Atomic Hosts Close Feature Finishes
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – The year’s biggest crowd turned out to support the KC/Atomic Speedway 2014 Hall of Fame inductions and a great night of racing on Saturday.
All three features went right down to the wire with Duane Chamberlain capturing the $2,500-to-win Gullion Enterprises AMRA Late Model main. Jimmy Stinson was a repeat winner by a car-length over Greg Wilson for the $2,500 win in the 410 sprint main, while Dan Ebert claimed the Advanced Services AMRA Modified main.
Inducted into the Hall were Spike Spears, Jim Meeker, Harry and Tony Martin, Dale Jones, Gerald Palmer, and the Karshner family.
Nine exciting heat races saw four photo finishes.
Chamberlain powered his Darge Engines/Rocket Chassis past early leader Delmas Conley on the 24th lap, then outdistanced the field to claim his second Atomic Speedway win of the year. The win was also Chamberlain’s seventh win in a row for the Richmond, Ind. driver.
Delmas Conley jumped into the early lead and for a time started to check out, but as the race progressed Chamberlain reeled in the veteran Conley for what proved to be a classic dog fight for the middle portion of the race. By lap 12 Chamberlain dove low under Conley, setting the stage for a five lap shootout between the two veteran drivers. Chamberlain and Conley swapped slide jobs on both ends of the track during those five laps and at one point Chamberlain leaned on Conley hard upon the turn four exit.
Conley came back to cop the lead again as the crowd rose to its feet for the great, great show they witnessed. Chamberlain then took the lead, but Conley came right back while a just as exciting battle had developed for third between Devin Moran and Jackie Boggs. That race-long battle ended on lap 17 when a racing deal sent Moran hard into Boggs. Boggs’ mount was disabled and Moran went to the tail.
Jason Montgomery had been shuffled back to seventh, but he climbed back into the mix behind Conley and Chamberlain. Again the duo went at it tooth and nail with fast-timer Chamberlain taking over for good on lap 23. Two laps later Conley went pitside with mechanical problems.
R.J. Conley started 13th but now had worked into a top five. Moran had a similar fate with a blast from last to the top eight after his earlier spill. Oliver jumped the cushion while running a strong third, but recovered for a top ten, opening the door for Rod Conley and a good run from third generation driver J.T. Conley. John Whi tney, Billy Guillon, and Kevin Wagner had strong runs as well amid the star-studded field.
Rounding out the top ten were Chamberlain, R.J. Conley,Jason Montgomery, Rod Conley, J.T. Conley, Greggie Oliver, John Whitney, Devin Moran,Billy Guillon, and Kevin Wagner. R.J. Conley was the hard charger with a 13th to second place run.
In the 30-lap Sprint car A-main Jimmy Stinson, bobbed and weaved through traffic and blitzed to what seemed an insurmountable lead. As the race unfolded, however, former All-Star Champ Greg Wilson began to reel in the May 17th winner, and closed the gap to within a car length by the time a lap 22 caution waved for a spinning Nate Reesor. Earlier Wes McGlumphy had a great run stymied when he made contact with another car and spun.
The battle heated up between the two front runners after the caution. Eight laps of helter skelter, high anxiety racing fueled the fire to the finish. Wilson tried several slide jobs, the most severe a high-speed flash through two and into the front of the high flying Stinson. Stinson somehow regained control and bored into three past Wilson on lap 27. Wilson banged the front chute wall in the chase and scrubbed off just enough speed to give Stinson a little breathing room.
Wilson fought back under Stinson twice and challenged off turn four, but Stinson held on for the popular win.
“I saw the 20 car out there on the scoreboard during the caution and knew he would be fast,” said Stinson. “Then at last he scared the crap out of me and I scared the crap out of myself, but that’s what racing is all about. I hope we made it exciting for the fans.”