Sergio Pena Third Different Winner at the New Dominion Raceway

Sergio Pena Celebrates in Victory Lane at Dominion Raceway as the third different winner in 2016. (📸: Dominion Raceway)

Sergio Pena Celebrates in Victory Lane at Dominion Raceway as the third different winner in 2016. (📸: Dominion Raceway)

Thornburg, VA – Home of the brand new Dominion Raceway, a multifaceted racing facility hosting Saturday night NASCAR Whelen All-American Series features. If that was not enough, Dominion Raceway will host a slew of road racing events on their two-mile road course, not even to mention the 1/8th mile drag strip. It took us just a little over a month to make the trip up north, after Mother Nature and her rain tantrums put a hold on our plans, to the newly created 4/10th mile banked oval.

Tonight’s McCreary 100 marked just the third race in 2016 for Dominion’s oval program. Two different winners have been crowne, Tyler Hughes & Nick Smith, respectively. It was no surprise to us to see the two at the top of the speed charts after qualifying, however, a pesky six-car invert would take the two fastest cars and place them on third row for the start of the race.

It didn’t take but a couple of hundred feet to see our first of what would be eight yellow flags of the night. Not sure if our leader Trent Barnes spun the tires or just didn’t get the power down to the rear wheels like he wanted to but, it caused a pretty big traffic jam from about middle of the pack on back. The #79 of Berry Dean getting the worst end of the deal, heavy right front damage would put an end to his night.

Once clean up was complete in turn one we got back to some green flag racing where it did not take long for the cream of the crop to rise to the top. Only took a little over ten laps for both Nick Smith and Tyler Hughes to take the lead and start putting some distance on the rest of the field, picking up where they left off the past two races, until what was that from the flag stand? You guessed it, that darn yellow flag! The slower car of Zeb Pixley reached out and tagged the outside wall just past the flag stand, which looked to cut down the right rear tire, sending him for a spin into one. Jeff Oakley, who actually set the car on the pole and was currently running in third, really had nowhere to do and plowed right into the rear of Pixley. Needless to say both drivers were done for the night.

The top five was not the only place you needed to keep an eye on for some good racing. Long time Late Model drivers Eddie & Chris Johnson, who took the green flag about mid pack, were slowly picking positions off one by one, as was Michael Hardin – who spent some quality time testing here at Dominion during the off season. It just seemed right as the racing started to pick up anywhere throughout the field we would get a caution. Attrition & Restarts were the name of the game in the Late Model feature this weekend in our opinion.

Things started to get really interesting on one particular restart with twenty laps to go as Nick Smith, who had been the dominate car all night, was not able to get up to speed. Limping the car back around and down pit road to the attention of his crew he would hand the lead over to Tyler Hughes. We later find out a right rear tire was the culprit in the 12 of Smith. It was no cakewalk for Hughes once taking the lead however, as Michael Hardin started to turn up the wick as the laps ticked down. The racing would have to be halted after the #1 of Trent Barnes got into the machine of Liberman a little to much ultimately sending him around and which brought out yet another yellow flag.

On the ensuing restart Tyler Hughes would elect to use the cone and restart on the outside groove, leaving Hardin to his inside. Though in the past two races Dominion has proved to be a two-groove track, it was Hardin who made the bottom line look just a tad bit better – Hardin was able to power around Hughes and officially take the lead on lap 92. The field would be slowed yet again with about five laps to go after the #64 of Leutz collides rather hard with the inside retaining wall down on the front stretch.

With what would be the final restart of the night Hardin elected to stay down on the bottom, and in shocking fashion, so did Tyler Hughes. That allowed Sergio Pena and Doug Barnes to go topside for a five-lap shoot out for the win.

Hardin got the restart he needed and took the field into one with the lead. Things were looking good for Hardin there down the backstretch but Sergio Pena had other plans out of turn four. Getting around Hardin with just a handful of laps Pena put enough distance between he and the field to all but lock up the victory. Doug Barnes was also able to get by Hardin for the second spot. Tyler Hughes, who had a strong car all race, had a right front tire issue there late, causing him to fall all the way back to the ninth spot. Eddie & Chris Johnson, in the meantime, found themselves there in the top five after working through the short green flag runs and being in the right places at the right time there in the closing laps.

Dominion Raceway will be back in action next weekend, May 14th for the ALCOVA MORTGAGE 185. For more information head over to www.dominionraceway.com or visit them on Facebook.

 

McCreary 100 OFFICIAL Results:

1) #01 Seigio Pena; 100
2) #88 Doug Barnes; 100
3) #7 Michael Hardin; 100
4) #57 Eddie Johnson; 100
5) #5 Chris Johnson; 100
6) #77 Logan Jones; 100
7) #56 Doug Liberman; 100
8) #66 Zach Wells; 100
9) #8 Tyler Hughes; 100
10) #36 Owen Smith; 100
11) #1 Trent Barnes; 100
12) #23 Wes Green; 99
13) #18 Chandler Sherman; 99
14) #12 Nick Smith; 97
15) #64 Bill Leutz; 95
16) #9 Mark Miller; 93
17) #29 Robert Bruce; 68
18) #82B Cameron  Burke; 68
19) #45 Tyler Daniels; 65
20) #82 Mike Ganoe; 53
21) #07 Richard Storm; 53
22) #40 Jay Penny; 47
23) #11 Jeff Oakley; 17
24) #50 Zeb Pixley; 17
25) #17 Eric George; 14
26) #89 Irving Cook; 11
27) #79 Barry Dean; 0
28) #30 Tyler Gallup; 0

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