Quarles strengthens division lead; 4 weeks of racing left
Tony Quarles benefitted from some misfortune to Michael Smith early in the Limited Division’s main event Saturday night at Laurens County Speedway, and as a result he strengthened his hold on the division lead with four weeks to go in the season.
Quarles won the main event with Steve Bowie second and Deano Long following up in third. Smith took sixth place in the main event after being knocked out on the second lap.
Smith had started second and Quarles third when the race began, and at the start Bowie sat on the pole after the inversion draw. It didn’t take long, though, once the race started for Quarles and Smith to get to the front of the field – with Smith taking the lead that lasted until he was knocked out of the race.
When the race resumed Quarles ended up taking over the lead, and he soon built the lead on Bowie to more than a second. Despite another caution on lap 9 the lead was never seriously challenged by Bowie or Long, who spent much of the remainder of the race battling for second.
Quarles ended up winning the race by 8.659 seconds, and in doing so pushed his lead over Smith to an estimated 60 points.
SECA 604 Crate: Larry Timms was able to pick up the victory in the main event, with Jeff Robinson second and Taylor Puckett third – which was good enough to help boost his lead in the division point standings.
The race, after a first-lap caution, was delayed for 41 minutes due to a sudden rain storm that hit the track. Once the race resumed Timms was able to get in front and started to pull away from Robinson, who was in second at the start. Robinson was able to close the lead in the race ever so slightly after Timms appeared ready to pull away, but by the halfway mark the lead was up to 1.6 seconds – more than enough to allow Timms to pull away.
Puckett, who entered the night with an estimated 114-point lead on Brad Rachels, added a net gain of four points after he took third (the same spot he started the race following the inversion) and Rachels finished fourth place (35 race points, one bonus point for finishing one spot higher than his starting position). That leaves the lead at an estimated 118 points.
Thunder Bombers/4-Cylinder: It was another double-dose of victories for Rod Tucker, who won both the Thunder Bombers and 4-Cylinder main events.
In the Thunder Bomber race Tucker was followed by Scott Pulley in second and Dylan Chappell in third. Tucker started the main event sixth while Pulley and Casey Lawson started on the front row. Pulley took the lead soon after the green flag flew, but as he held the top spot Tucker started to make up ground and was in second place with four laps gone. Two laps later Tucker found his way by Pulley and took the lead for keeps.
Chappell’s third-place finish had an impact on the point race as he boosted his lead to an estimated 81 points over Dan Lawson, who did not race in the main event after not finishing his heat.
As for the 4-Cylinder race Tucker cut into the lead of Larry Teal, who was not at the race, by finishing first. Tucker gained 50 points by winning the race, cutting the margin down to an estimated 49 points as Teal tries to win his second straight season title.
Tucker held as much as a 2.684-second lead in the main event before a caution came out on lap five, but that proved to be only a quick hindrance to Tucker’s quest as he used a strong restart to build the lead up and pull away from Wayne Summers, who ended up second. Phillip Wilson was third.
FWD: Joel Cabe pushed his lead over Jason Bishop to an estimated 54 points in the division race by winning the main event. Travis Jamieson was second and Andrew Patterson was third.
Cabe, Patterson and Jamieson were all in a battle for the lead at the start, but Cabe had enough to stay in front through the early going, and once the race resumed after a lap-4 caution Cabe was able to maintain the lead while Jamieson tried to make a final run at the top spot. Jamieson’s best efforts looked promising as he got right on the bumper of Cabe late in the race, and Jamieson looked for a way by on the outside first before looking inside. Jamieson made one final run on the last lap once the two made it to the backstretch and even took a brief lead, but Cabe used a fast move in turn 3 to take the lead back and win the race to the line.
Enduro: Adam Jackson won the main event with Eric Caughorn finishing second. Jackson fired at the start and took the lead with Caughorn going into second. A caution on lap 2 helped reset the field, but once the race resumed Jackson continued to hold the lead but had to fight as the race neared the end as Caughorn, after a caution on lap 7, battled in a head-to-head duel to the finish that Jackson won late.