Only one winner repeats in week 2
Story by: Scott Miller
September 22nd, 2014
(Sweetwater, TN.) Race fans in Tennessee have a new place to enjoy their favorite sport. I-75 Raceway presented their 2nd race event, and just like their first race the previous week, a standing room only crowd enjoyed a night of exciting racing action. Even a mild earthquake just a few miles away did not hamper the evenings festivities as a full pit promised an eventful night of racing.
I-75 Raceway will be back in action next Saturday night with a full card of racing events, including Steel Head Late Models, Crate Late Models, “A” Hobby/ Sportsman, “B” Hobby, Thunder cars and the exciting 4 Bangers.
The nights first feature event was the “B” Hobby cars. Opening night winner Dennis Grable started on the pole and lead every lap en route to his second consecutive victory. The win was not easy as Grable was pressured early by the cars of Bruce Davenport, Nick Barnard, and Greg Humphrey. While Grable continued to lead the action was deep in the pack as the late arriving car of DJ McMahan began moving towards the front from his eight starting position. On lap ten the #41 car of Nathan Crowden took a wild ride off the turn three banking, Crowden was unhurt but his car was done for the evening. on the restart McMahan continued his march to the front and by lap 16 was in second and right on the rear bumper of Grable. McMahan, pressured Grable the final few laps of the 20 lap event but could never get by Grable. Following Grable and McMahan was Davenport, Barnard, and Humphrey. The rest of the top ten was Justin Best, Mitchell Brown, Crowden, Travis Reno, and Allen Walden. Preliminary winners were Grable and Davenport.
The “A” Hobby/Sportsman cars were next up for their feature event. Last weeks winner Joe Freels in the 5x machine, lead the field to the green flag with Darren Goins in his beautiful D2 machine on his outside. Freels jumped to the early lead but Goins was able to get around him on lap 2 and go on to a dominating win. Freels mount got loose coming out of turn 4 and he lost several positions as the 122 of Tony Shannon, the A1 of Brad Adkisson was able to get past him. The battle for second between Shannon, Adkisson, and Freels was intense the remainder of the race, but nobody was good enough to beat Goins on this night. Goins was first at the finish followed by Adkisson, Freels, who made a strong late run, Shannon, and rounding out the top 5 was the 88 of Charlie Shook. Positions 6-10 were Ted Lowe, Jeff Day, Greg Underwood, Ralph Standridge, and Jimmie York. Underwood made things exciting as he flipped his car in turns one and two, but was unhurt in the incident. Freels and Goins both won the heat races in earlier action to earn their front row starting spots.
Shannon Elrod and Chuck Heling made up the front row of the Crate Late Model Feature. Elrod quickly made the move to the front at the drop of the green flag, while Heling dropped several spots after Kyle May, Brad Coffey, and Barry Goodman all got by him. Elrod held the lead throughout but was under constant pressure by May until a lap 13 caution when May and Coffey got together sending them both to the tail of the field. Goodman took over second place but could not mount a challenge for Elrod as he cruised for the win. Goodman held on to second place, while May fought back for a strong third place finish. Coffey managed fourth, while the 17D of Patrick Duggan finished fifth. Rounding out the rest of the field was Heling in 6th, Brandon Lewelling, 7th, Brandon Gray, 8th, and Jason Dye. Heat races were won by Elrod and Heling.
Perhaps the nights most anticipated event was up next as the Steel Head Late Models took to the track for their 25 lap main event. Last weeks winner Jesse Lowe and Rueben Mayfield would lead the field to green. Lowe grabbed the early lead with Mayfield following closely behind. The 2 lead cars got together on a lap 3 restart and Lowe suffered a flat left rear and had to go to the pits, relegating him to the tail of the field. This handed the lead to Mayfield, who used this break to his advantage as he lead the rest of the way for his first I-75 Victory. Behind him action was intense throughout the field as the 5m machine of Scott Shelton moved into the second position ahead of a hard charging Andy Standridge and Brian Hooks. Benjy Shaw made a late run into the top five, an at the finish settled for a strong 5th place finish. The top five at the finish was Mayfield, Shelton, Standridge, Hooks, and Shaw. Completing the top ten was Kevin Weeks, Shannon Smith, Anthony Arnwine, Dave Jurist, and Charles Tanner completed the top ten. Preliminary winners were Lowe and Mayfield.
Only 4 cars made the call for the start of the Thunder Car Feature, but this did not diminish the excitement level during the race. Pole sitter Roger Smith and the previous weeks winner Allen Walker raced nose to tail during the entire event with Smith holding the lead. Third place running John Walker had an intense battle with the 1r of Robert Russell for several laps. Back up front Walker began working under Smith for the lead and appeared to finally gain the preferred inside line exiting turn 2 but as he drew beside Smith the car of Russell spun bringing out the caution and forcing Walker back to second place. Smith was then able to hold off Walker the rest of the way for the exciting win. Following Smith was Walker, John Walker and Russell. Smith also won the heat race earlier in the evening.
The final event of the night was the always exciting 4 Bangers division. Ronnie Shelton, driving the well prepared #24 machine, grabbed the early lead and drove through traffic to claim the apparent win. Following Shelton across the line was the #10 machine of Marcus Thompson(2nd) Dustin Pueirtt(3rd) Chris Johnston(4th) and Jimmy Lankford(5th). After the finish the 24 car of Shelton was disqualified and Thompson was awarded the win. The final finishing order was Thompson, Pueirtt, Johnston, Lankford, Fireball Roberts, Joshua Wates, and Debbie Singleton. Shelton and Pueirtt won their heat races earlier in the nights action.