Racing season ends with a roar
Racing season ends with a roar
The 2017 local racing season has drawn to a close with the final night of racing last Saturday evening with the Fall Brawl 40.
Rain had been the story of the year and Mother Nature would be the track champion with multiple wins. There were only nine regular season races but this was one of the most competitive seasons. There were only six drivers that had multiple wins across the four divisions.
Great crowds saw some of the largest cars counts and the best in dirt track racing this year. The WV Pools Street Stocks opened the evening and Jason Ammons sped away to the victory over J.P. Tallman. Josh Rovello finished third. Brian Youtzy and Dylan Henkins rounded out the top five. Ten cars took the green flag.
The Jenkins Ford Super Late Models had 15 cars on hand. Robbie Scott pulled out to an early lead and looked really strong. Shane Hitt was close but couldn’t seem to find the way around him. Then on lap 22 Robbie tangled briefly with a lapped car and this gave Shane his opening. He then took the lead and pulled away to a sizable lead and the win. Robbie held on to finish second. Billy Holbert finished third. Michael Lake and Jeromy Miksel rounded out the top five.
There were 19 Performance Chevrolet AMRA Modifieds on hand. Jamie McCloud grabbed the early lead. Beckley’s Aaron Barley was not to be denied victory lane. He battled wheel to wheel with Jamie for several laps before finally grabbing the lead and the win. Jamie held on for second. Nolan Dalton finished third. Phil Jefferies and Shawn Jett rounded out the top five. It was a great clean race. I didn’t get results for this week’s Mini-Mods as of press time.
The Budweiser FasTrack Crate late models ended up the evening and the season. There were 27 cars on hand. Kyle Lukon grabbed the win over Elkins’ D.J. Miller. Michael Dunitsky finished third. Billy Beachler and Derrick Shaw rounded out the top five. Former Mini-Mod standouts Trey Watson finished eighth and Garrett Jones grabbed a top 10, finishing 10th.
The next planned event will be the Awards Banquet on Nov. 11th at the Beverly Fire Hall. There’s a possibility of a race event in September but a lot depends on weather. Tickets are on sale for the banquet. Call the track office at 304-636-8661 or send a message through the Facebook page. All tickets are advance sales only. No tickets will be sold at the door.
The NASCAR cup and truck series had the weekend off, preparing for throwback weekend at Darlington, South Carolina, this week.
The Xfinity series took to the twists and turns of the four-mile Road America Road Course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, for the Johnsonville 180. There were a few road racing specialists in the field but no cup series drivers.
The Xfinity regulars put on a great race. Matt Tift had the lead going into the final lap but a hard-charging Jeremy Clements dove hard into a turn and made contact with him. Both cars spun but righted themselves and continued on. Clements grabbed the lead for his small family-owned team and held on for his first Xfinity series victory. Michael Annett finished second and Matt Tift finished a disappointing third. Justin Marks and Brendan Gaughan rounded out the top five.
The stage victories went first to Australian road racer James Davison, and then former dirt track racer Daniel Hemric picked up stage two.
I like any time the Xfinity regulars can race without the Cup guys. This race showed that these guys can put on some great racing if given the chance. Both Clements and Tift were very gracious in post-race interviews ,with them both saying it was just hard racing for the win. Clements accepted responsibility for the incident but repeatedly stated it was not his intent to wreck both of them. The future looks bright with talented professional drivers like these waiting for their chance in the Monster Energy Cup series.
Next week I’ll have the rundown from Darlington’s Bojangles Southern 500 and the support races. Also I’ll have the season-ending points rundowns for Elkins Raceway.
So get your banquet tickets and be ready to enjoy some good food and fellowship and cheer on your favorite top 10 drivers in each division as they receive their hard-earned trophies. There should be some great action from Darlington and it will be cool to see the old paint schemes on the track again in all the series. So remember, at the end of those straightaways there are some tricky egg-shaped left turns