County Line Raceway, as everyone knows, races on Saturday night, but tonight we made a schedule change to bring in the Ultimate Super Late Model Series. With top stars such as Chris “Smokey” Madden, Casey Roberts, Casey Barrow and Daniel Baggerly on tap to show up, a lot of the local boys would also make the attempt to make the big show tonight. Neal Sykes, Damon Kotke, Britches Liles and Bobby Bottoms are just a few on the registration sheet to try to qualify for the 40 lap, $4000 to win main event. Folks, this was a race no one should miss, as it is the first time in 8 years that the Super Late Models have been at County Line Raceway. Also on the schedule for tonight, the Nashville Feed SS4, Rapid Red Racing Supply T&L and ARCO Restorations PS4.
Up first, the Nashville Feed Super Stock 4 division with Eric Hill and Dustin O’Neal on the front row. Eric would lead the first lap but would spin in front of the field in between turns 1 and 2.John Proctor would take over the top spot and after a quick clean up from track staff, we would be back green. Austin Holcombe would bring out the 2nd caution with a solo spin coming out of 4. Back green, and John Proctor leads Kevin Pierce, Dustin O’Neal, Bill Winstead and Tyler Vaughn. Brandon Roberson spun in turn 4, hopping up on the berm, bringing out the third caution, but we were quickly back green. Proctor tried to put some distance between his black 90 and Pierce as Dustin O’Neal kept looking under Pierce for the 2nd spot. After a couple of different spins at different ends of the track, the caution would come out disrupting the current top 5. With 9 complete and coming to half way, Proctor was out front of Bill Winstead, Tyler Vaughn, Gary Dillon and Brian Medlin. Gary would almost lose it in 4, losing a few positions, as Bill Winstead would get around Proctor to take the lead. Eric Hill would spin in turn 4 on lap 11, bringing out the caution but we were quickly back green. Winstead would put a few car lengths between him and Proctor as the rest of the field battled it out. Dustin O’Neal would get around Brian Medlin for 3rd, and begin working on Proctor for 2nd, making the pass coming out of turn 1. Kevin Pierce would start looking inside the 90 of Proctor, passing him out on the backstretch as he went to work on Dustin O’Neal. Coming down the front stretch he would make the pass on O’Neal and set his sights on Bill Winstead. Unfortunately he could not catch Bill Winstead as Winstead brought home the win. He was followed by Kevin Pierce, John Proctor, Gary Dillon and Dustin O’Neal.
Out next, the Rapid Red Racing Supply Thunder & Lightning division with Wade Ferrell on the pole with Michael Batten on the outside. Batten would come out of turn 2 with the lead as Ferrell would lose a few positions as Lane Proctor, Mark Boykin and Michael Morris, Wade Ferrell in 5th. The first caution would come out for debris on lap 2, and Luke Owens would make the hard right turn to the outside pit area. Batten would bring the field to the green and start pulling away as they were 3 wide coming to the start/finish line for the 2nd spot. Mark Boykin would come through the eye of the needle for that 2nd spot. Lane Proctor held onto 3rd, Michael Morris 4th and Skeeter Liles rounded out the top 5. Lap 3 would see a 4 car pile up, involving Skeeter Liles, Cy Nelms, Jr, Lane Proctor, Ricky Dickens, who spun to avoid and Mike Jones. Jones would be able to pull away, as track officials went to work cleaning up the remaining cars in turn 1. Back green with Batten out front of Boykin, Michael Morris, Wade Ferrell and Mike Jones. Morris and Boykin would be door to door at the line with Morris taking over the 2nd spot. Another caution would come out for Michael Lamm as he popped the wall in turn 2. With 4 complete, we were back green with Batten out front followed by Morris, Boykin, Ferrell and James Meredith. Johnnie Hamilton would bring out the caution as he backed his car into the wall out of turn 2. He would drive away under his own power but would retreat to the pits due to the damage. Green flag, Batten being chased by Morris, Boykin, Ferrel and Meredith. Batten quickly put 2 car lengths distance between him and second place Morris but Toby Hoyle would bring out the caution as he got out of shape in 4, ending up on the berm. Luke Owens would come back out and work his way through the field, passing several cars to get back up in the top 5. Michael Batten set sail, bringing home his 4th win of the season. He was followed by Michael Morris, James Meredith, Mark Boykin and Ricky Dickens.
The Ultimate Series Super Late Model Series consi races, with consi one lined up and ready to go, these guys would file out of turn 4 to battle their way to make this event. Ultimate Series Super Late Model Series rules are to take the top 6 out of each consi, then offering 2 provisionals. Savannah, Georgia’s Casey Barrows would start out on the pole position with Bailey’s own Britches Liles on the outside. Good clean start by these guys as the powered down out of turn 4 to the green flag. Barrow would take command of the lead, quickly putting distance between him and 2nd place Liles. These 10 laps would go quickly as these guys raced hard to make the 40 lap feature. Casey Barrow would bring home the win.
Consi number 2 would see Cy Nelms Sr on the pole with Damon Kotke on the outside. Ray Tucker would hit the wall at the entrance of turn 2 after being shoved up the track. Back green with Nelms out front of Neal Sykes, Roger Lucas, Damon Kotke and Mike Gault. Nelms held about a 1 second lead over 2nd place Sykes as the powered around the track. Skeeter Liles would bring out the caution when he spun in turn 4. Back green, Nelms continues to lead Sykes, Lucas Kotke and Gault. Neal Sykes would get to the rear quarter of Nelms but could not get around him as they came to the white flag. Nelms would bring home the win in this consi, as the field would now be set for the 40 lap, $4,000 to win feature.
Next up, the ARCO Restorations Pure Stock 4 division with Cody Keith and Brad Hamm on the front row. Keith would lead lap one followed by Brad Hamm, Michael Webb, Brent Atkinson and Thomas Holcombe. Hamm would challenge Keith for the lead coming out of turn 4 but could not complete the pass, almost spinning out in turn 4. Trying to regroup, he would lose 2nd spot to Micheal Webb, as the leader quickly caught the tail of the field and started lapping traffic. With 8 laps complete, the first caution would come out as we had a spin in turn 1 and a slow car in turn 4. Cody Keith would bring out the caution when he spun in front of the field. Thomas Holbrooke would get a piece of that and retire to the pits. The caution would come out as a huge plume of smoke erupted from the 49 of Brad Hamm. Thinking it was an engine expiring, flagman Eddy Pollard quickly threw the caution. Hamm would continue on though, as it did not seem to be terminal. Webb would lead the field to the green, followed by Hamm, David Haggins, Brent Atkinson and Carly Fulghum. Michael Webb bring home the win followed by Brad Hamm, Brent Atkinson, David Haggins and Cody Keith. Cody Keith would take a hard hit after coming across the finish line. Luckily, Cody was ok, although his car was heavily damaged.
Our final event, the Ultimate Super Late Model Series $4000 to win, 40 lap feature event. Chris “Smokey” Madden and Benji Cole would lead this stellar field to the green. Good, clean start by these guys, although a jumble at the middle of the pack would see heavy contact amongst several drivers. Daniel Baggerly would suffer a left rear flat bringing out the first caution. After a Delaware style restart, Madden would lead Benji Cole by about 4 car lengths. Casey Roberts held onto the 3rd spot, as Dustin Mitchell held onto the 4th spot with Russell Erwin rounding out the top 5. Madden would lead the field to the green after a quick caution, followed by Cole, Roberts, Dustin Mitchell and Russell Erwin. Chris Madden, with about a 3/4 of a second lead over Cole, would again catch up to the tail end of the field and begin lapping cars. Coming up on half way, Madden continued to lead the field as further back through the field would see hard racing for each and every position. Damon Kotke, running 1 lap down in 17th, would bring out the caution when he slowed in turn 4 on lap 23. Giving the field a chance to regroup after a couple of caution laps, Madden would again lead the field to green. Smooth as ever, Madden leads the field around County Line Raceway with ease followed by Casey Roberts, Benji Cole, Dustin Mitchell and Russell Erwin. Dustin Mitchell would power his MastersBilt Chassis around Benji Cole for the 3rd spot, but it was sill all Chris Madden out front. With 7 laps to go, Chris Madden continued to lead this outstanding field of drivers around the track. It was an all out battle for each position as the laps wound down, but Chris Madden seemed to have hit the cruise control on his black 44 ride, as he sailed around one final time before taking the checkers. Ladies & gentleman, your winner of the Ultimate Super Late Model Series, Chris “Smokey” Madden from Gray Court, SC flashed across the line at 10:40 PM to take the win with a 1.5 second margin of victory over Roberts. “We had a great race car. The JRI Shock package we have is just awesome. These guys have worked hard and gave me a great race car and we were able to show just how strong we were. We took care of our tires early on and then just made sure we didn’t get in any trouble with lapped cars. I really need to thank Baird Transport, Hamricks of Gaffney, KC Transport, Henderson Amusement and Elite Concrete along with Bloomquist Race Cars and Cornett Race Engines for this win,” Madden was quoted while standing in the VP Race Fuels / Hoosier Race Tires Victory Lane. Madden was followed by Casey Roberts, Dustin Mitchell, Benji Cole, Russell Erwin, Travis Hair, Britches Liles, Neal Sykes, Roger Lucas & Zack Mitchell. Speaking with Chris after the race, he had this to say about County Line. “I really liked the track, it was real racey. I heard several talk about turn 2 being tough to get through so I made that an area to be good in, try to be better than anyone else. I enjoyed racing here, I have been to a lot worse tracks and raced.” Casey Roberts also said he enjoyed racing at CLR and was thankful that the Ultimates were able to race here & hopes to come back. Benji Cole said he liked the track and there would have been a couple of adjustments he would have made to help his car if he knew before the race what the track would do. He said everyone was friendly; track staff, fans and other drivers. Baggerly said it was fun, just had flat tires that took him out of contention.
I just want to take a brief moment to thank Brenda Holcombe, James Upchurch, Steve Summerlin, Stan Lester, Kelly Carlton, Tommy Tedder & all of the staff with the Ultimate Super Late Model Series & County Line Raceway for putting on a fabulous show tonight! Great time management, everything was smooth as glass with you guys, and the driver’s were outstanding! Thank you so much for bringing the Super Late Models back to County Line Raceway. The excitement floating around the track the entire day was electric from the pits to the stands. That, to me, is what racing is all about! Excitement!! Fans on their feet, yelling, cheering & thoroughly enjoying themselves!! Above all else, I am still a HUGE race fan, even though it’s hard sometimes when I’m working & trying to get this recap written for everyone, but tonight, I was that giddy, smiling, excited race fan & I enjoyed it so very much. So, from one race fan to you guys who helped put this show together & make it a great success, I thank you.
Please join us on Thursday May 24th, as we have an open practice for all divisions. We will be closed on May 26th in observance of Memorial Day. We’ll back be back with a full schedule on June 2 as we have Fan Appreciation Night. Our lineup will include the ARCO Restoration, Inc Pure Stock Four Cylinder, Nashville Feed Super Stock Four Cylinder, P.L. Woodard Pure Stock V-8, DRU Inc. Open Wheel Modifieds & Barnes Equipment Late Models. If you have any questions, please call the track at 252-985-1949 or visit our website at www.countylineracewaync.com/. As always, We’ll see you at the Line!