Gardner picks up big Sportsman win

With a strong 13 car field it was Dale Watson who would set quick time in Street Stock qualifying with a 16.084 lap. Watson would take the lead on the start ahead of Austin Neely and Jon Cook. Neely was all over Watson for the top spot from the get go as the two inched away from the pack in the opening laps. Jerry Hux and points Champion Tracy Wolfe had their own battle early on for a spot in the back half of the top five. The fight for the lead boiled over on lap 7 as the two leaders made contact sending Watson for a spin. However he would be given his spot back at the top of the field. Jon Cook had a great third place run going but slowed coming off the final turn and pulled off track ending his night early. Neely was still on the hunt for the lead as he inched closer and closer to the back bumper of the 2014 Street Stock champion. With just three laps left Neely would dive deep inside turn three and again the top two would make contact but this time it was Neely who spun collecting King in the process. Jerry Hux would make a charge for the top spot in the closing laps but wouldn’t be able to get it done.
1: #11 Dale Watson
2: #01 Jerry Hux
3: #11 Tracy Wolfe
4: #5 Jr. Merriman
5: #69 Nick Presley
6: #3 Austin Neely
7: #2 Steve Hillard
8: #51 Dalton King
9: #t11 Tim Kilby
10: #10 Dave Smith
11: #0z Jon Cook
12: #12 Phil Blackford
13: #119 Mike Williams
DNS #9 Rocky Ogle
A win in the heat race earlier in the day earned Chris Griffin the pole for the 20 lap Mini Stock feature. With Shannon Raley and John Byers in chase, Griffin took the top spot on the start of the race. The yellow would wave quickly for a scary accident involving Tommy Metler just a couple laps later. The 2011 Mini Stock champion made hard contact with the wall coming off turn four and almost flipped over. Thankfully the damage wouldn’t be too severe for him to continue on after some attention from his pit crew. Back under green Byers began to do what he’s done all season long as he moved into second spot. The top 4 began to pull away but smoke started to trail from the back of Raley’s machine. On lap 8 it looked like Byers would take the lead but Griffin held him off using the momentum on the outside. After picking up his first win of the year last week, Fireball Roberts would experience engine problems that slowed his pace in the second half. Up front the top two had the race all to themselves with Byers all over the back of the leader. The white flag waved and Byers took one last shot going into turn one but ended up spinning his machine down into the infield. Griffin raced his way back to the finish line to pick up the win.
1: #c8 Chris Griffin
2: #88 Shannon Raley
3: #322 Fireball Roberts
4: #44 Tommy Metler
5: #31 David Darden
6: #5 Joe Myers
7: #J7 John Byers
8: #11 Robert Horsley
9: #21 Sam Fox
DNS #171 Kyle Courtney
Joe Keck and Justin Overton have dominated the Classic Car division for the most part in 2015. The two had a tight points battle heading into the weekend. It looked like it might be Keck’s turn to get back to victory lane as he took the lead on the start of the race. However his point Rival wouldn’t be far behind, taking over second on just the third lap of the race. Trouble found Keck on lap 7 as his engine apparently went south while leading. After picking up the win a couple weeks ago, Hayston Collett was back looking for another. On lap 8 he had moved himself inside the top four. Up front Overton was inching away from the field as the laps ticked off the scoreboard. The battle for second was tight between teammates as Stevens and Collett battled it out. This would all be behind Overton who cruised to another win.
1: #98 Justin Overton
2: #7 John Stevens
3: #c7 Hayston Collett
4: #88 Ritchie Overholser
5: #07 Adam Pressley
6: #8 Eli Keck
7: #18 Rusty Welch
8: #2 Chris Evans
9: #65 Michael Maiden
10: #78 Joe Keck
DNS: #2 Charlie Tharp
A stout field of 21 Late Models were on hand to do battle in the 30 lap feature. With several wins already under his belt in 2015 it was Cory Hedgecock who earned the pole with a 13.846 lap time being the only car under the 14 second mark. As he’s done a lot this season Hedgecock jumped out to the lead with Manley and Trevor Sise in pursuit. With the top two immediately pulling away the caution waved quickly on lap three slowing the pace. Back under green Hedgecock got loose coming off turn two opening the door for Manley who powered by into the top spot. Hedgecock tried to cross over coming off turn four but the two collided sending Manley spinning into the infield. Manley would regain the lead with Hedgeock being sent to the rear of the field. With just 7 laps on the board, Chase King turned up the heat on Sise for the runner up spot. Manley was driving off into the sunset as the two battled for second just ahead of newcomer Scott Shelton. Neither driver would back down and swapped paint a couple times. At the halfway point Manley had pulled out to a ten car length lead but the caution on lap 17 erased all that. On the restart King again put the pressure on Sise as they thrilled the packed house. After being sent to the tail end of the field, Hedgeock was back up to 7th with just 8 laps left but he found trouble again coming off turn 4 in the closing laps and retired for the night. Josh Henry slowed bringing out the caution on lap 28. Manley would hold on for the final two circuits to pick up the victory.
1: #32 Jason Manley
2: #73 Trevor Sise
3: #44 Chase King
4: #5 Scott Shelton
5: #29 Rusty Ballenger
6: #0 Ross White
7: #72 Barrett Lowe
8: #07 Jason Cardwell
9: #2 Mitchell Childress
10: #61 Kenny Ford
11: #18 Gary Crittenden
12: #23 Cory Hedgecock
13: #70 Josh Henry
14: #1 Michael Courtney
15: #22 Taran Hurst
16: #31 Greg Estes
17: #28 Adam Tolliver
18: #14 Austin Atkins
19: #12 Kevin Jackson
20: #68 Andy Ogle
21: #15 Bryson Dennis
DQ: #b00 Josh Driskill
The final event of the night was the $1,200 30 lap Sportsman featured presented by Mighty Muffler. 21 cars took time in qualifying and it was Matt Tharp who put his #35 machine on pole with a 14.706 lap. The race would be filled with Chaos and it began on the very first lap as Josh Evans, Ben Rogers and Barry Duncan tangled. The field lined back up for a complete restart with Gardner assuming the lead. Issues for Jed Emert on the first lap brought out the caution again as the field struggled to get things going. The green wouldn’t be out very long as another caution waved for a big multi car accident on the restart. Kip Sawyer, Rex Coffey, and Brian Courtney were among the cars involved. Sawyer and Courtney would retire for the night but Coffey would continue on despite heavy front end damage. The red flag was displayed as track workers pulled off youngster Zach Sise’s machine also with heavy front damage. Pole Sitter Tharp would see his bid for the win go south as he spun on one of the restarts. Under green Gardner clearly looked to be on a mission as his #26 machine screamed around Tennessee’s action track. More trouble for Coffey as he and Clyde Stanton made hard contact coming off four. Stanton would continue on but a bad engine miss sent him to the pit area early. The top three pulled away with last weeks winner Brad Seagle all over Gardner for the lead but he would loop his machine while trying to wrestle the lead away. It looked like Jesse Helton might have something for the leader but he had issues and backed his machine into the turn one wall. Scott Gardner held on to win a wild race.
1: #26 Scott Gardner
2: #14 David Kerr
3: #31 Brad Seagle
4: #2 Terry Poore
5: #3 Rex Coffey
6: #19 Tony Lindsay
7: #57 Jesse Helton
8: #c11 Clyde Stanton
9: #14 Ben Rogers
10: #77 Jimmy Calloway
11: #35 Matt Tharp
12: #15 Andy Standridge
13: #1 David Clark
14: #01 Wayne Rader
15: #31 Barry Duncan
16: #11 Kip Sawyer
17: #9 Zach Sise
18: #71 Brian Courtney
19: #18 Anthony Burchett
20: #119 Josh Evans
21: #98 Jed Emert

Comments are closed