A 77-minute Power Outage
Saturday night’s racing slate at Laurens County Speedway had a little bit of everything – even the unexpected.
Saturday’s action went deep into the night with red flags and delays, with the final race of the night – the Limited Division main event – ending at 2:17 a.m. after the entire card was delayed 77 minutes due a blown transformer in the pits that knocked out the lights on the track and left one young fan injured and briefly sent to the hospital for burns.
But the races, while slowed, were never stopped entirely due to both the transformer, surrounding thunderstorms that stayed just far enough away from the track to avoid any further delays, and a slew of accidents that popped up through all the divisions.
It also brought out a 20-car field for the traveling MMSA Stock 4 Division, held in place of the regular 4-Cylinder Division main event – one where Travis Mosley proved to be the best of the bunch.
Mosley won the main event by .613 seconds over Logan Richey, with J.J. Garrett following in third, Jamie Mattison in fourth and Kevin Cooper in fifth.
The race managed to get off to a good start despite the high number of cars in the field, with Garrett finding his way by Mattison for the lead at the very start, only to have Mosely pull in front briefly on the backstretch and have Mattison take the spot right back at the line. The active start to the race quickly stopped when an accident took place on the back and into turn 3 of the second lap, with J.R. Baker eventually riding the wall after appearing to get hooked with Phillip Wilson’s car, then making contact with Bubba Kolb’s car that sent him onto the wall. Baker voices his displeasure with Wilson for the initial contact that preceded the wall ride and was soon disqualified from the race.
Mosely and Mattison continued to fight for the lead through once the race resumed, working through a host of cautions that forced double-file restarts time and again. Mosley managed to hold the lead through each restart in the 25-lap main event, with Richey taking over second place by the end of the 10th lap.
As the race reached its later stages, a caution came out when Dusty Eaves’ car came to a stop as he left turn 2 with four laps to go. The field was brought back together for a four-lap battle to the finish, with Mosley still at the front. Garrett, who was in fourth at the time, found his way past Mattison to take over third, but the top two drivers opening some space between themselves and the rest of the field. Mosley, however, did not let Richey put together a final charge and eventually held on for the victory.
602 Crate: Billy Rushton won his 100th career race at Laurens County Speedway, taking the 602 Crate main event by 2.374 seconds. Michael Smith was second and Colby Cannon was third. Colt Smith, the division leader, was fifth.
After the first attempted start to the main event was wiped out, Rushton went from the pole position to the top spot on the opening lap. Austin Mintz held second for a time and Michael Smith was in third, but Mintz found bad luck when he spun out to bring out a caution on lap 2. The caution moved Michael Smith to second place and Cannon to third, where they remained the rest of the race.
Rushton, meanwhile, cruised through the remainder of the race and was never seriously challenged.
Limited: Josh Richeson held off division leader Frank Coates to win the Limited Division main event, with Mike Huey finishing third.
Richeson started on the pole after winning his heat race and soon found himself in a battle with Coates for the top spot. As the early laps went on, however, Richeson started to establish firm control of the lead and held an advantage of 1.7 seconds by the end of the seventh lap. A caution flag that came out on lap 8 didn’t cost Richeson the lead but did give Coates a chance to get back into the mix. Coates was able to significantly cut into the lead, eventually trimming it down to .362 seconds with nine laps to go. But as soon as the lead shrank, Richeson rediscovered his positive momentum and build the lead back up – eventually winning by 2.075 seconds.
Coates, who finished second, pushed his lead in the standings over Tony Quarles to an estimated 64 points as Quarles took eighth, getting knocked out of the race on the eighth-lap caution.
Thunder Bombers: Brandon Satterfield was first with Dan Lawson, the division leader, second and defending champion Dylan Chappell third in the Thunder Bombers main event.
The race was a choppy one with multiple cautions, but Satterfield eventually made his way to the top spot after starting on the outside of Row 1. Scott Pulley, who entered the race second in the standings, saw hopes for victory squashed when he was involved in an incident on lap 9 that sent him off the track with damage to the right front of his car. Pulley finished sixth.
Satterfield led a four-car group at the front of the field when the race resumed, soon finding Lawson breathing down his proverbial neck for the lead after Lawson started the race in the middle of the field. Lawson provided a good push but was unable to find his way past Satterfield, even with a green-white-checkered finish that gave him one last try at the end of the race.
Lawson pushed his lead over Pulley to an estimated 85 points over Pulley as a result of the race.
SECA 604 Crate: Michael Akeson denied Brad Rachels his third straight victory by taking the main event in the SECA 604 Crate Division. Gray Parton was second, with Rachels finishing third.
Akeson started on the outside of Row 1 and quickly found his way to the front at the drop of the green flag. Akeson maintained the lead from start to finish even denying Parton a chance to steal the victory on a green-white-checkered finish.
Rachels, with his second-place result, helped give his points lead a slight boost as he tries to hold off Danny Howell, who is second in points and finished fourth in the main event.
FWD: Billy Medlin captured the top spot in the Front-Wheel Drive main event, with Seth Smith second and Mason Mack third. Division leader Travis Jamieson was fourth.
Mack and Medlin started on the front row for the main event and put on a good dual for the lead on the opening lap, eventually getting side-by-side with each other. Medlin was able to find his way to the front by the end of the first lap, and used a good restart following a second-lap caution to solidify his lead. Mack fought off a challenge from Smith to hold onto second place, but eventually lost that position to Smith.
Jamieson fought his hardest to try and gets his way out of fourth place, which is where he started the race, but could not complete a pass with three laps to go and settled for fourth. Smith make a small cut into Jamieson’s lead in the point standings as a result of his second-place finish, but is still trailing by nearly 100 points.
Young Guns: Austin Brown routed the field in the Young Guns Division, winning the main event by more than 12 seconds. T.J. Teal was second, with Caleb Jolly third.
The race got off to an inauspicious start when last week’s winner, Landen Davis, got into an accident that took off the hood of his car. Davis eventually ran over that same hood in the accident that brought out a red flag and had EMS coming to check his condition. Davis was reported to have suffered a hand injury in the accident but was otherwise okay.
Once the race restarted Brown quickly pulled away from Teal and put himself on autopilot, eventually leading by more than half of a lap.