Nick Smith Dominates at Dominion En Route to Sixth Consecutive Victory

📸 Mark Rogers, Jr.

📸 Mark Rogers, Jr.

Thornburg, VA – When you’re on, you’re on and for Nick Smith, there is no doubt that he is on his game when it comes to Dominion Raceway. Smith earned his sixth official win at the .400-mile high bank oval this past weekend in the Freedom 175. The win comes on the heels of being awarded both wins last weekend after Jeff Oakley was disqualified.

There was no question early on that “Quick” Nick Smith was going to be the car to beat, clocking a time of 15.384 (93.604 MPH) to earn the pole award. NASCAR Whelen All-American Series point’s leader Matt Bowling had the pole for some time but would have to settle for second just five hundredth’s of a second off of the pole. Michael Hardin, Doug Barnes, Jonathan Findley would round out the starting five.

Smith – coming into the weekend sits twenty-third in the nation – would be forced to start three rows deep after a six-car invert. Trent Barnes, who if it were not for bad luck would have no luck, inherited the pole position and did an admirable job at holding the field at bay for just about eight laps before Smith had worked his way up and around him to take the lead – he was not going to be denied. Barnes would eventually end the race early after heavy front-end damage after getting involved in another wreck out of two after Bruce looped his machine. Trent Barnes and Jonathan Findley appeared to make contact for a second time in the race; this time however, was too much damage to continue.

Took twenty laps for Bowling to catch and pass Trent Barnes for the second position. With fifty-five laps to go, Bowling had about a full straightaway to make up on leader Nick Smith and at the rate Smith was going there was going no one was going to catch him without the help of a caution. Bowling would get that caution not but a few laps later as the #9 machine of Mike Miller looped it coming off turn four.

I would say the caution flags were what Matt Bowling wanted to see as it got him closer to the leaders. However, that did not seem to be the case has it looked like Bowling’s car might have been set up for the longer runs. He and Barnes, Jr. would battle hard for position restart after restart with Barnes gaining the advantage each time. I don’t think it would have mattered if the red flag was displayed, there was no denying Nick Smith from victory lane.

Several cautions through out the evening gave the field plenty of opportunity to try and get the jump on Smith but nothing seemed to work. One caution, which at the time we thought it was for Eddie Johnson going into turn one throwing sparks like he was celebrating fourth of July early, or waived off restart came when officials felt that Doug Barnes left before the control car. That control car happened to be Nick Smith on the outside line all night long.

With Smith out front most of the evening, the battle of the night award would have to go to Doug Barnes, Jr and Matt Bowling. Barnes was able to hang onto the position running about a half groove up on Bowling, who gave him a couple shots coming out of turn four, but just was not able to make a pass. Bowling, coming off of an eighth place finish the night before in a full field at South Boston Speedway had a much better national points night with his third place finish.

The second place finish from Doug Barnes, Jr. will certainly help keep the championship hopes alive as he entered this weekends feature just 8 points behind Nick Smith. Matt Bowling, Doug Lieberman, and Michael Hardin would also round out the top five.

 

Late Model Results

P1 #12 Nick Smith; 75
P2 #88 Doug Barnes, Jr.; 75
P3 #83 Matt Bowling; 75
P4 #56 Doug Lieberman; 75
P5 #7 Michael Hardin; 75
P6 #36 Chris Johnson; 75
P7 #57 Eddie Johnson; 75
P8 #21 Mike Darne; 75
P9 #82 Mike Ganoe; 74
P10 #29 Robert Bruce; 74
P11 #07 Richard Storm; 74
P12 #36 Owen Smith; 74
P13 #9 Mark Miller; 72
P14 #82 Cameron Burke; 68
P15 #4 Jonathan Findley; 64
P16 #1 Trent Barnes; 39
P17 #83b Barry Beebe; 2
P18 #2 Teddy Brown

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