Sprint Car Insider – Driver Exclusive, FRESNO, Calif. (May 29, 2018) —> Cody Key put his name in the history books this weekend by picking up the 17th Annual Tachi Palace Nationals Super 600 Title at Lemoore Raceway.
Recent weeks have seen the David Key Racing – C&K Towing, number 15, CS9, make huge strides in performance. With qualifying times near the top of the board on a consistent basis, and main event speed, Key found himself scratching the surface of podium finishes. Confidence on the rise, and set ups dialed in, he came into the weekend rolling like a snowball, picking up momentum with every race.
Night one of the 17th Annual Tachi Palace Nationals Key clocked in 10th quick with an 11.148. After getting through his heat with a victory, quick-time driver, Ben Worth, drew a 10 for main event inversion. This would put Key on the pole for night one’s, 30-lap feature.
As the race went green after an early caution, Key put the hammer down on the field. A 10-lap green flag run saw Cody Key extend his margin to over 1.7 seconds. On lap 24 the caution would wave. With six to go, Key would have to hold off a charging Ben Worth, who had made his way up to third, turning blistering fast lap times. However when the field went back to green, Key never flinched. In fact, Worth gave up the final podium position to Jake Andreotti.
They say good things come to those who wait; for Cody Key, the wait had been long enough. He lead the field to green and never looked back, en route to a wire to wire, dominating victory.
“This was my first win at this track since Jr. Sprints,” said Key, in Victory Lane. “We’ve been getting faster every week, and my dad really had the car dialed in tonight, It feels so good to win, I know I belong up here.”
Although the monkey was off his back, and his confidence was soaring, the mission wasn’t over. Coming into night two, Key found himself in the thick of contention for the overall Tachi Palace National Championship. Night two saw Key roll in third in points, just four behind Ben Worth, and three behind Andreotti.
Another 10th place qualifying effort set the stage for the night. Andreotti clocked in one position ahead, and point’s leader, Worth, ended up 13th on the chart. A solid 3rd in the heat landed Key on the outside of row-four for the weekend finale. He would roll off side by side with the driver he needed to beat for the championship – Jake Andreotti. As the field went green high point driver coming into the night, Ben Worth, had trouble and found himself out of contention.
The pressure was on for Key.
He held steady and put on a brilliant charge up to 3rd, holding Andreotti at bay for the entire race. Just when it looked to be over, the caution waved coming to the checkered flag. This would set the stage for a two-lap shootout to the finish, to determine a winner, and a champion. The green flag dropped, Key went for second over Austin Warmerdam, and they both dropped fourth. Warmerdam was able to slide back in front of Key to claim the second position, but 3rd on the night marked the teams second straight podium, and looked to be enough for the overall championship.
In terms of overall points, although the track deemed it a tie, and split the $1000 prize with Jake Andreotti, Key won his first feature at Lemoore Raceway since running the Jr. Sprint class.
Although the record books count it as a tie, Key added yet another chapter to the storied legacy of racing in Lemoore. He captured victory at the race that single handedly saved the track back in 2002. He adds his name to the likes of Faccinto, Scelzi, Hagopian and many others who have claimed victory at the prestigious event, and that title, no one can take away.
FEATURED IMAGE: PC – Bryan Lugo Photography
Cody Key would like to cordially thank all of his sponsors and partners for helping him get to this point: David Key Trucking, C&K Towing, Factory Kahne Indy, CS9 Chassis, Vivid Design Co., Fresno Monsters Hockey, Central Valley Environmental, Ron’s Towing,Simpson Race Products, Shell Shock Designs, and Lineman Motorsports.
QUICK RESULTS: 17th Annual Tachi Palace Nationals, May 25-26, 2018, Lemoore Raceway
May 25 – Lemoore, Ca
Qualifyiing – 10th
Heat- 1st (1)
Main- 1st (1)
May 26 – Lemoore, Ca
Qualifying – 10thHeat – 1st (1)
Main – 3rd (8)
ON THE RADAR: Catch Cody Key running –
June 8, 2018 – King of California Round 7 at Keller Auto Raceway at Plaza Park
June 9, 2018 – King of California Round 8 at Lemoore Raceway
June 26-30, 2018 – California Speedweek (Dixon, Delta, Keller, Lemoore)
July – CLAY CUP NATIONALS – Demming Speedway. (Bellingham, Washington)
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