Austin Rettig Scores Emotional First Win at Riverside Speedway
by Chris McWilliams on April 13, 2011
Austin Rettig Celebrates His First Win With His Father Alan (Image Credit: Woody Hampton)
The COMP Cams Super Dirt Series saw a first time winner for the second night in a row on Saturday at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Arkansas. The young gun, 16 year-old, Austin Rettig of Sikeston, Missouri just edged Billy Moyer Jr. by 0.040 seconds to grab an emotional $2,000 win. This victory was made special to Rettig as it came exactly seven years to the day after he lost his older brother, Nathan Rettig, who was only 13 years old to a tragic four wheeler accident. So, he raced with a heavy heart on Saturday with his brother at his side as he narrowly won his first Super Late Model win. In victory lane Rettig remembered his brother, “I just know that Nathan was just there with me the whole way, and this win is for him. Dad told me yesterday that I was going to win on Saturday night, but to actually do it just means so much. This one is definitely for Nathan.”
A tough field of 30 Super Late Models made the tow to Riverside International Speedway where for the first time in the history of the series drivers used time trials to set the field for heat races. Shane Harris, the Kuntz & Company Rookie of the Year Competitor, set fast time in his #0 GRT Chassis late model. However, it was Bill Frye and Billy Moyer Jr. starting on the front row of the 35 lap A-Main due to their heat race wins. The second row of the feature held the remaining heat race winners Dewaine Hottinger and Austin Rettig.
Early in the race it was Moyer Jr. looking strong as he jumped out to a straightaway advantage over Frye, Rettig, Hottinger, and Jamie Dacus. Moyer Jr. would see his lead disappear on lap 5 for a multi-car accident in turns three and four. On the following restart, Moyer Jr. pulled away from the pack, while Frye and Rettig battled door to door for the second spot. As the top three held their own battle, a driver on the move was seventh starting, Johnny Virden, who moved into fourth by lap eight. Random cautions dotted the running order over the next several laps before the caution flag flew on lap 31 for debris on the track as second place runner, Bill Frye, headed to the pit area for the second night in a row with a flat tire in the final laps. He would rejoin the tail, and the top five running order included Billy Moyer Jr., Rettig, Virden, Brandon Smith, and Dacus.
Bill Frye #66 and Billy Moyer Jr. #21 Battle in the A-Main (Image Credit: Woody Hampton)
As the race went green for the final time Rettig pulled alongside Moyer Jr. and the two would battle side-by-side for the lead for the next three laps as they exchanged the top spot. Coming to the white flag, Moyer Jr. inched ahead and looked to be on his way to the win before his car slightly pushed in turn four coming to the checkered flag, allowing Rettig to get one final run on the low side. Rettig’s final run would prove to be just enough as he would score the win by 0.040 seconds as the crowd went wild. The top five in the final running order included Moyer Jr., Virden, Dacus, and Gary Christian. Rettig earned his first win in style, over stiff competition, and on an emotional day as he was able to remember his late brother in a very special way. The COMP Cams Super Dirt Series will take the upcoming weekend off from racing before returning to action in a pair of co-sanctioned events with the MARS Dirt Car Series at Batesville Motor Speedway (Locust Grove, Arkansas) on Friday, April 22nd and at West Plains Motor Speedway (West Plains, Missouri) on Saturday, April 23rd. Visit www.COMPDirt.com for more information on the series.