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August 7, 2022

Hollywood 500 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

05 August 2022
Endurance League Events | Hollywood 500
NASCAR Pro Trucks | Auto Club Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Brian Young with Firelight eSports took the checkered flag tonight in the Endurance League Events Hollywood 500 at Auto Club Speedway ahead of Blake Trawick and James McKee. Young joined us after his victory tonight commenting, “It was just really lucky timing right there and the pit stop on that caution before the GWC was just as good as I could possibly ask for and it just put me in a really good position to try and go for the win.” Young came out of the night with $115 in prize winnings.

Justin Anderson was in control of the field as the green flag came out over the Auto Club Speedway and had a good launch off the start clearing ahead of Brian Young. Anderson was under immediate pressure as Young and Dillon Poteet went three wide with Anderson for the lead only a few laps into the night. Anderson maintained the lead as the drivers put the first 10 laps behind them but had spent most of the race to that point with Poteet looking to get alongside him.

Blake Gordon took advantage of the situation and overtook Anderson for the lead shortly thereafter but wasn’t able to run away with it as Anderson stayed close to Gordon’s rear bumper. The lead was handed back and forth between Gordon and Anderson with Katlyn Heydt closing up on the battle with 20 laps completed with Gordon in the lead. Heydt was running in 3rd place already up 6 spots from the start. Heydt and Gordon came together sending both drivers around resulting in severe damage to Heydt’s Toyota and giving the lead back to Anderson going into lap 30.

Much of the field started to single file out while the drivers settled in, biding their time while the laps counted down. Poteet closed back in on the leader and was pushing Anderson trying to separate from the rest of the field as the two drivers started to pull away from Cody Smith in 3rd. As they passed the 50 laps mark, Anderson and Poteet had built almost a 1 second gap over the rest of the field with Brian Young running in 3rd ahead of Jacob Fyfe and Todd Thomas. The 33 cars on track were still showing a lot of patience and made only fairly calculated moves throughout the field.

The field closed back in on the leaders and Poteet was overtaken by Young who set his sights to Anderson as he actively looked for a way around for the lead. Fyfe continued his forward progression battling over 3rd place side by side with Poteet for several laps. The battle allowed Anderson and Young to again break away from the pack before Fyfe cleared into the position. During lap 65 Poteet pulled down pit road ahead of the rest of the field under green flag conditions setting up to overtake the leaders through pit strategy.

Unfortunately for Poteet, the caution flag came out only two laps later ruining his plan completely as the rest of the drivers came down pit road safely under the caution leaving Poteet one lap behind the leaders. Anderson held the lead off the restart ahead of Young going into lap 74 after a brief side by side battle that Young conceded from. The field again quickly single filed out as drivers were actively pacing themselves with almost 200 laps left in the night. Dannis Faircloth was up an impressive 28 spots from where he started the race and was running in 6th.

Young continued to pressure Anderson for the lead with 90 laps completed but had yet to make an attempt for the lead seemingly bidding his time. Fyfe was leading the secondary pack behind the leaders and had closed the gap up to Young bring Joe Yakes and Smith with him as the top 5 drivers had over a 1 second lead ahead of Shaun Pechin in 6th. Anderson continued to control the field as they crossed the 100-lap mark with the top 5 running single file behind him with Smith taking up the rear of the lead pack.

Coming out of lap 106, Anderson was the first to run down pit road under the green flag but lost a few seconds when he slid through his pit box and had to reposition before the crew was allowed to provide service to his Chevrolet. As the rest of the field went through their pit cycles, Anderson regained the lead on lap 114 with over a 3 second gap ahead of Young. Young was consistently reeling the leader back in however with his fresher tires closing by several tenths of a second each lap.

As the field approached the halfway point, Young had completely closed the gap to Anderson and overtook for the lead and quickly started to pull away. The early pit stop seemed to be a mistake as Anderson fell back further as more drivers caught him sending him back to 6th showing the falloff of his tires with only a handful a laps more on them than the drivers who pitted later with Young. 26 of the 41-car field were still on track with Kevin McGarvey in 23rd being the last truck on the lead lap.

Yakes caught Young and was able to take the lead away with Chad Mikosz following him up into 2nd while Young found himself under pressure from Fyfe as he tried to hold onto 3rd. Michael Strohl found his way into the battle for the lead getting alongside Smith and the two drivers battled side by side for several laps before Strohl was able to use the momentum from the outside line to move up to the outside of Yakes and challenge for the lead. Young and Smith ran alongside each other directly behind them battling over 3rd.

On lap 144, Strohl cleared ahead for the lead with Young pulling around to the outside of Yakes filling the hole that Strohl left behind and pushing Yakes back to 3rd ahead of Smith. Strohl maintained control of the field followed closely by the top 6 with Blake Trawick running in the rear of that pack with 100 laps remaining in the night. Young and Yakes battled back and forth over 2nd place with Young to the inside with Smith pushing from behind. That battle didn’t take any pressure off Strohl as he wasn’t able to pull away before Young cleared into 2nd the pack stayed with the leader.

Smith took back 2nd place from Young and made a move for the lead but couldn’t complete the pass falling back behind Strohl. Trawick started moving forward up into 4th and closed up on Smith’s rear bumper. Much of the field had closed back up into one long single file line as drivers were looking at saving their equipment with the green flag run stretching out with only a handful of quick battles throughout. Strohl started aggressively weaving his truck down the straights trying to break the draft with Young behind him to make any attempt for the lead more difficult.

With 80 laps remaining, Strohl started to break away with Young and Trawick in tow. Fyfe was running in 4th and led the secondary pack almost a second behind the lead pack. The lead pack came down pit road coming out of lap 176 under green flag conditions with Trawick beating Strohl down the pit exit and taking control of the field for the first time tonight. Young fell back to 5th behind Fyfe while Trawick and Strohl had a strong 3 second lead over James McKee in 3rd.

Going into the last 50 laps of the night, Trawick and Strohl extended the gap ahead of the field to almost 4 seconds working together to get as far ahead as possible with the laps counting down. Aggression throughout the field was picking up with every position becoming more important with the end of the night closely approaching. Trawick started to pull away from Strohl with a gap between them growing to over 2 seconds as Strohl fell off the leading pace.

Trawick came down pit road on lap 214 giving control of the field back to Strohl who stayed out on track. The rest of the field came down pit road over the next several laps while Strohl stayed out, possibly hoping for a caution, until lap 217. Young and Trawick were running in 2nd and 3rd respectively when Strohl pulled off track and quickly took the lead away. Strohl rejoined the track in 9th behind McKee and Trawick took control of the field with 30 laps remaining.

A late race caution in the final moments restacked the field for a GWC finish with Young in control of the field ahead of Trawick in 2nd and Strohl back up to 3rd. Trawick looked to the inside of Young but couldn’t complete the move while McKee moved up into 3rd. Trawick took another look coming out of the final corner but Brian Young maintained the lead taking the checkered flag after a long, hard fought battle with Blake Trawick, James McKee, Michael Chrobok, and David Grantham rounding out the top 5 finishers tonight at Auto Club Speedway.

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