Last week, Drillbrush announced it would be sponsoring in the ARCA Menards Series for their annual stop at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds for the Southern Illinois 100. However, we weren’t content with just sponsoring one ARCA team; we sponsored FOUR.
Alex Clubb, Brayton Laster, Christian Rose, and Brad Smith all raced under the Drillbrush banner this weekend. Our team consisted of a mix of up-and-coming rookies looking to make a name for themselves and determined owner-drivers trying to build their programs. You can read more in-depth about our four competitors in last week’s blog!
The race aired Sunday night at 9pm, but in case you missed it, we have the full race report. Spoiler alert: our driver’s had some decent finishes!
Alex Clubb’s #03 on pit road.
Before qualifying, the ARCA Menard’s Series teams went out for practice laps to get attuned to the race track and make adjustments.
Points leader Jesse Love was second quick to a surprisingly fast run by ARCA veteran Will Kimmel, who took the top spot in practice in his family-owned #69. Mayhem struck during the session, as the #06 Bucked Up Chevy driven by AJ Moyer suffered heavy damage to the rear in a crash and had to withdraw from the event.
The fastest Drillbrush sponsored car was Christian Rose, who was seventh quickest; just ahead of dirt ringer Kelly Kovski. Veteran Brad Smith was fourteenth on the chart. Dirt modified racer Chris Golden shook down Alex Clubb’s #03 machine, placing seventeenth. Brayton Laster did not put down a practice lap, as the team arrived at the track during the session following a late night getting the car in race-worthy shape.
Brad Smith stands by his Drillbrush #48.
Cars then took to the track for qualifying. They would make one lap each to determine the starting order for the event. When all was said and done, rookie phenom William Sawalich set the fastest lap at 34.595 seconds and took the pole position. Will Kimmel backed up his fast lap in practice with a second place starting spot. Fifteen-year-old Brent Crews, who won at the Springfield Mile earlier this year, scored third.
Our Drillbrush Racing drivers were consistent. Christian Rose ranked seventh, Brad Smith ranked fourteenth, and Chris Golden qualified 17th, all three matching their practice positions. Brayton Laster was 13th quickest during his first laps of the day.
Golden vacated the ride to Clubb, who would give up his qualifying spot due to a driver change. However, as Moyer withdrew from the event, no cars started behind Clubb, negating the penalty.
Brayton Laster's Drillbrush car as seen from the stands!
William Sawalich and Will Kimmel led the field of seventeen cars to the green flag. After lap 1, Sawalich pulled out to a hefty lead in his Joe Gibbs Racing #18 while Springfield winner Brent Crews overtook Kimmel for second. If Crews was able to sweep both dirt events, he could earn an additional bonus purse.
On Lap 4, Brayton Laster lost power steering in his Rise Motorsports #31. He would have to muscle the car around the 1 mile dirt oval for the rest of the evening like the legends of the 50’s and 60’s.
Early on into the event, some of the dirt in Turn 3 came loose, resulting in a large hole in the middle of the racing line for competitors to navigate. The rough patch would send cars bouncing throughout the night.
By lap 15, Drillbrush racers Brayton Laster, Alex Clubb, and Brad Smith went a lap down to the leaders. Around this time, Dallas Frueh took his Fast Track Racing #01 machine down pit road and retired from the race.
The race stayed clean, green, and single file for the first 20 circuits. Points leader Jesse Love went on a charge around this time, passing teammate Brent Crews for second and chasing down William Sawalich to take the lead.
Brayton Laster's Rise Motorsports #31.
This green flag run was interrupted on Lap 26, when Sean Corr looped his #8 machine exiting Turn 2, triggering the Caution. Corr’s spin mimicked his early spin at Springfield, but this time around he kept the car out of the fence.
The race restarted on Lap 31, with Jesse Love leading the field. Christian Rose maintained seventh while Clubb, Smith, and Laster ranked 14th through 16th, all off the lead lap. Sawalch lost ground on the restart, putting the Venturini-owned cars of Love and Crews out front. However, shortly afterward, #12 Tim Monroe and his teammate in the #10, Clayton Weatherman, spun and came to a halt on the race track, yielding another yellow. Weatherman would not be able to get his car restarted and retired from the event.
Racing restarted on Lap 37. Jon Garrett fell out of the race shortly after, moving several of the Drillbrush racing drivers up the rankings. Christian Rose was shuffled out of the line on the restart and dropped to 11th.
Just shy of the halfway mark, rookie Sean Hingorani spun his Venturini Motorsports Toyota in Turn 2 while chasing down the top five. Drillbrush racer Alex Clubb made quick work of avoiding the sideways #15, as well as narrowly avoiding contact with the #16 of Kelly Kovski. The caution would coincide with the halfway break, where teams could make adjustments and change tires. Alex Clubb, three laps down at the time of the Yellow, received the free pass and got one of his laps back.
Christian Rose stands by his West Virginia Tourism Board Ford.
The race returned on Lap 53, but the biggest wreck of the night occurred a few laps later. In a three-wide drag race into Turn 3, Sean Hingorani made contact with Sean Corr, sending the Goshens, NY native around and collecting Malcolm in the Middle star-turned-race car driver Frankie Muniz. All three cars sustained heavy damage and were out of the race.
The attrition moved Clubb, Smith, and Laster up three spots and gave Clubb another one of his laps back. Clubb was now running 9th, Laster 10th, and Smith 11th with 38 to go.
Several times throughout the race, all four Drillbrush cars were running four-in-a-row on the pylon. With 30 to go, Rose, Clubb, Laster, and Smith were running 8th through 11th. Now that’s what we call brand synergy!
The race stayed green for a while as Jesse Love distanced himself from the rest of the field and lapped the Team Drillbrush competitors. Things would get interesting with 10 to go as Tim Monroe would again spin his Fast Track Chevy, this time on the exit of Turn 4.
The race went green again with 5 laps to go and Love again sped out ahead of his competitors, but Tim Monroe would send the car around a third time the next lap. This time around, Christian Rose was the beneficiary of the free pass, returning his Ford to the lead lap.
The race would restart with one lap to go. If another caution were to occur, we’d enter overtime. Jesse Love would execute once again and take home his ninth win of the season, the field running the final circuit without incident. Brent Crews would come one spot shy of sweeping the dirt events, finishing second. Will Kimmel would make an impressive drive in his sparsely sponsored Ford, rounding out the podium.
Team Drillbrush Final Results
Brayton Laster’s Drillbrush fire suit is covered in dirt after a hard fought top 10 finish. He'll need a Drillbrush tomorrow!
Christian Rose finished 7th, which ties for his career best finish. His West Virginia Tourism Board Ford finished on the lead lap, picking up a few spots on the final restart. The finish put Rose within striking distance of Frankie Muniz in points, as Rose is just nine points back with four races to go.
Alex Clubb ended the night 9th, a season best finish for him and his third career top ten run. The ran smooth, he avoided the many spins that occurred throughout the night, and brought it home without having to change tires. Clubb moves up to 15th in points, surpassing Daytona winner Greg van Alst and gaining some ground on Sean Hingorani.
Brayton Laster had a hard fought 10th place run. He lost power steering on Lap 4 and a gear issue left him driving one-handed as he had to physically keep the car in 4th gear. It was an old school slugfest, but Laster had the strength to stay in the race and score his second career top 10.
Brad Smith scored a season best 11th place finish. It’s the first time Brad Smith finished the DuQuoin race under power since 2016. Smith maintains 7th in standings, gaining some points on 6th place AJ Moyer.
Celebrate Our Debut with a Coupon Code!
We would like to thank Alex Clubb, Brayton Laster, Christian Rose, and Brad Smith for carrying our stickers this weekend. We’re proud of all of them for the great job they did on track and are happy they were able to get career and season best finishes! We wish them the best as they head to Kansas Speedway this Friday and wrap up the 2023 season over the next month!
To celebrate, for the month of September, you can get 15% off your Drillbrush order by using the coupon codes “CLUBB” “PIZZA” “ROSE” or “SMITH” on our website at checkout. Pick your favorite Drillbrush Racing driver and save!
It was a fun weekend for our NASCAR debut and we hope you all enjoyed the race! Hopefully we’ll be able to do it again sometime.