Collins holds off Chastain for victory

  • (Travis Dockery • Clay County Progress) Eventual Super Late Model winner Kenny Collins hits the high line during practice laps at Tri County Racetrack.
    (Travis Dockery • Clay County Progress) Eventual Super Late Model winner Kenny Collins hits the high line during practice laps at Tri County Racetrack.

Promoter Ray Cook opened the gates for fans to watch the racing action Friday, Aug. 7 at Tri County Racetrack. The event was originally scheduled for the previous week but rain forced a postponement. 

Following practice, qualifying and heat races, it was time for feature events. As usual, the Street Stock drivers were first on the track. The heavy hitters have stolen the show this season with their back-and-forth racing. It was no different on Friday night­­ ­— except out front. Roger Beaver had his black No. 12 on a rail and was never challenged for the lead. He crossed the finish line first but did not end up in victory lane. Beaver’s car was disqualified in post-race tech which gave the win to Troy Turner, his second of the season. Alex Vance was awarded second place with Jim Weller taking third.

Michael Barnett led the Interstate Welding Modified Hobby race from flag-to-flag. The driver known as “Spanky” used his front row starting spot to launch to a comfortable lead and never looked back. Jacob Hamby put on a show marching through the field to a runner-up spot. Former feature winner Brad Thomas crossed the stripe in third.

For the Crate Late Model event, the drama came after the race not during. Brian Kinnersly stunk up the show, leading every lap. Kinnersly’s biggest challenge of the night was in post-race tech where officials disqualified him due to a deck height violation. That moved Drew Deaver into the winner’s spot, Ricky Smith to second and Sylvan Schutte to third.

The Limited Late Model race brought fans to their feet. On the first lap, Jason Deal brought the field to green as the pole-sitter and as he came out of turn two, completed a very close pass on second place Payton Freeman to secure the lead. Freeman gave chase and with the laps winding down, he returned the favor, completing an even closer slide job on Deal. The pass resulted in contact which caused Deal’s No.7 to spin, forcing him to the rear of the field. Freeman would lead from the resulting restart to the checkered for his first win at Tri County. Kip Cochran took second with Daven Dilbeck close behind in third. 

In a rarity, the track lock down during the Super Late Model race which meant the drivers all worked their way around the clay oval on the bottom lane. That type of racing is usually a follow the leader event but Shawn Chastain kept working and before the 25 lap feature was over, his No. X15 had closed in on leader and fastest qualifier Kenny Collins.  As the pair came off of turn four with the checkered waving, Chastain made one last charge but was regulated to second as Collins passed under the flagman first. Jamie Oliver rounded out the top three.

Other action on the night saw Trenton Moss win the Front Wheel Drive class, Koulten Herbert won the Pony race and Cooper Twiggs got his first 602 Beginner victory after the top four finishers were disqualified. 

Gates  will open at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14 for another night of racing plus Tough Trucks and a demolition derby.