Zoomin' on the speedway
Bailes has the top night at LC Speedway
When push came to shove, Ross Bailes proved to be the best driver all night at Laurens County Speedway.
Bailes had the top time in qualifying for the Ronnie Brookshire Main Event race for the 21-car field that appeared at LCS Friday night, then went wire-to-wire in the 40-lap race to pick up a victory, and a check of $4,014. Casey Roberts took second place with a strong effort throughout the main event, Brett Hamm was third, Trent Ivey finished fourth, and Zack Mitchell ended up in fifth.
Bailes started the main event from the outside of Row 1 after winning the pole position, and he shot out to the lead with Roberts’ 101 car following in second place. Despite the field going three-wide behind the leaders the field was able to drive clean through many of the early laps. Bailes led a quick pace in the early laps as the front of the field caught the tail end of the lead lap, but even as the cars caught the tail end of the field there were no issues in keeping the race going at a smooth pace.
The lead for Bailes held around four-tenths seconds past the one-quarter mark of the race, and after a bit of time the two lead cars started to open a bit of a gap on the rest of the field, with Roberts leading for second by as much as 1.3 seconds with 15 laps in.
The race finally hit a yellow flag at lap 20, and then hit it again when a cluster of cars collected themselves in turns 3 and 4 on the first restart. The race was red-flagged for a brief time to get the cars involved off the track, but when it resumed Bailes continued to hold the top spot and tried to pull away from Roberts. Bailes built a two-car lead with seven laps to go, and after a final restart on lap 26 of the main event, Bailes managed to maintain his lead for the remainder of the night. Roberts did put forth a fair challenge, getting within six-tenths of a second with eight laps to go, but it was not to be.
SECA 604 Crate: Bryan Mullis won the main event, with Dale Timms taking second and Brad Rachels finishing third.
The race was a caution-free affair for Mullis, who started on the pole. Mullis, Timms and Rachels were the top three for the entire night, with Mullis holding around a 1.1-second lead through eight laps. Rachels had a battle past the halfway mark with Nick Deitz, who tried to challenge for third place, but Rachels was able to maintain a hold of third.
As for Mullis, he saw Timms close the gap as the laps went on, but Timms could not get all the way to the front. Mullis, as a result, held on for a victory of .851 seconds.
Thunder Bombers: Dan Lawson won his second straight race to start the season, and his third straight race dating back to the end of last season, with Scott Pulley second and Dylan Chappell third.
Lawson got off to a good start and held the lead from the drop of the green flag. Pulley, who started on the outside of Row 1, moved himself to second place and Chappell, the defending season champ, followed in third. Lawson started to open a bit of a lead on the third lap while Chappell made a push for second, but he couldn’t get all the way there and had to fall back. Mart Patterson also tried to make a run at fourth place but was unable to get there and settled for fifth.
As for Lawson, he maintained a steady lead through the entire race, and didn’t let a restart on lap 5 slow him down as he pulled away to an easy victory.
602 Crate: Michael Smith won the main event in the 602 Crate Division. Colt Smith was second, with Billy Rushton taking third place.
The race was a caution-free affair, but Michael Smith had to shake off a tough start to maintain the lead over Colt Smith as both went through the first two turns. Both Smiths had Rushton trailing behind at the start as well, but Rushton was never able to get all the way up to both drivers and settled into his position.
At the halfway mark Michael Smith held a lead of 1.167 seconds for the top spot, and despite catching up to the tail end of the lead lap, Michael Smith’s lead never shrank enough to give Colt Smith a legit shot at victory, and Michael Smith eventually won by 1.25 seconds.
4-Cylinder: Phillip Wilson won the main event with J.R. Baker second and Bradley Lambert third.
After a tough start to the main event, the field got off to a good run with Baker holding the early lead on Wilson, who put forth a strong charge at the opening of the race. Wilson’s stay in second place was a short one, though, as he managed to get to the front of the field by the time the first lap was completed.
From there Wilson was able to build a safer lead and appeared ready to put the race on ice before a pair of cautions brought the field together. Each time, though, Wilson managed to deny the field any chance to catch up to the leader – eventually leading to a victory of nearly one second over Baker.
FWD: Travis Jamieson turned back Mason Mack in the main event – flipping finishing positions for the two drivers from the previous race. T.J. Hill finished behind Mack in third.
Jamieson used a good start to grab the lead, but Mack was right with him at the start – side by side through the first two turns and onto the backstretch. The race was briefly brought to a stop with a caution on lap 4, but when it resumed Jamieson and Mack renewed their battle for the top spot. With four laps to go Mack slide high on the course and lost ground to Jamieson, but never fell out of second place.
Jamieson, meanwhile, denied any final challenge from Mack and won by .44 seconds.
Young Guns: Austin Brown won the main event for the Young Guns, with Baillie Lowe second and Zak Brown third.
An opening-lap crash forced a full restart of the race, where Lowe went high and Austin Brown went low to take the lead after starting the race on the outside of Row 1. Austin Brown was able to build a safe lead after the first lap while Lowe tried to hang in the race. Lowe hit the wall with four laps to go and was able to keep going, but he lost valuable time to Austin Brown and nearly lost third place as Zak Brown had a chance to close the gap for second. Zak Brown did, in fact, get closer to second, but could not get all the way there, and Austin Brown had the race in hand.