Southern Ground Pounders and Twin Late Models Features Highlight 7 feature Night
The Southern Ground Pounders made their one and only scheduled stop at Dominion this year on Saturday night and they did not disappoint with a 17-car field made up of vintage modified and sportsman cars. They compete on varying tracks, primarily in the Southern region and they put on a show for the fans in their 25-lap feature. Only one caution during the feature made it a quick show but Dwight “Cowboy” Sauls, the reigning modified champion, and Rodney Dye, the modified champion in 2016, ran nose to tail with a car length or less between them for most of the race. It looked like there might be a last lap pass to see who would win, but Dye ‘s night ended with three laps left when he started over heating and brought his machine in the pits which gave Saul’s the victory. When asked after the feature if he had enough to pass Dye on the last lap had it come to that, Sauls said “I think so. We were racing real careful with him and if it came down to a lap to go, I was there. We’re great friends, we race clean and that is part of the whole mystique about these Southern Ground Pounders is everybody tries their best to race clean, they really do,”.
Late Models had two 60 lap twins with an 18-car field in the first and a 17 car field in the second, allowing for max points in both races for drivers involved in the national points standings. In typical Philip Morris style, he came out in qualifying and took the pole with a time of 15:40, but a five-car invert had him rolling off the grid fifth, putting Timmy Phipps on the pole to start the first twin. It didn’t take long for the first of three cautions in the first five laps to wave as the first one was shown on lap one. Once they got through the cautions and got back to racing, Phipps still showed the way with Tyler Hughes, Sergio Pena and Jeff Oakley rounding out the top four spots. Hughes was able to take the top spot by lap eight, but Morris was closing ground quick. The last caution with 44 laps to go brought the field back together with Hughes still holding the first spot on the grid, but Morris had closed to second, with Pena in third and Davey Callihan in fourth. Once racing resumed it took Morris only eight laps to take the lead and drive away for his first of two checkered flags on the night. Hughes, Doug Barnes, Pena and Callihan rounded out the top five.
Later in the evening, after an eight car invert the Late Models were at it again. This time the pole sitter was Chandler Sherman and he would lead the 17-car field to the green. Like the first feature, it didn’t take long for the first caution which flew on lap 12. After some hard racing side by side between Oakley and Morris, Oakley spun in turn one which put him back into thirteenth place when the green flag dropped to resume racing. Two laps later, Morris was back out in front and never looked back driving away to his second checkered flag of the night. Rounding out the top five were Barnes, Hughes, Alex Brock and Phipps. Hughes, who finished the first feature in second and should have gone off seventh, had to go to the back of the field after changing a leaking tire between features. He was able to pick his way through the field and get himself a third-place finish. Another hard charger was Oakley that came from thirteenth after his early spin, to finish just outside the top five in sixth.
Dominion Stocks ran a 40-lap feature that saw nine cars take the checkered and only have one caution. Todd Ruggles in his 07 machine took the pole, but a six-car invert had Gary Burke roll off in the first spot which he never relinquished and went on to win the feature with Andrew Condrey and Renno Marchetti coming home second and third respectively.
The MN Upholstery UCARS had a 25 lap feature that saw Ryan Pritt take home his third win of the season for the domestic class. Rounding out the top three were Pritt, Jamie Hite and Cameron Ruggles. Pritt was leading Ruggles by only two points coming into the evening and was able to add a few more to it after an early incident saw Ruggles go to the back of the pack but was able to drive to a third-place finish. In the import division, Jack Johnson picked up his second win of the year making it two wins in two starts for him.
The mini cups ran a 25 lap feature that saw Justin Herndon take the checkered flag with another dominant performance and the Any Car division saw Richard Powers beat Pete Sullivan in their feature to pick up his first win of the year and stopped Sullivan’s win streak.
The next race will be Saturday the 27th with features for the Dominion Racer, Modifieds, Dominion Stock, UCAR, Any Car, Mini Mods and Legends. Gates open at 5 and the green flag drops at 7. If any would like more information on the Southern Ground Pounders, visit their website at www.sgpvintageracers.com where you can see bios, schedules and history and information about the club. Their next race is 7/27 at Langley Speedway.
USAC Midgets and Twin Races Were on the Bill at Dominion Raceway
On a night when most of the Saturday night short track racing world’s attention was turned to
South Boston Speedway and the first leg of the triple crown, Dominion hosted twin races for the USAC
Midgets and the modifieds ran a 70-lap feature.
The midgets got things started with a 25-lap feature that saw eight cars take the green and saw
nose to tail racing for most of the event. Conner Gross qualified fifth on the grid for the feature and
would have a battle with the 22 car of Alex Murray as the two would battle nose to tail for several laps.
But Murray would come into the pits with four laps to go and would go onto finish in the sixth spot.
Gross would take the checkered to win the first feature of the night followed by Jessica Bean who was
not only the fastest car in practice, but also took the pole for the feature but started in fourth after the
redraw invert. Neal Allison came home third.
In the second 25 lap feature, Neal Allison would take the checkered flag leading only five cars
that were able to finish the race. The remaining order was Preston Lattomus in second, Allison third,
Gross fourth, and Levi Riffle in fifth. As of right now, this will be the only appearance by the UASC
midgets at Dominion this season.
The Modifieds ran a 70-lap split feature where the field came to pit road after 35 laps and were
able to take on fuel. Three cautions in the first seven laps slowed things down a bit, but the top five of
the top six cars were unaffected by the yellow flags and when the green dropped with 57 laps to go,
Chris Humblet led Chris Johnson, Eric Foulkes, and Wayne Hartley until the next caution came out with
42 laps to go. After a four-lap caution period, C. Humblet would show the way and hold that spot until
the midway break, followed by his brother Jimmy Humblet, Foulkes and Mike Rudy.
Having four cautions in the first half and the drivers only going 35 more laps, it seemed like we
might be in for a few more caution periods, but the field only had one more caution and C. Humblet
drove away for his second win of the year, leaving his brother J. Humblet to take second, Foulkes third
and Rudy Fourth.
The Dominion Racers ran twin 35 lap features that saw Aaron Donnelly win his second feature of
the year in the first race, Davey Callihan win his first feature of the year in the second, and a new points
leader emerge for the division.
Donnelly won the pole in qualifying with a time of 15.564, but the invert put him rolling off third
behind Callihan and Cole Bruce. Donnelly was never really contested in the first feature and went to
victory lane followed by Callihan, Chris Donnelly, and Bruce.
It didn’t take long in the second feature for some chaos to ensue. Following the mandatory eight
car invert which saw Andrew Lang and Bradley Kilby make up the front row, the first caution came out
before the cars even finished the first lap as A. Donnelly and James Johnson came to rest up against the
outside wall, in turn, one with Johnson’s nose under A. Donnelly. During the caution that followed, both
of the Donnelly cars came to pit road and Aaron got into the 47 machine that Chris had been driving.
Once the grid was reset, the green flag fell on a full field restart and Lang showed the way to turn one.
A six lap shootout was set up when the third caution of the feature was shown with 10 laps left
when Kilby, who was in the lead, spun going into turn two and put Bruce in the lead, followed by
Callihan and A. Donnelly. Green flag racing resumed with six laps left which saw Bruce take the inside on
the restart and Callihan, looking for his feature win this year, taking the outside at the cone. Callihan got
a jump on Bruce at the stripe and never looked back taking his first checkered flag this year at Dominion.
Bruce came home second, followed by A. Donnelly and Franklin Caricofe. Due to NASCAR rules, the
actual finishing order has C. Donnelly taking the third place position and points and A. Donnelly taking
the 12 th finishing spot and points, due to the fact that A. Donnelly took the initial green flag in the 31, not
the 47. Once all was sorted out, Bruce moved into the top spot a top the points with only a four-point
margin over A. Donnelly making this the tightest points battle at Dominion so far this season and both
have two feature wins this year. Caricofe, a Shenandoah Speedway regular, making his first starts in the
Dominion Racer class, was able to finish P5 and P4 respectively.
The last class of the evening was the mini modifieds and Jon Carte picked up his fourth win of
the year with Nick Johnston, Keith Riley, Steve Brady and Daniel Bentley rounding out the top five.
No racing this coming Saturday the sixth, but we are back in action on Saturday the 13 th with
twin 60 lap races for the Late Model Stock Car division, 40 laps for the Dominion Stocks, 25 laps for
UCAR, and 20 laps for the Anycar division. The mini cup division will be there, as well as the Southern
Ground Pounders making their season debut as well. Gates open at 5 and racing begins at 7.
Pena wins 100 lap Feature by Slimmest of Margins
On a night when there was a total of one caution in the first four features combined, it would have led fans to believe the 100 lap Late Model Feature would be a caution free, single file race, but three cautions and three wide racing made for the wildest finish of the year.
The Dominion Late Model field was 21 cars strong, largest of any track running over the weekend, this past Saturday with names like Philip Morris, Tyler Hughes, Jeff Oakley, Doug Barnes, Michael Hardin, Timmy Phipps and Eddie Johnson making his 2019 debut. Morris qualified on the pole, but after the invert, he rolled off in the fifth spot. However, it didn’t take him long to get to the position that he is very familiar with, the lead. Morris was out front by lap 11 and was the car to beat as he drove away from the field which fanned out to single file racing.
Just before the halfway mark, things were starting to get interesting. Oakley who had been running in seventh spot after starting fourth, was starting to mount a charge to the front to try and track down Morris. Oakley’s efforts would get some help when with 32 laps to go, Morris developed a miss in the motor and had to pit four laps later, giving the lead over to Barnes. While Morris was in the pits dealing with the issue, a caution came out which allowed him to not lose too many laps. When the field came to take the green it saw Barnes on the inside of row one with Hughes on the outside, setting up what looked to be another great battle between the two, but when the green flag dropped, Hughes cut a right front tire and went towards the wall bringing out another caution.
Racing resumed for five laps until Pena made his first bid for the lead with 21 to go and went three wide with Oakley in the middle and Barnes on the outside. Barnes ended up spinning and bringing out the caution. Oakley had completed his charge to the front and was in the lead for the first time in the feature, while Barnes dropped to tenth.
With 13 to go, the field took the green with Oakley leading the way, Pena on the outside of him and Phipps in third. After 12 laps of intense racing, it all came down to the final lap when Oakley went high around a lap car, Pena went low, and the two ended up leaning on each other as they crossed the line with Pena taking the victory by only .004 seconds for his first win of the year.
“End of the race it was do or die having to go for it last turn, last lap kind of thing and I’m just glad it worked out,” said Pena following the race. When asked about qualifying seventh for the feature, Pena said “ We struggle qualifying. That’s one thing we haven’t figured out yet. We need to come back and practice that a little bit, We’re just missing it because getting outside the top six for the redraw is huge”.
If Dominion had a “hard charger” award, it most certainly would have gone to Phipps who had a poor qualifying effort, started 19th in the field, and drove to a fourth place finish behind Pena, Oakley, and Hughes. “ We had a mechanical issue in qualifying but the car is really good. At the open start of the race you just got to lay back cuz you know there going to stack up and sure enough they did. You just got to bide your time and when you have a good car you want to wait for them to get single file and you can get them one by one. That way you’re not worried about people getting together in front of you wrecking and you just pick your way through”.
In the dominion racer class, Cole Bruce picked up his second win of the year with points leader Aaron Donnelly finishing second and Davey Callihan coming home third.
Donnelly won the pole in qualifying, but the invert dropped him to third with Bruce on the outside of row one next to Bradley Kilby. At the green, Bruce was able to drive by on the outside, bringing Donnelly with him and the two would run that way the entire race. Things were made interesting though when with three laps left, the only caution of the 35 lap feature was shown for a spin in turn 4. On the restart, Bruce was inside row one with Callihan on the outside and Donnelly right behind him in third. When the green dropped, Bruce drove away for a two car length victory for his second checkered of the year.
The modified division ran caution free for the 35 lap feature and it saw two sets of relatives in the top four. Chris Johnson took the checkered for the win, Michael Johnson finished second, Jimmy Humblet was third and Chris Humblet was fourth.
On other acing Saturday night, Jon Carte win the mini mod feature, Chris Hammett won the Legends feature and Pete Sullivan won his third feature of the year in the Any car class.
This Saturday night, June 22nd, we have the CARS tour, Dominion stock will run 40 laps, UCAR going 25 laps, and the any car running 20. Gates open at 5 and racing stats at 7pm.
Barnes Takes Dual Wins and Points Lead
After the “full moon racing” that went on two weeks ago at Dominion, Saturday’s Kids Night at the Races was a little tame, but it did see two double feature winners and a driver come from last to first to take a checkered flag. It also saw kids of all ages racing bikes on the front stretch before the features thanks to sponsors County Waste, Mullins Racing, F.O.E post 4123, Grover Gaming and Ferry Farm Repair.
After taking last year off, Doug Barnes has been a force this year at Dominion capturing three top fives in three races and sitting only six points out of the points lead coming into the weekend. He qualified second and started third in the field after the invert and wasted little time getting to the front. Barnes was out front by lap eight and never looked back, leaving Tyler Hughes in second and Timmy Phipps in third for the first feature.
Barnes started the second 60 lap twin P8 after the mandatory invert, but again, it took him just over half the race to get back out front. A contributing factor to Barnes being able to get back out front with only 24 laps to go, was an incident that took out, or crippled, three of the top contenders on the night. On lap two, Sergio Pena, Hughes and current track champion and points leader Jeff Oakley were involved in an incident coming out of turn two that saw Pena have to retire and both Hughes and Oakley make stops in the pits to repair their cars in order to continue. Hughes would come back out 27 laps down, but Oakley was able to get back out in 14th spot due to the cautions not counting yet. Oakley would charge from 14th and finish sixth while Hughes would come home 16th. Barnes would take his second checkered flag on the night followed by Michael Hardin, Phipps, and Alex Brock. “We are more than happy, to say the least about taking both features, but more importantly I think what really happened in the second was starting halfway through the first one we had a lead and knew something was wrong with the 8 car so we figured to save out stuff a little bit, keep the tires on it, we had a decent enough lead and if he got back to us we still had more in the car to give,” Barnes said after the second twin. When asked about coming out of the weekend with the points lead he said: “ It’s awesome!”
Mini Cups also ran twin 25 lap races and it saw the same winner in both races as well. Justin Herndon took the pole in qualifying and both feature wins on the night including coming from last place in the second one to take his second checkered flag on the night in order to get bonus points.
In the Dominion Stock feature, Todd Ruggles picked up his first feature win of the year winning the 40 lap feature which saw five cautions on the night the last of which set up a green, white, checkered finish that saw Ruggles come home first with Richard Powers second and Bobby Curtis third. Powers was able to drive back to the front and take home second after being involved in an earlier altercation that brought out one of the cautions on lap 24.
The MN Upholstery UCAR class had a 14 car field and after there last race, everyone was wondering if this feature would be like the last one, caution and drama filled, or would everyone settle down and go racing. The first lap led everyone to believe they were picking up right where they left off last race when they didn’t even finish a lap before the first yellow waved, but everything settled down after that and they saw only one more caution after that. Once racing got going again, it saw Ryan Pritt come home first and Cameron Ruggles second, with Kris Kurtz winning his second feature in a row for the import section of the class.
The Anycar class also ran Saturday night and saw Pete Sullivan take the checkered flag in commanding fashion followed by Richard Powers and John Andrews rounding out the top three.
No racing on Saturday the 8th. Racing resumes on Saturday the 15th with Late Models going 100 laps, Modifieds and Dominion Racers each going 35, mini mods and legends each going 25, and any cars going 20.
Full Moon was Big Winner at Dominion
Full moon racing took the spotlight at Dominion Raceway Saturday night and the fans saw 18 cautions, 2 red flags, two wheels to leave their cars, intense side by side racing, 2 green, white, checkered finishes, a first-time winner, and altercations in the pits. Most would say that’s just normal Saturday night short track racing when the temperature starts to rise with Summer right around the corner.
The Late Model division had twin 60 lap features that were only for national points and they did not disappoint with 2 different winners and one driver finishing second in both. The race saw four of the 18 cautions of the night with the first one coming on the very first lap, setting the tone for the evening. The feature saw Tyler Hughes and Philip Morris fender to fender for the first 22 laps until both got involved with a lap car with 38 laps to go. Hughes got the worst end of the deal ending up riding the outside wall on the front stretch finally coming to rest in turn one, effectively ending the first part of the evening for the Row 6 racing team. “I felt like I had a shot to beat Phillip for the first time and we had a really good car, and I just chose the wrong lane. Went to go around a lap car, Phil got shoved to the bottom, I went to go to the outside and went up into the marbles and took down the outside wall. Just a mistake on my part,” Hughes said afterward. Once the green flag dropped to resume racing, Morris drove away for the victory followed by Jeff Oakley and Mike Ganoe.
The second feature saw Zach Wells and Michael Munley start on the first row after the invert, and just like race one, we didn’t have to wait long for a caution. Two laps, two cautions, and once racing stayed green, Ganoe was out front with Oakley reeling him in on every lap. While Oakley was catching Ganoe, Hughes was a man on a mission guiding his backup car from the back of the pack and setting his sights on Oakley and the lead. Hughes finally caught Oakley and it led to intense side by side and bumper to bumper racing for the last half of the race. The fourth and final caution came out with nine laps left setting up what would be a five-lap sprint to the checkered. Hughes jumped out to the lead on the restart, but Oakley was right there and bumped him causing Hughes to get loose and allowing Oakley to regain the lead. Hughes would go to the high side and the two would battle side by side for the last two laps with Hughes beating Oakley to the stripe by mere feet, dropping Oakley to second for both features.
“I just wanted to rebound in race 2 and just have a decent car and I didn’t know if I would have a chance to win or not,” Hughes said. “Overall, a good run for us and I was surprised we could get the win”.
In the MN Upholstery UCAR division, the cautions and craziness picked up right where the Late Models left off and even intensified throughout the race. Five cautions, two of which took place even before the first official lap, helped to dwindle the field from 14 cars that took the green, to only five running at the end. The field lost three of the 14 cars in one incident when Ryan Pritt and Cameron Ruggles were battling for the lead. There was an altercation in turn one which sent Pritt careening into the outside wall. Jon Pritt, not too happy about the move by Ruggles, took a “shot” at Ruggles with his car, causing the track to send him to the pits for the remainder of the race. Ruggles would later lose a wheel, sending him into the wall and effectively knocking him out of the race as well. Once the dust settled, Blaine Schumann rolled into victory lane for his first ever win and Kris Kurtz was also able to avoid all of the chaos to finish third overall and first in the import class. Mark Miller started last in the field but was able to keep his nose clean and stay out of trouble and drove his car to a second-place finish.
The modified division saw Chris Johnson roll into victory lane with the brothers Humblet, Chris and Jimmy, finishing second and third respectively. Renno Marchetti held off a furious challenge by Gary Burke in the final laps to take home the checkered in the Dominion Stock division, and Aaron Donnelly won for the first this year in the Dominion Racer class feature. The mini modified class, the only feature to go caution free on the night, saw Jon Carte come home first followed by Keith and Joe Riley.
The Super Cup tour kicked off their season Saturday night at Dominion with twin 60 lap features and saw Allen Purkhiser take both wins in solid fashion.
It was Boy Scouts of America night at Dominion and seventeen cars made up the field. Purkhiser claimed the pole in qualifying by almost a quarter of a second. After the invert he would start in the third position. For the first half of the race, Kevin Kromer looked like the car to beat after starting on the pole and driving away from the field, but brought out a caution with 27 laps to go with an apparent engine issue. Kromer was done for the night and would not make the field for the second twin.
Purkhiser, who was running second when the caution flew, inherited the lead, took the inside groove at the cone, and never looked back taking his first win of the year followed by Jon Kerley and Ron Langdon. “I actually ran Hooters Pro Cup with this back in 2008-2012 and then brought it back to Super Cup. I only ran 1 race last year and didn’t win but I did win two of the Hooters Pro Cup” Purkhiser said in victory lane.
In the second twin, Purkhiser started sixth after the invert which put J.J. Pack and Mike Potter on the front row. Pack shot to the lead and would hold that position for 12 laps until Purkhiser picking his way through traffic put himself in the position he was most familiar with during the first twin. After he regained the lead and pulled away, the real race was between Pack, Langdon, Brent Nelson, and Jon Kerley for second through fifth. The four of them jockeyed those positions back and forth until a red flag came out with 33 to go when a scary moment happened in turn one and two. Nelson cut a tire slamming into the outside wall and erupting into flames. The car was a fireball until it came to rest on the high side of the track. Nelson got out safely and walked away.
When racing resumed, Purkhiser was never tested and parked it in victory lane for his second consecutive win of the young season and a sweep of the Boy Scout twins.
The Affordable Automotive Repair modified class also had twin races Saturday night and unlike the Super Cups, we would see a different winner in each feature.
Chris Johnson took the pole in qualifying but the field inverted the top 5 putting Eric Fowlkes inside row one and Adam Medek on the outside. When racing started it saw plenty of bumping and passing through the first half of the race. Fowlkes had been out in front until he and Jimmy Humblet got together and both had to get out of the gas to save their cars, which allowed Chris Humblet to take the lead from the third position. With five laps to go a caution came out and bunched the field back up and at the cone, Medek took the low line with Chris Humblet taking the high side. Medek got the jump and never looked back taking the checkered flag in front of Johnson and Peyton Ferree, who drove up from sixth to take the third spot. When asked about how he earned the victory, Medek said “Yeah he gave it to me. I mean, the race was mine the whole time without the cautions and he got the cautions. I knew Chris was better than me. I knew he was going to race me hard. I cut down on him because I figured he wouldn’t dump me and he let me go”.
In the second feature, where four cautions provided some stop and go action, Chris Humblet was able to park his machine in victory lane after starting fifth for the 35 lap feature. Johnson and Medek rounded out the top 3.
The Dominion Stocks ran a 35 lap feature which saw Cole Bruce take his first checkered flag. Bruce started fourth following the invert after winning the pole earlier in the day. Bruce was able to pick his way through traffic and get to the lead. Aaron Donnelly, Andrew Lang and Bradley Kilby all tried to track him down, but Bruce was just to strong and pulled away for his first victory of the year.
Last race of the night saw Conner Jones win his first feature race in the Legends class. Jones won the pole and started fifth after the invert. After cautiously picking his way through the lead cars, it came down to a green white checkered after a caution. Jones took the restart in second and navigated his way around Ryan Matthews to take his first checkered flag. “I love that I won my first race tonight because I love this track and I love everybody here. I just had to use the caution to my advantage and bump him out of the way first corner to get really a good enough lead under him” Jones said afterwards.
Eighteen late models took the green flag for the first of the two 60 lap Easter Bunny Twins tonight at Dominion Raceway. Tyler Hughes in the number 8 Row 6 machine took the pole in qualifying and after the invert started P4 on the grid.
When the green flag dropped, Michael Hardin, the pole sitter, led the field into turn one before pulling away for the early lead, followed by Timmy Phipps and Hughes. By lap 8 the top eight cars were single file and on lap ten, Hughes passed Hardin to take the lead until the only caution of the night came out at lap 14 to bunch the field back up with a restart.
Hughes would start on the inside of row one, take the lead going into turn one, and never look back. Hughes stretched out his lead by almost half a straight away until Jeff Oakley was able to come from fourth place after the restart to try and reel in the leader, but there was just not enough time left in the 60 lap sprint.
When asked before the race what it was going to take to get to victory lane tonight after the bad luck 2 weeks ago, Hughes said “I think it is just racing smart tonight and staying out of trouble. We did have a stretch of bad luck last week. Staying out of trouble and keeping it out front will be key”.
The rest of the top five were Oakley, Doug Barnes, Hardin and Grayson Cullather
Tyler Hughes started the second 60 lap twin in P6 after the invert, but drove through the field and put the Row 6 machine in Radley Chevrolet Victory Lane for the second time tonight.
Alex Brock started on the pole after Sergio Pena had to go to the rear of the field due to starting the race in a different car. Brock led the field to the stripe but it was Mike Ganoe that took the early lead followed by Grayson Cullather.
Several lead changes took place, including Hughes taking the lead on lap 17, before the first caution flew on lap 24 when Ganoe found the outside wall coming out of turn four. The restart saw Hughes, Cullather, Doug Barnes and Jeff Oakley as the top four. After the restart, Hughes and Barnes were able to pull away leaving Cullather, Oakley and Michael Hardin to battle it out for third through fifth.
The second and last caution came out with 27 to go. Much like the last one, Hughes would jump out to the lead and never look back. With 15 laps to go, the only way the field would catch Hughes was if a third caution came out and but never did allowing Hughes to take his second checker flag of the night. Barnes, Oakley, Hardin and Cullather rounded out the top 5.
“We came through the pack pretty quick. The outside lane was working really there good off the restart and we picked up quite a few spots” Hughes said afterward. “Great run for this Row 6 Ford. Can’t thank my guys enough”.
After swapping the lead twice in the final 10 laps, Pete Sullivan was able to make a pass with only four laps left to win the any car feature at Dominion tonight.
Sullivan made a move with 12 laps to go passing two cars to take the lead and John Andrews followed in his tire tracks. Andrews started ninth out of nine on the grid and was able to come home with second place finish.
Ten cars took the green flag for the American Family Fitness Dominion Stock feature that saw Andrew Condrey come from third place to take the feature win tonight.
Condrey took the lead from Travis Weber and on the first lap and was pulling away when the first of 2 cautions came out. On the restart, Condrey was challenged for a quarter lap and then pulled away and had a ten car lead with 30 to go.
With 24 laps to go, the second caution came out when Ryan Paul hit the outside wall in turn two bringing out the red flag.
When the green flag dropped to resume racing, Condrey Todd Ruggles would start side by side. Condrey pulled away going into turn one and never looked back taking the feature win over Ruggles, Weber and Tommy Smith.
Seventeen cars took the green flag for the 25 lap UCAR feature tonight that saw Jimmy Pritt drive off to an early lead, but saw Daniel Thomas take the checkered flag in the MN Upholstery feature.
Thomas took the lead from Pritt when he started back pedaling through the field with what appeared to be an issue with the nine car.
Caution number two of four came out with fifteen to go and the restart had Thomas, David Gonce, Cameron Ruggles and Michael Frazier making up the first two rows. When the green waved, Gonce took the lead but with thirteen to go Gonce dropped back to third and Thomas took over the lead with Ruggles in between the two for second.
The fourth caution came when the restart saw multiple came come together on the back stretch. Since it was the fourth of the feature, laps started counting under the yellow setting up a green, white, checkered. The restart had Thomas, Gonce, Ruggles and Ryan Pritt making up the first 2 rows. The green flag dropped and Thomas led the way while Pritt went from fourth to second, but he didn’t have enough time to catch Thomas. EJ Kenny finished first in the import division.
“Been working on this thing for two years now. Couple years ago it wouldn’t run right and finally figured out the problem. Come up here two years ago and just got beat that night and decided to come play tonight and it all worked out for us” Thomas said in victory lane after his first win if the year.
Opening night at Dominion Raceway for the 2019 season saw side by side action, fireballs and some high caliber racing Saturday night highlighted by Jeff Oakley beating Phillip Morris to the checkered flag for the first time ever.
24 late models showed up Saturday night with 23 taking the green flag. It didn’t take long for the first caution of the night to come out on lap 2 when several cars came together and Alex Brock ended up spinning on the front stretch. The first caution also saw Logan Jones come down pit road ending his night.
After the restart, Morris eventually began to pull away and the lead pack fell into single file racing until lap 16 when Cole Knopp, Mike Michalski and Chase Burrow get collected in an incident bringing out the red flag for clean up. Burrow took a hard shot into the outside wall and all three drivers were done for the night.
With 16 to go the filed takes the green flag following a caution. Oakley, Morris, Sergio Pena and Timmy Phipps were the first four cars to take the green. Oakley works his way back to the front with Morris and Pena in his line. With 11 laps left Tyler Hughes, after pitting twice earlier in the race, had worked his way back through the field and was battling with Phipps for the fourth position, when their was some contact in the corner sending Phipps in to the outside wall with only six laps left.
With a green, white checker finish looming everyone lined up for a sprint to the finish. When the green waved one last time, something in Hughes’s car broke bunching up the field behind him and the race finished under caution with Oakley taking the yellow checkered flag..
“Something broke in the rear end housing or the drive line” Hughes said after the race. “Could have been the rear or transmission. We went to fourth and we had nothing”.
When asked about beating “The King”, Phillip Morris for the first time ever on opening night at his home track, Oakley said “ More than anything we backed up our championship tonight. There were 24 cars here and a lot of new faces that weren’t here last year, and we backed up our championship. But, you know, to beat Phillip, means a lot and our car was on the rail”. One of the biggest reasons that Oakley was able to finally beat Morris, was the great restarts that he was getting time and time again on the numerous restarts. “ yeah we certainly commanded the restarts, but even so you could see that it took 6-8 laps to start pulling away; When those guys started cooling their tires they could stay right with us”. “ These guys just gave me a great race car”.
Next race is 4/20 with twin 60s for the late models, 40 laps for Dominion Stock, 25 laps for both UCAR and Mini mods and 20 laps for the AnyCar division. Get your tickets today. Gates open at 5 and green flag drops at 7.
Unofficial Results: https://speedhive.mylaps.com/Organizations/285527