PETERSEN MEDIA: Making waves in California over the last handful of years, Justin Sanders took his talents to the national scene over the weekend and flexed some muscle. Battling with the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour during their opening week of action, Sanders picked up two podium finishes, including coming just feet from his first series win.
“I can’t say enough about this race team,” Justin Sanders said. “Coming to an unfamiliar place and having that much speed all weekend was really a huge confidence boost for us to kick our season off. Saturday night was extremely bittersweet, but we will try again this weekend closer to home.”
Opening the 2020 season up on Friday night, Sanders would line the North County Plastering/Yuba Sutter Aviation/Alkaline88 third in his heat race. With passing points the name of the game, the Aromas, CA pilot would pick some up by way of a second place finish.
Finishing second in his qualifier from the fourth starting position, Sanders would lock himself directly into the feature event and rolled off the starting grid from the third starting position.
On a very slick and abrasive surface, Sanders would find himself chasing after second running John Carney, II as he ran in the third position for the first half of the race.
With Carney having issues, Sanders would take over the second position but soon found himself in a dog fight with Gio and Dominic Scelzi. Falling back to fourth, Sanders would get his elbows up and claim the final spot on the podium at the line.
Back in action on Saturday night, Sanders would open the night up by charging from 5th to third in his heat race before finishing second in his qualifier.
Locking directly into the feature event, Sanders would take the green flag from the eighth starting position on a very slick surface that was on the verge of taking rubber and the drop of the green flag.
Slicing and dicing his way through the field as his California fans have grown accustomed to, Sanders made a big move on the 22nd lap as he worked his way past Sam Hafertepe, Jr to grab the race lead.
Racing in traffic, Sanders would lose the lead on the 28th lap, setting up for quite an exciting finish.
Taking the white flag in second, Sanders would dive under Hafertepe in the first set of turns and exit turn two in the race lead. Still contending with traffic during the final lap of the race, Sanders would bump the wall exiting turn four and it would allow Hafetepe to shoot under him and beat him to the line by just .116 seconds.
Though finishing second, Sanders was disappointed to come up that short from his first national tour win.
“It was a tough pill to swallow, but it makes us that much more hungry this weekend in California,” Sanders said. “Thanks to all the great people who are on this car and make all of this possible. Also, thanks to everyone who rolls their sleeves up and lends a hand in the pit area.”
Justin and his team would like to thank North County Plastering, Andy’s Construction, Yuba Sutter Aviation, Roadside 24hr Service, Alkaline88, Wicked Cushion, Roger’s Diner, Factory Kahne, BG Labels and Tee’s, Walker Performance Filtration, Dixon and Son Tires, Ernie’s Service Center, East Lake Village, FK Rod Ends, Triple X Race Co., DMI, Keizer Wheels, Wings Unlimited, Ti64 Titanium, AIS Heating and Sheet Metal, Fred Lint and Family, JonSan Racing, Sandblast Service, G&N Construction, Steitz Towing, Durden Construction, Ernie’s Service Center, and Steve Duppman Racing for their continued support in 2020.
ON TAP: Sanders will be in action again on Friday night in Merced, CA, Saturday night in Placerville, CA and on Sunday night in Petaluma, CA all with the ASCS National Tour.
BY THE NUMBERS: Races-2, Wins-0, Top 5’s-2, Top-10’s-2
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Justin Sanders by visiting his website, www.teamsandersmotorsports.com.
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