Chappell gets a boost toward division championship
Dylan Chappell, the defending champion in the Thunder Bombers Division at Laurens County Speedway, is still within striking distance of repeating as division champion with eight weeks to go – and Saturday’s result will do nothing but help boost his cause.
Chappell won the main event in the division at the track, with division-leading Dan Lawson second and Scott Pulley third. Chappell, by winning the race, didn’t do much to trim the lead – making up a net of three points on Lawson – but will enter next week’s race 80 points behind. Pulley, meanwhile, remains in second and is approximately 68 points out of first.
A full field of cars took to the track for the main event, but caution after caution quickly trimmed the field by about half of the 16 cars that opened the contest. Chappell held the lead on each of the start attempts, with Lawson following in second, Chris Lyons third and Pulley fourth. The four pulled away from the rest of the field by the end of the third lap, but a caution on lap 4 helped bring the field back together.
When the race resumed on lap 4 Chappell again built a lead with a good restart. Lyons had a run at second place before Lawson was able to thwart the challenge, and Lawson later had a chance to try and take the lead from Chappell before his best efforts proved to not be enough.
The race eventually ended with a green-white-checkered finish, with Chappell finally putting Lawson away on the next-to-last lap.
The drama didn’t end with the race, however, as Lawson protested Chappell’s motor – the head and clutch, specifically – and Chappell proceeded to protest Lawson for the exact same things. Neither protest produced an overturning of the finishing position for either driver, and the results of the race became official.
Limited: Deano Long won the main event in the Limited Division, with Frank Coates second and Tony Quarles third. The result helped Coates take his slim point lead in the division to 43 points with eight weeks left in the season.
Long started on the pole for the main event and used that spot to help grab the lead once the green flag flew. Long tried to open the lead up before a caution on Lap 3, but the caution only delayed the inevitable as Long build a lead to 1.3 seconds with 10 laps complete. The lead eventually reached 1.5 seconds before Coates was able to chip slightly into the margin. Any hope of a comeback by Coates, however, evaporated just as quickly as it appeared and Long managed to pull away to win comfortably.
SECA 604 Crate: Brad Rachels continues his march to a division championship, boosting his cause with a victory in the main event. Michael Akeson was second and Danny Howell was third.
Rachels led from start to finish, taking the top spot after opening on the pole after winning his heat race. The lead didn’t last long, however, as Brandon Carpenter hit the wall on the second lap to bring out the caution flag and bring the field back together. Rachels, once the race resumed, quickly re-established his lead and had little trouble blowing away the field.
Rachels entered the night with a 116-point lead on Howell for the division title, and his victory helped boost his lead by a net eight points after he finished first and Howell finished third – two spots better than where he started.
602 Crate: Travis Morgan took home the top spot in the main event of the 602 Crate Division, with Baron McDowell second and Colt Smith third.
Two cautions in the first two laps helped give the race a choppy start, but once the race resumed on lap 2 it went caution-free the rest of the way. Morgan held the lead through all the stop-and-start action and, as the race went on, he quickly took firm control of the lead. Smith and McDowell battled for second place, getting side-by-side in the later laps, but McDowell did just enough to keep Smith from taking over the spot after McDowell reasserted control of second with two laps to go.
FWD: Seth Smith was able to cut a little into the point lead of Travis Jamieson by winning the Front-Wheel Drive main event. Joel Cabe was second and Travis Jamieson was third.
Smith entered the race trailing Jamieson by 120 points, but his victory helped him trim 13 points off the margin.
Smith started the race fourth while Josh Dawson was in the front of the field. Jamieson was in second after the start, but early on his car suffered damage as the right front panel began to peel up. Jamieson was able to keep going despite the damage but could not get all the way to the front of the field. Dawson, meanwhile, held onto the lead before spinning on lap 7 to bring out the yellow and end his hopes at victory. Smith took full advantage of the caution and grabbed the lead, holding on for the remainder of the night.
4-Cylinder: Phillip Wilson grabbed another victory in the 4-Cylinder main event. J.R. Baker was second and Scott Nelson was third. The victory helped Wilson push his point lead to 99 points over Baker.
The caution-free race saw Aaron Summitt start at the front, but he faltered on the opening lap and fell to third as both Wilson and Baker went by for the top two spots. Summitt tried to recapture the second-place post but could not get past Baker, and by the end of the race Summitt saw his hold of third place slip away as Nelson got by with a low pass.
As for Wilson and Baker, who remained at the front of the field for the rest of the race, Wilson never let go of the lead position and held on to win by .556 seconds.
Young Guns: Landen Davis took the Young Guns race, with Kayley Garner second and T.J. Teal third.
Teal had the lead in the early going before hitting the wall in the opening lap. Teal managed to stay at the front for a time, but it appeared his car was starting to fail him. Davis, on the second lap, eventually took the lead from Teal, who had a wheel pop off his car on the seventh lap to end his night.
Davis, who had already put Garner a lap down, won the race after its resumption on a green-white-checkered finish.