Jake Knowles of Rome, GA took the sixth spot in the Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Special, and seventh went to Hoffman in the Hatcher’s Auto Sales Rocket.

Jeff Mathews of Brandon, FL charged from the 23rd starting spot to finish eighth in the CURS Rocket, and Logan Roberson of Waynesboro, VA finished ninth in the BTS Towing Service Rocket. Parker Martin of McIntyre, GA rounded out the top ten in the Vaden Automotive Special.

In preliminary action, Jensen Ford of Piney Flats, TN was the Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Fast Qualifier with a lap around the 3/8-mile clay oval in 14.522 seconds. The three ten-lap Heat Races were won by Ford, Clem in the M&W Transport Rocket, and Harris. Jody Knowles of Tyrone, GA won the 12-lap B-Main Race in the Clayton Signs Rocket.

Clem took the lead at the drop of the green flag for Round 3 of the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Winter Shootout Series race from the outside of the front row followed by polesitter Ford, defending Winter Shoot Champion and current point leader Jimmy Elliott of Cleveland, TN in the Car Smart Auto Sales Special, Harris, and Bronson.

Ford clobbered an infield tire marker on a lap five restart to end his evening and bring out the caution flag. Bronson took advantage of the next Dixie-Style Double-File Restart to move up from fourth to second behind Clem. Elliott dropped out of the third spot and went to the pits on lap 15. Race leader Clem reached the cars on the tail end of the lead lap on the 20th tour.

Bronson quickly closed in on Clem in heavy lapped traffic to challenge for the lead. Going into the third turn on lap 25, Clem went high to go around a lapped car, and that opened the door for Bronson, who drove underneath Clem for the lead coming off the fourth turn.

Clem made contact with Harris on a lap 26 restart, and dropped back to the fifth spot behind Bronson, Hoffman, Harris, and Jake Knowles. Clem came back to pass Harris for fourth on lap 29, but Harris reclaimed fourth on a lap 31 restart. A lap 47 caution flag set up a spectacular restart.

Bronson was the leader and he had Hoffman, Devin Dixon of Apollo Beach, FL in the CURS Rocket, Harris, Clem, Walker Arthur of Forest, VA in the Cecil B. Arthur Beef Farms Special, Winger, Ivedent Lloyd Jr. of Ocala, FL in the Bartow Ford Rocket, Jake Knowles, and Herrington doubled up behind him in second through tenth respectively.

When the green came back out, Hoffman pulled up outside Bronson to challenge for the lead. Hoffman nosed ahead of Bronson on lap 48 to take the lead, but it was Bronson coming back to lead lap 50. Hoffman on the outside led lap 51, and Bronson on the inside came back to take the lead on lap 53.

Arthur slowed on lap 57 to bring out the caution flag and give up a top ten position. Bronson led the field down for the double-file restart with Hoffman in second choosing the outside. Harris was third, Dixon Fourth, Winger fifth, Lloyd sixth, Knowles seventh, Herrington eighth, Clem ninth, and Joiner tenth.

Hoffman once again drove up alongside Bronson on the restart, while Dixon passed Harris for third, and Winger moved up to fourth. Hoffman once again grabbed the point from Bronson on lap 58, but Bronson powered back underneath Hoffman to take the lead on lap 61.

A lap 63 caution flag would set up another double-file restart that would change the top ten runners. Bronson led Hoffman, Winger, Dixon, Knowles, Harris, Herrington, Lloyd, Joiner, and Clem down for the restart. Hoffman did not come up to speed quickly, and Winger moved by for second. Winger was able to close in on Bronson and challenge for the lead on lap 69.

Bronson was able to keep the lead in lapped traffic. By lap 75, the bottom groove was the preferred way around the track. Bronson led Winger, Knowles, Hoffman, Herrington, Dixon, Joiner, Harris, Lloyd, and Clem. Bronson began to pull away from Winger, who was trapped behind a lapped car.

With ten laps to go, Bronson had checked out on Winger and held a half straightaway lead over the second-place driver. But the complexion of the race changed on lap 93 when the caution flag came out for Dixon, who stalled in turn two. The big lead for Bronson was gone, and for Winger, the lapped traffic was gone. Game on!!

When the green flag came out for the eight lap dash to the finish, Bronson beat Winger into turn one, and Herrington got by Knowles for the third spot. Winger could keep Bronson within striking distance, but couldn’t get close enough to challenge for the $10,000 top prize. Bronson took the checkered flag with a .822 second margin of victory.

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