EASLEY, S.C. – For the first time ever, the Greenville-Pickens played host to the Bandit Big Rigs Series at the historic half-mile NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track, and Asheville, North Carolina’s Ricky Rude came from the back of the field to take the lead and the victory. Dylan Hall won both NASCAR Whelen All-American Series late model features.
Other winners were Luke Sorrow in the limited late models, Josh Sams in the super stocks, Spenser Morgan in the pure stocks, Hunter Evans in the four-cylinders and Alexx Breazele in the renegade division.
John Lisenbee was the early leader in the Big Rigs main event presented by The Pete Store but he had heavy competition right away as Chris Keekleman, Robby Decker and Ricky Rude all took turns dicing back and fourth with Mike Morgan in the mix as well.
Rude didn’t waste any time slicking through the field like a knife through hot butter and soon found himself out front and driving away. One caution slowed the event when Decker and Morgan, running second and third spun in turn four. Decker headed to the pits and out of the event but Morgan lined up at the tail of the field.
It was all Ricky Rude to the finish with Keekleman, Morgan, Darren Proffitt and Decker followed him across the finish line as the year’s largest crowd roared their approval of the first-time division.
Dylan Hall, suddenly finding himself in a strong position to win the late model track championship at Greenville-Pickens with the sudden departure of points leader Chase Purdy from the NASCAR late model ranks, started pole and grabbed the lead at the drop of the green. Cody Haskins, Sam Yarbrough, Trey Gibson and Ryan Walker made up the top five early.
Walker passed Gibson for fourth on lap four and Gibson lost fifth to Lance Gatlin at the same time. Something broke on Yarbrough’s car on lap six and he stopped going into turn one in a shower of sparks, bringing out the first Whelen caution flag of the 40-lap event.
Some quick work by the Yarbrough crew had their driver back on the track prior to the restart. Hall opened up nearly a second advantage by lap 16, with Haskins, Walker Gibson and Gatlin second through fifth. Yarbrough made short work of the back of the field and worked his way into the top five by lap 20 as Walker also passed Haskins for second.
The man on the move continued to be Yarbrough, as he drove by Gibson into fourth position with 17 laps left to go and began to close ground on Haskins and Walker as Hall remained unchallenged in the lead.
Lap 31 saw Gibson, now chasing Hall for the championship, head to the pits with mechanical issues on his Porters RV Sales No. 12, leaving Hall to increase his advantage in the championship standings as he went on for an easy victory. Ryan Walker ended up second with Haskins, Yarbrough and Gatlin rounding out the first five.
The 15-lap four-cylinder feature saw Don Tavernia take the early lead with Tommy Davis sliding into second. The race was green for just one lap before Manual Molleda spun his No. 14 on the back straightaway and the first yellow flag of the race was waved.
Tavernia, Davis and Hunter Evans were the top three for the restart and they went three-wide going into turn one before Tavernia escaped and began to open up an advanatage of over two seconds to the finish. It appeared that it would be the second win of the year for Tavernia as he crossed the line first, while Evans, Davis, Michael Cross and Michael Webster finished the top five.
However, in post-race tech, Evans protested Tavernia and Tavernia refused the protest, so he was disqualified and Evans was given the win.
Josh Sams led flag-to-flag in the caution free super stock feature, earning his second win of the season in the 20-lap affair. Travis Cox finished second followed by Joe Satterfield, Tim Sams and Ken Guthrie.
Luke Sorrow took the early lead in the 40-lap limited late model feature, but the big story in this race came on lap one when Taylor Sorrow made a move that went the wrong way and a violent four car crash ensued that left Sorrow, Anthony Miller, and R.J. West with heavy damage to their racers and sent Tasha Kummer in the pits for repairs.
That left Luke out front for the restart, with Bob Root, Don Morgan, Mitchell Mote and Lexi Gay as the only other four cars on the track. Kummer did make repairs but only well enough to take the green and then pull right back in after one lap. Officials decided to shorten the race to 20 laps, and Sorrow cruised to victory over Root, Mote, Gay and Morgan.
Alexx Breazele took the lead on lap 8 and picked up the 20-lap feature win in the renegades division. Second went to Bobby Emory. Parker Jameson finished third, with Ricky Burnett edging out a charging “Fast Eddie” Ray at the line for the fourth position. Ray had to settle for fifth.
Dylan Hall dominated the second of the two late model stock features just as he had the first. He took the lead at the outset and walked away unchallenged for the impressive victory and a sweep of both of his races on the evening. The youngster had a nearly four second lead at the checkers as he beat out Sam Yarbrough, Trey Gibson, Ryan Walker and Cody Haskins for the laurels.
Greenville-Pickens Speedway will be closed the weekend of August 13th as the action will move to the nearby Anderson Motor Speedway in Anderson, South Carolina. The Southeast Limited Late Model Series will headline that night with their Mid-Summer Championship.
The next show at Greenville-Pickens will be Saturday, August 20th, featuring NASCAR Whelen All-American Series late models, renegades, pure stocks, four-cylinders and super stocks.
For all the latest updates about Greenville-Pickens Speedway, visit the track website at www.greenvillepickens.com.You can also find them on Facebook by searching Greenville-Pickens Speedway, and on Twitter @GP_Speedway. You can also call the track office at 864-295-5764 weekdays during regular business hours.
Feature Finishes – August 6, 2016 – Greenville-Pickens Speedway
Bandit Big Rigs – Ricky Rude, Chris Keekleman, Mike Morgan, Darren Proffitt, Robby Decker, Allen Boles, Jon Lisenbee and Scott Treadway. Aaron Kaufmann, Carl Massey and Adam Neely DNS.
Late Model 1 – Dylan Hall, Ryan Walker, Cody Haskins, Sam Yarbrough, Lance Gatlin, Mitch Walker, Don Morgan, Trey Gibson, Tasha Kummer, Anthony Miller, Taylor Sorrow, Ron Hall.
Late Model 2 – Dylan Hall, Sam Yarbrough, Trey Gibson, Ryan Walker, Cody Haskins, Mitch Walker, Lance Gatlin, Tasha Kummer, Don Morgan and Ron Hall.
Limited late model – Luke Sorrow, Bob Root, Mitchell Mote, Lexi Gay, Don Morgan, Taylor Sorrow, Tasha Kummer, R.J. West and Anthony Miller
Four-Cylinder – Hunter Evans, Tommy Davis, Jr., Michael Cross, Michael Webster, Travis Shelton, Manual Molleda, Ray Mullinax, Chad Redding, Barry Gonsalves, Randy Hupp, Dannon Esco, Gary Bryant, Justin Brown and Don Tavernia (DQ’d).
Renegade – Alexx Breazele, Bobby Emory, Parker Jameson, Ricky Burnett, Eddie Ray, Colt Smith, Larry Nabors, Wendell Smith, Aaron Thompson, Herb McBride, Kyle Thornall and Lance George.
Pure Stock – Spencer Morgan, Chris Meinders, Buck Simmons, Zack Meinders, Hank Hutto, A.J. Davis, Charlie Meinders, Ashley Granata and Darrell Meinders.
Super Stock – Josh Sams, Travis Cox, Joe Satterfield, Tim Sams, Ken Guthrie, T.J. Johnson, Danny Gilbert, Stanley Pressley and Austin Somero.
CREDIT: Track PR