Teal wins second points championship
Championship Saturday, and Sunday, at Laurens County Speedway brought about the usual craziness that typically dots the final race of the season.
It also brought with it the successful defense of a points championship.
Larry Teal turned back Rod Tucker to win the main event, with Tucker second and Phillip Wilson third. The result of the race allowed Teal, who gained a net two points over Tucker in the standings, to win his second straight points championship. Tucker finished in second place in the season standings.
Tucker started the main event seventh to give himself a chance at earning bonus points that could have impacted the final standings. Tucker was able to charge through the field and eventually took second place with four laps to go after finally passing Wilson for the spot.
Teal was in second, starting on the outside of Row 1, when the green flag flew but he was able to find his way to first place. Once he did the race for the top spot was settled, even through a pair of late cautions.
But there was a little drama toward the end of the night when Tucker appeared ready to protest Teal – a move that, if successful, would’ve handed Tucker the season championship with a Teal disqualification. The protest was denied, however, when Tucker was ruled to have taken money through the fence after the race to violate a rule that any protest money must be on the driver at the start of the race itself.
Because the protest was nixed, Teal was ruled the winner of the race and the overall repeat champion.
SECA 604 Crate: Taylor Puckett had a rough finish to his final race of the season, finishing eighth, but it was good enough to secure a season championship over Brad Rachels, who was third in the main event.
Larry Timms won the main event, with Nick Deitz second and Rachels third. Timms used a good start to pick up the lead with Deitz in second from the drop of the green flag. Rachels started in fourth and remained in that spot for much of the night, eventually getting to third at the end of the race.
Puckett started the race ninth and moved up through the field, eventually getting to fifth place and one spot behind Rachels, but he was not able to finish the race and eventually went out through the exit in turn 3 on what was the final lap.
Thunder Bombers: Dan Lawson won the final main event and was able to gain ground on Dylan Chappell in the point standings, but it was not enough to catch Chappell as he captured the season point championship.
The race got off to a start-and-stop opening, with four starts needed before the race got through the opening lap safely. Once the race did Lawson was able to get to the front of the field while Chappell, who opened 11th on the initial start, held around ninth place before eventually moving up to finish sixth by the end of the race.
At the front Lawson and Rod Tucker fought for the top spot the entire race. Lawson had to dig deep to hold off Tucker, who continually contacted Lawson’s car but never put either driver in danger of crashing out. Lawson saw Tucker looked low for a potential pass with two laps to go no avail, and then the two had to work around an accident in turn 4 on what was their final lap. But Lawson never lost control of first place and ended his season with a victory for his effort.
Behind Lawson and Tucker, who took the top two spots, was Phillip Wilson in third place.
602 Crate: Colt Smith won his point championship in style, earning his first checkered flag of the season in the division’s final race. Alan Shifferly was second and David Stone was third.
The race was a caution-free affair for Smith, who never was seriously challenged in the race after using a good start to pull away through the first two laps. As each lap went on the lead grew larger for Smith, who eventually won the race by a monster 8.762 seconds over Shifferly.
FWD: Joel Cabe won his last race of the season over Mason Mack and Jason Bishop, who took second and third in the final race standings. With the victory Cabe secured the season championship as well.
Cabe got out to the lead at the start of the main event, with Mack remaining behind the entire night. Cabe was able to pull out to a safe victory, while Bishop – the only challenger in the point standings – could not put together the night he needed to help knock Cabe out of the top spot. When Cabe took the checkered flag, the season title was secure.
Limited and Enduro: Two divisions had already crowned their division champions entering the last races of the season as Tony Quarles won the Limited title and Eric Caughorn captured the Enduro crown.
In the Limited race Mike Huey won the main event, with Quarles second and Deano Long third. Quarles put up a good fight toward the end of the race in hopes of passing Huey for first place, but Huey finally pulled away on the last lap to put Quarles away and take the final main event victory.
The Enduro race featured one of the tightest finishes of the season as Adam Jackson won by a nose over Danny Hurley, Sr., in the main event. Caughorn was third.
Jackson held the lead for much of the night with Hurley, who won the heat race, keeping the pressure on for the top spot. Hurley remained in second for the entire night, but by doing so gave himself a chance to win on the final lap. He made the final lap a drag race on the backstretch and made a move for the victory in the final turns, but Hurley’s best efforts came up just short as Jackson barely held on at the finish.
FWD Demolition: C.J. Mason gave the fans a thrill as he won the first Front-Wheel Drive Demolition Derby race, the final event of the season.
Six cars were featured in the contest that took place on the front stretch – in front of the flagstand and all the grandstand seating. The battle went nearly 20 minutes, featured plenty of steaming engines, and a fiery one to boot, but the fans got their money’s worth before Mason finally proved able to outlast the rest of the field.