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 2018 MRT Race 16 - Livonia (Marathon Finale 100)

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Jesse Pizzajarvi
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PostSubject: 2018 MRT Race 16 - Livonia (Marathon Finale 100)   Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:17 pm



Results
Final Points

Spoiler:
 

Thank you all for a great season. Can't wait to kick off 2019!

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NickSant15
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PostSubject: Re: 2018 MRT Race 16 - Livonia (Marathon Finale 100)   Yesterday at 9:43 pm

Powell Racing ends the MRT season on a meh note

Jacob Smith got involved in a wreck, which put him off the pace for the rest of the day and ended up with a 31st place finish. Michael Bell in his final race with Powell ran in the top 10 for a little while, but fell back to 17th by the end of the race. Smith ended up 22nd in points, while Bell ended up 15th in points. Even though he did finish higher than Smith in the points, he'll be the one to be release because he was very unhappy with the performance of the #60 team in the first half of the season.

Jacob Smith will be back in the #62 next year and will be teammates with Dustin Boden who will be taking over the #60 from Bell. As for Michael Bell, no plans have been announced and there's not very many rides available for him. However, Bell wants to stay in MRT next year and is looking around for a car to drive next season.

All Michael Bell had to say of the situation was "As of right now there's nothing to announce for next year, but my full intentions are to be in a car full-time in MRT."
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PostSubject: Re: 2018 MRT Race 16 - Livonia (Marathon Finale 100)   Today at 1:30 am

Demps wins MRT finale, Egiziano second yet again, Chapman falls short of title

With a brief stint in an offhand Renesse Racing car in the ill-fated SCRG, Pat Demps' opportunity seemed to end there. However, with some shuffling in the driver lineup in the #2 Aflac Ford in MRT and a new Director of Development appointed mid-season, the Braddock Heights, MD driver was thrust into a challenge that he did not expect. Embracing it, Demps did not have the most stellar of results in the three prior starts with his best finish being 19th at Road America. He started the Marathon Finale 100 from the 39th starting position and found himself in a great spot by the end of the race due to proper strategy and a well-handling car. A late race caution fell while he was leading the event, allowing him to cruise behind the pace car for the final three laps to take his first AARO victory.

"This is an unbelievable feeling," Demps excitedly said in victory lane following burnouts and a dousing in Gatorade via his crew. "I didn't know what I was gonna do with my life three months ago, but then I got a phone call from Roger [Renesse] and Mark [Bryant], said they needed someone to drive a car. I told them 'You want me when I've been out of a car for, like, two years?' and they said yep. Now here I am. This crew is incredible. Gave me great cars, we just hadn't had much luck to go with them. Today felt different even though we started as far back as we did. I'll cherish this; such an awesome day for everybody."

Demps, finishing 40th in the overall standings, gives Ritcher Racing its third MRT win of the season. It is unknown where he will drive for 2019, but the 28-year-old has given himself a second life with this finish to show that he has what it takes.

Andrew Egiziano has not often talked in the press over the course of his first full MRT season and hasn't had many positive experiences to speak on. Numerous DNFs via crash or engine expiration have set him back and even on some occasions where nothing has happened to him, he has not run strongly. This race and the XL Foods 150 have been the two exceptions. In both events, he showed flashes of speed and skill only to come up as the bridesmaid to a Ritcher Racing-powered Ford.

"It's a tough pill to take, but at least we were in there," the Long Island native remarked of his day. "Just wanted to get these guys in the winner's circle before the year was out. But I'll be happy knowing we made steps. We'll be back next year and I'm sure we'll be even better. It's only our first year. We got room to grow."

The driver who beat out Egiziano at Alberta, Emerson Doherty, and Donovan Chapman were both unable to throw Daniel Argota off of the top spot in the standings. Chapman found himself falling back late in the going before the race-ending caution flew on Lap 95 which saw future teammate and polesitter Gabe Neville flipping after hitting the pit wall passenger side-first in his one-off appearance. The rookie from Dayton, OH finished one spot ahead of champion Daniel Argota, but needed to gain more spots than that in order to surpass the 12 team in the standings. Chapman finished third overall, 32 points behind, and will contend for the title once again in 2019 in the same car.

"Sucks, but that's racing," Chapman said in a somewhat dejected tone of voice. "They did what they had to. He kept himself in it as a champion should. Even when things got tough, he held out and he won it fair and square. We gave it everything we had. Those guys [SGR] just have it figured out, huh? We'll come back stronger over the offseason and go get 'em next year. We have a good group together and we're only gonna get better."

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