The strategy was one lap away from not working out, but Donnie Wilson ultimately won the All-American 400 on Saturday night at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.
The final caution waved on Lap 327 and most of the frontrunners had saved their tires for that exact moment. Wilson quickly dispatched Matthew Craig, who stayed out on older tires, and held off a hard-charging Spencer Davis to win his first 400-lap guitar.
Wilson had won guitars for Southern Super Series events at the Tennessee Fairgrounds but never the 400-lap marquee event. This win also netted him a $16,000 winner’s share of the purse.
“This is the one I’ve always wanted,” Wilson said. “This is the one you dream about getting as a short tracker.”
Wilson was probably one lap away from losing that guitar too. Davis had 175 laps earlier in the event and only cycled out due to varying tire strategies. But on even tires, he started to reel Wilson in. Davis got to within one car-length but simply ran out of time.
“We just came up a little bit short,” Davis said, driving for Bond Suss Racing. “We saved out last four tires to make a push there at the end. We just came up a little short.”
Even still, Davis was nine seconds back with 15 laps to go. He capitalized on lap traffic to get within one lap of his first career Super Late Model triumph.
Instead, the 47-year-old Wilson earned his own signature short track victory.
“I know it doesn’t look it, but I gave it all I had,” Wilson said. “I didn’t hold anything back. We just ran into some traffic and it was hot, slick out there. And I saw him in my rear view. He was driving his tail off. That was a heck of a finish.
The first 200 laps were run largely uneventful.
The first set of pit stops took place on Lap 125. Everyone on the lead lap except Davis hit pit road. It was an unorthodox call by Suss but it played itself out in their favor. He led the next 10 laps and led the rest of his sum near the halfway point.
Mason Mingus, a former NASCAR Truck Series regular and track local, led 25 laps heading into the final caution. But his strategy left him devoid of tires and he was quickly devoured by those on fresher tires.
Once Wilson was out front, that was the race.
The complete results can be found below.
- Donnie Wilson
- Spencer Davis
- Christian Eckes
- Cole Rouse
- Mason Mingus
- Tyler Ankrum
- Bubba Pollard
- Matt Craig
- Casey Roderick
- Austin Thaxton
- Danny O’Quinn
- Dennis Schoenfield
- Kyle McCallum
- Joseph Meyer
- Chandler Smith
- Nathan Davis
- Casey Johnson
- Steve Wallace
- Raphael Lessard
- Chad Finley
- Cole Timm
- Stephen Nasse
- Wille Allen
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