After last week’s shakedown at Merced, rookie Sport Mod driver Brent Curran headed into Ocean Speedway’s Pat & Jim Pettit Shootout with some uncertainty after only racing once in the previous month. That uncertainty quickly went away, as Curran had his best weekend as a Sport Mod driver yet.
Friday didn’t start well for Curran, who’s poor heat race landed him in a B main. With his car not taking well to the wet and heavy surface, Curran was unsure if he’d even be able to transfer to the main. Luckily, the team made the right adjustments, and Curran was just able to squeak in to the last transfer spot.
By virtue of being the last car in, Curran would have to line up in 24th out of the 24 car field, with plenty of work to do to salvage a decent finish. With a few minor tweaks, the car was much better for the main event. That, along with a few breaks along the way helped Curran climb all the way up to 12th with a few laps left. In the last 2 laps, Curran was able to pass two cars ahead of him to take home a Top 10 in a race that had very few cautions.
Saturday rolled around and from the get-go, you could tell that this night would go much better than the previous.
Getting to start on the pole for his heat certainly didn’t hurt. While Chris Falkenberg was able to take the lead on the start, Curran stayed right behind him for all 8 laps, with his 2nd place finish giving him an automatic transfer to the main event.
Curran would redraw a 6 for the main event, lining him up on the outside of the third row for the 26 lap feature. It would only take Curran 5 laps to go from 6th to the lead, and he immediately went to work on growing his lead. While he was smooth sailing up front, a challenger was emerging in 18th place starter Kevin Johnson. As the laps clicked off, Johnson drew closer and closer to Curran. Curran sensed this, however, and changed his line take Johnson’s momentum away.
Johnson continued to throw everything he had at Curran. Then, after taking the white flag, Johnson appeared to take the lead from Curran, but a caution would nullify the pass. The yellow would lead to one final 2 lap dash to the finish. On the restart, Curran pulled away to an insurmountable lead, and would go on to win the big $1,006 prize, by far the biggest win of his career.
Curran had this to say on this huge win: “It’s just so unreal. I’ve asked everyone to pinch me thousands of times and have to go to bed and stare at my check on the wall to convince myself it happened. I just can’t thank my family, friends and sponsors enough for the support and the awesome pep talks before the race. I just can’t believe we went down there and beat the best of the best on a smaller budget than most and it’s just huge for all of us. Never experienced such a huge reaction either.”
Brent would like to thank all of his sponsors including:
Steel City Motorsports
All Flow Muffler and Auto Repair
DRC Motorsports Media
His Wife Janelle
Father in law/Car owner Tim
Keith Brown Jr
Keith and Martie Steinmetz
Rest of the crew and family
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