New faces visit victory circle at Elkins Raceway

KERENS – Another great crowd saw new faces in victory circle as Friday Night Thunder was presented by West Virginia Pools at the Elkins Raceway.

In the Jenkins Ford Super Late Models, Gary Dalton and Bob Gordon grabbed the heat wins. As the green flag dropped, Gordon jumped to the lead with Dalton, Billy Holbert, Chuck Harper and Shane Hitt in tow.

Cody Hardesty made his way into the top four by lap four. Gordon continued to hit his marks lap after lap. In a caution free 25 lapper, Gordon, driving the Kevin Roy Trucking/BB&T Auto Crushers No. 31, snared his first win since July 23, 2010. Dalton, Holbert, Hardesty and Tim Senic would finish second through fifth.

On the second try at green, Greg Hicks outran Jamie McCloud to the point in the Budweiser FASTRAK feature. With Hicks showing the way, sixth starting Shawn Jett began to move forward.

On lap three Jett was in third, and motored to second on lap five. Jett could not reel in Hicks as the circuits clicked off. A caution with two go rounds to go, gave Jett the break he needed. But when racing resumed, Jett could not make a bid for the lead.

Hicks piloting the Corridor H Tire/Triple E Services No. 1H got his first win almost a year. His last came July 12, 2013. Jett had to settle for second. Kyle Thomas crossed in third. Matt Lopez and Kris Southern were fourth and fifth.

In the Fast ‘N Friendly Pharmacy Modifieds, Dave Defibaugh took the lead at the outset and never relinquished it. Although he was never seriously challenged, Defibaugh had a pack of hungry dogs nipping at his heels.

When the checkers fell, Defibaugh in the Bob’s Mini Mart/D&B Enterprises No. 77 claimed his third win. Brent Trimble, Shawn Davis, Phil Jeffries and Mike Murphy finished close behind.

For the second week in a row, the Miller’s Used Cars Street Stocks had yellow fever. Although this week they did get the full distance in. John Tallman Jr. snared the front spot at the outset, but Brian Mitchell took it away on lap one. Mitchell continued to command, but Scott Bittinger climbed from his eighth starting spot and began to apply pressure to Mitchell. But on lap seven, Bittinger came around in turn two reliving the pressure. Anthony Arbogast closed in late but could not make a bid for the lead. It was the Wizard Race Cars/Performance Engineering No. M1 first win of the year. Arbogast crossed in second. Ryan Watson, Tallman and Rick Knicley were third through fifth.

The actual second red flag of the night happened in heat two for the Street Stocks as Kenny Vest launched over another car in turn one flipping and his car destroying it. Vest was taken to the hospital for observation, but is reportedly sore but OK.

In the High Lines Oversize Load Escorting Mod Lites, Beau Newlon would lead wire to wire enroute to his first checkerboard since June 21, 2013.

The Newlon International No. 1 bested Travis Harper, Randy Kerns, Logan Hitt and Trey Watson.

The first red flag of the night came in heat one of the Mod Lites, As Beau Newlon, Ryan Harris and Trey Watson were battling three wide down the back chute, they touched, resulting in Harris flipping and barrel rolled multiple times. The chassis and cage done it’s job perfectly. Ryan walked away, sore but unhurt.

Paije Bragg fended off Garrett Jones in the Darren’s Pizza Shack Mini Wedges in their heat and again in the feature to put her John Watson Trucking/Taylor Truck and Dozer Service No. 8 in victory lane for the fourth time. Braydon Beachler, Brett Coberly and Ryan Gum completed the top five.