Elm City, NC – County Line Raceway gave kids an early jumpstart to their summer vacation Saturday night with its annual Kids & Graduate Night. Over 150 kids hopped on racecars during intermission to get their place in the spotlight as they took a few laps around the 3/8ths mile clay oval on their favorite racecar. Five divisions of racing excitement were also on the card for the weekly racing series presented by Lee Motor Group-“Doing Business The Right Way Since 1953”..
First on the track were the Super Stock Four Cylinders. The night would get off to a rocky start for the 61 of Eric Hill as his car caught fire during practice. Hill would be ok, and able to make repairs to start his heat race. Jason Horne and James Manning would lead the field to green courtesy of their heat race wins earlier in the night. Twelve cars would take the green flag and Horne would take an early lead. A caution would wave on lap one to bunch the field back up when the 44 of Chris Moore spun. Another caution would bunch the field up on lap two for debris on the backstretch. A caution would again slow the field one lap later for a spin by the 44 of Moore and 007 of Austin Larrison, both cars were able to continue. Back green, it was still Horne out front when the final caution of the event waved on lap 6 when the A47 of Austin Bottoms stalled on the frontstetch when his hood flew up. Bottoms would be sent to the pits, his crew removed the hood and he was able to complete the race. Jason Horne would retain the lead and claim his first feature win of the season. Last week’s feature winner Austin Holcombe came home second. After his practice fire, Eric Hill rebounded to third followed by Damien Bryant and points leader, James Manning rounding out the top five.
Thirteen Pure Stock V-8 cars assembled on the backstretch for their 15 lap feature. Kevin Beard would start on the pole alongside points leader Phillip Lamm, after winning their respective heat races. Only one caution would slow the field when the 57 of Willie Schwann slowed on the backstretch due to mechanical issues. He would require assistance from the push truck and would retire to the pits for the evening. Beard would go on to claim his first victory of the season. Gary Whitley came home second followed by Phillip Lamm, Amanda Liles and Austin Ferrell.
Some of the best racing of the night came in the heat races for the the ARCO Restoration Limited Sportsman division. The first heat race went to the 7 of Mark Boykin who won by a mere .037 seconds, a nose width, over Matthew Bissette. Heat number two saw the same action at Skeeter Liles was able to hold off a hard charging Chris Radford by just .073 seconds at the line. Boykin and Liles led the field to green for their 20 lap main event. Liles jumped out to an early lead but the fast pace would not last long as Boykin, who was running second spun in turn two nearly collecting half of the field. Both Liles and Boykine would head to the pits. Liles was able to rejoin the field but was forced to the rear on the restart. Since no laps were complete, another double file restart would take place, this time with Bissette and Radford on the point. This time Bissette would jump out to the early lead. A caution would slow the pace at halfway for a spin by the 90 of John Proctor. Proctor would be able to straighten it out and continue. The bad luck continued for the 7 of Boykin, after making repairs he returned to the track but brought out another caution on lap 12. This time Boykin would retire for the evening. One other caution on lap 13 for the L3 of Liles, who appeared to lose a motor, would be the only thing slowing the pace. Bissette would go on to claim win number five on the season and second in a row. Chris Radford came home second followed by John Proctor, James Meredith and Lane Proctor who rounded out the top five.
Seventeen DRU Auto Sales & Service Pure Stock Four Cylinder drivers registered for action and assemble on the backstretch behind heat race winners Chris Collins and Bobby Crawford. Crawford who was having mechanical issues chose to drop to the tail of the field allowing Thomas Holbrook to move up to the outside of the front row. Holbrook jumped out to the early lead at the drop of the green flag. The field would slow on lap two when the D71 of Dillon Harrison spun in turn three. Back green it was still Holbrook showing the way. On lap 6 the leaders began lapping some of the slower cars, when the 47C of Chris Collins, who was running second would have to slam on breaks for a lapped car sending him into the wall on the front stretch, he was able to continue. One other caution would slow the pace on lap 8 when the R5 of Courtney Ray would stall on the backstretch with a flat tire. This would set up a 7 lap dash to the finish. Michael Webb would cross the line first followed by Thomas Holbrook, Jeremy Benson, JP Brantley and Lee Hardie rounding out the top five. During post-race inspection, both the 9 of Webb and 14 of Holbrook were found to have parts not conforming to the CLR rulebook and therefore disqualified. Jeremy Benson would be declared the winner, JP Brantley second, Lee Hardie third, Jesse Richardson Jr fourth, and Cody Keith fifth.
The final event of the night saw nineteen high powered Late Models registered for action. Based on qualifying times, Christian Joyner and Michael Batten would lead the field to green for their 30 lap main event. A quick caution would wave on the opening lap for the C8 of William Carroll who spun in turn two. The 89 of Timmy Harrelson, making his first County Line Raceway start would bring out the caution on lap 11. Another spin on lap 20 would once again slow the pace, this time it was the 29 of Chris Mabe. The field would remain green until the white flag lap when the 56 of JP Cascell and the 89 of Harrellson made contact in turn number four nearly blocking the track in front of the leaders. This set up a one lap sprint to the finish. Christian Joyner would hold off the field claiming his fourth victory of the season. Points leader, Michael Batten came home second followed by Brad Hamm in third. Bobby Bottoms, in his best finish of the season came home fourth followed by Cy Nelms Jr. in fifth.
County Line Raceway returns to action this weekend with three action packed days of action. It all kicks off Thursday night with an Open Practice for all divisions. Pit gates will open at 6:00 with practice running from 7:30 until 10:00. Friday night the stars of the Renegades of Dirt Open Wheel Modified Series roll into town looking for a $2500 pay day, along with our Pure Stock V-8 and DRU Auto Sales and Service Pure Stock Four Cylinder divisions hitting the track for 15 laps each. It all culminates Saturday when the Renegades of Dirt go 40 laps for a $5,000 first place prize alongside County Line’s ARCO Restoration Limited Sportsman and Super Stock Four Cylinder divisions each competing for 20 feature laps. Complete event details are on the track’s website at www.countylineracewaync.com or by calling the track phone at 252-985-1949.