EASLEY, S.C. — On Saturday night in upstate South Carolina, 14-year-old Colby Howard scored the third regular season victory of his rookie year at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in the headlining limited late model feature.
Tim Sams (Super Stocks), Manuel Molleda (Four Cylinders), Bobby Emory (Renegades) and Buck Simmons (Pure Stocks) also scored wins on the evening.
Howard qualified fastest in his Century Concrete/Shell/Eubanks Oil No. 16 and started on the pole. He took off out front and opened up a lead of over 2 seconds before the first yellow flag of the 50-lap feature happened on lap 21 when the No. 35 of Tasha Kummer, running second, and third place R.J. West tangled on the front straightaway. Both cars went to the pits for repairs but returned to action before the green flag flew again.
Howard, Taylor Sorrow, Luke Sorrow, Sheflon Clay and Anthony Miller were the top five at this point.
Once racing resumed, a torrid battle between Clay and Miller for the fourth and fifth positions began as the pair of youngsters raced side by side for several laps around the historic half-mile before Miller finally was able to clearly take the position. Kummer charged from the back of the field to sixth and tried to overtake Clay for fifth at the end but was unsuccessful.
Howard easily picked up his third regular season win of 2016 as he was first under the checkered flag. Taylor Sorrow, Luke Sorrow, Miller and Clay completed the top five.
In the 20-lap Renegade feature, Anthony Cordell made his return to Greenville-Pickens a successful one as he led flag-to-flag to score the victory in his Cordell’s Heating and Cooling No. 33. Bobby Emory chased Cordell all the way to the finish line but couldn’t find a way around him and settled for a strong second. Alexx Breazele, Billy Brown an Blake Gregory rounded out the top five.
Unfortunately for Cordell, his win was short-lived as he was penalized in post-race tech for “illegal heads and hardware” according to tech officials and sent to the back of the field, giving the win to Emory and moving everyone else up one sport in the final finishing order.
The Four-Cylinder feature was a barn-burner. Don Tavernia took the lead at the green flag but ended up sideways in turn two and headed for the pit area, retiring from the event. Manual Molleda took command on the restart and led the entire 15-lap distance, but he had six determined drivers right behind him in a bunch at the end.
With some spectacular defensive driving, Molleda celebrated in “Call Double Aught Bryan Ramey” Victory Lane, nosing out Ray Mullinax, Michael Webster and Chad Redding at the stripe. Jack Hooper finished fifth. The top seven cars were in a pack at the checkered and Hooper got turned around just past the finish line in the mad dash to the finish after contact by Bobby Wortham.
Hooper then re-fired his machine and took off going the wrong way down the front straightaway, slamming his car into that of Wortham just as the field was pulling into the turn four pit entrance with tremendous force. Track officials immediately removed Hooper from the finishing order entirely and are considering further action.
The 12-lap Pure Stock feature was next on the agenda once order was restored. Buck Simmons grabbed the early advantage and never lost it as he led all 12 laps and won the event. Spencer Morgan finished second, holding off both Charlie Meinders and his brother Zack Meinders, who finished third and fourth, respectively. “The Flying Schoolteacher” Ashley Granata wound up fifth.
The nightcap belonged to the 20-lap Super Stock feature. Tim Sams led the first two laps until son Josh had motor problems for the second straight week, bringing out the yellow on lap two. This put Ted Somero back to the outside of the No. 71 of Sams, just how they’d started the race.
Sams was able to stay out front and pick up the victory, having to be patient through a second yellow with six laps left for a spinning T.J. Johnson. Sams took the checkered with his Sams Plumbing car ahead of the “Green Machine” of Ken Guthrie, who finished a solid second for his first feature finish of the season. Somero, Andy Norris and Travis Cox comprised the remainder of the top five.
Next Saturday night, Greenville-Pickens plays host to the CARS Tour for the LefturnsAndSideburns.com 200, featuring twin 100-lap features for the late model stock cars and the super late models. Gates open at 4 p.m. and race time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students ages seven through 12, and kids under seven are admitted free.
Following the CARS Tour doubleheader, Greenville-Pickens Speedway will be off for Independence Day weekend.
RESULTS: NASCAR Whelen All American Series; Greenville Pickens Speedway; June 18, 2016
LIMITED LATE MODELS – Colby Howard, Taylor Sorrow, Luke Sorrow, Anthony Miller, Sheflon Clay, Tasha Kummer, Nick Thunder, Ron Hall, Robby Lyons, R.J. West and Phillip Peters.
SUPER STOCK – Tim Sams, Ken Guthrie, Ted Somero, Andy Norris, Travis Cox, T.J. Johnson, Danny Gilbert and Josh Sams
RENEGADE – Anthony Cordell (DQ’d in post-race tech), Bobby Emory, Alexx Breazele, Billy Brown, Blake Gregory, Brandon Ellison, Aaron Thompson, Wayne Waters, Wes Kain and Eric Ellison.
FOUR-CYLINDERS – Manuel Molleda, Ray Mullinax, Michael Webster, Chad Redding, Bobby Wortham, Tommy Davis, Hunter Evans, Dannon Esco, Barry Gonsalves, Brian Messer, Dennis Parham, Jeb Kelly and Don Tavernia. Jack Hooper was removed from the finish order following his post-race actions.
PURE STOCK – Buck Simmons, Charlie Meinders, Zack Meinders, Hank Hutto, Chris Meinders, Ashley Granata, Spencer Morgan, Darrell Meinders and A.J. Davis.
CREDIT: Greenville Pickens Speedway