Dustin Mitchell Wins His Second Carolina Steel Block Nationals Title

Hot temps greeted race fans a County Line Raceway for the 2nd Annual Steel Block Nationals with the Barnes Equipment Late Models taking 40 track blistering laps around the 3/8 mile oval. Also on tap for the fans, the Nashville Feed Super Stock 4’s, the PL Woodard Pure Stock V8’s and the ARCO Restoration Pure Stock 4’s. With practice, heats, qualifying and features, fans from all over would be treated to 224 laps of door slamming action.

First up, the Barnes Equipment Late Models lined up for their first of 2 8 lap heats we would see Cy Nelms, Sr and Steve Mendenhall on the front row. Cy Nelms would take the point coming out of turn 1 as Steve Mendenhall got loose out of 2 sliding back a spot to 3rd, moving Trevor Peoples up a position. Coming out of turn 3 Mendenhall would get sideways clipping the front of the CT7 of Christian Thomas. Stacking up behind him would be Britches Liles Timmy Carrol and Russel Jones. Luckily, all were able to continue as we went back green. Cy Nelms lead the pack followed by Trevor Peoples, Joel Wilson, Britches Liles and Timmy Carroll. Liles and Wilson battled door to door for the 3rd spot, swapping the position at least twice in 2 laps. Great hard racing as we come to the 1 to go line. Coming to the checkers it would be Cy Nelms, Sr., Trevor Peoples, Britches Liles, Joel Wilson and Timmy Carroll.

The 2nd 8 lap heat would see Daulton Wilson & Bobby Bottoms on the front row. Wilson would lead lap 1 followed by Bottoms, Christian Joyner, JP Cascell and JC Clary. Joyner sider by side with Bottoms for second, couldn’t stick, fals back in line and loses a little ground as we get to the half way mark. All Daulton Wilson out front, while Joyner get very loose out of turn 2 and lose several positions as he could not regain complete control of the car. As the laps wound down it would be Daulton Wilson bringing home the heat race win followed by Bobby Bottoms, JP Cascell, JC Clary and Christian Joyner.

After a brief intermission, we lined up the Nashville Feed Super Stock 4’s with James Manning and John Proctor on the front row. The caution would come out on the first lap for a skirmish on the front stretch with a couple of cars. With a total reset of the field, we were back green. Proctor leads James Manning, Brad Hamm, Dakota Whitley and Ryan Joyner as the caution came out again for a solo spin over in turn 2. Back green and the top 5 shuffles quickly as Brad Hamm gets around James Manning for 2nd spot and begins challenging for the lead. Manning would lose another more spot falling back to 4th as Dakota Whitley got around him. Caution again with 4 complete when Ryan Joyner, who was running 4th spun out of turn 4. John Proctor lead them to the green once again, and as the field battled for positions the top 3 would put a lot of distance between them. Dustin O’Neal would work into the top 5 as he got around Manning, as Hamm would challenge Proctor for the lead, Whitley O’Neal and Brian Medlin battling to stay in top 5 as Bill Winstead came into the picture. Another caution would slow the field with a solo spin on the front stretch by Zach Bunn. Back green and Hamm all over Proctor and Whitley all over Hamm, while O’Neal and Medlin held off Winstead. Hamm would get around Proctor out of turn 2, just as Winstead got around Medlin for 5th spot. After a couple more quick cautions, we were coming to a green white checkers with Hamm leading Proctor, Whitley, Winstead and Medlin and as they came to the checkers, they all used cautious driving as the track was partially blocked by a multi-car spin. Brad Hamm would bring home his 3rd win of 2012.

Our 2nd feature of the night, the PL Woodard Pure Stock V8 division would line up for their 15 lap feature with Ronnie Owens and Gary Whitely on the front row. The first caution would come out quickly, but we were back green with Owens leading Whitley, Tony Harrell, Jerry Williams and Greg Barnett. The caution would come out on lap 8 for a 3 car wreck over in turn 4. Greg Barnett, Spencer and Dwayne Whitley. After clean up by the track crew we were back green. Gary Whitley leads Tony Harrell, Jerry Williams, Amanda Liles and Roy Hall. Williams would try to get around Harrell 2nd spot but Harrell would slam the door with each attempt. Coming to the checkers it would be Gary Whitley, Tony Harrell, Jerry Williams, Amanda Liles and Roy Hall. This would be Amanda Liles’ 1st top 5 finish of 2012!! Way to go!

Up next the ARCO Restoration Pure Stock 4 division ready for their 15 lap feature. After 2 failed starts, we were finally under green. Thomas Holbrooke would take over the lead coming out of turn 2, followed by Michael Webb, Brent Atkinson, Eric Hobgood and Jeremy Benson. Several short cautions would slow this 20 car field, but as we reached the half way mark, it was Holbrooke still holding off Hobgood, Webb, Atkinson and Benson. Caution again for a spin in turn 4, back green, under caution again. Eric Hobgood, running 2nd, would slow tremendously on the back stretch. He exited the track adn we were back green with Holbrooke leading Webb, Atkinson, Benson and Cody Keith. Chris Collins would bring out the caution on the back stretch as he got loose spinning and collecting Bobby Crawford, then as we went back green a 2 car crash in turn 4 would bring out the caution yet again. Green, white, checkers with Holbrooke leading Webb, Atkinson, Benson and Keith. Thomas Holbrooke would bring home his first win of 2012 followed by Michael Webb, Brent Atkinson, Cody Keith & JP Brantley.

Finally, what the fans, the drivers, the crews, the staff, shoot, the County for that matter, has been waiting for! 40 laps, 21 cars, the Barnes Equipment Late Models taking to the track for the 2nd Annual Steel Block Nationals!! Scott Cross from Centreville, Md took the pole position with a 15.194, but after an inversion, would start 3rd.Unfortunately, Scott Cross would pit during the warm up laps unable to start this 40 lap feature. Dustin Mitchell and Neal Sykes would start on the front row. Green flag, drag race down the front stretch with Mitchell leads Sykes, who would lose 2nd spot to Cy Nelms Sr down the back stretch, Travis Hair and Bobby Bottoms. Caution for Travis Yow on lap 2 for a spin in turn 3, but after a quick pit, he was back out. Green with Mitchell leading Nelms, Sr., Sykes, Hair and Bottoms. The 2nd caution would come out for a spin over in turn 2 when JP Cascell got loose causing Timmy Carroll to spin to avoid. Back green, and as they crossed the stripe Bottoms very slightly pops the front stretch wall causing him to lose 5th place to Britches Liles. Christian Thomas brought out the caution when he spun in turn 3 on lap 8. Green with Mitchell out front, Nelms, Sr. holding onto 2nd followed by Travis Hair, Neal Sykes and Britches Liles. Bobby Bottoms challenged and conquered Liles for 5th spot on lap 9 and Mark Davis would bring out the caution on lap 10 when he hit the wall in turn 3. Back green, but very quickly back under caution when Christian Thomas nailed the turn 2 wall. No change in the top 5 as we went back green, the battle for position hard as Trevor Peoples got around Christian Joyner for 8th spot. Up front, Bobby Bottoms challenged Neal Sykes for 4th place as 2 cars got together out of turn 4. JP Cascell got loose, collected Steve Mendenhall and almost got Timmy Carroll. After track officials cleaned up the cars involved, we were back green. Dustin Mitchell continued to lead as we crossed the stripe to complete 18 laps followed by Cy Nelms, Sr., Travis Hair, Neal Dykes and Bobby Bottoms. Daulton Wilson got around Britches Liles to take over the 6th spot, Trevor Peoples, Spencer Liggon, JC Clary your top 10. Trevor Peoples would bring out the caution when he slowed on the backstretch before heading to the pit area. Green with half of this race over with and Mitchell still leading Nelms, Hair, Sykes and Bottoms. Daulton Wilson, Britches Liles, Spencer Liggon, JC Clary, Russell Jones rounded out the top 10. Back green, Dustin continues to lead Nelms Sr., Hair, Sykes and Bottoms. Daulton Wilson challenged Bottoms for that 5th spot with 4 to go, but couldn’t complete the pass. Coming to the checkers it would be Dustin Mitchell bringing home the win followed by Cy Nelms, Sr., Travis Hair, Neal Sykes and Bobby Bottoms.

Picking up the contingency awards:
Rapid Red Racing Supply $200 pole award – Scott Cross
Halfway Leader – Batteries Plus/TAP (Tim Amerson Photography) $100 – Dustin Mitchell
Forrest Generator Service $100
Hard Charger $100 – LocalRaceChat.com – Dykes Maynard
Hard Luck $100 Big A’s Auto Salvage/Mark McDaniels – Scott Cross
Longest Tow $100 – Hamm/Webb Racing (Brad Hamm/Michael Webb) – Mike Davis

Due to the Labor Day Holiday, there will not be a radio show this week, but join us Tuesday night at Oak Tavern! If you’re interested in having your car on display, please contact Steve Summerlin at steves@countylineracewaync.com/ & get your name on the schedule. Please be sure to join us next week as we recognize our local EMS & Volunteer Fire Dept. The line up for next week includes the ARCO Restoration Pure Stock 4’s, Nashville Feed Super Stock 4’s, PL Woodard Pure Stock V8’s, Rapid Red Racing Supply Thunder & Lightning & the Barnes Equipment Late Models.

If you have any questions please check our website at www.countylineracewaync.com/ or call the track at 252-985-1949. Thanks so much for your support of County Line Raceway!

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