Roahrig Passes Wease on the Last Lap to Win at IRP

Tyler Roahrig. (T.J. Buffenbarger photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (August 1, 2022) — Tyler Roahrig utilized some last lap heroics to win Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial with the 500 Sprint Car Tour Monday night at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. After setting fast time and rolling a 10 for the feature inversion, Roahrig, from Plymouth, Indiana, charged through the field and passed Billy Wease on the final circuit for the victory. The win was Roahrig’s third sprint car victory during the 2022 season for the winner of this year’s Little 500.

Roahrig was surprised in victory lane that he was able to get a second shot at Wease to make the pass for the lead after his first attempt was unsuccessful.

“Coming to two go and the white I just thought we were going to end up second,” said Roahrig. “I just couldn’t get it setup right to make the pass into three and I think the lapped car kind of held him up a little bit through one and two. I had a really good run down the backstretch and my Evan Jackson engine carried me down the backstretch pretty fast. “I was kind of surprised the stuck honestly. I wasn’t sure what the outcome was going to be, if we’re going spin out or make the pass so, but we are very thankful.”

Afterwards Wease felt the handle was starting to go away on his car and opened the door for Roahrig to challenge.

“I really don’t know if there’s much I could have done differently,” said Wease. “I was getting really loose getting in and through the center there. The sun was really bad in the center of three and have really hard to see and I must have got off bad off two. Tyler got a better run than me in three and ended up stealing the deal. I was just a little too loose to come back out on him.”

Dakota Armstrong built a sizeable lead from the pole position to start the 30-lap feature with Wease biding his time in second position. 10 laps into the feature Roahrig worked his way into the top five and was pressuring Kody Swanson and Russ Gamester for third and fourth position. Both Swanson and Roahrig shuffled Gamester back to fifth on lap 11.

By lap 12 Wease closed in on the back bumper of Armstrong for the lead, but five laps Swanson and Roahrig were able to close in on the lead duo to create a four-car race for the lead. Roahrig took third place from Swanson on lap 21 by diving into turn one. At the same time Wease drove under Armstrong to take the lead off turn two. Roahrig quickly pounced for second position driving around of Armstrong through turns three and four to take the position.

Roahrig started to pressure Wease for the lead when the caution appeared on lap 23 for Doug Fitzwater slowing in turn two.

During the restart Swanson drove up to third position as Wease was able to open up a four-car length lead over Roahrig. That lead was short lived though as Roahrig quickly pulled up to Wease’s back bumper as the lead duo pulled away from Swanson.

Roahrig took a look under Wease on lap two off turn four on lap 20, but could not complete the pass. Roahrig used the final five laps to setup the winning pass diving around Wease going into turn three to take the lead and held off Wease from turning back under him for the victory. Wease, Swanson, Bobby Santos III, and Armstrong rounded out the top five.

Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial
500 Sprint Car Tour
Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park
Brownsburg, IN
Monday, August 1, 2022

Feature (30 Laps):
1. Tyler Roahrig
2. Billy Wease
3. Kody Swanson
4. Bobby Santos III
5. Dakota Armstrong
6. Kyle Larson
7. Tanner Swanson
8. Kyle O’Gara
9. Taylor Ferns
10. C.J. Leary
11. Ken Schrader
12. Russ Gamester
13. Joe Ligouri
14. Nathan Byrd
15. Shane Butler
16. Kyle Robbins
17. Justin Harper
18. Tony Main
19. Quinton Saayman
20. Travis Welpott
21. Davey Hamilton Jr.
22. Doug Fitzwater
23. Derek Bichak
24. Cory Buttler
25. Jim Sheets