Holiday racing roared all weekend
Labor Day weekend is always a busy race weekend! This year was no exception.
There was great NASCAR action at two different venues. The largest regional dirt track event and one of the biggest in the nation was held at Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne Sunday evening.
The Hillbilly 100 for the Super Late Model division was a super event. Forty-six cars entered for a shot at the 27-car starting field and the $25,000 first-place prize. The four heat races were won by Josh Richards, Chris Ferguson, Jimmy Owens and Jonathan Davenport.
Two B Mains were run as last chance races and they were won by Tim McCreadie and Scott Bloomquist. Jimmy Owens led the first 83 laps but was passed by Jonathan Davenport and he held on to take the win.
Tim McCreadie was on the move passing cars high and low from his 17th-place start. Tim made it all the way to second place and was challenging the leader as they took the checkered flag. Following Davenport and McCreadie, Jimmy Owens held on to third. Don O’Neal and Josh Richards rounded out the top five. Sixth through 10th were: Chris Ferguson, Austin Hubbard, Darrell Lanigan, Jared Hawkins and Mason Ziegler.
Other notable finishers were Shane Hitt 11th, Scott Bloomquist 14th, Freddie Carpenter 17th, Michael Lake 18th, Zach Dohm 20th, Robbie Scott 21st and Derek Doll 22nd, with Tim Dohm and Tyler Carpenter rounding out the field. Most of these lower-finishing local drivers were swept up in accidents during the several caution flags that slowed the event.
NASCAR action was in Darlington for the great throw-back weekend where most of the teams honored the greats of the sport with color schemes that were campaigned by these greats of the past. The Xfinity teams ran on Saturday in the Great Clips/VFW 200 and Denny Hamlin drove his Fireball 11 red Camry to the victory. He was paying tribute to the late Ray Hendricks and his son, Roy Lee Hendricks, who drove cars with that familiar number treatment winning regularly across the southeast.
Kevin Harvick pulled away early and was able to win both of the first stages. He was only able to finish third as the checkered flag fell. Hamlin was followed across the line by Joey Logano in second and Harvick in third. Erik Jones and William Byron rounded out the top five.
On Sunday afternoon the action moved north of the border for the Camping World Truck series event. These teams took on the 10 turn two and a half mile road course at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Ontario, Canada. This was the fifth time these teams have visited and the finishes have always been action packed and controversial. Sunday’s race was no exception!
Austin Cindric and Ryan Truex were the stage winners. Cindric had a very fast Ford truck out of Brad Keselowski Motorsports but a pit road penalty sent him to the rear of the field late in the event. Rookie Kaz Grala appeared to be headed to victory. Cindric had other ideas and caught the leaders with only a few laps remaining. He muscled his way past Noah Gragson for second and then on the last lap he rammed his way past Grala, causing him to spin out.
Austin grabbed the victory but lost a lot of respect in the garage area and grandstands. He rubbed his way into second but he punted the leader out of his way for the win. Michael Waltrip said during the post-race coverage, “Some bumps you can live with and some just make you mad! We saw both in those final laps.” Austin secured himself a spot in the championship chase but his actions may come back to haunt him later in the year. Cindric won, with Gragson finishing second and Grala came back to third. Justin Haley and Ryan Truex rounded out the top five.
Sunday afternoon/evening saw the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series take to the “Lady in Black” for the Bojangle’s Southern 500. Martin Truex Jr. once again had a very strong Toyota Camry and won both of the first stages.
He had the lead and when he attempted to make his last green flag pit stop, he missed pit road and had to make an extra lap to get back to the pits. This took him from the lead and teammate Kyle Busch took command. Denny once again was not to be denied and drove his way back into the lead with two laps remaining in the event.
Kyle Busch finished second and his older brother Kurt Busch finished third. Austin Dillon, running a tribute car to Dale Earnhardt Sr’s Wrangler Jeans machines, finished fourth. Rookie Erik Jones had another strong run, finishing fifth.
This week the Cup series runs the final event of the regular season, leading into the season-ending playoff races for the top 16 drivers. The Federated Auto Parts 400 takes place Saturday night under the lights at the Richmond International Raceway. The Xfinity teams will also race for their playoff field on Friday night in the Virginia 529 College Savings 250.
Remember, at the end of the straightaway there’s always Another Left Turn.