Jeff Oakley Dominates Late Model Feature on Memorial Day at Dominion

IMG_8368Thornburg, VA – Thirty-one cars showed up for the inaugural Memorial Day 100 lapper at Dominion Raceway in Spotsylvania County. The day was overcast but that was perfect compared to the rain all of Virginia has been drenched in lately. National points leader Matt Bowling made the trip up with both South Boston and Motor Mile having off to try and get some points to keep him up top.

Jeff Oakley would set fast time in euro qualifying breaking his own record with a very fast 14.853, the fastest K&N Pro car ran a 14.834. Bowling qualified in second but was over three tenths off the pace of Oakley. Tyler Hughes’ crew had a misunderstanding with the rules for qualifying and came to pit road to try and let some of the cars run and pull off, but in this session once you pitted you had to immediately go to the tech shed. He’d come out and post a time fast enough for third but would have to stat at the rear of the field.

Before the race Oakley would pick a two car draw putting Bowling on the poll. Bowling’s run would only last 6 laps until Oakley would get by him, with Matt falling back to 4th place. On lap fourteen the first caution of the race flew with the 44 of Keith Carpenter slapping the wall with what looked to be a right front tire going down. Tyler Hughes day would finish here with mechanical problems sidelining the car.

When the cone came out Oakley and Doug Barnes stayed low and with Nick Smith and Bowling going high. Jeff got a great start jumping out ahead of Barnes leading to great battles from second to seventh until the second caution. Tyler Daniels in the 45 was limping around for a couple laps and spun out on lap 27.

The third caution of the race flew just two laps after the restart with Bill Leutz and Zach Wells. The officials would bring out the red flag to clean up the fluids, and they even had a street sweeper on hand to assist on the cleanup which was a nice touch. Once it was lifted the 77 of Logan Jones came down pit road to make massive wedge adjustments, he started 4th but quickly fell backwards with a poor handling car.

The adjustment wouldn’t come to fruition though, Jones would be involved in an accident with Cameron Burke and would park it for the day. Bowling’s crew would claim to have the lead when the wreck happened but Oakley would stay in front. Matt would try the high side on every restart he could but it never hooked up for him. Sergio Pena and Barnes would try to get by him, with Pena almost running the apron to make it three wide. Pena came under pressure and would slap the wall and drop back to seventh in the field.

The rest of the race was an exercise in patience for Oakley having to deal with lots of lapped traffic, with a couple slow downs allowing Barnes and Bowling to catch his bumper but never able to pass the dominant 11 car. Barnes would get by Bowling with a little bump and run but Oakley’s hot rod was just too quick.

Official Late Model Results

1. Jeff Oakley; 100
2. Doug Barnes; 100
3. Matt Bowling; 100
4. Nick Smith; 100
5. Michael Hardin; 100
6. Trent Barnes; 100
7. Travis Miller; 100
8. David Polenz; 100
9. Johnathan Findlay; 100
10. Sergio Pena; 100
11. Robert Bruce; 100
12. Bruce Anderson; 100
13. Doug Liberman; 100
14. JJ Pack; 99
15. Chris Johnson; 99
16. Vincent Campbell; 99
17. Jay Penny; 99
18. Richard Storm; 99
19. Mike Ganoe; 98
20. Maddie Crane; 98
21. Owen Smith; 98
22. Mark Miller; 98
23. Matt Ashworth; 86
24. Tyler Daniels; 62
25. Cameron Burke; 37
26. Logan Jones; 36
27. Bill Leutz; 27
28. Zach Wells; 27
29. Michael Marr; 23
30. Keith Carpenter; 14
31. Tyler Hughes; 14

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