Former Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown winner and perennial Langley frontrunner CE Falk came up a little bit short in his pursuit of a second win in the charity race, despite leading 11 laps.
Falk qualified sixth but made his way to third early where he would remain for much of the evening.
“We just never really could find the balance all day, we worked really hard in practice and had really good speed all day,” Falk told Short Track Scene. “We just never had that balance to get the front end turning with overloading the tire. I thought maybe if I saved enough, I could do it.”
After the lap 150 break for fuel and minor adjustments, Falk came alive, moving up from his spot in third that he had held for much of the night. Falk gained the lead on lap 164 but only held it for 11 laps before a lap traffic gave Denny Hamlin a chance to get the lead back on lap 175.
“In the last segment I was so loose, and it took forever for the tires to come in but once they came in on the short run I was able to turn underneath Kyle (Busch), and pass Denny (Hamlin) and pull out to a little bit of a lead and kind of killed the tire,” Falk explained. “It’s all we had, this is a race I wanted to win and I did everything I could, I beg and borrowed from my friends to let me use their equipment.”
For Falk, the lap traffic was a continuation of what has been a common theme in this short season, starting in the season opener and continuing tonight.
“Story of my 2018 right now, I got in front of him (Hamlin) and relaxed a little bit and the air was helping turn the car,” Falk remarked. “I kinda ran the line I wanted to run and if I hit my marks, we could pull out to a car length and a half each time, we just ran the tire off. I could have gotten back to him if we were close enough and I thought we were but I heard it slip one time and it just kept slipping after that.”
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