Lucama, NC – Mini Tyrell, the 13-year-old two-time Shenandoah Late Model track champion, put the final cherry on top of an incredible weekend by ending up in victory lane in Saturday’s portion of the 17th Annual Thanksgiving Classic presented by Solid Rock Carriers.
After earning the pole position earlier in the afternoon during group qualifying, Tyrell held onto the race lead for the first sixteen circuits before Friday night’s winner, Jamie York was able to get by the Manassas, Virginia driver. The top four drivers, in fact, were all right nose to tail for a little more than half the race until a caution was displayed on lap forty-five. From there it was mostly downhill from there.
The old saying in racing that ‘cautions breed cautions’ was certainly proven to be correct as things started to go downhill fast for a couple of drivers. Jamie York found himself to be on the wrong end of one of those deals after his night was finished earlier than the team planned when he was involved in a crash following the evening’s first restart.
Clay Jones, who had battled his way up to the front of the field, almost had his night come to a screeching halt after he spun in turn four battling hard with Paul Williamson – who had been leading the race at the time. Williamson and Jones were both sent to the rear their involvement in bringing out the yellow. Tyrell would inherit the lead and held off several challenges for the lead after a handful of restarts.
Tyrell’s family and crew were emotional in victory lane and for good reason.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend,” Tyrell told The Weekly Racer in victory lane Saturday night. “Being able to learn so much running with some of these guys and holding them off is just truly incredible. We lost a good friend a couple months ago that was like a brother to me, his birthday is Monday and I knew he was riding with me. I was just praying with about five laps to go that he would get me through it and sure enough he did.”
The victory comes just one day after Tyrell finished second to York in Friday nights “Dash for Cash” 40-lap feature and put a bookend on one of the biggest weekends in his young career.
“They [Tyrell’s crew] gave me an awesome car this weekend and we were just riding there for the first fifty laps just trying to conserve things,” Tyrell went on to say. “Unfortunately we got into the back of Jamie York and messed up the front end of the car a little bit, sorry to him for that but that’s just racing. Fell back to fourth trying to recover from that but was able to battle back to the front and lead the way the rest of the night.”
Gary Ledbetter Jr. took the victory in a thrilling 50-lap Street Stock feautre. Michael O’brien certainly did his fair share of making things interesting when he took things three wide a couple of times battling with Ledbetter in lap traffic. Gary Ledbetter Sr., Gerald Benton, and pole sitter Curtis Pebbles rounded out the top five finishers.
The 2017 Thanksgiving Classic will wrap up later this afternoon, as the green flag will wave for the 125-lap Super Late Model and 200-lap Late Model Sock features. Danny O’Quinn Jr. (SLM) and Lee Pulliam (LMSC) will lead their respective fields to green. Grandstands will open at 9:45 AM. An on-track autograph session is scheduled for 10:15 AM when the first green flag waving at approx. 12:00 noon.
Saturday Night Limited Late Model Results;
- #81 Mini Tyrell; 75
- #15 Clay Jones; 75
- #25 Jacob Borst; 75
- #29 Paul Williamson; 75
- #17 Jason Meyers; 75
- #28 Justin Gill; 75
- #26 Karl Budzevski; 75
- #28 Tyler Horne; 75
- #2 Joshua Yeoman; 75
- #05 Alex Flemming; 75
- #55 Aaron Champion; 75
- #07 Robert Arch; 56
- #22 Eric Winslow; 48
- #1 Jamie York; 47
- #91 Chris Elliot; 47
- #55 Gerald Benton; 47
- #16 Rusty Daniels; 45
- #21 Kevin Jefferys; 20
- #14 Akinori Ogata; DNS
- #31 Wayne Goss; DNS