The Speedway Results
Coates adds to his points lead.
Frank Coates came to Laurens County Speedway Saturday night with an opportunity to not just win another race in the Limited Division, but a chance to take firm control of the championship chase as second-place driver, Tony Quarles, had this week off.
Coates took advantage of his opportunity to pad his lead, winning an exciting main event over Josh Richeson, who finished second. Austin Watkins was third, Mike Kernells was fourth, and Steven Bowie took fifth. By winning the race Coates boosted his lead to an estimated 159 points over Quarles with five weeks to go.
Coates started the race on the pole and maintained the lead at the start. Mike Huey tried to push the pace through the early going and, despite having smoke start pouring from the back of his car, found himself right in step with Coates. Huey’s good luck ran out on lap 15, however, when his engine finally gave out and he had to retire from the race.
Richeson, who through 15 laps had the fastest lap time of 15.542 seconds, had moved to second place before the restart, but after the race resumed Richeson found his way past Coates with nine laps to go. Richeson tried to pull away from Coates and held a lead of .826 seconds with nine laps to go, but Coates got a dose of good fortune when there was a caution with seven laps to go.
Richeson was still in front on the restart and he appeared to gas his car once he entered the restart zone, before slowing up a tad. Coates used his chance to get himself past Richeson, and once he got himself into the lead Coates pulled away to grab the victory.
SECA 604 Crate: Dale Timms won his second straight race at the speedway, topping Brad Rachels in the main event. Rachels, the division leader, was second and Mike Akeson was third.
Rachels entered the night with a 127-point lead on Danny Howell in the division standings, and the second-place result pushed Rachels’ advantage up by an estimated 10 points over Howell, who finished fourth.
Timms had a great jump at the start of the race and ran out to a comfortable lead as Rachels settled into second place. Rachels stayed just close enough to not allow Timms to pull away early on, but Timms kept enough of a margin to not feel too stressed.
While Timms secured first place, Rachels soon found himself in firm control of second place – and did try to make one final charge toward the end of the race to grab the top spot. His effort, however, was not enough to grab the top spot by the finish.
4-Cylinder: Jeff Megurt took the top spot in the 4-Cylinder Division, while Phillip Wilson was second and Aaron Summit was third.
Megurt started the race on the inside of Row 2, but it was Summit who was at the front of the field at the start. Baillie Lowe followed in second place and the two battled out for nearly the first half of the race. The battle was so fierce and competitive the two drivers eventually made contact on the frontstretch toward the end of the fifth lap and crashed. Summit was eventually able to return, but Lowe’s night was ended.
Another driver who appeared done for was Wilson, who had trouble keeping his engine fired. He was helped off the track on lap 5 after stopping on the backstretch and it appeared his night was over once he couldn’t fire the engine again. But that proved not to be the case as Wilson did get the engine to fire once back in the pits, and he came back out and surged back through the field to take his second-place result.
Megurt, meanwhile, moved from third to first on the lap-5 caution and remained there for the rest of the night – but this could eventually change as Megurt’s tires were protested after the race. The result of the testing should be available by the middle of this week, which will determine if the outcome is changed.
602 Crate: Colt Smith inched closer to back-to-back division titles by winning the main event in the 602 Crate Division. Colby Cannon was second and Nick Coleman was third.
Smith entered the night with a 230-point lead over Michael Smith, but the night was not a good one for Michael Smith as he had a hard accident on the frontstretch with Travis Morgan on lap 12, ending his night. Smith took eighth place as a result.
Colt Smith had a little trouble early on with Morgan as the two duked it out on the front row. Morgan was on the pole and Smith started on the outside of Row 1 before the green flag flew, but Smith was able to get side-by-side for the lead and eventually got by for the lead before a caution on lap 3.
When the race resumed following the caution Smith used a strong jump to grab firm control of the lead, eventually leading by 1.7 seconds after seven laps. The race was briefly stopped after the Smith-Morgan crash, which brought out a red flag, but after the race started up again Smith held off a charge from Cannon.
Thunder Bombers: Dylan Chappell kept his hopes alive for another division title by winning the main event of the Thunder Bombers Division, helping trim a little bit into Dan Lawson’s lead. Casey Lawson was second, Chris Lyons third, and Dan Lawson fourth.
The results of the race helped Chappell trim into Lawson’s lead by an estimated 11 points, keeping him a fair distance out of the lead (90 points), but likely pushing him past Scott Pulley for second in the point standings.
In the race itself Chappell held the lead on the initial start, but the start was wiped out due to a caution. On the second attempted start Chappell again got to the front as he had to hold off Pulley, with Lyons following behind. Pulley and Lyons soon found themselves in a healthy duel for second, all while Chappell started to open some space.
Three more cautions helped slow the pace down but did not allow anyone to take first place away from Chappell, as he eventually won by a half-second.
FWD: Mason Mack found his way to Victory Lane in the main event of the Front-Wheel Drive Division, with Travis Jamieson second and Jason Bishop third.
Jamieson extended his lead in the point standings over Seth Smith to an estimated 145 points after Smith struggled to an eighth-place finish.
Jamieson held the lead on Mack in the early part of the race, while Smith was in the lead group at the start as well. A caution on lap 4 helped keep the field close, with Jamieson still in front, but Mack closed to .35 seconds with four laps gone. Once two more laps were gone Mack had found his way to the front and Jamieson fell from first to third, but he eventually got into the runner-up spot when Smith faltered and had to retire from the race.
Mack shook off a last attempt by Jamieson in a green-white-checkered finish to win by 1.76 seconds.
Young Guns: Austin Brown won the main event in the Young Guns, while division leader T.J. Teal was second and Landen Davis was third.
Brown got the lead from the start of the race and quickly pulled away as Teal struggled to avoid disaster going through the first two turns at times – while Teal was never in danger of spinning out. The race was briefly stopped on lap 7 for a caution, but that only delayed the inevitable as Brown won by more than 5 seconds.