Monthly Archives: May 2016

Spencer Davis Grabs First K&N Victory in Thrilling Fashion at Dominion Raceway

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A happy Spencer Davis celebrates his first K&N East victory with crew in victory lane. (Photo: Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Thornburg, VA – It came down to a matter of inches in the inaugural K&N East Series event at the brand new Dominion Raceway. Spencer Davis, 17 of Dawsonville Georgia, held off Justin Haley in what looked to be an instant replay of Phoenix earlier this year on the cup level.

In what has to be one of the closest finishes in K&N East Pro Series history, Spencer Davis was able to hold off a very hard charging Justin Haley and cross the finish line a mere .005 second ahead of Haley in a thrilling photo finish. Davis, who qualified third earlier in the afternoon, spent most of the time running second to teammate Kyle Benjamin who lost the lead on a late race restart after being involved in an incident, much like the restart at Dover, that collected a few other cars.

“My teammate certainly was the class of the field and had the car to beat,” Davis said in victory lane after the race. “He didn’t do a single thing wrong all night and was the car to beat till he got put out. My first reaction when I saw him get bent out of shape and pushed from behind and into the wall was, wow this is really unfortunate for our team. Then it set in; I need to win this for us. Ranier racing needs to get their first win and I need to get my first win so what its going to take I was going to do it.” Davis, of course referring to Benjamin being parked by NASCAR officials, after multiple altercations with Dillon Bassett under yellow flag conditions. Bassett, who was actually just going to be held for one lap, was also parked as he continued the “vehicular conversation” on the racing surface as well.

Justin Haley, who entered Monday’s race tied with Benjamin for the points lead, did not make things easy for the Rookie as the two came to the stripe and the checkered flag. The young driver actually didn’t make things to easy on himself either after qualifying eleventh out of twenty-four cars. However, he was able to work himself through the field as the race went on and got a lot of help from that late race caution mentioned before took Benjamin out of the running. Haley ran him for everything he had coming out of turn four just came up inches short at the line.

“I knew he was coming and I knew what was coming from behind also,” Davis mentioned about the battle with Haley. “Any short track racer that grew up racing has that drive to win. If I were second I would have done that same thing; shoved him off down in there to get him a little loose and drove up beside him and banging doors to the finish in reverse order.”

The time it took for NASCAR to announce the winner might as well been an eternity for both drivers, who both sat on the front stretch looking at each other waiting for the call to be made. Davis told us it was the most excruciating thing ever having to sit there in the car with the announcer going over the race and watching the replay on the big screen. Davis also told us however; once you hear your name come over that intercom and they announce you as the winner it is just the best thing ever.

Noah Gragson, Kaz Grala and Austin Theriault would round out the top five finishers after 150 laps at Dominion Speedway. The ComServe Wireless 150 will be replayed on NDCSN this Thursday, June 2 at 6 p.m. EDT. The series will head up to north to Stafford Springs, Connecticut for the Stafford 150 on June 17th.

 

Pos # Driver
1 41 Spencer Davis
2 5 Justin Haley
3 55 Noah Gragson
4 3 Kaz Grala
5 1 Austin Theriault
6 6 Ruben Garcia Jr.
7 15 Christian Eckes
8 13 Hunter Baize
9 49 John Holleman IV
10 66 Reid Wilson
11 38 Tyler Dippel
12 42 Jairo Avila Jr.
13 39 Justin Fontaine
14 46 Brian Henderson
15 4 Ali Kern
16 09 Christian Celaya
17 08 Tyler Hughes
18 2 Collin Cabre
19 43 Ronnie Bassett Jr.
20 28 Clair Zimmerman
21 12 Harrison Burton
22 44 Dillon Bassett
23 40 Kyle Benjamin
24 30 Dominique Van Wieringen

Rusty Daniels Breaks Out The Broom and Sweeps Southern National

Photo: Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

Photo: Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

Lucama, North Carolina – There are two very important things a driver wants to do when racing twin features; 1) Not tear up your car, 2) Win both races. Rusty Daniels, of Alliance, North Carolina, did just that this weekend out at Southern National Motorsports Park winning both 40-lap features at the high bank 4/10-mile oval.

“He’s [Deac McCaskill] one of the best short track racers in eastern North Carolina,” Daniels said at the end of the night. “We have been working on the car all year and finally got it to a point where I can drive it to my style. We haven’t had the best of finishes this year but the cars have been better. Now we have hit on it and we are in good shape and see what we can do when we come back.”

Daniels showed speed all day long, clocking in first and second in the two of three sessions he went out for. Losing the pole to four time track champion Deac McCaskil, who was subbing for Ronald Renfrow, who was dealing with an emergency with a crew member, by .005 seconds. Brenden Queen, Michael Fose, and Clay Jones were the three reaming drivers who would make up the starting five.

Daniels fell back just a bit at the drop of the green after checking up in turns one and two and losing spots to Clay Jones and Brenden Queen. It did not take long however to get the car back under him and begin his campaign back to the top spot. After following Clay around the #03 machine of Queen – who was also making his first SNMP appearance of 2016 – immediately went to work on the rear bumper of Jones and was able to make it around him as the field worked lap 12.

The first and only caution of the first race came on lap 14 after Savannah Beasley, who was running one of Renfrow’s backup cars, had a slow and lazy spin off turn four and coming to a halt right in the middle of the racing groove. Electing to stay low along with the leader, Daniels took the green flag in the third position right behind McCaskill.

It was at this point you could see that Daniels had the car to beat. Reeling in McCaskill lap after lap before giving the past champ a little tap in the corner and moving him up the hill and taking the lead just past the half way mark.

“I think I got in him a little bit,” Daniels said about the pass. “He was kind of holding me up a little bit. Just one of those things, moved him a little bit but did what we had to do.”

That was jut about it for the first race other than some changing of position deeper in the field. Clay Jones, if he had a few more laps, could have made things interesting as we was in the process of reeling the leaders back in. Brenden Queen, who had fallen as far back to fifth, was able to rally back around the #05 of Alex Flemming to steal a fourth place finish.

A six-car invert was on tap for race number two. Moving the #44 of T.J. Barron to the pole and Rusty Daniels back to sixth. Bradley McCaskil, who seemed to be saving his stuff from race one, would have the honors of starting seventh. Didn’t take long for things to get interesting after Barron had a bit of a slip ad the field sailed off into turn one.

Barron was able to hang onto the top spot for just about a lap when things go extra interesting up front when cars went spinning up the banking to bring out the one and only caution of the race. Did not see what caused the wreck but Tim Allensworth came to a halt near the outside wall, Malik Koonce also had to hit pit road with a flat right front tire.

With the second cone restart of the night coming up, T.J. Barron and Brenden Queen elected to stay down low while Alex Flemming and Rusty Daniels decided to go topside.

Wasting no time getting back to racing, the leaders dove off into turn one three wide. Somehow avoiding wrecking each other. Queen using everything but the apron and Rusty Daniels was pushed way up and almost into the marbles. Still not completely sure how no one wrecked, in fact, they spent the next few laps battling hard for the fourth position. All the while Rusty Daniels targeted the #05 of Flemming and took the lead on lap seven and never looked back.

Bradley McCaskil and Clay Jones both made things interesting clawing there way back up to the front of the field. North Carolina State point’s leader Tyler Matthews was another driver on the move to the front after a mediocre finish in race number one.

Rusty Daniels was just in a league of his own and built a very comfortable lead over Clay Jones. The best battle on the speedway was between Deac McCaskill and Tyler Matthews however. It took the young man a few laps but Matthews was able to get by the 07 of McCaskill who had really started to fall off the pace. Matthews was also able to get around Flemming to take the fourth spot before the checkered flag waved.

Lap traffic almost played the spoiler in the closing segments of race number two. Creating a little more work than I am sure Daniels wanted there at the end however he was able to work his way by each car and secure his second win of the night. The two full field wins, according to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series rulebook, sure will help Daniels case in the NWAAS State points race where he sat 18th in the North Carolina standings going into the weekend.

Southern National will be back at it again June 4th as the PASS Late Model Series comes into town for a 100-lap feature event along with a few other support divisions. For more information or ticket prices, check the tracks website out at http://www.snmpark.com

 

All photos owned and shot by The Weekly Racer

Race #1

P1 #16 Rusty Daniels; 40
P2 #07 Deac McCaskill; 40
P3 #15J Clay Jones; 40
P4 #03 Brenden Queen; 40
P5 #05 Alex Flemming; 40
P6 #44 T.J. Barron; 40
P7 #18 Bradley McCaskill; 40
P8 #38 Ricky Jones III; 40
P9 #63 Tyler Matthews; 40
P10 #29 Melvin Langley; 40
P11 #55 Gerald Benton; 40
P12 #29 Paul Williamson; 39
P13 #77 Malik Koonce; 37
P14 #19 Cameron Bowen; 28
P15 #21 Tim Allensworth; 22
P16 #51B Chris Chapman; 21
P17 #07s Savannah Beasley; 21
P18 #24 Mike Queen; 2
DNS #54 Michael Fose
Race #2

P1 #16 Rusty Daniels; 40
P2 #15J Clay Jones; 40
P3 #18 Bradley McCaskill; 40
P4 #63 Tyler Matthews; 40
P5 #05 Alex Flemming; 40
P6 #07 Deac McCaskill; 40
P7 #03 Brenden Queen; 40
P8 #44 T.J. Barron; 40
P9 #19 Cameron Bowen; 40
P10 #38 Ricky Jones III; 40
P11 #29 Paul Williamson; 39
P12 #55 Gerald Benton; 39
P14 #51B Chris Chapman; 21
P15 #21 Tim Allensworth; 5
P16 #07s Savannah Beasley; 2
P17 #77 Malik Koonce; 2
P18 #24 Mike Queen; 1
DNS #54 Michael Fose

$1000 to Win 40 Lap LMSC Racing at Southern National Motorsports Park for Weekly Series

SNMP1Lucama, NC – Starting May 28th Southern National Motorsports Park will run 40 Lap Twin feature events and Keep the same purse payout it has been paying all year – $1000 To Win!

SNMP’s schedule for 2016 showed twin 50 Lap main feature events for the whole season but General Manager Juston Ellis wants to get the racing action started earlier and for the whole race.

“We feel that since we are running a two New and two Scuff tire program this season that some racers are having to choose which race of the twins they want to race for the win,” Ellis commented. “We want all racers to feel that they have a chance to win both races each night and cutting 20 laps total off the event night will make the tires last for both events. Plus is will give the racers better scuff tires for the next event they run here at SNMP.”

BK Racing LMSC class at SNMP has showed some impressive car counts this season helping several drivers in the North Carolina NASCAR Whelen All American Points Standings.

2016 NWAAS State Points Standings

Tyler Matthews, Michael Fose, Bradley McCaskill and Chris Chapman all weekly drivers at SNMP hold top positions 1-4 in the current standings.

“We hope dropping the laps to 40 will help us continue to have the high car counts and make for better racing,” track owner Michael Diaz said. “We would like to see all our drivers competing and thinking about their national points with NASCAR.”

SNMP takes to the High banks Saturday May 28th to find out if dropping laps makes for better racing for the fans and the competitors.

The Weekly Racer will be monitoring the weather closely entering this weekend as we hope to get to our seventh different track under our belt for 2016. We will have you covered for Late Model qualifying starting around 5:00 PM as well as lap-by-lap coverage of the both LMSC features on our Twitter feed (@theweeklyracer). The INEX Legends & Bando’s are also on the card for feature events. Southern National’s Charger division and UCAR’s are also on the schedule. Coverage for the rest of the evening will be determined day of the race.

For more information go to our web site www.snmpark.com

SNMP2

Virginia Motor Speedway to host the 40th Annual Aaron’s USA 100 Saturday June 4th; Race Three of the Colonial Clash Championship

(Al Goulder photo credit): ferguson_roberts_hardy.jpg – 2014 USA 100 winner Chris Ferguson (22) battles three wide with 3-time and defending Ultimate Super Late Model Series Champion Casey Robert (101) and Kyle Hardy (99) during last year’s 39th Annual USA 100 at Bill Sawyers Virginia Motor Speedway.

(Al Goulder photo credit): ferguson_roberts_hardy.jpg – 2014 USA 100 winner Chris Ferguson (22) battles three wide with 3-time and defending Ultimate Super Late Model Series Champion Casey Robert (101) and Kyle Hardy (99) during last year’s 39th Annual USA 100 at Bill Sawyers Virginia Motor Speedway.

Jamaica, VA – When the Ultimate Super Late Model Series visits Virginia Motor Speedway on Saturday June 4th for the $20,000 to win 40th Annual Aaron’s USA 100 presented by Commonwealth Motorsports several things will have changed dramatically for the storied event. In 2015 the event paid $10,000 to win and then at the start of the 2016 season track owner Bill Sawyer announced that the race would get a purse increase to $15,000 to win. But with the loss of the April 9th King of the Commonwealth Sawyer is bringing the $20,000 to win purse and sponsor over to the USA 100.

“When we lost the April 9th King of the Commonwealth to of all things snow and cold weather, I decided we needed to make sure we took care of our sponsor Aaron’s as well as create some excitement for the USA 100, so we moved them and the $20,000 to win purse over to the USA 100,” commented track owner Bill Sawyer.

Sawyer added, “With the event being the third race of the Colonial Clash Championship this should add even more excitement to what is already expected to be a phenomenal four night’s of racing.”

The new Colonial Clash Championship will see the Ultimate Super Late Model Series competitors along with many of the Mid-Atlantics premier talent competing at four different tracks in four nights. Thursday June 2 at Georgetown Speedway in Georgetown, DE for a $5000 to win 40 lap event; Friday June 3 at Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek, MD for a $5000 to win 50 lap event; Saturday June 4 at Virginia Motor Speedway for the $20,000 to win USA 100and then to Winchester Speedway in Winchester, VA for a $5000 to win 50 lap event.

The Colonial Clash Championship boasts a $17,000 point fund with $5000 going to the champion. The point fund will pay the top 15 drivers as long as they have attempted all four events. Visit www.colonialclash.racing for more info.

Joining the Ultimate Super Late Model Series once again will be a $3000 to win FASTRAK National Tour event for Pro (Crate) Late Models.

This year’s format for the Aaron’s USA 100 presented by Commonwealth Motorsports will be practice, qualifying, 10 lap heats, 10 lap B-Main(s) and the 60 lap $20,000 to win feature. Format for the $3000 to win FASTRAK National Tour Event will include practice, qualifying, heats, B-Main(s) and 40 lap feature.

Competitor gates for Saturday June 4th will open at 3pm with spectator gates opening at 5pm. On track activities will begin at 6:00 pm with hot laps.

Adult tickets are just $30; seniors (60+) $25; military $20; students 11 – 17 years old $15; and children 10 and under free. Pit passes will be $40. All tickets will be sold day of event. Virginia Motor Speedway will offer a $5 discount to any fan bringing a ticket stub from either the Georgetown Speedway event or the Potomac Speedway event. Discount is valid for grandstand admission only.

16” coolers are welcomed but no glass is allowed. There is plenty of free lit parking and camping (no hookups) is allowed at no charge on a first come first served basis.

Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway is a ½ mile dirt oval track is located on U.S. Route 17, eight miles north of Saluda, VA and 25 miles south of Tappahannock, VA in Jamaica, VA. The speedway is just a short drive from Richmond, Fredericksburg, Southern Maryland and the Hampton Roads area.

Race fans can go to www.vamotorspeedway.com to view the complete schedule Virginia Motor Speedway’s 2016 season, find detailed event information, get the latest news, and get complete ticket and camping information. In addition, fans can get social with Virginia Motor Speedway by following @vamotorspeedway on Twitter, clicking “Like” at www.facebook.com/VaMotorSpeedway and on www.youtube.com/VaMotorSpeedway.

Thomas Marks Off to a Great Start in Late Models – Earns Second Place Finish at East Carolina

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#88 Thomas Marks celebrates with family and crew on second place finish. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Moving up in the racing world can be both exciting and scary. Now imagine moving up to the Late Model Stock divisions and making your first career start at a track you have little to just about no experience at. What would be some good goals for you to set? Don’t qualify last? Don’t spin out? Don’t wreck the car? I am sure you can argue those are all pretty realistic goals your first night out. How about finishing coming home second in one of the races after battling break issues in the first? Probably not a bad idea right! Well, that is exactly what Thomas Marks, of Yorktown, Virginia did this past weekend while at East Carolina Motor Speedway.

Marks, who had competed the last couple years in the Grandstock division at Langley Speedway, thought it was time to graduate to the big boys this past season and bought himself a Late Model Stock. Not just any ole Late Model, a car proven she can make her way to victory lane and win championships – Greg Edwards old backup car simply known as “Ruby.” What Thomas didn’t know was going to happen was the lease debacle over his home track causing it not to open. This forced Marks to look elsewhere to get his racing fix.

Making just one prior start at the tricky 3/8th mile tri-oval in his Grandstock car, it was quite impressive to see him adapt to not only the car but to the track. He eventually would lay down the seventh fastest time in qualifying to set his starting position for the first of two thirty-five laps features. Break issues kept Marks from really pushing the car and figuring out what he had in race one regulating him back to a tenth place finish. A top ten finish in a full field of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Models is still not bad! That issue would not be a factor in race two where Marks fought his way up to a second place finish. Just two races into is career and the only way to best his already best finish is to park it in the box, not a bad deal sir!

“I had start and parked the car for Greg Edwards at Langley twice, and I ran maybe a total of nine laps” Thomas said talking about his start in Late Models. “I didn’t have any practice tires but the Edwards brothers were kind enough to piece me together a set for the Saturday morning practice, they had at least 150 laps on them. The car was pretty balanced we made a spring change after the first morning practice. We ran the first official practice and the tires were just used up the car wasn’t giving me the feel or the input I knew it had in it so after consulting with the crew we decided to not practice anymore and wait to get our new tires for qualifying.”

Marks told us he was pretty excited with qualifying once the guys were able to get some new tires on it. Qualifying seventh out of the sixteen cars that took time in one of the tightest starting grids we had ever seen at East Carolina Motor Speedway, missing the top spot by just about .15 seconds. Looking to get some laps under his belt in the first race and used to running in traffic in a completely different style of racecar but the brakes had other issues. A major problem to have at a track like East Carolina too! During the break the crew determined the right front caliper had gone bad and dialed some rear break in the car to help Thomas out. “The second race was a blast,” Marks went on to tell us. “The car was hooked up. Brakes were a better but not great but the car handled well as it had all day and we were able to make a lot off passes and ultimately come home with a second place finish.”

Coming home tenth and second in your first official Late Model Stock Car race had to be exciting. Of course we had to ask what it must of felt like there in the closing laps to pick cars off one by one and work your way up to that top spot. Had to be pretty exciting?

“Yea it was,” said Marks. “I knew that they weren’t able to conserve there tires and were slipping and sliding everywhere so I just stayed smooth and got in a rhythm and set them up and picked them off one by one.”

Think it would have been a different story if you had a few more laps?

“[I] really wish we could’ve had five more laps or so and been able to battle for the lead. But congrats to Louis, he had a good car under him and was able to stretch his lead when me and Brenden were battling for second.”

Thomas Marks will continue to run at East Carolina Motor Speedway. Telling us he has plans to return to the high bank 3/8th mile oval in June – seeings how races this evening were cancelled due to rain. He also wants to try to make a few starts at both South Boston Speedway as well as the brand new Dominion Speedway in Thornburg. Make sure to head over to Thomas’ Facebook page to follow along this year as he learns what its like to be a Late Model Stock Car driver in the Mid-Atlantic.

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