Laurens County Speedway: Richard Johnson Memorial May 8th, 2021.
Just a super fly guy... James "Superfly" Hudson takes home another win in 2021! The always exciting Thunder Bomber division was back in action Saturday night with new names in the mix up front. Josh Wilson found the speed he's been searching for this season with a win in his heat race, putting him on the inside pole for the feature. Casey Lawson would join him up top on the front row. With the green flag in the air the field darted into turn one, Wilson couldn't get power down allowing Lawson to take the lead on the high-side. The field would come to a halt on the opening lap after James Hudson got loose mid-corner, went up the hill & made contact with Mart Patterson in turn two. Patterson's car made contact with the outside retaining wall forcing his No.42 to ride the wall with two tires momentarily. The green flag would drop once again with the same result in tow. Lawson took the lead on the outside with Danny Hurley challenging Wilson for second. Hurley would wait a lap before slidejobbing Wilson for the spot in turn one. With the top two separating themselves, the best battle of the night came for third place between Wilson, Scott "Porkchop" Pulley & Hudson. The three drivers went three wide, which saw Wilson go up the hill to fall from the battle. Hudson would ultimately win the battle for the third spot as the caution flew for the second time of the night. The next restart would come with 8 laps to go in which Hudson would rocket to the second position on the front stretch over Hurley. Hudson set his sights on lead Casey Lawson, who's lead dwindled quickly. Once Hudson got the bumper of Lawson, the duo made contact side-by-side allowing Hudson to take the lead. Troy Bagwell would slow with a mechanical issue to bring out another yellow in the process. During the caution period, Lawson's tire would go flat after the contact laps prior. Flagman Chris Rooney would drop the green once again with 5 laps to go, but would quickly have the need to wave the yellow once again. Dan Lawson made contact with the turn one wall & came to a stop forcing the caution. Lawson would be able to continue. Another restart, another big lead for Hudson. Superfly quickly separated himself from the field once again before the final caution of the night dropped with 4 laps remaining. The final restart re-racked the field one last time forcing Hudson into one more perfect run for the finish. Hudson would push the pedal down & storm his way back to a healthy lead down the backstretch. Hudson scores a dominant victory, with Danny Hurley coming home in the runner up spot. Porkchop Pulley completed the pass for third on the restart pushing Josh Wilson back to the fourth.
MMSA Monster Mini:
The Monster Mini Stock Association was back in town Saturday night, and like always they didn't disappoint! Twenty two competitors signed in for the $1,500 to win feature event including a solid mix of traveling drivers & Laurens regulars. The night kicked off with multi-car qualifying with Austin Brown putting his No.04 machine to the top of the charts with a 17.771. Per usual, the pole winner rolls an invert dice to determine how many drivers will flip there position, with the highest possibility being the top-6. Brown rolled a four, putting him fourth on the starting grid for the feature & allowing the always fast Matt Gilbert to start on the pole for the main event. As the main event kicked-off, the action started quickly with Kevin Cooper passing Gilbert for the lead on the opening lap. Cooper got a massive run on the top side of the turn two, giving Gilbert no chance to react. Further in the field Travis Mosely & Nick Walker battled for sixth before the first caution period of the night came out as TJ Teal took a spin after making contact with JR Baker off of turn two. The green would fly again with 22 laps remaining of the 25 scheduled with Cooper securing the lead once again. The leaders quickly fanned out to single file, but deeper into the top-10 a hornets nest of competitors battled their way around the 3/8 mile. The battle for 7th consisted of five drivers including Tyler Riddle, Harley Holden, Phillip Wilson, Rod Tucker & JR Baker. The group continued a great battle side by side before the next yellow dropped on the field. Holden & Marcus Hughes came together in turn two causing a multi-car pile up to ensue. The wreck would ultimately collect five drivers in total including Holden, Hughes, Wayne Summers, Riddle & Steven McDaniel. Back under green with 17 laps remaining, Cooper couldn't be touched. Matt Gilbert still in second looked to force the issue with Cooper, but couldn't get close enough. One of the best stories of the night came from defending Monster Mini track champion Phillip Wilson who started 20th on the night. Ten laps in to the feature, Wilson found himself sitting 7th with over half of the event to go. Back up front, Cooper grew his largest lead of the night as the battle for second place began to heat up between Gilbert & Richey. The two got side by side for multiple laps, leaving room for Travis Mosely to join the battle. Mosley couldn't find the speed around either, but Gilbert soon had problems bringing out the caution. Gilbert would have a flat right rear tire forcing him to pit & move the rear. The final restart of the night would come with 3 laps remaining. Kevin Cooper, who had led the entire race had one job left to do, win. Cooper got a great launch on the restart and never looked back. Cooper seals the deal in dominant fashion with Richey coming home second. Mosley brings home a quiet third place finish with Phillip Wilson capping off the best run of the night with a fourth place finish. Nick Walker rounded out the top-five.
Bradley Lambert Young-Guns:
The Bradley Lambert Young-Guns division crowns another first time winner with CJ Smith scoring his first win at the Darlington of Dirt. One of the best ways to describe the Young-Guns division is the world family. With many drivers becoming third & fourth generation racers, family traditions are often kept alive with the future of the sport being showcased week to week. This week however, the word family held another meaning in the pits of Laurens County Speedway. Eventual winner CJ Smith started his night off with a BANG in hot laps. Coming through turn three, Smith got sideways before saving his car down the banking of turn four. Smith was mere inches away from making contact with the wall before his car came a halt. Just as everyone thought the situation was over, another car made contact with Smith, damaging the front end of his car. Smith would quickly head to the pits hoping for a miracle to make an appearance in his heat race just over an hour away. That miracle would come in the form of fellow racers, who joined Smith & his crew to rebuild the left front suspension of the car. Multiple teams & drivers pitched in to assure Smith would make his heat race, which he not only competed in but won. Smith would start on the pole for the feature with last week's first time winner JD "Scoot Dog" Wilson. As the main event started Smith & Wilson would separate themselves from the remainder of the field quickly, with Smith leading the duo. As laps clicked away Smith remained aggressive with his lead building. Randy Clark Jr. who ran third most of the night set his sights on Wilson who had faded from the lead pack. Smith would hold on to win his first feature at Laurens County Speedway with Clark passing Wilson at the stripe to finish runner up by just inches! Jayme Woodard would round out the field with a fourth place finish.
New race, same face... Michael Smith heads back to victory lane at Laurens County Speedway! The 602 Crate division came locked & loaded Saturday night with a stacked field of competitors. Hot shoes Michael Smith, Rod Tucker & Colby Cannon were joined by heavy hitters Luke Cooper, Keaton Smith, Jason Alexander & Chuckie Duncan making his 2021 season debut. Colby Cannon would lead the field to green with Tucker on the outside. A wacky night for Tucker would start early with his No.83 machine going up the hill in turn two allowing Cannon to clear for the lead. Smith would grab second in the process. To make matters worse, Tucker would go for a rare spin by himself in turn two. As the caution came out Daniel Dickson made contact with the outside wall in turn one putting an end to his night early. Cannon would lead the field back to green with 17 laps remaining in the 20 lap main event. On the restart Chuckie Duncan passed Keaton Smith for the third spot. Flying back through the field Tucker rocketed his way past Keaton Smith for the fourth spot. The following lap, he'd get around Duncan for the third spot. Back up front, Michael Smith snagged the lead from Colby Cannon quickly, but not without a fight. Cannon would draw back alongside Smith for the top spot, with both drivers racing side by side for multiple laps. Looking in the rearview, Tucker was closing in on the battle. Heading into turn one Smith would dive to the lowside & nearly make contact with Cannon for the lead. Cannon would slow allowing Tucker to slip into second. With just a handful of laps remaining Tucker could see the lead & began chopping at the lead of Smith. As laps clicked off Tucker would draw closer & closer but ran out of time. Michael Smith takes the win, Tucker rebounds to second with Duncan passing Cannon for third in the closing laps.
Thunder Bomber Futures:
Dirtin' with Burton, Grant Burton secures the victory once again at the Darlington of Dirt. For the second week in a row the Thumber Bomber Futures division was a wild one. Lil Man Trammell & Tyler Smith would make up the front row of the feature with Wes Taylor & Travis Mabe following behind them. Last week's winner, Grant Burton, would start in the rear. With the green flag in hand, Tyler Smith jumped out to the early lead with a run off the top side. Smith would lead the opening laps, before the first caution of the night would fall. Wes Taylor & Travis Mabe made contact off of turn four with both pancaking the wall hard on corner exit. Bouncing back off the wall Taylor would connect with Burton down the front stretch sending Burton spinning into turn one. Burton would lock his car down & avoid making contact with the wall. The green flag would fly moments later with Lil Man Trammell all over the bumper of Smith for the top spot. Smith would bring out the yellow the following lap after making contact with the outside wall in turn four. In the process DJ Crawford assumed the lead. On the restart, Crawford maintained the lead, but the battle for second commenced with Burton all over Smith. Smith would go up the hill opening the door for Burton, but another yellow fell before Burton could make the pass. Back green, Burton finally takes advantage as Smith goes up the hill. Now Burton runs second with Crawford just ahead. Burton charged quickly & diminished Crawford's lead quickly. Burton would snag the lead as the final caution of the night came out for debris in turn one. The final restart came with 3 laps to go, but no change would occur up front. Grant Burton goes back-to-back in the Futures division as Crawford settles for second. Smith comes home third.
Front Wheel Drive:
Joel Cabe keeps the high times going, makes it four for four in 2021. Joel Cabe has been unstoppable this season. Coming into the feature Saturday night, Cabe had won all 3 of his starts in his No.92 machine. He would keep his quick speed going by winning his heat race handily & scoring a front row starting position. Joining him up top would be his toughest competition yet, Wayne Taylor in the “Bluegoose” No.14. As the green flag dropped, both Cabe & Taylor separated themselves from the rest of the field. Forming a quick gap between themselves and the rest of the top five, the battle of the moment came for fifth place between Troy McDonald, Chris Heald & Jake Barnett. All three cars would be under a blanket for a few laps before finally settling in. Back up front, Taylor was all over the bumper of Cabe. For three or four laps Taylor nearly pushed Cabe into the corner before Cabe would separate only to see Taylor back on his bumper. Taylor was better on entry & could get to Cabe's back bumper in the middle of the corner. Cabe was much better on exit. The one & only caution of the night would fall as a car spun down the backstretch. Going back green with 5 laps to go, the same battle would ensure. Taylor once again pestered Cabe for the lead, but ran out of time. Joel Cabe makes if four for four with Taylor bringing home a fast second place finish. Spud Ammons would round out the top three.
Limited Late Model:
Timms Time strikes as Dale Timms scorches field & dominates Limited Late Model feature event! The night started off fast for some familiar faces to the Darlington of Dirt, with Dale Timms & Colt Smith making up the front row. Unfortunately the later of the two would fail to make the feature after mechanical issues on the pace laps. Colt Smith, who laid down the second fastest time in qualifying would be done for the night. As the green flag flew, Timms would rocket to the lead quickly leaving no question who the man to beat would be. In the runner up spot, Banjo Duke would sneak around Nick Deitz & attempt to challenge Timms down the stretch. Duke could maintain pace with the 07, but couldn't gain ground with a steady Timms at the helm. The track was very racy during the final main event of the night with all three leaders running different lines to find speed. Timms secured the low-side of the track, while Duke kept it high, wide & handsome. Deitz would run the middle line, but remain in third for the remainder of the event. Timms leads every lap to secure the win, with Duke finishing second.
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