NASCAR Xfinity Series
From Concord to Charlotte, Josh Berry's NASCAR Journey Comes Full Circle
May 29, 2022
Hunter Robbins remained atop the southern Pro Late Model power rankings with a statement victory on Saturday night at Montgomery Motor Speedway in the Keeping the Peace 100.
The driver of the Ronnie Sanders Racing No. 18 posted the quickest time in qualifications, methodically worked its way back from a six-car invert and caught a fortuitous caution to take the lead from Giovanni Ruggiero with 26 to go.
Robbins was unchallenged from there to claim his third victory of the season following triumphs in the Alabama 200 at Montgomery and Allen Turner Pro opener at Pensacola.
"Everything was really good tonight, but it was really tough out there," Robbins said. "I'm not sure we could have caught the leader without that caution so it could have gone a different way. I'm grateful for the year we're having. We've got to keep working hard. Thankful for the people around me."
Ruggiero had led since the Lap 35 restart when he picked off Jim Wall. In the opening moments of the race, Ruggiero had inadvertently climbed up the left rear of Wall’s car trying to take the lead. The Anthony Campi Racing driver bided his time and took advantage on that restart.
On the decisive restart, Ruggiero took the top side but wasn’t able to carry the momentum away from Robbins.
"I'm not sure why he took the top," Robbins said. "It can help you on restarts, but it helped us to be on the bottom."
In hindsight, Ruggiero wishes he had taken that one back.
"Hunter is such a great driver," Ruggiero said. "Our No. 81 was great all weekend, and I probably should have taken the bottom."
Ruggiero also got picked off by Jake Garcia on that final restart but was able to get back by on the final lap. That was the 1-2-3 podium finish in the Alabama capital.
"I made the pass so suddenly that I thought he might have had an issue on that last lap," Ruggiero said."
Robbins started the race from sixth and methodically picked off drivers one by one on restarts. The first pass came on the initial start. The next couple of passes came off a caution for a slowed Jojo Wilkinson with 65 laps to go. The final caution came for a similar stall by Harrison Halder in Turn 1 with 26 to go.
Beyond those stalls and restarts, it was a largely uneventful race, and everyone took their equipment back in one piece.
Montgomery Show Me the Money #3
Montgomery Motor Speedway
May 28, 2022