KERENS?- For the 11th night of racing, High Lines Oversize Load Escorting and A C Electronics presented Friday Night Thunder at the Elkins Raceway. Also, the rained out reset of "Old Timers" night courtesy of Bialek Insurance.
Another good crowd was on the edge of their seats as three-wide racing returned to the 3/8 mile. In the Jenkins Ford Super Late Models, Jared Hawkins (unofficially in the 14.8's) and Gary Dalton (unofficially in the 14.9's) grabbed heat wins. Hawkins blasted to the lead with Dalton, Tim Senic, Skip Hare and Cody Hardesty quickly filled the top five. Only one caution waved in the 25 lapper, as Dalton chased Hawkins but could not get in striking distance. J-Hawk, driving the J C Distributing/Melvin's Transmission No. 37, drove away for his first win of the year. Dalton, Senic, Hardesty and Steve Wilmoth completed the top five.
In the Budweiser FASTRAK Late Models, it may of been some of the best racing Elkins Raceway has seen in a long time. For the first time in history, two drivers winning their career first heat races shared the front row of a feature. Matt Lopez and Bryan Rankin led the field to green. Rankin grabbed the front spot with Lopez, Derek Rogers, Garrett Paugh and Kyle Thomas in tow. Thomas moved into third on lap four. On the next circuit, Rankin, Lopez and Thomas were three wide at the stripe. Thomas gained the advantage and took the spot on lap six. Thomas would then not be seriously challenged for the position en route to the Dodd's Sporting Goods/Powell and Son Farms No. 57 third trip to victory lane. Behind Thomas furious battles raged through out the finale. When it was all said and done. Lopez crossed in second. Rogers was third. Shawn Jett came to the party late and finished fourth. Paugh rounded out the top five.
For the fifth time in the Miller’s Used Cars Street Stocks, Scott Bittinger collected the checkered flag. Bittinger was behind the wheel of the Conners Trucking &
Repair/Jack’s Recycling No. 29 ‘Gold Digger.’
Vic Vandergrift jumped to the point at the start of the Fast 'N Friendly Pharmacy Modified feature. But Vandergrift drove into turn four too high, letting Brent Trimble slip by. Then a failed attempt to shoot into front of Trimble out of turn two, dropped him in the running order. Dave Defibaugh then would try to pressure Trimble but could not make a bid for the spot. Trimble driving the H&R Block/ Estel Construction No. 1B, added his fourth checkerboard to the wall. Defibaugh crossed in second, Jacob Hawkins was third. Vandergrift climbed back to fourth and Dustin Isner was fifth.
For the fifth time in the Miller's Used Cars Street Stocks, Scott Bittinger collected the checkered flag. Bittinger, behind the wheel of the Conners Trucking & Repair/Jack's Recycling No. 29 "Gold Digger", bested John Tallman Jr., Brian Mitchell, Anthony Arbogast and Ryan Watson.
In the High Lines Oversize Load Escorting Mod Lites, Zak Kimbrew would drive flag to flag untouched for his first win of the season. It was only the second time out in the new Edge Chassis, Raupach Racing/Jack's Car Wash No. 99Z. Mitch Ward chased Kimbrew but had to settle for second. Logan Hitt, Ron Parrish, and Trey Watson were third through fifth.
The Darren's Pizza Shack Mini Wedges never seem not to put on a good show. Once again, three and nearly four wide as the future drivers of our sport thrilled the crowd to start the evening off. Paije Bragg in the John Watson Trucking/Taylor Truck & Dozer Service No. 8 added her seventh win as she fended Braydon Beachler, Garrett Jones, Ryan Gum and Kolbe Kimbrew.
This week, the Fast 'N Friendly Modifieds will fight it out for $1,000 to win. This will be the last big special before the end of the season, so bring your lawn chairs, blankets, kids, friends and neighbors and experience Thunder in the Valley.