(Kodie Conner with his 3rd place trophy / Photo Credit : LWPictures.com)
SOPHIA, NC : Being able to salvage the bad days to go along with the good days are what makes a champion in the grind of a long race season. Recently named as a member of the 2016 Champion Spark Plugs class, this past Saturday night was no different for current Pro All Stars Series South point leader Kodie Conner at the .455-mile Caraway Speedway. Conner came home with a third place finish after engine issues early relegated his performance.
Conner qualified the Jerry Conner Insurance/PFC Brakes Toyota in the sixth position and after the top ten redraw he lined up eighth to start the 125 lap race.
Early on the leaders set a pace and Conner was in cruise mode as he was in the process of tire conservation while he moved up the leaderboard.
On lap 35 the race took a turn for Conner as a broken valve spring, it was later discovered, dropped the #45 to just 7 cylinders. With the long straightaways at Caraway Speedway Conner would have to adjust how he drove the car.
“I tried to peddle it all through the race after that and around lap 100 or so I tried to work my way up through the field and gave it all I had with what little we had,” said Conner on his adjustment to the engine woes.
(Photo Credit : LWPictures)
On the final restart with just 14 laps to go, Conner lined up third behind the leader. The leader did not get a good jump and this allowed the outside line to go, which hindered Conner’s momentum.
Conner was able to get alongside the previous leader Jared Fryar for second, but being down on power he was unable to complete the pass.
“The last restart the whole outside row got a really good start and going into turn 1 I was even with the 16 [Fryar] that was the leader on that restart. We just didn’t have enough for him off the corner so he drove off a little bit from us.”
“The loss of power helped me through the corners to save what I had and with throttle control, I was able to pick up what I lost on the straightaway in the corners,” Conner said about his protection of third place.
In the end, Conner salvaged a third place result and retained his lead in the PASS South point standings by 2 over his nearest challenger.
The next event for Conner will be on Friday, May 27th at Concord Speedway when the Pro All Stars Series rolls back into action.
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