Spence Bags Small Car Nationals
HAGERSTOWN, Md. – Setting quick time in Friday’s qualifying for Hagerstown Speedway’s 6th Annual Small Car Nationals, J.T. Spence continued almost indestructible in the Liberty Auto and Tire late model sportsman of Doug Timmons with Saturday’s $2,000 victory by 3.954 seconds win over Kyle Lear.
Other’s making the best of their efforts were Mike Franklin who had fast time in the Ecton and Son Service and Repair pure stocks, started 12th and found himself in the lead when Mike Walls dropped out with mechanical problems with four to go.
Michael Hyatt scored his second win of the season in the Kline’s Auto Body Shop hobby stocks with a narrow .63 second win over track champion Kenny Thomas. Tommy Whitt, also of Winchester, had the four cylinder lead by the third lap and won by 1.28 seconds ahead of Ryan Laye. John Pittman was the winner of the 26th Annual Tommy Thompson Demo Derby.
Kyle Lear pulled to the front of the late model sportsman field from the pole while third starting Spence quickly grabbed second ahead of Chaz Walls. Spence kept the pressure on while Andy Fries moved in to challenge for his position until Spence escaped and ran bumper to bumper with Lear until finally making his efforts work to scamper ahead on the 14th lap.
Once out front, Spence began to stretch his lead following a 20th lap restart and after another ten laps had pulled out to a 3.954 second victory over Lear.
“It’s a fast piece, I’ll tell you,” Spence said. “I think anybody could get in it and win. Kyle was good on the top. As soon as I could get the right side tires digging and as soon as I would get there, the caution would come out and then Andy would get beside me on the restart. I knew if I’d ever get out there we’d put a pretty good race on. He gave me plenty of room I tried to give him some room. That’s the way you’re supposed to race.”
Fries was about to be challenged by Justin Weaver who originally started 17th and had restarted on the rear after a tenth lap several car incident. Terry Flaherty came from 19th to end fifth. Sixteenth starter Chad Myers was sixth followed by Chaz Walls, Paul Cursey, Wayne Walls Jr. (15th), and his son Mike Walls,
Spence, Matt Sponaugle and Lear were heat winner while Flaherty was the B Main winner.
By luck of the draw following the six heat races, (Gettysburg’s) Mike Walls took command of the pure stock feature over Stephen Quade while Franklin was on his way from 12th. Walls was out front 2.66 seconds when a sixth lap caution put Franklin on his bumper but he began to edge away and maintain a distance on Franklin until an 18th lap yellow.
Walls again pulled away until a 22nd lap yellow but under caution, a fire could be seen from the engine compartment and he pulled to the pits as Franklin took over for the restart and ended .60 seconds ahead of Chris Ebersole at the checkered.
“I have to give a lot of credit. I think if the 77 hadn’t broke, I think he had me covered,” Franklin said. “Other than that, we had a great night. It was great fun, nice track to race on, we had a blast.”
Dave Kaiser was third with 16th starting Greg Diehl and Tony Catlett, the division champion coming from 20th for fifth.
Heat winners were Franklin, Chris Chamberlain, Mike Grady Jr., Ebersole, Bill Henney and Kaiser while Brian Luttrell, Catlett and Sammy Rial were the B main winners.
Gary Breeden grabbed the Kline Auto Body Shop hobby stock lead from Kyle Durboraw on the second lap and held while Kenny Thomas and Hyatt closed in to challenge with Hyatt getting the edge to squeeze ahead on the seventh lap and Thomas getting past the next circuit.
Following a 17th lap restart, Thomas kept the pressure on but he trailed Hyatt by .63 seconds at the checkered. Gary Proctor, Durboraw and William Crook were next.
Rand Linaburg led the first two laps until Whitt sped by while Laye and Kevin Thomas moved into the next positions by the ninth lap just before the only caution on lap ten. Whitt easily pulled away on the restart to take the win by 1.28 seconds over Laye. Thomas was third with Linaburg and Scott McCartney completing the top five.
Sammy Hatzell, Whitt and McCartney were the heat winners while Ronnie Garlock was the B main winner.