Big Steve Wright



Jim Nier, Chris Garnes and Dave McWilliams rally to win on opening night at the Atomic Speedway


  I love that feeling. The feeling of the hair on the back of your neck standing up on end because your pulling into your local dirt track for the first time after a long, cold, never ending winter that saw record low temperatures and a lot of snow. That was the case this past Saturday when I pulled into the Atomic Speedway in Chillicothe Ohio for their opening night race. It was a beautiful day with the sun shining bright, a slight steady breeze and 50 degree temps, The track crew really outdid their self and prepared a nice, fast and smooth track ready for some high speed action.

  On tap for the night was the Sprints, AMRA Late Models, AMRA Modifieds and Sport-Mod class. With 18 sprints, 15 late models, 15 modifieds and 11 sport mods on hand it looked to be a good night of racing and that it was. With kind of low car counts and problems with getting cars through tech the track officials decided to skip qualifying and pill draw for position which made for some exciting heat races.

  In Sprint action Stewart Brubaker and Caleb Griffith brought the field to the green flag. Brubaker got a good jump as he rocketed into the lead bringing Jim Nier along with him as he got around Griffith for second. Brubaker and Nier would exchange the lead a few times before Brubaker started to pull away as the race for second started heating up with Griffith putting a slide job on Nier but couldn't make it stick as Griffith slid high Nier went low and got back around him. At this time Dale Blaney stuck his nose under Griffith as they went 3-wide for second. Nier then started to put some distance between himself and Blaney, who was now in third after splitting Griffith and a lapped car to make the pass. At this time Brubaker's lead was diminishing as he got held up behind a slower car and made the wrong decision and went low and Nier took this to his advantage and made the pass for the lead on the high side and never looked back as he went on to win the feature event. Blaney ended up second after putting a slide job on Brubaker and made it stick, Brubaker was third, Griffith was fourth and Danny Smith rounded out the top five.

  In late model action Stephen Breeding and Billy Gullion brought the field around to the green flag. Gullion got the early jump into the lead with Breeding falling in behind in second. By the 5th lap fifth starting Chris Garnes had already moved up into third and began putting pressure on Breeding for second and only a couple laps later made the pass on the high side to take over the second position. The next time the leaders passed the flagman stand Garnes was within one car length from Gullion's rear bumper. Garnes was a man on a mission as a lap later he made the pass on Gullion on the high side to take over the lead and then left town as he went on to win the feature. Gullion crossed the line in second with Ryan Markham, Stephen Breeding and Kevin Wagner rounded out the top five.

  In modified action Dave McWilliams and Dave "Fireball" Pinkerton brought the field around for the start of the race. It was McWilliams getting the jump on Pinkerton to take the early lead. Third starting Kenny Johnson got around Pinkerton for second and pulled up beside McWilliams as the two passed the flagman stand but McWilliams was just too much for them and rocketed on to the win. Following him across the line was Kenny Johnson, Dave Pinkerton, Jess Hartman and Rick Hensley who took a wild ride in his heat race and ended up on his side up against a big pile of dirt they had piled up on the top of turn 3 but his crew worked extra hard to get his car ready and it paid off with a fifth place finish.


Sprint: 1. Jim Nier 2. Dale Blaney 3. Stewart Brubaker 4. Caleb Griffith 5. Danny Smith 6. Travis Philo 7. Brad Bowman 8. Cole Duncan 9. Jimmy Stinson 10. Ron Blair 11. Josh Davis 12. Ryan Broughton 13. Trey Gustin 14. Mark Imler 15. Brian Nuckles 16. Nate Reeser 17. Jesse McCreary



Late Models:  1. Chris Garnes 2. Billy Gullion 3. Ryan Markham 4. Stephen Breeding 5. Kevin Wagner 6. Andy Bond 7. Mick Sansom 8. Bryan Casey 9. Mike Unger 10. Dylan Huron 11. Daniel Kattine 12. Jeremy Scott 13. Billy Staker 14. Tim Stewart 15. Dylan Bledsoe


Modified's: 1. Dave McWilliams 2. Kenny Johnson 3. Dave Pinkerton 4. Jess Hartman 5. Rick Hensley 6. Jason Montgomery 7. Kevin Harkin 8. Jason Armes 9. Dave Jameson 10. Donnie Miller 11. Jeff Surber 12. Pete Brunton 13. Mike Wilson 14. Mike Matney


Sport Mods: 1. Harley Martin 2. Greg Litteral 3. Chris Shelton 4. Tony Whitt Sr 5. Tony Whitt Jr 6. David Lunsford 7. Robert Lunsford 8. Steve Noble 9. Dwayne Hurley 10. Mike Brust 11. Jimmy Spillman















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Revised: March 30, 2014