Marco Andretti held of a charge by Local Hero Luke Fenhaus at Slinger (Wis.) Super Speedway to win the Camping World SRX Series Round 5 and become the fourth different winner in five races. It was the first win for the third generation driver in a car with fenders and a roof.
Andretti won over Local Hero Luke Fenhaus, 17, in a two-lap shootout.
“Honestly, I know it’s not a popular win, but I tried to be as clean as possible,” said Andretti in a release. “I’m so proud of (Fenhaus). I’m trying to learn from him, to be honest with you. Just delighted to be able to do it without touching him. I know it’s not a popular win, but us old guys have to get it when we can.
“He’s young, he’s got a lot of time ahead of him.”
Andretti joins Doug Coby, the Local Hero from Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway, Tony Stewart, with wins at Knoxville (Iowa) Speedway and Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, and last week’s winner Ernie Francis, Jr. from Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Ind. as series winners.
Andretti beat Fenhaus by a slim margin of .194 seconds in a green-white-checkered shootout.
There were an amazing 35 lead changes in the SRX Slinger 151-lap feature among three drivers. The side-by-side action was aided by the high banks on this quarter mile track.
“I think (Marco) jumped it a little bit, which didn’t help me at all,” said Fenhaus. “I was better on the top. I felt like we could roll on the outside. I was just worried that he’d shove me up the racetrack if I went to the outside. I probably would’ve lost either way. He would’ve run us hard. It is what it is. Second place, I can’t complain.”
Fenhaus raced his way into the 12-driver lineup by winning the Slinger Nationals on Tuesday over NASCAR K&N driver Derek Kraus. Fenhaus started the SRX Slinger race second and led 18 times for 92 laps, the most in the field.
With a third-place finish, Stewart stretched his championship points’ advantage to 38 over Ernie Francis, Jr.
“My buddy Marco winning the race and us having another podium finish and gaining some more points in the standings with one race to go is a big deal to me,” said Stewart. “The first five weeks of this series have been awesome. To go to three totally different racetracks – the three paved tracks are totally different from each other, and then two totally different dirt tracks – it’s been a lot of fun. To sit there each weekend and see how much fun everybody is having, that’s the payoff for all this. It’s payoff for all of us as drivers.”
The SRX Series is designed to allow veteran drivers from several different series to race against young up-and-comers. Slinger showcased that.
“To get ready for this race, I watched some YouTube videos and Luke Fenhaus was the star of a lot of them,” Stewart said. “Getting to spend the day with that kid has been the highlight of my day, to be honest. He’s the most composed 17-year-old I’ve ever seen. There are kids in the (NASCAR) Truck Series and Xfinity Series who don’t have the composure that this guy’s got. I hope somebody will give him a shot, even if it’s a one-race deal to give him a crack at it and make himself a name.”
Hailie Deegan finished fourth racing for Tony Kanaan, who had a scheduling conflict. Battling for the position with Paul Tracy with two laps remaining, Deegan pushed up into Tracy and triggered a mult-car accident. Deegan will rejoin the Camping World SRX Series at Nashville, and the season finale will also feature Chase Elliott.
Bobby Labonte rounded out the top five.
— Camping World SRX Series (@SRXracing) July 11, 2021
Heat Race No. 1 (30 laps, starting lineup determined by random draw): 1. Marco Andretti (Started 1; led laps 1-30), 2. Tony Stewart (3rd), 3. Luke Fenhaus (7), 4. Bobby Labonte (2), 5. Helio Castroneves (4), 6. Ernie Francis Jr. (5), 7. Greg Biffle (12), 8. Hailie Deegan (6), 9. Michael Waltrip (11), 10. Bill Elliott (10), 11. Willy T. Ribbs (9), 12. Paul Tracy (8 – completed 27 laps)
Heat Race No. 2 (29 laps, starting order was invert of Heat 1 finish): 1. Greg Biffle (Started 5, led laps 19-29), 2. Hailie Deegan (4th; led laps 2-18), 3. Ernie Francis Jr. (6), 4. Luke Fenhaus (9), 5. Tony Stewart (10), 6. Helio Castroneves (7), 7. Marco Andretti (11), 8. Bobby Labonte (8), 9. Willy T. Ribbs (1; led lap 1), 10. Paul Tracy (12), 11. Bill Elliott (2), 12. Michael Waltrip (3rd; completed 3 laps)
Feature (151 laps; starting lineup was based on finishing positions in Heats 1 and 2): 1. Marco Andretti (Started 1; led laps 1-2, 6, 9, 11-12, 14-16, 20-21, 150-151), 2. Luke Fenhaus (2nd; led laps 3-5, 7-8, 10, 13, 17-19, 22-30, 32-53, 57, 60, 62-66, 71, 79-81, 84, 87-88, 104-114, 116, 123-128, 131-149), 3. Tony Stewart (3; led laps 31, 54-56, 58-59, 61, 67-70, 72-78, 82-83, 85-86, 89-103, 115, 117-122, 129-130), 4. Hailie Deegan (6), 5. Bobby Labonte (7), 6. Ernie Francis Jr. (5), 7. Willy T. Ribbs (10), 8. Greg Biffle (4), 9. Bill Elliott (9), 10. Helio Castroneves (8), 11. Paul Tracy (12; completed 148/151 laps), 12. Michael Waltrip (Started 11th; 148 laps)
Points Standings: 1. Tony Stewart (199 points), 2. Ernie Francis Jr. (161 points, -38), 3. Marco Andretti (155 points, -44), 4. Bobby Labonte (145 points, -54), 5. Helio Castroneves (140 points, -59), 6. Tony Kanaan (139 points, -60), 7. Michael Waltrip (93 points, -106), 8. Paul Tracy (90 points, -109), 9. Bill Elliott (66 points, -133), 10. Willy T. Ribbs (63 points, -136)
* Hailie Deegan earned points for Kanaan at Knoxville and Slinger.