Rachels stays on a hot streak
Brad Rachels’ hot streak of racing at Laurens County Speedway kept going Saturday night, picking up another victory that will surely help his cause toward winning a SECA 604 Crate Division title by season’s end.
Rachels was able to hold off Michael Akeson, who finished second, to win a main event delayed by nearly an hour by rain. Danny Howell was third and Will Bailey took fourth.
Rachels led from the start of the main event, and in the early going of the 15-lap main event he held a 1.3 second lead over the field. The lead remained steady over Akeson through much of the race, until a caution flag on lap 9 brought the field back together for the only restart in the division’s feature race. Akeson was able to close the gap by nearly half, trailing by .725 seconds with six laps to go, but he could get no closer as Rachels eventually won the race by nearly a full second.
Limited: Taylor Puckett won a 20-lap main event in the Limited Division, with Frank Coates taking second and Tony Quarles following in third.
Puckett started the main event on the pole, turning that into a lead after the race’s first lap. Puckett held a steady lead on Coates in the early going with Austin Watkins, who won his heat race to start on the outside of Row 1, falling back to third. Quarles spun his car on lap 5 to bring out a caution and fall back in the field, but he was able to make up ground and eventually got back into the top three.
Coates made a run at the top spot on the lap-5 restart but could not get all the way to the front, settling for second. Puckett, who was up by less than seven-tenths of a second through six laps, built his lead to nearly two second at the halfway mark before Coates was able to cut into the deficit.
The deficit, however, proved too big to overcome as Puckett pulled away to win by 3.458 seconds.
FWD: Seth Smith got a messy mud drag after his main event, signifying is first-ever victory at LCS when he took the checkered flag in the Front-Wheel Drive Division. Travis Jamieson was second and Mason Mack was third.
Travis Jamieson looked in position to win the main event at the start, dueling with Smith, but the race was brought to a halt when Shaun Kelly’s car smacked the wall hard, sending him onto the wall for a brief time, before rolling over and landing back on the track – on all four tires. Kelly was okay, but the crash brought out a brief red flag stoppage. It was the first of two such instances as, on lap 4, Jason Lambert also had a wild crash that had him flipping in turn 4, before also landing on his tires. He, too, was okay after the crash.
Smith, while the second crash took place, was able to pass Jamieson for the lead and maintained his position while Jamieson’s best hopes for victory were not good enough.
4-Cylinder: Travis Sharpe found his way to the top spot in the 12-lap main, with Phillip Wilson following in second and Scott Nelson in third.
Nelson had the lead at the start of the race with Sharpe using an outside line in attempts to pass for the lead. Sharpe was able to get side-by-side with Nelson on the backstretch of the opening lap before finally getting by before the start-finish line. Nelson and Wilson soon found themselves in a battle for second place that was briefly stopped by a caution on lap 3. When the race resumed Wilson went low under Nelson’s car past the halfway mark, after Nelson had gone high through turn 3 and 4, taking second place for the remainder of the contest.
Sharpe, meanwhile, was well on his way to victory as he built the lead to as much as 3.3 seconds, eventually winning by 3.064 seconds when the checkered flag flew.
Thunder Bombers: Dan Lawson won a rain-shortened main event that was cut down from 12 laps to seven. Dylan Chappell was second and Scott Pulley was third.
The racers tried to beat the rain as the main event went to the green, with Pulley and Lawson dueling for the lead at the start. Pulley went to the outside and allowed Lawson to make a move to take the lead. Lawson maintained his lead through the ensuing laps before a caution flag on lap 6. Chappell got back to the end of Lawson’s car on the restart and had hopes of a charge to the front, a hope that was further extended after cautions on the next two laps, but before the eighth lap was to begin the rain hit, bringing the cars to a slow parade in hopes of keeping the track in race conditions.
After a brief delay the race was officially called and Lawson was declared the winner.
602 Crate: Billy Rushton took the main event in the 602 Crate Division, with Michael Smith following in second and Colt Smith taking third.
The race was delayed by a late shower that hit the track during the Thunder Bombers main event, but after nearly an hour of waiting the remaining fans were treated to a duel between two of the best drivers in all the divisions in Rushton and Smith. The two started on the pole for the main event and remained at the front throughout the 12-lap race. Ruston was able to hold a fair lead through much of the race, but Smith never let Rushton pull away to an easy victory.
The race was slowed by two lap-9 cautions, one that brought out a red flag for a time, but once the race resumed the top two drivers maintained their positions through the remainder of the contest as Rushton led wire-to-wire, winning by just less than seven-tenths of a second.
Young Guns: Caleb Jolly won the main event race over T.J. Teal after Teal crashed his car at the start of the race itself.
Teal had entered the start zone when his car veered to the left and hit the inside wall, suffering too much damage to be able to continue. Jolly was able to continue running and, after putting in a lap, was declared the winner.