Doug Barnes, Jr. Steals Victory on a Green, White, Checkered Finish Friday Night at Dominion
Thornburg, VA – With the NASCAR boys and girls in the capital of the Commonwealth this weekend, some tracks throughout the state will be quite this weekend. Dominion Raceway in Thornburg, however, decided to just move their program up one night and run on Friday. With a full evening of events for the family planned the highlight of the night, 75-laps in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Tyler Hughes, coming into the weekend with two wins on the season already, qualified on the pole during the late evening’s group qualifying session with a 15.394-second lap, an average of 93.543 mph. Jeff Oakley, Brenden Queen, Logan Jones and Timmy Phipps rounded out the fastest five cars on in the fourteen car field.
When it was time to go racing it looked like Tyler Hughes was going to be the car to beat jumping out to an early lead. This left Jeff Oakley and Brenden Queen, who made his Dominion Raceway debut this weekend, to battle for the second position. Oakley would soon clear Queen and start too real in the leader. Took just nine laps for Oakley to catch and pass Hughes or the lead and immediately start to create a gap between him and the field.
Michael Hardin and Doug Barnes, who both qualified outside of the top five, had already worked there way up into the mix battling for position. Both drivers starting the race much deeper than we have seen them in the past wasted no time in making up the time. The field was slowed for the first time on lap 18 after Logan Jones went for a spin down in turn four. He and Barnes were racing very hard and may have made contact, which caused the spin. Jones was able to drive away from the scene but needed to go down pit road to the attention of his crew with a flat right rear tire.
Once the action got back green the drivers went back to work. One driver, Michael Hardin in particular, looked like he was shot out of a cannon and had the nitrous working because lap-by-lap he tracked down Jeff Oakley and eventually made the pass on lap 62 to take the lead. Meanwhile, behind them, Doug Barnes had really turned the wick up and passed the 03 of Queen – who eventually retired from the race with an oil leak from the power plant of his machine. Barnes also tracked down the machine of Tyler Hughes and put on a great battle for third.The race would be slowed once more for several cars putting off smoke from behind the cars. Officials brought the cars down pit road to the attention of their crews. This set up one of the tightest restarts I have seen in a few years at a Saturday night short track race. Hardin was able to clear the field out of two but Doug Barnes stayed hot in his tracks. The race would be slowed one final time setting up the green, white, checkered when Cameron Burke, battling Oakley for fourth, gets into turn one a little
The race would be slowed once more for several cars putting off smoke from behind the cars. Officials brought the cars down pit road to the attention of their crews. This set up one of the tightest restarts I have seen in a few years at a Saturday night short track race. Hardin was able to clear the field out of two but Doug Barnes stayed hot in his tracks. The race would be slowed one final time setting up the green, white, checkered when Cameron Burke, battling Oakley for fourth, gets into turn one a little too hot and made contact with Oakley spinning both of them out. Burke was able to keep his position, as race control did not see it was intentional while Oakley had to restart at the tail end of the line.
Michael Hardin elected to stay down low for the final restart while Barnes elected to take his chances on the outside line, which proved to be the right call. Being able to keep the car wound up coming off the corners Barnes had the better run by maybe a half car at the stripe as the field came to take the white flag. Michael Hardin gave it one last shot as they two dove into one. It was a drag race down the backstretch with Dough Barnes outside of Michael Hardin. Barnes, hanging it out on the outside came off three in what looked like a four-wheel drift. Somehow kept the car semi-straight and beat Hardin to the line by just a tenth of a second. Hughes, Burke, and Ganoe would round out the top five.
LMSC UNOFFICIAL Results;
1.#88 Doug Barnes, Jr.; 83
2. #7 Michael Hardin; 83
3. #8 Tyler Hughes; 83
4. #82B Cameron Burke; 83
5. #83 Mike Ganoe; 83
6. #4 Timmy Phipps; 83
7. #11 Jeff Oakley; 83
8. #07 Richard Storm; 83
9. #19 Cameron Bowen; 80
10. #03 Brenden Queen; 62
11. #77 Logan Jones; 62
12. #55 Robert Bruce; 44
13. #56 Doug Liberman; 24
14. #13 Tyler Daniels; 18