Jones Defeats Hinde in Pro Late Classic Finish

The official margin of victory was listed as 0.067 seconds.


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It took a photo finish, but Conner Jones finally denied Michael Hinde a victory in a head-to-head Pro Late Model battle on Wednesday night in the World Series of Asphalt.

For 11 of the final 12 laps, the two remained side-by-side with Jones having to keep Hinde pinched down low without losing too much momentum up top, with the margin of victory coming down to 0.067. The win was his third in World Series competition over the past two years, but his first in 2022 and it took every trick he had learned since his Speedweeks debut to pull it off.

"Really, I don't know how it happened," Jones said. "I think I was faster than him, but not positive because he kept getting back to me. When you pinch someone off (Turn) 4 or (Turn) 2, you can't do nothing because you have to get back in the gas.

"I was told he was loose, all night all, so figured pinching him down would make him lose momentum because he'd have to lift. He did a hell of a job too."

Hinde was free, which didn’t help when after taking the lead in Turn 4, got a bumper from Jones to immediately lose the spot and race again side-by-side to the finish.

"We were racing hard, and he led most of the race, but I cleared him," Hinde said. "He got me back, sent me pretty high and ran me pretty high. That’s racing, I guess. I tried everything I could to make it three in a row."

Hinde, seeking four wins in six races, drove from eighth to third in seven laps. Hinde moved to second on a Lap 12 restart and spent the rest of the race trying to permanently trying to clear Jones.

The most notable incident occurred on a Lap 14 restart when Giovanni Ruggiero drove hard into Hunter Wright into Turn 1. The two have raced hard all week and have been involved in several incidents and it appeared to boil over on Wednesday night. The latest chapter started when Hinde checked up on the front row and forced Wright to slam on brakes in front of Ruggiero. In the very next corner, Ruggiero did not slow in his entry and sent Wright around.

Ruggiero parked into the infield and told the broadcast team that his brakes failed. That restart was caused when Gus Dean, who led the first three laps crashed after breaking a wheel hub, sending a tire flying into the infield but avoiding human contact.

2022 World Series of Asphalt
Pro Late Models Race 5

1. Conner Jones
2. Michael Hinde
3. Cory Hall
4. William Sawalich
5. Derek Griffith
6. Jean-Philipe Bergeron
7. Dakota Stroup
8. Parker Chase
9. Dylan Stovall
10. Austin Thom
11. Mathieu Kingsbury
12. James Storey
13. Colton Nelson
14. Kevin Folan
15. Daryn Miller
16. Chase Williams
17. Mike Mayberry
18. Tommy Neal
19. Toni Breidinger
20. Tyler Johnson
21. Roger Maynor
22. David Weaver
23. Hunter Wright
24. Giovanni Ruggiero
25. Gus Dean
26. Mike Hopkins
27. Jett Noland
28. Chase Johnson
29. Cory Casagrande
30. Jerry Artuso
31. Bryan Kruczek
32. Diego Rodriguez
33. Dylan Ward
34. Scottie Lamp
35. Sam Fullone