With impending weather in the area again this week, County Line Raceway was prepared to be in a hurry up mode as we welcomed fans and drivers to the finale of the I-95 Late Model Challenge. With $3k on the line, as well as the championship, everyone was anxious to see what the outcome of this 40 lap feature. Also scheduled the ARCO Restoration Thunder & Lightning, PL Woodard Pure Stock V8, Super Stock 4’s & Pure Stock 4’s.
Our first feature event, the Super Stock 4’s, rolled out with Bill Winstead and Hunter Bailey on the front row. Winstead would quickly jump out to the front followed by Hunter Bailey, Eric Hill, James Bailey & Austin Holcombe. Lap 2 would see our first caution when 2 cars got together over in turn 4. Back green with Winstead leading H. Bailey, E. Hill, J. Bailey& Holcombe. Winstead maintained about a 3 car length lead over 2nd spot when the caution came out yet again on lap 6. Back green with no change in the top 5. The man on the move, John Proctor, who started at the rear of the field, had worked his way up to 9th spot. Caution again, but quickly back green with Winstead leading. Proctor moved up to 6th spot as Holcombe challenged J. Bailey for 4th spot. Hunter Bailey was trying to close the gap between him and Winstead, trying different lines, as James Bailey worked his way around Eric Hill for 3rd. John Proctor moved up to 5th spot as Eric Hill retreated to the outside pits. As they crossed the stripe, Bill Winstead took the checkers followed by Hunter Bailey, James Bailey, Austin Holcombe & John Proctor.
Next out, the PL Woodard Pure Stock V8 division with Jerry Williams & Wade Ferrell on the front row. Ferrell jumped out to the lead taking command of this 15 lap feature as they all scrambled and raced for position all through the field. Carly Fulghum, who started 6th, moved up to 2nd spot as the pole sitter Williams slid back a few spots. Kevin Beard took over 3rd, Williams was struggling to hold onto 4th and Roy Hall held steady in 5th. As the laps wound down, Ferrell set a blistering pace. Wade Ferrell would bring down his 10th win of the season followed by Carly Fulghum, Kevin Beard, Jerry Williams & Roy Hall.
Our 3rd feature, the Pure Stock 4 cylinders, lined up on the back stretch with Gary Dillon & JP Brantley on the front row. Dillon, who has 11 feature wins so far in 2014, would lead this race from flag to flag, holding off challenges from Brandon Whitley. After the race, Dillon refused teardown and was disqualified. Brandon Whitley would be crowned your winner. JP Brantley would claim second, Robbie Causby third, Cody Wilson fourth, and Allen Kea, in only his second start of 2014 would come home fifth.
The ARCO Restoration Thunder & Lightning division rolled out for their 20 lap feature with Matthew Bissette and Cy Nelms, Jr on the front row. Matthew Bissette would lead lap 1 followed by Nelms, Jr., Skeeter Liles, Lane Proctor and Mark Boykin. Britches Liles would bring out the caution early with a solo spin over in turn 4, and we were quickly back green with no change in the top 5. Another solo spin by Melvin Edmondson would slow this field again. Back green with no change in the top 5 but Cy Nelms, Jr was challenging Bissette hard for the lead. Unable to make the pass, he would fall back into 2nd spot, where he would hang on. Matthew Bissette would bring home the win followed by Cy Nelms, Jr, Skeeter Liles, Lane Proctor & Mark Boykin.
The grand finale, the final event of the night, the race to decide the I-95 Late Model Challenge Championship! With 40 laps ahead of them& $3k on the line, Dustin Mitchell & Michael Batten would bring them to the green flag. Dustin Mitchell takes the point from Batten followed by Damon Kotke, Russell Erwin and Travis Hair. Caution early for Spencer Liggon over in turn 2. Back green with a great restart for Mitchell. Batten continued to shut the door on Kotke, Russell Erwin and Christian Joyner rounded out the top 5. Mitchell maintained about a 10 car length lead over 2nd place Batten and was lapping traffic by lap 16. With Mitchell running lap times averaging 86 MPH in the mid 15 second range, everyone was trying to fight for position from 2nd back. Michael Batten held tight to his 2nd spot, Kotke in 3rd Russell Erwin 4th & Christian Joyner 5th. Lapping the field as the laps would down, only 7 cars remained on the lead lap at the wave of the white flag. Dustin Mitchell would bring home the win followed by Michael Batten, Damon Kotke, Russell Erwin & Christian Joyner. Russell Erwin would win the I-95 Late Model Challenge Championship by 1 point over Damon Kotke.
Please join us next week as we host Lee Motor Group Night of Racing! Its also College Night. College students with a valid student id will be admitted to the grandstands for only $5. On the schedule, the Late Models, Modifieds Double Points/Final Points, Super Stock Four Cylinder, PL Woodard Pure Stock V-8 & Pure Stock Four Cylinder. As always, if you have any questions, please contact the track at 252-985-1949, our website at www.countylineracewaync.com, www.localracechat.com, our Facebook or our twitter. Thanks so much for your support & we’ll see you next week at The Line!