Racing heats up in cool weather
The temperatures are dropping; however, the racing action is ramping up! This is a great time of year to catch some of the finest racing.
All the Championships from all the major series in both dirt and NASCAR will be decided in the next few weeks. This coming weekend, the World of Outlaws World Finals will be held at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Three national titles will be decided in the Winged Sprint cars, Super Late Models and the Big Block Northern Open Wheeled Modifieds. Last weekend the Dirt Track World Championship for the Lucas Oil Super Late Models was held in Portsmouth Ohio at Portsmouth Raceway Park. The NASCAR season is rapidly coming to a close for all the traveling series and the Playoffs are heating up. Let’s get to the results from last weekend.
The DTWC in Portsmouth is one of the crown jewels in the Super Late Model world. Many of our local racers head over to Ohio to try to run with the very best in the business. The local racers from Portsmouth also mix it up because of their knowledge of the track.
Sixty-seven of the very best race teams filled the pits and two rounds of eight heat races on Saturday set the 29-car starting field for Sundays DTWC race. With over $100,000 on the line for the winner everyone brought their A game to race.
Many of the teams came to this race with throw-back wraps and paint schemes which added to the excitement. Jonathan Davenport showed up with a tribute to the late Championship driver Mike Duvall. His car was bright yellow and was emblazoned with red Flintstone Flyer logos. It warmed my heart to see that car come from the back and lead the first heat. He slipped a little and finished second to young Hudson O’Neal.
Scott Bloomquist took heat two. Ohio’s R.J. and Corey Conley finished eighth and ninth. Jackie Boggs won heat three and WV’s Zach Dohm finished fifth. Heat number four saw the elder O’Neal win as Don took the win and Rod Conley finished fourth with our local star Shane Hitt seventh. The toughest heat of the night was number five. It would have been a great feature anywhere else.
Morgantown’s Jared Hawkins won over Jimmy Owens, Chub Frank and Steve Francis. Heat six was won by Tim McCreadie. Parkersburg’s Tyler Carpenter finished second with Robbie Scott sixth. Race seven was a battle of the top Rockets; Brandon Sheppard won over Josh Richards. Mason Ziegler finished third, followed by Mike Benedum and Eddie Carrier. Heat number eight finished out round one Delmas Conley won Tim Dohm finished fifth.
Wow, and another round to go. Round two Heat one WV’s Eddie Carrier redeemed himself with a win in another great field. Earl Pearson Jr. came in second, Brandon Sheppard third, Bloomquist fourth, and Jared Hawkins finished fifth.
Dale McDowell won heat two. In heat three, Jimmy Owens won over Tyler Carpenter. Heat four; Rod Conley over Josh Richards. Ohio racer Doug Drown won heat five. Heat six, Zach Dohm won, with Robbie Scott ninth. Heat seven Davenport and the Flintstone Flyer won; Delmas Conley was sixth and Mike Benedum eighth. Heat eight saw Tim Dohm win, Shane Hitt finish third and Mason Ziegler finish eighth.
Wow, and these were just Qualifiers. On Sunday three B-mains were held; the winners were Tim Dohm, Chris Ferguson and Devin Gilpin. The Non-Qualifiers race was won by Jackie Boggs.
Now the DTWC: West Virginia’s Josh Richards defeated the Rocket house car of Brandon Sheppard for the $100,000 first prize. Davenport and the Flyer finished third. Mike Marlar and Jared Hawkins rounded out the top five. Sixth through 10th were Zach Dohm, Chub Frank, Brandon Overton, Darrell Lanigan and Dennis Erb Jr.
Other notable finishers were Tyler Carpenter 11th, Bloomquist 12th, Rod Conley 13th, Tim McCreadie 17th, and Tim Dohm 24th. Dirt late model racing is alive and well and if you haven’t been to one you’re missing the best racing in the world.
The Xfinity and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series ran at Kansas Motor Speedway. On Saturday, the Xfinity cars ran the Kansas Lottery300 and it appeared Erik Jones was headed to an easy win. He captured the first two stages. In the final laps, Christopher Bell put on a charge and pulled off a slide job on his teammate Jones to take the win. Jones was not happy. He finished 15th.
Tyler Reddick finished second. Ryan Blaney, William Byron and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top five.
On Sunday, the Cup cars ran the Hollywood Casino 400, which was the elimination race to the round of eight playoffs. Kyle Busch won stage one. Denny Hamlin won stage two. When the checkered flag fell it was Martin Truex Jr. once again showing he is the man this season and is the real favorite to take the Championship at Homestead.
Kurt Busch used pit strategy to finish second. Ryan Blaney had a strong car all day but had nothing for the Truex car. He finished third in the Wood Bros. Ford. Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five. All eyes were on who would stay alive in the Playoffs. Jimmie Johnson hung on to the a transfer spot even with two spins.
The most heartbreaking moment came when Kyle Larson’s Championship hopes literally went up in smoke with a blown engine early. He has had a great run all year and everyone figured he would be challenging at Homestead. Matt Kenseth was eliminated when a pit crew member stepped over the wall to hand a tool during a crash repair.
Too many men over the wall! He was broken after the letdown. Crashes eliminated Jamie McMurray and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Eight drivers head into Martinsville this weekend still alive in the Championship Playoffs. They are, in order, Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott.
“Rubbin is Racin!” and there will be plenty of that as the Camping World trucks and Monster Energy Cup cars take to the tight, paperclip-shaped half mile track. One thousand times at the end of those drag strip straights there’s Another Left Turn, and I’ll bring you all the action next week.