Drown Picks Up ALMS Opener at Attica

Brian Liskai

ATTICA, Ohio - April 16. While the cold temperatures and wind made for achilly night Friday on True Value of Woodville Night at Attica Raceway Park, Wooster, Ohio's Doug Drown was hot as he held off Rusty Schlenk, Jeep Van Wormer and Steve Casebolt to claim the opening feature win of the 2010 Sunoco American Late Model Series (ALMS).

For the first 26 laps of the 30-lap feature Drown and Ryan Missler swapped the lead, then sixth starter Schlenk got involved along with 10th starter VanWormer as they diced it out in lapped traffic. Drown held off Schlenk and VanWormer the last three laps for the win, his third career victory at Attica.

After a couple of bad starts that saw multi-car yellows, Missler, the defending Attica champion, bolted into the lead from his pole-starting spot with Drown, Ryan Markham, Jeremy Canada and Schlenk in tow. Missler, Drown and Markham raced nose to tail as Schlenk moved into fourth on lap three in the non-stop affair. Missler used the extreme high side of the track to pull into lapped traffic by lap nine as Drown closed in, with Markham comfortably in third. Meanwhile,  Schlenk, Steve Casebolt and Van Wormer waged a great race for fourth.

As Missler methodically worked his way through traffic, Drown remained in striking distance until the leader Missler chose the bottom to deal with traffic exiting turn two, and Drown pounced on the opportunity to drive to the outside and take the lead on lap 15. Missler wasn't ready to give up, as he raced side-by-side with Drown in lapped traffic. With Schlenk, VanWormer,

and Casebolt right behind, the top five could have been covered by a napkin over the next few laps. During the closing circuits, Schlenk, the opening night feature winner at ARP, pressured Drown, who patiently followed lapped traffic on the high side, but with two laps to go, Drown was able to get a little bit of clear track and hold his line to score the win over Schlenk, VanWormer, Missler and Casebolt.

"I learned from Ryan in lapped traffic," Drown said after the race. "He was the first one there and he dove down low and I thought "I've got him.' I learned a lesson there - it wasn't really a mistake. When you're leading you have to do whatyou have to do. They were just as fast as us, so you have to stay in line as long as possible. I got into the one car, which I apologize for, but it's going for the win and you're in lapped traffic three wide. You have to do what you have to do."

Finish - Attica ALMS

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