FARMINGTON, Mo. — The final National Sprint League race of the season was arguably the best as Shane Golobic executed a last-lap pass to claim the 21st annual Queen’s Royale on Saturday at St. Francois County Raceway.
Golobic was one of four different race leaders during the 30-lap main event and found grip on the bottom of turn two that propelled him in front of leader Parker Price-Miller, who was riding the cushion around the unique oval.
His triumph – by 0.623 of a second – was his first career with the series.
“I felt like I might have given it away there,” said Golobic, who led the middle portion of the race before Price-Miller took over the top spot in traffic on lap 23. “I missed the bottom once. (On the last lap) I hit the bottom really good and stuck it. It feels really good to get this car in Victory Lane. We were able to make it a little dramatic for the fans.”
Golobic was driving for Matt Wood Racing and he became the second different driver to pilot the car into the winner’s crcle during an NSL event since Bryan Clauson, who was the full-time driver for the team, passed away suddenly in August at the Belleville Midget Nationals in Kansas.
“I’m a little emotional about it,” Golobic said. “To be able to put it in victory lane, I hope we did him proud. We did what he liked to do, parked it.”
The main event was full of suspense and excitement as Tim Montgomery, who led the first 14 laps during Friday’s opening round of the Queen’s Royale before finishing second, powered into the top spot as the green flag waved. Montgomery led the first nine laps before both Golobic and Ian Madsen passed him exiting turn four on lap 10.
Madsen, who was on the top side of the track, led lap 10 before Golobic took the lead on the ensuing lap by hugging the bottom. Golobic caught a caution on lap 12 as he was within a lap of reaching traffic. The final caution came two laps later as Howard Moore, who was running in the top 10, stopped on the frontstretch.
Price-Miller, who advanced into second place on the lap-12 restart, was all over Golobic in a tight battle for the lead for approximately a dozen laps before he drove around Golobic in turns three and four to gain the position, as traffic came into the scene with eight laps remaining.
Price-Miller pulled away slightly before Golobic reeled him in during the closing laps. When Price-Miller went to the cushion against the wall in turns one and two on the final lap, Golobic drove to the bottom lane and discovered just enough grip to edge ahead of Price-Miller exiting turn two.
Golobic’s momentum allowed him to slide in front of Price-Miller in turn three en route to the victory. Golobic became the 13th different feature winner during 25 points-paying races this season for the National Sprint League.
Madsen rounded out the podium with Brian Brown advancing from 10th to fourth place. Kraig Kinser scored a fifth-place result for the second straight night.
Danny Lasoski, who maneuvered from 11th to sixth, used his finish to confirm the 2016 National Sprint League championship.