Well fellow dirt eaters Mother Nature gave us a little break this weekend, as she washed out Friday at both Elkins and Fairmont, but let us get almost all of the show in at Tyler County.
At Tyler the Renegades of Dirt Modified Series were ready to try again to get the prestigious 8th annual Dickson Classic in the books. Bart Hartman tripped the clock the quickest with a time of 14.321. Deana Groves, Lance Elson, and Jacob Hawkins scored the prelims as Mike Wilson won the consi.
After three tries, the Classic got under way. Groves quickly grabbed the point with Hawkins, Elson, Bobby Kitchen and Jess Hartman in tow. The race had two complete restarts, then yellows fell on laps one and five. Other than that, Groves set a blistering pace circuit after circuit holding the determined Hawkins behind her.
The green continued to fly until Todd Higgins looped his mount in turns one and two with just five go rounds to go. With Hawkins on her deck lid, the ‘first lady of Modifieds’ was poised to hold her position. When the final laps clicked off Groves took the win and put her name in the record books.
The second generation driver (Her Dad is former Late Model standout Dave) became the first lady to win a major Modified touring series event. An excited Groves ‘‘was glad to make the history in front of the home crowd” She also joked that she wondered maybe now she would not be referred to as Dave Groves’ daughter, now maybe it will be “You’re Deana Groves Dad”
Just last month, the young driver from Morgantown West Virginia became the first lady to win a Modified race at Elkins Raceway. Hawkins, Kitchen, Bart Hartman (from nineteenth, needing to use a provisional to get in the race.) and J. Hartman rounded out the top five. Bart Hartman won the ‘dash’ that was run comprised of the top three heat finishers from last weeks rain shortened event.
In the Super Late Models, Scott Irvin, Butch McGill and Freddie Carpenter notched the heat victories. McGill shot to the lead with Irvin, Mike Benedum, Carpenter, and Jacob Hawkins filling in the top five slots. On lap two, Benedum wrestled the second spot from Irvin. On the next go round Hawkins set Irvin back another spot.
With McGill showing the way, Benedum and Hawkins were battling door to door with Irvin and Paul Wilmoth dueling side by side. Hawkins motored to second on lap 11 and began to turn up the heat on McGill. On the 15th circuit Hawkins pulled even with McGill but couldn’t get around the 45-year veteran. Hawkins continued to pressure McGill as the two entered the back markers. Then on lap 21, Hawkins used the lapped car of Jim Quaigg as a pick and sneaked by for the lead. Just as Hawkins was now out front, McGill tried to drive by the outside of Dannie Ruza, but Ruza drifted high making contact with McGill sending Ruza in to wall. A four lap dash resulted with Hawkins holding off McGill for his second checkers of the year. Benedum, Wilmoth and Chris Carpenter completed the top five.
Levi Flesher notched the daily double as he took his heat and also won the Hot Mod feature. But it wasn’t quite that easy. Flesher withstood the heat from Mike Conkle the entire distance. It was Flesher’s first career Hot Mod checkerboard. Conkle had to settle for second. Kenny Isner, Lou Ennis and Chris Thomas were third through fifth.
The 4 Cylinders had the most dramatic finish of the night. Billy Bunnell shot to lead at the outset and built a big lead. Donnie Wamsley had won all previous eight races was second trying to chase Bunnell down. Time was running out and laps as the checker flag was waving as Bunnell exited turn four. Just as if on cue from a movie, Bunnell’s car lost power, as he was coasting toward the line. A closing Wamsley edged Bunnell at the stripe by mere inches. Charles Wade, Mike Harter and Zack Jones crossed behind.
The crate Late Models had two failed attempts to get started, and on the third try Mother Nature decide enough was enough and she unleashed a thick blanket of fog. Chad Green, Kris Southern and Daniel Hill were heat winners. Joe Bowie took the consi. The Mod Lites also fell victim to the fog. Beau Newlon, Mitch Ward and Josh Baldwin snared prelims and Daniel Eddy took the checkers in the consi.
Trey Watson won his second Mini Wedge feature as he crossed the line ahead of Brandon Weigle, Georgie Tennett, Wesley Baker and Kaitlyn Frazier. In the B feature Brady Reed won his career first as he bested Jackson Jacobs, Josh Gump, Hayden Jacobs, and P J Wright.
Thelma Trimble, matriarch of the Trimble clan, suffered a stroke this past week and our thoughts and prayers go out to Grandma. She told Brent that he needed to go home and work on the race car. Always do what Grandma says….God Speed Thelma!
Chad Green won his heat and will start on the pole for the crate Late Model feature in the makeup this week at Tyler County. Andre Layfield finished fifth after a rough track broke a shock in the Sprint feature at I – 77 Raceway in Ripley. Brent Trimble finished fourth in his Modified heat and was involved in a opening lap pileup and lost the left rear coil spring ending his evening. He was credited with sixteenth. Zak Kimbrew finished seventh in his Mod Lite heat and eighth in the consi. Randy Kerns won the East Meets West Series Flat Head Medium class for $500 at Flat Run in Morrisdale, Pennsylvania. Harley Kerns also received checkers as she took the 350 clone class at Flat Run.
This week, Elkins has ‘Old Timers’ night with regular racing in all classes. Some of the drivers from my kidhood like Red Fredrick, Gary Bates, Jewel Carson, Steve Helmick and Bernard Keene are expected. Fairmont has a regular show. It is also the last Friday racing. The track will switch to Saturdays next month. At Tyler County it will be the STARS sanctioned second annual Pat Herrick memorial for the Mod Lites with $1,000 to win. Plus regular racing in all other classes, and the makeup feature for the crate Late Models from last week’s fog out.
As always stuff can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Until it’s time again to smell alcohol and eat dirt, have a good one.