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Summer days bringing hot racing action

Beautiful weather and hot racing action was the story of this past weekend. Whether it was the concrete high banks of Dover Downs Speedway in Delaware or the dirt corners at our own Elkins Raceway, the action was great.

A great Fan Appreciation/Autograph night crowd was treated to some great two- and three-wide racing here at our local track. We had great car counts in all our divisions.

The Mini-mods saw Chandi Currence win over Luke Hyre in A group action. They were followed by Brayden Beachler in third. Dalton Goode and Haley Mahoney rounded out the top five.

In B group action, Noah Whited defeated George Casto III and Elliott Smith finished third. Apparently Keith Powell’s car failed post-race inspection and was disqualified.

The autograph session on the front straight seemed to be a wonderful success. I handed out more than 75 autographed pictures of the John 3:16 Mud Bus and signed several other shirts and hats. I always love meeting the fans!

Shortly after the autograph time, 21 Performance Chevrolet AMRA open-wheeled Modifieds took to the track for our feature event. Dave Defibaugh took the lead and appeared to be headed to victory; however, a broken bolt in the suspension system sidelined his car under caution near the end of the race. This allowed Brent Trimble to move up from his sixth-place start to grab another victory.

Mike Murphy finished second with another solid run. Jamie McCloud finished third. Nolan Dalton and Mathew Chenoweth rounded out the top five.

I was struck by some kind of debris early in the event and it slammed my head against the head rest. Several cars got by at that time and I never got back around them. The Mud Bus finished 17th.

Next up was the Jenkins Ford Super Late Models. Twelve cars took the green flag. Jared Hawkins took the win over Steve Wilmoth. Kyle Thomas was close on their heels in third. Gary Dalton and Bob Gordon rounded out the top five.

The WV Pools Street Stocks had 11 cars on hand and Jamie Keene grabbed her first win of the season. Josh Rovello finished second. Another lady racer, former champ Teresa Vaughan, finished third. Todd Simmons and Brian Youtzy rounded out the top five.

The Budweiser FasTrack Crate Late Models had 17 cars on hand. Billy Beachler took the win over D.J. Miller. Troy Frazier took third. Kris Southern and Lauren Longbrake rounded out the top five.

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NASCAR action saw all three touring series compete at the “Monster Mile” in Dover, Delaware.

On Friday afternoon, the Camping World truck series ran the Bar Harbor 200. Ryan Truex took the first stage win and veteran Matt Crafton won the second stage. Neither would be a factor at the end of the event as veteran Johnny Sauter picked up the win after passing his young teammate Kaz Grala in the closing laps. Grant Enfinger finished third. Ben Rhodes and Austin Cindric rounded out the top five.

On Saturday afternoon, the Xfinity series took on Miles the Monster’s concrete banked turns. The One-Main Financial 300, which was also an Xfinity Dash for Cash event, took the green and Kyle Larson grabbed the first stage win. Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. took the second stage win.

In the run to the finish, Cup stars moved to the front of the field and Kyle Larson notched another victory. Fellow Cup stars Ryan Blaney and Daniel Suarez took second and third, respectively. Cole Custer and Ryan Reed rounded out the top five. William Byron won the $100,000 Dash for Cash bonus over his teammate Elliott Sadler.

On Sunday afternoon, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series ran the AAA/ Drive for Autism 400. Kyle Larson took the first stage win and looked very strong. Martin Truex Jr. showed the way and took the second stage win also looking very racy.

The race appeared to be headed for a long green flag run at the end and Kyle Larson had a commanding lead. Truex had fresher tires and was on the move and heading to the front. Then everything changed. A slower car blew a tire and grazed the wall with only three laps remaining and brought out the caution flag.

Jimmie Johnson lined up alongside Larson for the final restart with Truex in third and Erik Jones in forth. Larson spun his tires just enough to allow Johnson to grab the lead for the overtime restart. Then, as the pack exited turn two, Erik Jones got out of shape and a huge crash took place, ending the race under caution. Jimmie Johnson held on for the win over Kyle Larson. Martin Truex Jr. finished third. Ryan Newman and Chase Elliott had strong runs rounding out the top five.

This weekend it’s Thunder in the Mountains at Elkins Raceway. Gates open at 6 p.m., so don’t miss a lap of the action and come hungry so you can try the wonderful food in the concession stands.

The Camping World truck series runs Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Then Saturday the Xfinity cars run at the tricky triangle in Pocono, Pennsylvania. Then Pocono Raceway hosts the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series on Sunday to challenge the most unique track on the schedule.

Be ready to watch every lap! Dirt or asphalt, at the end of the straightaway there’s always Another Left Turn!