Saturday night at Motor Mile Speedway, Karl Budzevski picked up his fifth win of the season in the Limited Sportsman division. Championship points leader, Cory Dunn finished second. It was nothing out of the ordinary as the two have combined to finish one-two in four of the eight contests so far this season but following the race, things got interesting at the tech shed.
Despite his victory, Budzevski protested the offset of the body to the centerline of the chassis and the offset of the spoiler on Dunn’s car. Motor Mile Speedway officials checked Budzevski and third-place finisher Josh Gobble’s body and both checked out correctly but Dunn’s car didn’t measure to the letter of the rulebook.
Dunn’s measurements were sent to NASCAR for further clarification on whether or not they meet the tolerance. Budzevski says that there is no tolerance allowed and that his body measured exactly right as did Gobble’s. Budzevski said he protested because he knew that Dunn’s car was wrong.
“I knew it was wrong,” Budzevski told RACE22. “It’s a big advantage and you can see it clearly standing in front of their car.”
Dunn admitted that when measured the body offset was 1/8″ and the spoiler was offset by 3/16″.
“It was a little to the right,” Dunn told RACE22. “The rulebook states the centerline. He protested and they took the measurement and they’re going to send it to NASCAR and make a decision.”
Budzevski was very calculated in his decision to protest and in choosing this race to protest. After this weekend, Motor Mile Speedway doesn’t allow protests during the final two races of the season.
“Racing is more than what you do on the race track,” Budzevski said. “It’s methodical. I’m just being strategic.”
Dunn says Budzevski is doing whatever he can to win the championship.
“I take it as him doing whatever he can to win the championship,” Dunn stated. “We’ll see what it does in points if it comes down that we’re wrong. It is what it is. We can’t do anything about it now.”
Dunn bought the car from former CARS Tour competitor Bradley McCaskill and believes that the body was already like that when they bought the car.
“I definitely think it was like that already,” Dunn continued. “The car ran the Myrtle Beach 400 and then the Thanksgiving Classic before we bought it and we just put our drive train in it and our setup and took it to the track. It’s not our intention to do anything outside of the rules.”
Budzevski’s protest could swing the points battle in his favor. If the finish stands Dunn will have a 35-point advantage but if he’s disqualified he’ll be down by 30 points provided his five-point bonus for winning the pole on Saturday night isn’t disallowed as well.
Budzevski calls the decision to protest him just business as he looks to capitalize on his five wins this season and walk away with the championship as well.
“I walked up to Cory in the tech shed and told him that this wasn’t personal, that it was just business,” Budzevski explained. “It’s a business decision. I relayed that to Cory, his team and his dad. This is just to equal out my bad finish from earlier in the year when he wrecked me and we had a bad finish.”
Dunn repeated the tech shed scenario and says whatever the decision is his team will just move on.
“He walked up in the tech shed and said it’s not personal, it’s just business,” Dunn explained. “It is what is. Whatever the decision is we’ll move on from it and go to the track like we always do. I’m not going to wreck him or race him any different. We both have too much to lose to that.”
Dunn says that the battle with him and Dunn this season has been one of the toughest of his short career and he doesn’t want it to end this way.
“It’ll be a heartbreaker,” Dunn said of the pending outcome. “Anyone would be heartbroken after the season we’ve had. No one expected us to come out and run this good and the battle with Karl has been the most spirited battle I’ve ever been a part of. The team has worked hard and it’s a testament to the people I have around me. The way things shake out is the way they shake out.”
Budzevski says that no matter the decision, that he has confidence in the process at Motor Mile.
“I have full confidence in the rules and NASCAR and the officials that’ll they’ll make the right call,” Budzevski stated. “I expect it to fall our way but if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. We will be there to continue to battle for the championship no matter what happens.”
A decision is expected by tomorrow on the protest. RACE22 will follow up with any information that is available.
Cover photo by Jaden Austin.