What a beautiful day for racing! The day began with the annual Car Show out in the parking lot, with several driver’s bringing their cars out for the judging. Also in attendance were a couple of the tractors from the NTPA which will be holding their Tractor Pull at the Raceway in October. All the fun and festivities would carry over to race time as we have a full night of racing on tap with 5 divisions scheduled for the first points race of the season.
Up first, the Nashville Feed Super Stock 4 division, would see the 61 of Eric Hill on the pole with Justin Baier in the B6 on the outside. Hill would come out of turn 2 in front of the field and as the top 5 fell into single file, they would make it through the first lap unscathed. On lap 4, Dakota Whitley would get out of shape out of turn 4 collecting several cars by the time they came to a stop. With the field stopped on the backstretch for the red flag, the County Line Raceway wrecker crew cleaned up the cars that were involved. Eric Hill still the leader would be followed by John Proctor, Justin Baier, Dustin O’Neal and Bill Winstead. Proctor would challenge Hill for the lead and take it when a caution would come out for the X of Gary Dillon. Bill Winstead moved up to challenge Proctor for the lead, but couldn’t complete the pass. With the green, white, checkers being relayed to the drivers, Proctor would lead them out four for the last time and take the first checkered flag of the night. Proctor would be followed by Bill Winstead, Brian Medlin, Justin Baier and James Manning.
Out next our P.L. Woodard Pure Stock V8 class would line up for their 15 lap feature with Gary Whitley on the pole and Jerry Williams outside. Whitley would lead the field down to green, but unfortunately they didn’t complete the first lap before the caution flew. Several cautions would plague this class, with the worst wreck of the night being when Spencer Whitley slammed the inside wall hard. Luckily, Spencer was able to exit the car on his own power and walk to the ambulance to be checked out. Due to time constraints, the laps would be cut. Whitley would bring home the win followed by Jerry Williams, Phillip Lamm, Carly Fulghum and Tony Harrell.
Our third feature of the night, the Rapid Red Racing Supply Thunder & Lightning division with Michael Batten on the pole and Cy Nelms Jr on the outside. After several cautions, the field would finally fall into line with Batten still out front followed by Nelms, David Upchurch, Lane Proctor and DY Hoyle. As the front 2 pulled away, Nelms and Batten would be nose to tail battling it out for the lead as the caution flew yet again. Michael Lamm would make contact with the inside wall on the front stretch. Lamm would continue under his own power tagging on to the rear of the field. Batten would continue to lead, but Nelms would be mounting a very hard challenge for that top spot as they came to the 2 to go signal. Batten would bring home his 3rd win of the season followed by Cy Nelms Jr, David Upchurch, Lane Proctor and Luke Owens.
Up next the ARCO Restoration Inc Pure Stock 4 division. Brad Hamm, who broke the PS4 track record, would start on the pole with teammate Michael Webb on the outside. Hamm would lead Webb, Cody Keith, Brent Atkinson and Thomas Holbrooke to the green. They would quickly fall into single file with Hamm leading the field. I swear folks, there was not a full moon out, but evidently the wind affected the down force of these cars as this class, too, was plagued with cautions. As the time limit expired, the field was brought down to the green, white, checkers. Hamm brought home the win followed by Michael Webb, Cody Keith, Brent Atkinson and Bobby Crawford.
Our final event of the night, the popular Barnes Equipment Late Models rumbled onto the track out of turn 4 for their 30 lap feature. After showing respect by displaying the missing man formation in memory of race fan Bear Baker, Russell Erwin, our pole sitter, would lead the field to green beside Travis Hair. Russell would come out in front of Hair out of turn 2, leading them down the back stretch. Hair would be followed by Nelms Sr, Britches Liles, and Daniel Tucker. Erwin would start to catch lap traffic quickly, weaving his way around several cars by lap 9. The caution would come out on lap 10 for the 02 of Damon Kotke, and as he made the hard right turn to the pits, the field would line up to take the green. Erwin would fire out of turn 3 dragging Hair through turn 4 and down the front stretch. Nelms Sr rode in 3rd, followed by Batten and Liles, but Daniel Tucker and Christian Joyner would be fighting for 6th spot. The caution would come out again for a spin in turn 4. Back green, Erwin still leads the field, Hair in 2nd, Nelms Sr in 3rd, Batten 4th and Liles in 5th. Daniel Tucker would pop the wall out of turn 2 and a couple other cars would spin bringing out the caution again on lap 15. Green flag, Erwin still out front followed by Hair, Nelms Sr, Batten and Liles. Batten would challenge Nelms for 3rd spot but couldn’t complete the pass. Russell Erwin would maintain a 6 car length lead over 2nd place. Daniel Tucker would bring out the caution as he slowed to a stop on the backstretch with 9 laps to go. Back green, Erwin out front of Hair by 3 car lengths coming down the backstretch. Christian Joyner mounting the challenge for 5th spot on Liles but couldn’t get around that L2. Lap 24 would see Britches emit an enormous amount of smoke coming out of turn 2, with the motor expiring in the L2 ride. Again, Erwin fired out of 3 and pulled out ahead of the field. Travis Hair continued to hold down 2nd spot, Nelms would be holding off James Batten as they came to the 1 to go flag. Coming to the checkers Russell Erwin would bring home his first ever Late Model win. He was followed by Travis Hair, Cy Nelms Sr, James Batten & Christian Joyner.
Be sure to join us next week as we host the Victor May Memorial Race. On the schedule, we’ll have the Nashville Feed Super Stock 4, Rapid Red Racing Supply Thunder & Lightning, P.L. Woodard Pure Stock V8, ARCO Restoration Pure Stock 4 and DRU Incorporated Open Wheel Modifieds. Join us on Friday on 98.5 the Big DAWG as Steve Summerlin & Steve Vail review this weekends race and preview next week’s race. Also come out to Oak Tavern on Tuesday as Brad Hamm & Michael Webb will have their Pure Stock 4 race cars on display. For more information, check us out online at www.countylineracwaync.com or call the track at 252-985-1949. We’ll see you, next week, at the Line.