After a light rain all morning, the sky opened up with a beautiful sun shining down on County Line Raceway. Fans and drivers filed in the gates ready for for a wild night of racing, as the Barnes Equipment Late Model division would battle it out for 40 exciting laps and a $2000 check. Also ready to sling some dirt are the Rapid Red Racing Supply Thunder & Lightning division and DRU Inc. Open Wheel Modifieds. Can Michael Batten make it 3 in a row? How about Russell Erwin? Would we have a repeat winner in Late Models or a new winner? Only time would tell.
First up we have our popular Rapid Red Racing Supply Thunder & Lightning division would see James Meredith on the pole and Michael Batten on the outside. With Batten going for three in a row and starting up front, Meredith would have his work cut out for him at the drop of the green flag. Batten would take the lead out of turn 1 but would unfortunately spin in turn 2 bringing out the first caution. The field would line up for a complete restart with the outside row moving up which would move Cool Hand Luke Owens to the outside pole position. Owens would shoot out to the lead quickly, setting a fast pace followed by the 82 of Ricky Dickens. Lane Proctor and Danny Yarborough would get together in turn 4 bringing out caution, and as they came out of turn 3 to take the green, Owens quickly fired to attempt to put distance between him and 2nd place Dickens. Michael Batten had worked his way through the field and was gearing up to mount a challenge on the 82 of Dickens, but would spin out of 4 essentially ending his night. Back green and the hard battle for the lead between Owens and Dickens would intensify but a caution for a hard crash on the front stretch would stop the field. The 33 of Travis Harp & the 6 of Lynn Combs would get together with the 6 slamming the inside concrete barrier. once the County Line Clean Up Crew cleared the cars and debris, we were ready to go back green flag racing with 5 to go. Dickens would get around Owens for the top spot and would set a fast pace to the checkers. Dickens would bring home his first win of 2012 followed by Owens, Ethan Wilson, Lane Proctor and Danny Yarborough. Congratulations Ricky!
Second on our schedule, the DRU, Inc. Open Wheel Modifieds would see The 2 of Nick Hoffman on the pole beside the 22 of Russell Erwin. Erwin would quickly jump out into the lead, but would be slowed by a caution when the 51 of Timmy Blackwell spun. Back green and Hoffman was charging hard, trying to get the lead away from Erwin. Another caution would slow the field, but after Eddy Pollard dropped the green, Hoffman would quickly take the lead from Erwin. As Hoffman sailed around the 3/8 mile oval, Erwin would move around the track trying to find a better line, while the 48X of Chris Parker closed in on him. Another caution would fly right before the half way mark, but that would not deter Hoffman, as he again stretched his lead out over the field. Chris Parker would challenge Erwin, eventually taking over 2nd spot. A couple of more quick cautions would slow the field, but would not slow Hoffman. Hoffman would continue to dominate the remaining laps of this 25 lap feature bringing home the win. Coming home in 2nd spot, Chris Parker, who was followed by Russell Erwin, Greg Brown and Duke Layton.
Our main event of the night, the Barnes Equipment Late Models. These 18 drivers would do some serious work over the course of 40 laps to bring home the cool $2,000 prize. After a qualifying session, a top 4 redraw and 2 8 lap heat races, the field was set and as the driver’s thundered onto the track out of the turn 4 opening, fans came to their feet as they came down the front stretch. With Daniel Tucker and Cy Nelms, Sr. on the front row, the field was stacked from front to back as they came around to take the green. Nelms shot out front of Daniel out of turn 1, and as they powered down the back stretch, Nelms would put a couple car lengths distance between the top 2. James Batten would ride in third spot, followed closely by Travis Hair and Damon Kotke would round out the top 5. After 13 clean laps of racing, the caution would come out for the 41 of Mark Davis out of Georgia. Back green, and the field is single file with Nelms still out front followed by Tucker, Batten, Hair and Kotke. Tucker would start to gain some momentum and begin to close the gap between him and the leader as we came to the half way mark, as the 91 of Hair began to work on Batten for 3rd spot. After a couple of laps of Hair and Batten running side by side, Hair would get around Batten and take over 3rd, trying to catch the 2nd place car of Tucker. Coming to 6 to go, Batten would slip allowing Kotke to take over 4th spot, as the 95 of JP Cascell challenged Batten for 5th. Cascell would take the spot from Batten, and go after Kotke for 4th. A GWC would be called for as the caution would come out for the 18W of Daulton Wilson. As they powered around the track to take the green, it appeared that Cy Nelms, Sr would bring home the checkers and $2K check, but after a very wild finish, JP Cascell would be declared the winner. Travis Hair was scored as second, followed by Damon Kotke in third, Christian Thomas 4th and James Batten 5th.
Be sure to join us at Oak Tavern located in the Brentwood Shopping Center in Wilson on Tuesday when we will have our first set of cars out front. Austin Holcombe & Dustin Mitchell will have their cars on display, along with a live remote with Kat from the 98.5 the Big Dawg. Come out and join us for a viewing of the races from Saturday night, purchase your DVD from MPH Productions, have some great food and a great time with us! County Line Raceway will have an open practice for all divisions on Saturday April 7th. We will officially begin our season with our first points race of the year on Saturday April 14th. Come out early for the car show and make a day of it with your family. We will have food, entertainment and special guests out front. If you have any questions, please call the track at 252-985-1949, visit our website atwww.countylineracewaync.com/ or our Facebook page. We’ll see you…at the Line!