Hundreds of race fans made their way down to the front straight of Wythe Raceway Saturday night where all of the race cars were lined up for fan appreciation. Drivers got to meet their fans who in turn were able to get autographs, take photos and get hero cards. As the fans returned to the grandstands the large field of UCAR cars lined up for their feature event. Last years Wythe Raceway track champion Dillon Huffman, Sugar Grove in the Ken McMahan prepared Cavalier lead the field to the green flag. On lap two John Greybeal, Rural Retreat lost a wheel with numerous drivers spinning to avoid a major pileup. Lap three saw three and four wide racing when Meadowview driver Danny Bland also lost a wheel entering turn four with several more cars unable to continue. It took four tries to get lap four in the books with repeated cautions for wrecks and other miscues. Brandon McClure, Troutdale went for a wild ride coming out of turn two by rolling, spinning on the nose of the car and flipping several times. McClure was OK but the same could not be said for his racecar. Daniel Wright, Rural Retreat passed Huffman for the lead on lap four and they crossed the finish line in the same order. However in the tech building Wright refused a protest and was disqualified and Huffman was one pound light at the scales resulting in a DQ. The DQs moved Cole Dutton, Chilhowie to the number one spot followed by his brother Cody who made his first appearance of the 2013 in a beautifully constructed racecar. Third was Danny Tate, Rural Retreat; Junior Hall, Marion and Ricky Ward of Marion.
The Modified race saw retired driver R K Dix, Rural Retreat become unretired and lead the first four laps of the highly competitive open wheel cars. Then smooth driving Morgan Widener, Marion took the lead. Ron Lawson, Austinville and Dix kept the pressure on Widener for the remainder of the race but to no avail as Widener won his first race in the Modified division. In tech inspection Dix’s car’s body did not meet the specifications resulting in a DQ. Brent Hilton, Rural Retreat was third with Wytheville drivers Brandon Bentley and Will Ferguson rounding out the top five.
Michael Deskins, Tazewell and Keith Griffitts, Sugar Grove waged a side by side battle every lap with Deskins leading all 20 laps in the R & C Super Street race. Griffitts was up beside the 88 of Deskins around 40 times but could not make the pass. Randy Taylor, Chilhowie; Joe Bonham, Sugar Grove and Rural Retreat driver Kenny Peeples, Jr made up the top five.
Pro Mini driver Gary Rudolph, Fries showed the way for four laps and then it was Marion’s Travis Harden leading the next six. On lap ten Dennis Jones, Galax and Rudolph got together coming out of turn two with both cars sustaining damage when they impacted the inside guard rail. Neither driver was injured. Jason Powers, Marion took the lead from Harden and one lap later Harden regained the lead for good. At the stripe following Harden were Powers; Shawn King, Wytheville; Tim Taylor, Fries and Chris Martin, Sugar Grove.
Trevor Cregger, Christiansburg took the lead from Lance Reynolds, Max Meadows on lap eight to pick up his first ever win in the FASTRAK Late Model division. Teddy Tate, Rural Retreat also passed Reynolds for second. Reynolds was third followed by Cody Cook, Newland, NC.
The UCAR 2 division for drivers from 12 to 16 years of age saw Julianna Cooper, Charlotte, NC, lead from green flag to checkered flag. Last week’s winner Jake Phipps, Chilhowie passed Ashley Umberger, Rural Retreat on lap 10 for second place. Following Umberger were Jacob Thomas, Marion and Justus Bowyer, Rural Retreat in fifth.
Gates will open at 5 pm with races at 8 pm Saturday for Fast Family Fun. All children 10 and under are FREE. A special “Crawdad” race will be held for UCAR drivers with $100.00 going to the driver who can back around the track and take the checkered flag. Dirt Late Model magazine will be giving out gifts to the first 100 fans through the gate. Information on the June 22nd $10,000.00 to win Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model event will be finalized soon.