Race Is Profitable for Bristol
The 4-Cylinder Division took center stage at Laurens County Speedway Saturday night, putting on the Richard Johnson Memorial Race – and it proved to be a very profitable one for Tim Bristol.
Bristol won the 25-lap main event, and the $1,200 that came with it, holding the top spot in a near wire-to-wire race. Matt Gilbert was second, Kevin Cooper third, Phillip Wilson fourth and J.R. Baker fifth.
Bristol took the lead from the start as drivers further from the back went three-wide for a brief time. Nick Broome found himself in an early battle for fourth with Wilson before Wilson held on for the spot. The race went on until a caution on lap 4 forced the field to a double-file restart and put Cooper in the lead spot when given a chance to choose starting inside or outside on Row 1. Bristol was not able to get by before a caution came out on lap 5, but when the race resumed Bristol used his inside-starting spot on the front row to take the lead back from Cooper.
As the laps went by Bristol continued to maintain his hold of the lead, and gained separation from Cooper, but Cooper eventually lost the hold of second place when Gilbert made his pass just beyond the halfway mark. That pass didn’t last very long, however, and Cooper grabbed the spot back and held onto the positioning until the very last lap as Gilbert made a pass on the backstretch and as the drivers entered turn 3.
Bristol, though, had no further trouble as he continued to maintain a safe hold of the lead – and eventually took the victory by more than 3 seconds.
Limited: Frank Coates took the top spot in the Limited Division main event. Deano Long took second place and Tony Quarles was third.
Coates jumped to the lead on the start after opening on the pole. Quarles maintained second with Long following in third, and by the second lap the top three drivers had started to pull away from the field. The race was stopped for a caution on lap 4 when Austin Watkins spun out, and Watkins continued to have bad luck as he spun out one more time and then was cited for a caution on lap 7 that ended his night.
After another yellow flag on lap 7 bunched the field back up, and sent Quarles to the back of the field, Coates continued to hold his top spot with Quarles pushing quickly to get back into the top three. Quarles made the pass by the end of the 10th lap, but while all this was going on Coates held a firm grip on the lead position. Long had to work to hold onto second place, but once he did that, he made one final dash toward the top spot – and nearly got all the way back – before Coates shut the door on a potential comeback.
SECA 604 Crate: Dale Timms cruised to victory in his main event, with Brad Rachels second and Michael Akeson third.
Timms got off to a good start in what turned out to be a caution-free race, holding back Rachels for the top spot. Akeson and Bradley Silvers battled for third with Silvers getting by for the spot through two laps. As the race went on Timms opened up a healthy lead on the rest of the field, eventually grabbing a 4-second lead with five laps to go, while Akeson eventually taking back the third spot.
Timms and Rachels closed in on lap traffic toward the end of the race, which proved to be the only thing that could’ve given Rachels a chance to win the race after facing the deficit he did, but even that wasn’t enough to turn things around as Timms eased home.
FWD: Travis Jamieson took the top spot in the Front-Wheel Drive Division, with Billy Medlin second and Seth Smith third.
The early battle in the main event was between Joel Cabe and Mason Mack, who started the race on the front row. Cabe held the lead over Mack, while Jamieson and Medlin followed in third and fourth. Cabe then had hard contact on lap three, but eventually wanted a piece of Mack as Cabe got out of the car on the front stretch – while the race was under caution. That immediately left Cabe disqualified from the race. Mack had to get a tire replaced but was able to keep going.
When the race resumed Mack tried to surge back into contention, but Jamieson and Medlin took control – with Jamieson pulling away from Medlin and not allowing him to build any challenge down the stretch.
602 Crate: Colt Smith looked like he would settle for second place in his main event, but when leader Rod Tucker had smoke pour out of his vehicle and lost command of the race, Smith was at the ready to eventually pass and win the race. Travis Morgan was second and Parris Simmons was third.
Tucker and Morgan were on the front row at the start of the race, which was initially wiped out due to a caution. The second attempt to start the race was much cleaner and led to three laps of clean racing before a caution on lap 4. Tucker and Smith continued to hold the top spots with Morgan in third, and with all the cars spaced out from each other it appeared the drivers would keep those spots until the very end. Even when the cars approached lap traffic it did nothing to slow the drivers’ momentum.
Tucker was still ahead with three laps to go when the smoke poured out from the back of his car, and when it did Smith took full advantage as he zipped by to take the lead for keeps, while Tucker eventually fell all the way to seventh.
Thunder Bombers: Dan Lawson took the lead at the start of the main event and never looked back as he picked up his third victory of the season. Randy Cantrell was second and Scott Pulley was third.
Lawson got a good start on the race’s third attempt at a double-file opening, building a sizable lead as Cantrell and Brandon Satterfield settled into second and third. Pulley, who started eighth, was able to gain ground and eventually move up to his finishing third position, but the two lead cars remained ahead of the field – with Lawson proving to be the best driver in the field.
Cantrell had one last shot at taking the lead from Lawson on a restart with four laps to go, but he couldn’t get the start he wanted and allowed Lawson to pull away again to grab the checkered flag.
Young Guns: Austin Brown finished first in the Young Guns Division, with Zak Brown second, T.J. Teal third and Jacob Kelly fourth.
Austin Brown held the lead from the start and never fell out of the top spot through the duration of the 10-lap main event. Zak Brown held a first grip on second as well but could not make a push to challenge for the lead, having to settle for the runner-up post.