KERENS?- With the season quickly coming to a close, Friday Night Thunder at the Elkins Raceway last week was presented by Smith Energy and the Oil Spot. Plus consecutive bicycle races courtesy of Creative Learning Day Care and Mountaineer Insurance.
The Fast 'N Friendly Pharmacy Modifieds took the spotlight with a $1,000 to win special. At the outset, Dave Defibaugh jumped to the point with Vic Vandergrift, Shawn Davis, Deana Groves and Brent Trimble filling in the top five. With yellows flying on laps five, seven and nine, Defibaugh continued to show the way. Mike Murphy made his way in to top five by lap seven and began to battle with Davis for fourth. The yellow rag appeared again on laps 11 and 17. The next stoppage came when Davis and Murphy made contact in turn four. The final two circuits went clean as Defibaugh, driving the Bob's Mini Mart/D & B Enterprises No. 77 padded his point lead by adding his fifth checkerboard.
Bob Gordon and Steve Wilmoth snared the prelims in the Jenkins Ford Super Late Models. Wilmoth shot to the lead with Billy Holbert, Gordon, Cody Hardesty and Tim Senic filling in second through fifth. While positions swapped behind them Holbert kept pressure on Wilmoth. In the Jenkins Ford Super Late Models, a stoppage on lap eight was the only thing to slow the 25 lapper. Billy Holbert reeled in Steve Wilmoth and turned up the heat. Wilmoth would counter each move. With just four go rounds to go, Wilmoth chose the high line around a lapped car, pinning Holbert behind it. That gave "The Renegade" enough breathing room to park the D&B Rentals/Quicktime Suspension No. S1 in victory lane for his first win of the year.
On the verge of making history, the Budweiser FASTRAK Late Models saw Garrett Paugh claim his first career heat win and paced the field to green at the start. Paugh took command with Corey Metheny, Joey Jenkins, Jamie McCloud and Derrick Shaw in tow. In the first half of the race, Corey Metheny stayed close but couldn't get make a serious bid for the spot. On lap seven Metheny looked high, but Paugh fended him off. Paugh looked poised to sweep the evening of firsts, but Metheny pulled even at the half way mark. Then on the next circuit, Metheny nosed ahead for the spot. Metheny, driving the Joy Recycling/Team Slick No. 11C, claimed his second checkerboard.
In the Miller's Used Cars Street Stocks, Brian Mitchell held the front spot at the beginning. Scott Bittinger moved to fourth on lap two, then on the restart of lap two motored to second. It became a familiar sight as Mitchell and Bittinger were pacing the field. The yellow waved on lap six, then on the ensuing restart the duo were side by side. Bittinger would gain the advantage and secure the spot. As the checkered fell, Bittinger appeared to add his sixth victory. But in post-race inspection, he was found to have an illegal rear end disqualifying him, apparently giving the win to Mitchell. But he was also found to have an illegal rear end giving the victory to third-place finishing Ronnie Tincher. Tincher had won the 2012 Street Stock Championship and moved up to Modifieds. A few weeks ago, someone stole Tincher's Modified from his home. He eventually found most of it, but to continue racing this season he would have to field a Street Stock. In his first outing, Tincher would inherit the win.
The High Lines Oversize Load Escorting Mod Lites saw defending track Champion Mitch Ward held off a determined Jeff Fornash until two go rounds left. Fornash slipped by Ward for his third victory of the year.
In the Darren's Pizza Shack Mini Wedges, Hayden Jacobs made his first time out a good one as he bested Paije Bragg, Abby Watson, Garrett Jones and Khole Howell.
This week, Friday Night Thunder is brought to you by Mountain Lakes Convention and Visitors Bureau.