Elm City, NC – As the sun began to set on what was a beautiful evening Saturday afternoon, fans, crews and drivers filed into the gates at County Line Raceway. 100 laps of feature racing action were on tap for the evening in the event dubbed the Spring Fever 100.
The night would begin as the track recognized the ‘Best Appearing Cars’ from its annual car show which was held April 4. No one knew the winners until the drivers were called over the PA system to bring their cars to the front stretch for all of the fans to see. Elm City’s Brad Hamm would take the Late Model honors, Chris Radford in the ARCO Restoration Limited Sportsman division, Damien Bryant in Super Stock Four Cylinder, Amanda Liles in Pure Stock V-8, and Austin Bottoms in the DRU Auto Sales and Service Pure Stock Four Cylinder division. The judges didn’t have an easy decision because there were lots of great looking cars on display on opening day. Congrats to these winners and thanks to all the drivers that participated!
The first feature event of the night was the Super Stock Four Cylinder division. The starting order was set earlier in the evening by two heat races won by Austin Larrison and Damien Bryant. At the drop of the green flag, Bryant would jump out to an early lead, however it would be short lived as a caution waved on lap two for the 75 of Michael Hall. Back green another caution would wave on lap three for a two car incident between the B16 of Zack Bunn and the J2 of James Manning, both would be able to continue. Back green it was still Bryant at the point. Another caution would fly for a spin in turn two by the G47 of Glenn Bottoms on lap nine. That is the last time the field would be slowed. Bryant would go on to win, followed by Bailey’s Hunter Bailey, last week’s winner, Austin Holcombe, James Manning, and Bill Winstead rounding out the top five. In victory lane, Bryant remembered his father who passed away February 18, two months to the day of his first Super Stock Four Cylinder win. “I knew he was riding with me, if only he was here to see it,” stated Bryant.
The second event of the evening would see 16 DRU Auto Sales and Service Pure Stock Four Cylinders registered for action. JP Brantley and Bobby Crawford would start on the front row by their wins in their respective heat races earlier in the evening. At the drop of the green flag, Brantley would jump out to a quick lead until a caution on lap 5 slowed the field when the 62 of Jason Adams and the A47 of car show winner, Austin Bottoms, tangled in turn three. Bottoms took a hard hit into the outside wall and would have to be towed to the pits, ending his night. Back green Brantley still showing the way until another caution would wave on lap nine for the 99 of Wade Ferrell who spun in turn two. Ferrell would retire for the evening. Back green it was still Brantley at the point, and he wouldn’t look back as he took the checkers for his first feature win of 2015. Brent Atkinson, the night’s hard charger, would come home second followed by Robbie Causby, Chris Collins, and Cody Keith rounding out the top five.
The ARCO Restoration Limited Sportsman were next on the card. Qualifying would set the starting lineup for the night’s main event. Matthew Bissette set fast time with a lap of 15.988 seconds along side car show winner, Chris Radford. At the drop of the green flag, Bissette would jump out to the early lead until a caution on lap two for a spin by the 7 of Bailey’s Mark Boykin in turn four. Boykin would regain the tail of the field coming to the green. Another quick caution would wave on lap three when Boykin would tangle with the 88 of Melvin Edmondson in turn two, both drivers were able to continue. Back green Bissette would blister the track and not look back. Bissette would take the checkers for the second time in two starts in 2015. Chris Radford came home second followed by Kent Wright, Bailey’s Skeeter Liles, and Wilson’s Lane Proctor rounding out the top five.
The Pure Stock V-8 division was next to assemble on the back stretch behind the Lee Motor Group Dodge Ram Pace Truck. Joshua Bryant on the pole along side Jerry Williams. Bryant would jump out to the early lead until lap three when Jerry Williams would make pass on the backstretch on lap two. A quick caution for debris would wave on lap seven. Williams would have mechanical issues and retire to the pits handing the lead over to Bryant. Another quick caution would wave on lap eight for the 41 of Austin Ferrell, which would end his night. Back green it was Bryant on the point. He would battle side by side lap after lap with Beard and last week’s feature winner, Phillip Lamm. In the end Bryant would finally shake all of his bad luck and take his car to victory lane for the first time in 2015 and since his return to dirt track racing after a couple years on asphalt. Lamm would take second, Beard would take third, followed by John Killebrew and Willie Schwann rounding out the top five.
The final event of the night would see eighteen Late Models registered for action. Qualifying would set the starting order for their 30 lap main event. 2014 points champion, Michael Batten would set fast time with a lap of 14.467 seconds and start alongside Derek Francis. At the drop of the green flag it was anyone’s race. There was no clear leader through turns one and two, as a matter of fact, the field was three wide two rows deep coming off of turn two on lap one. Batten would gain the lead midway down the backstretch. A caution would wave with one lap in the books for the 2 of Carlton Toney and the 5 of John Eller. Another quick caution would wave before another lap was completed for the 2 of Toney who spun in turn four on the restart. The 22 of Beaverdam, VA’s Russell Erwin would slow in turn four on lap six bringing out the third caution of the race, retiring him to the pits. Another quick caution on lap six for the 18 of Spencer Liggon who spun in turn two but was able to continue. A lengthy green flag run would take shape until another caution would wave on lap 27 for the 79 of Roger Lucas and the 18 of Spencer Liggon. This would set up a green, white, checkerd finish. Rocky Mount’s Michael Batten would take the win followed by Derek Francis, Princeton’s Dustin Mitchell, Nashville’s Christian Joyner, and Rocky Mount’s William Carroll rounding out the top five.
County Line Raceway will take a weekend off as the I-95 Late Model Challenge heads to Clary’s Speedway in Brinkleyville this Saturday night. Racing returns to County Line on May 2 when the weekly racing series presented by Lee Motor Group features the ARCO Restoration Limited Sportsman for a special event paying $800 to the winner. Also in action will be the Late Models, Super Stock Four Cylinder, Pure Stock V-8, and DRU Auto Sales and Service Pure Stock Four Cylinder divisions. Pit gates will open at 4:00, grandstands at 5:00, and cars will hit the track at 7:00. For more information on County Line Raceway, visit the website at www.countylineracewaync.com or call the track phone at 252-985-1949. We hope to see you Saturday night, May 2nd when racing returns to the little track making BIG noise, County Line Raceway!