Season concludes at Elkins Raceway
The 2018 racing season is in the books at Elkins Raceway and the track would like to thank you for your support throughout the year. We do what we do out at the speedway for you the fans. Without you there would be no reason to do all the hard work it takes to put on the races. I personally want to thank all the track personnel and workers who make it possible for us to come out and have good food to eat and a well-kept facility to enjoy our sport.
After a week of torrential rains Saturday evening was a picture perfect night. The Festival 40 event had extra money up for grabs and extended laps in each feature event. A total of 19 Performance Chevrolet AMRA open-wheeled Modifieds were on hand. Kurt Rodgers captured the victory over Dave Defibaugh, who is our regular-season points champion. Jamie McCloud finished third. Aaron Barkley made the tow up from Beckley and finished fourth. Chad Smith rounded out the top five. There was a scary moment when Tracey Cooper took a wild ride over the second turn banking and flipped near the pit entrance. Cooper was taken to the hospital and there was a short red flag.
The Jenkins Ford Super Late Models followed and ran their 40-lap feature. Eleven cars took the green flag and Shane Hitt took home the $2,000 first-place prize. Justin Williams took second. Kyle Thomas finished third. Bob Gordon and Shaun Poling rounded out the top five.
The Budweiser FasTrack Crate Late Models had 10 cars on hand. Brent Trimble continued to win in this competitive division and took the victory. Donnie Dotson took second, Joel Prosser finished third and Lucas McDonald finished fourth. Lady racer and former Mini Mod standout Kaitlyn Frazier rounded out the top five.
The WV Pools Street Stocks had eight cars on hand. Josh Rovello took the victory over James Swenski. Jason Ammonds ran third. Jamie Keene finished fourth. Brian Youtzy continued to click off top five finishes in fifth.
The Edge Hot Mods had a 10-car field. Richard Bell won over Dylan Henkins. Steven Dotson finished third. The first Lady of the Hot Mods, Presley Wilt, wheeled her way to a fourth-place finish. Wilt has made the move up from the MiniMods and has done a great job. Did I mention she’s less than 12 years old? Ralph Underwood rounded out the top five.
Don’t forget to make plans to attend the awards banquet in early December. I’ll bring you all the details in the coming weeks right here in your racing column.
NASCAR’s two top series took to the twists and turns of the Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval track. This track combines the high banks of the tri-oval along with the twists and turns of the infield road course. This was a brandnew designed track and was certainly a wild card race as part of the playoff events.
Practices showed that it was not an easy track for sure. Several drivers had to go to backup cars. The Xfinity series was up first and Austin Cindric showed the way as he led until just before the end of the first stage. Worn tires and tricky turns caused him to spin out of the lead and Daniel Hemric took the stage win. Hemric was named the driver of the RCR No. 31 for 2019 in the Cup series this past week, replacing Ryan Newman, who moves to Roush Racing in the No. 6 car. Christopher Bell took the stage two win. It was Chase Brisco grabbing his first win in this series. Road race star Justin Marks finished second. Austin Cindric came home third. Ryan Preece took fourth. Christopher Bell took fifth.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series was really apprehensive about this race because no one new how the race would play out. Kyle Larson proved he can Roval race too and grabbed the first stage win. Ryan Blaney grabbed the second stage over Jimmie Johnson, who was really showing why he is a seven-time champion. As the race wound down Brad Keselowski had built a big lead but then a late race caution changed everything. On the restart several drivers stayed on used tires and as they entered the off camber first turn and disaster struck.
Keselowski slammed in to the outside wall and caught Larson, Paul Menard, Kyle Busch and several others up in the mess. This set up a run for the finish and a battle to see who will move to the next round of the playoffs.
Martin Truex Jr. took the lead but he was run down by a hard-charging Johnson. Entering the final turns, Johnson went for the win and attempted to out-brake Truex. Johnson lost control and as he spun across the track he collected Truex and cost him the victory. Ryan Blaney avoided the mess and took the Victory in his Penske Racing Ford. Jamie McMurray finished second. Clint Bowyer ran third. Alex Bowman and Kurt Busch rounded out the top five.
Johnson could have settled for second and made the next round of the playoffs for his chance at an eighth championship, but he went for the win and came up short. Larson, whose car was severely damaged in the Keselowski crash, literally bounced off walls and fought his way to the finish in his destroyed car. He passed a limping Jeffery Earnhardt just before the finish line and that pass put him in the playoff next round. Wow, Roval racing sure had its share of drama and excitement! Truex expressed his displeasure with Johnson’s move by spinning him out on the cool-down lap.
I just hope NASCAR doesn’t go Roval crazy and start running lots of these type of races.
Next week both series move to the Dover International Speedway to what is called the Monster Mile.
I will bring you all the results, and remember at the end of the concrete straightaways there’s Another Left Turn!