Frankie Coates returns to winners circle at Laurens County Speedway
Frankie Coates, a long-time fixture and former champion at Laurens County Speedway, found his way to Victory Lane for the first time this season Saturday night, using a pole-position start as the catalyst to the victory in the main event of the Limited Division. Jimmy Taylor took second and Austin Watkins was third. The race was a caution-free affair with Coates using a good start to take the lead as Watkins fell into second. In the early going the drivers found themselves spaced out with no change at the top of the field in the opening laps – the only change came on the eighth lap when Taylor made his way by Watkins for second. Lap traffic was no hindrance for Coates as the race went on and he was able to open a very comfortable margin through the remainder of the race, winning his first race at LCS since August 15 of last year. Crates: Taylor Puckett picked up the victory in the main event of the Crate Division, with Deano Long following up in second and B.J. Eubanks taking third. Puckett, who started on the pole for the main event after finishing first in qualifying, took the lead at the start with Eubanks sliding into second. Long held third but had to hold off Stevie Bowie for the spot early on. As the race went on the only real battle was for second between Long and Eubanks, who later got to second but was not able to hold off Long, who got back second place. On a restart with eight laps to go Puckett and Long still found themselves in the top two spots, but Puckett was able to open up enough of a gap that Long could not make up the ground in time. Hobby: It’s like a broken record for Chris Lyons. Lyons won his sixth straight race, including the Shrine Race last week, and now has a whopping nine victories this season in the Hobby Division after he knocked off Lucas Motte, who finished second in the main event. Tim Tollison was third. Tollison took a hard hit early in the main event when he turned into the wall going into the first turn on the second lap of the main event, but Tollison was not seriously injured. After Tollison went to the pits it set up a duel between Lyons and Motte, but Lyons was far and away the best driver in the division and won going away. Stock Thunder: Bruce Barnett took care of business and won his main event race in the Stock Thunder Division. Tinker Roberts was second and Casey Lawson was third. Barnett got to the front on the opening lap as Roberts and Lawson started to battle for second place, but Lawson tried all he could to get past Roberts for the spot but never had enough to get by. While the two battled it out for second place, Barnett stayed well out of the way as he built a strong lead. Barnett was never challenged by Roberts and Lawson, who appeared to have smoke coming from his car with three laps to go and later spun out with Roberts with three laps to go as his night ended early. Even with the restart with three laps to go, there was nothing Roberts could do to catch up to Barnett, who won his fifth race of the regular season. FWD: Andrew Patterson won the main event in the Front-Wheel Drive Division, with Travis Jamieson second and Tony Hill third. Patterson started on the pole for the main event and had to battle three-wide traffic at the start before getting to the lead with Shane Roberts moving to second and Jamieson third. After a restart on the third lap Patterson and Jamieson held firm to their spots with Hill and Roberts duking it out for third. Patterson held a good lead for a time on Jamieson, but Jamieson was able to close the gap fast and set up what appeared to be a fierce battle to the finish. After a slew of stops and starts due to cautions, Patterson maintained the lead with five laps to go as the top four of Patterson, Roberts, Hill and Jamieson, who fell off the pace and settled into the fourth, continued to battle it out, but Patterson was able to hold on and got the victory. Roberts did not maintain his top-four spot after he was disqualified for getting out of his car on the track after the race was over.