Fastrak Championship at Lancaster, SC
The Fastrak championship would be decided with a three track shootout. The first race would be on Thursday at Volunteer Speedway in Tennessee. That was a rainout. Number two was held at Riverside Speedway in South Carolina. An event mastered by the old timers. Bill Morgan winning and John Pursley and Hot Rod Lamance second and third. With a three hour haul and lots of torn up equipment it would be a busy Saturday morning for the teams.
At Lancaster they pitted outside the track along the backstretch pit road. Since many of the teams were far from home all of last nights damage was being repaired there. Everyone seemed happy and unaware that tonight’s race would determine the $250,000 championship payout. With $50,000 going to the champion, $20,000 for second it would be the most important race for most of the teams. With points being given to teams based on season ending performance some had a point or two advantage before last nights race. Upon arriving at Lancaster the points were as follows:
Hot Rod Lamance.29
Troy Springborn..27 and with one point less all through the field…Chris Carlson, Chris Steele, Justin Sims, Ed Dixon down to Jason Wall’s 2 points and 1 point each for the non qualifiers.
After some local street class races and the uneventful qualifying and heat races the stage was set for the feature race. It was rutting season and the old bulls would fight to the death to keep their place on top. Bring it on kids lets see what ya got.
The cream had again risen to the top and on the start John Pursley took the lead followed by Timbo Mangum and Shannon Buckingham. Quickly they fell into single file. It would be a steady pace for the first 50 laps then a mandatory stop and the final 50 laps being bump and run time. The first car to be lapped was #97 Mike Bechelli. Pursley could easily hold the lead, as everyone seemed content to ride along in single file. It was Pursley, Timbo, Buckingham, Mat Daniels, Greg Pilgrim and Hot Rod Lamance nose to tail. A yellow flag for Allen Champ as he was hauled off the track with front end damage. On the restart at lap 14 a pile up on the front stretch involving Burchett, Bennett, Springborn, Taylor and Lindberg kept the yellow out. All cars kept going. Another restart another early spin….another restart. On lap sixteen the order was Pursley, Timbo, Buckingham, Daniels, Meadows, Hot Rod, Dixon, Steele, Walters, Carlson, McMahan, Reese, Lancaster and Childress. Chase McCormick came in for a flat tire. Childress caused the next caution. After two attempts at a restart for Pursley jumping the flag you knew what would happen this time. A slow start and a late jump gave Pursley his biggest lead of the night, about 3 car lengths. Next Greg Walters spun with a blown tire and Robbie Ireland and Randy Taylor slide into him. Twenty four cars are ready for this restart at 17 laps. Now the biggest incident of the night was about to happen. The Pursley haters thought they had seen smoke from Johns car for the last few laps. Not much but it was there. Every fan was on his feet at lap 25 as John Pursley slowed and headed for the pit gate. The leader and sure $50,000 winner was out. Timbo Mangum now had the lead over Shannon Buckingham. Lap 44 Chase McCormick hit Roger Phillips and caused another yellow. The running order now was Timbo, Buckingham, Daniels, Hot Rod, Reese, Meadows, Pilgrim, Carlson and McMahan there were 22 cars still running. Now Carlson blew the motor and hit the wall. On the restart Robby Ireland lost a wheel. With 20 cars left the order was Timbo, Buckingham, Daniels, Hot Rod, Reese, Pilgrim, Cooper, Steele and Reese. Ashlee Lancaster pilled off to the pits. Matthew Daniels in third place hit the wall coming off turn two and road it all down the backstretch. With no one going to get passed Timbo laps ran down and at 100 laps it was Timbo, Buckingham, Lamance, McMahan, Reese, Thomas, Meadows, Taylor and Greg Waters.
The two nights of racing paid out per finishing positions, but the total points gave a Championship to Hot Rod Lamance. Old age and treachery will triumph over youth and skill every time. Hot Rod received his check for $50,000 and Timbo received the check for second place in points $20,000. With the remaining $180,000 spread on down through the field it was a great weekend for most teams.
LarrE writes and covers all over the SE! Read more of his stories and see more of his photo's on "On Track" on the writers page on www.LuvRacin.com
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