A beautiful and unseasonably cool afternoon greeted racefans as they filed into the gates at County Line Raceway in Elm City Saturday night. Five divisions of the weekly racing series presented by Lee Motor Group were on tap to keep fans on the edge of their seats the entire night.
First up the Super Stock Four Cylinder would take to the track for their 20 lap main event. The field would be led to the green by heat race winners Austin Holcombe and Glenn Bottoms. Holcombe would jump out to the early lead as he led the field into turn one. A quick caution would wave for a spin in turn 2 by the 75 car driven by Mike Hall on lap one. Points leader, James Manning would have mechanical issues forcing him to pit under the caution and retire for the evening. Back green Holcombe still at the point. Another caution would wave on lap 7 for car 007 driven by Austin Larrison who hit the wall in turn two, ending his night. Back green with Holcombe still showing the way. The field would be slowed again on lap 18 for a spin by the 61 of Eric Hill. Hill was able to continue. This setting up a green, white, checkerd finish would see Holcombe lead flag to flag taking his fourth win of the season and taking the points lead from Manning. Damien Bryant of Elm City came home second followed by Glenn Bottoms, also of Elm City, Cody Wilson of Middlesex, and Eric Hill of Youngsville rounding out the top five.
The Pure Stock V-8 division would be next to hit the track setting up for their 15 lap feature. The field would be led to green by Jody Jones and Brandon Whitley who won their heat races earlier in the evening. Whitley jumped out to an early lead. On lap one, polesitter, Jody Jones spun in turn two bringing out the first caution of the race. Jones would retire to the pits for the evening. Another caution would wave on lap three when the 9k of Mike Ridgeway and the 57 of Willie Schwann made contact on the backstretch. Three more single car cautions would slow the field but in the end Brandon Whitley held off charges from Kevin Beard and Phillip Lamm to claim his fourth victory of the season. Bailey’s Kevin Beard brought home second followed by Phillip Lamm, Jerry Williams, and Glenn Stocks round out the top five.
The third feature of the night would be the ARCO Restoration Limited Sportsman. John Proctor and Skeeter Liles would bring the field to green. Points leader Matthew Bissette of Middlesex, who has won four races in a row, was forced to start at the rear of the field based on the CLR rulebook. A quick caution would wave for a spin by Walt Gibson in turn two before a lap was complete setting up another double file restart. Tim Gilleland would spin in turn four on the restart bringing out another caution still with zero laps on the Lee Motor Group scoreboard. This time a single file restart would take place and the field was able to get a lap on the board. Proctor jumped out to a slight lead but the big mover would be Bissette coming up through the field. One more caution would slow the field on lap five, again for the 18 of Gilleland who would be done for the night. Fifteen laps of side by side racing action remained at the drop of the green flag. Proctor would hold off challenges from Liles and a hard charging Bissette to bring home his second win of the season. Skeeter Liles wound up second followed by points leader Matthew Bissette, Chris Radford and Walt Gibson rounding out the top five.
The special of the evening was the DRU Auto Sales and Service Pure Stock Four Cylinder division who would battle it out for a $400 first place payday. The feature order would be set by qualifying. Unexpected excitement took place in qualifying when the 33B of Trenton Smith and 97A of Gary Dillon made contact in turn two flipping the car driven by Smith. Both drivers were ok, but the cars suffered damage and would not be able to compete in the night’s main event. Chris Collins would lead the field to green alongside Cody Keith. Collins would jump out to a lead until a caution waved on lap two for the 14 of James Bailey who appeared to lose a motor leaving moisture all the way around the track. After a lengthy cleanup, Collins would lead the field back to green but his presence on the point would not last long as the 12 of Keith would overtake the lead on lap 4. Two other cautions would slow the pace of the field but it would not slow Keith who would go on to win his fifth race of the season. Michael Webb finished second followed by Robbie Causby, JP Brantley and Allen Parrish.
The final event of the night saw 15 powerful Late Model cars sitting on the backstretch prepared for battle. On the front row, by virtue of their qualifying efforts were Daniel Tucker and Dustin Mitchell. At the drop of the green Mitchell would pull out to the lead taking the highside through turns one and two. A caution would wave on lap two when the 91 of Derek Francis and 47 of Bobby Bottoms made contact sending both cars into a dirt bank on the infield. Both drivers were ok but their cars were not and both would be taken to the pit area by the tow trucks. Back green Mitchell still showed the way until another caution waved on lap 19 when the 49 of Elm City’s Brad Hamm tagged the wall on the backstretch forcing him to slow. Hamm was able to regain power and continue. Mitchell would go on to capture the win, his fifth of the season, followed by Christian Joyner, Robbie Emory, Donald Brasher and Daniel Tucker rounding out the top five.
County Line Raceway will take a weekend off and return with a blockbuster event on Labor Day weekend, September 5. The I-95 Late Model Challenge Series is schedule to make its final stop at CLR for 2015 a part of the track’s 5th Annual Steel Block Nationals. Pit gates open at 4:00, grandstands at 5:00, and cars hit the track at 7:00. Grandstand admission will be $20 for adults, $5 for kids 11-15 and free for children 10 & under. Pit admission is $30. For more information on County Line Raceway, visit the track’s website at www.countylineracewaync.com or call the track phone at 252-985-1949. Bring your family and friends out Saturday night, September 5 for a night of dirt track racing excitement at the little track making BIG noise, County Line Raceway!