The Speedway Roundup
Thunder Bomber Futures: Burton GRANTED his wish, Grant Burton dominates debut Thunder Bomber Future main event.
New to the Laurens County Speedway for 2021 is the "Thunder Bomber Futures" division, in which younger drivers or drivers who haven't won a Thunder Bomber main event in recent years make up the field. The goal was to create more opportunities for drivers to gain exposure at the track instead of getting lost in the fold of the heavily saturated Thunder Bomber field. The night started with some wild heat races which saw DJ Crawford & Travis Mabe land on the front row for the feature event. As the green flag flew Crawford headed for an early lead, with third place starter, Grant Burton hot on his heels. As the top two started to scoot away, the first caution of the night fell as Ryan Sparks would go for a spin. After the restart, Burton began hounding Crawford for the lead. The two would make contact on the front stretch, with Burton taking advantage heading into turn one. Burton would separate himself quickly, but just as soon the second yellow on the night came out as Chris Stuart stalled in turn one. One the restart Crawford has his next opportunity to avenge his lead against Burton, but couldn't hang on. Crawford took a couple of peaks at Burton, but eventually slid up the track letting Burton slip away and allowing Travis Mabe to steal the runner up spot. After one final caution flag, Burton again put distance on the field in the closing laps. Burton would reach his largest lead of the night and stroll to his first career win at the Darlington of Dirt! Mabe landed in second, with Brady England snagging a third place result. DJ Crawford would settle in fourth, as Keith Eaton rounded out the top five. Burton would earn his first mud bath & firmly mark his territory in what looks to be a highly competitive Thunder Bomber Futures division this season.
Monster Mini Stock 4:
HOT RODDIN", Rod "Hot Rod" Tucker scores season opening four cylinder win at the Darlington of Dirt. The four cylinder has become a staple at the Laurens County Speedway, with close racing, big personalities & an always changing driver line-up. Kicking off the season, the four cylinder had competition a plenty. Heavy hitters including Rod Tucker, Kody & Phillip Wilson, Scott Nelson & more. Tucker showed his speed early with a confident heat race win, with Kody Wilson joining him on the front after a hard heat race battle with his teammate & defending champion, Phillip. As the green flag flew on the feature, Kody Wilson had a strong run heading into turn one, but would fade up the track allowing Tucker to scoot away. Phillip Wilson would also take advantage & skate his way to the second position. Wilson set his sights on the No.8 machine of Tucker, and began reeling him in quickly. Wilson took a few looks on Tucker, but could get a run off the corner to pull along side. Both Tucker & Wilson ran nose to nose for nearly half the race before Tucker found and extra gear and began to creep away. As the laps would tick down, the front settled in with Tucker scoring the win in what was a caution free race. Phillip Wilson scored the runner up spot as Scott Nelson brought home a competitive third place finish.
The second new division debuting at the Darlington of Dirt for 2021 is the "Bradley Lambert Young-Guns" division. The Young-Guns class is designed to help younger drivers ages 10-15 learn the ropes of racing, while getting first hand experience in real racecars. This years Young-Guns class looks to be a family affair, with many second and third generation drivers taking the main stage. CJ Smith, son of three time defending 602 Crate Late Model champion Colt Smith, looks to be a fan favorite this season, along with Joshua "Scoot Dawg" Wilson, son of Thunder Bomber competitor Josh Wilson. Joining them Saturday night was youngster Aedan Campbell, Jayme Woodard and heavy hitter Trenten Jamieson, son of multi-time LCS winner Travis Jamieson. On the line was $1,200 put up by a variety of sponsors throughout the week that made the debut event a HUGE one for the youngsters involved. Drama would unfortunately make an early appearance as CJ Smith would break in hot laps, which led to his car hitting the wall & putting an end to his night. Jamieson & Wilson could lead the field to green & quickly separate themselves up front. Jamieson gained a big lead quickly, with Wilson consistently running quality lap times in second. Woodard sat in third while gaining valuable seat time his his No.11 machine. Unfortunately Campbell was unable to finish the main event with engine issues, but had a great introduction to the Darlington of Dirt. Back up front, Jamieson continued to pace the field confidently, which led to his first win at Laurens County Speedway. Wilson would maintain a second place finish, as Woodard finished in third.
"Superfly" snags super win in Thunder Bomber division. The always popular Thunder Bomber division showcased the usual Saturday night... calamity and great competition. James "Superfly" Hudson began his near perfect night with a sturdy heat race win would landed him on the front row with long time racer Dan Lawson. Hudson & Lawson charged into turn one on the opening lap with Hudson taking the lead with a run on the bottom off of turn two. Further in the field, Ed Hodges & Josh Wilson duked it out for the fourth spot, but the battle would be halted when Jeff Lemmons went for a spin in turn two. The first restart of the night would come with 10 laps to go, as Hudson once again jumped to a healthy lead. Hudson's car was nearly perfect as he skated around the high banks of LCS. Deeper in the field defending track champion Reid Neaderhiser found himself in a battle with Hodges for the 6th position. The two would make contact a lap later, which led to Neaderhiser bringing out the yellow for a flat tire. Hudson's lead was now null & void with two laps to go. As the green flag came back out, Hudson went back to what he did best... leading. "Superfly" skated to an easy lead & scored a dominate victory to open the season. Lawson would bring home the runner up position, with Scott "Porkchop" Pulley mired in third.
602 Crate Late Model:
New season, new ride, same results... Rod Tucker knuckles his way to A2 Exterminators victory lane for the second time Saturday night! The 602 Late Model division continues to be a highlight every Saturday night, even with new players up front. Three time defending track champion Colt Smith jumps up to Limited Late Model for the foreseeable future, leaving the door open for new names & faces in victory lane. Even with the door open for new winners, many familiar names found themselves up front. Rod Tucker, who was scheduled to run his 4-cylinder car, had no attentions of running with the 602's at the beginning of the night. Michael Smith, the traditional driver of the No.12 mean green machine was called into work last minute, leaving the seat open for opportunity. Tucker was tapped as the man for the job. The night kicked off with qualifying, which saw Colby Cannon top Rod Tucker by running a 15.291. Cannon led the field to green & jumped to a quick lead. Tucker, who started second, fell back to third momentarily, before regaining the second spot off of turn four on the opening lap. Tucker began chasing down Cannon for the top spot, which led to the battle of the night. Tucker would catch Cannon for the lead, with both drivers running side by side for multiple laps. Tucker would gain the advantage in turn three, but Cannon would work the bottom for another shot at glory. Tucker would eventually clear off turn two, and set sail for the time being. The first caution of the night came as Daniel Dickson spun in turn one, giving Cannon & others another shot at the top spot. As the green fell, the yellow quickly flew with Tucker jumping the start. After another failed attempt, Tucker was moved to second, handing Cannon the lead once again. After another yellow, Cannon remained the leader, but Tucker continued to lurk. Once under green, Tucker got a huge run on the lowside of turn two as Cannon drifted up. Tucker pinched Cannon towards the outside wall, grabbing the lead once again. Tucker would maintain the lead for the remainder of the night, even with multiple yellows in the closing laps. Cannon would have to settle for second, while Clay Thompson grabbed third after a touch battle with Bailie Lowe, who finished fourth. Chris Norwood would round out the top five.
Limited Late Model:
Timms Time stands still, Taylor Puckett steals the Limited Late Model show. All eyes were only living legend Larry Timms headed into Saturday night. Timms was looking to be the fourth man to earn 100 career wins at the Darlington of Dirt. In order to join the list with Bobby Tucker, Billy Rushton & Frank Coates, Timms needs one more victory. The night looked to be headed that direction as Timms set the fast time in qualifying with a 14.341. Puckett would join Timms on the front row, setting up a dynamic front row for the feature. As flag man Chris Rooney waived the rag, both drivers were even heading into turn one, with Puckett gaining the advantage on the highside. With Timms falling to second, Frank Coates looked to join the party on the other end of the track. Coates dove into turn three looking for second, but had a big wiggle in the car cementing him in the third spot. Puckett would begin to set the pace, and a fast one it was. Puckett gapped the field quickly, leaving little to the imagination for how the night would pan out. Further in the field, Shun "Oreo" Thomas took a peak at Frank Coates for third, but couldn't get around the defending track champion. As soon as his chase for Coates ended, Thomas began defending his position over Nick Deitz. Deitz made attempt after attempt on Thomas for fourth, but eventually settled for fifth as lapped traffic began to play a role. Puckett would take a dominant victory, with Timms coming home second.
Front Wheel Drive:
Jamieson keeps it in the family, like father like son... like son like father, Travis Jamieson goes to victory lane in the Front Wheel Drive main event. Travis Jamieson, a consistent threat to win on Saturday nights, does exactly what was expected. Jamieson started off the night landing the pole after a win in his heat race, joining Jake Barnett on the front row. Barnett would challenge Jamieson early by gaining the lead on the inside, but Jamieson wasn't far behind. The two would draw side by side momentarily, with Jamieson getting the better of Barnett. As Jamieson set sail, third place driver Wayne Taylor charged his way to the conversation for second. With the the battle warming up, the first caution would fall with Cody Paige making contact with the outside wall off of turn four. After the clean up, Jamieson took off once again. Taylor began pestering Barnett for second again, but just as quickly the caution would fly again with Justin Harris and James Bailey tangling in turn three. The final restart would come with 6 laps remaining, and once again Jamieson soared to a hefty lead. Wayne Taylor would finally get passed Barnett for the second spot, and started to crunch the lead of Jamieson. Taking the white flag Taylor was in striking distance after a huge dive into turn three. Jamieson couldn't separate off of turn two on the bell lap, leaving Taylor one last shot in the final corners. Taylor dove the car into turn three, but too little too late, Jamieson held on to score another victory at the Darlington of Dirt.