EASLEY, S.C. — official track release by Race Chaser Online Senior Editor Tom Baker — Haley Wilbanks photo –
In a night of unexpected developments at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, Dylan Hall and Trey Gibson split the Twin 60-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series late model feature events, while Bobby Emory, Robin Darnell, Chad Redding and Charlie Meinders also took home first place trophies for their efforts on the historic half-mile.
The first of the late model features got the racing started. Chase Purdy came into the evening with seven wins at Greenville on the season, and he was second in NASCAR national points, just one point behind the leader.
Purdy won the Root’s Tire and Auto Fast Time Award, started pole and lead the first 34 laps until a yellow flag for oil on the track slowed the action. Track officials quickly cleaned up the spill and green flag action resumed with Purdy, Dylan Hall, Cody Haskins, Will Burns and Luke Sorrow in the top five.
Hall had kept Purdy in his sights and on lap 43 he dove to the inside and passed the No. 41 out of turn four to take the lead!
One lap later, the second yellow was waved for a slowing Luke Sorrow, making his late model debut in the No. 9. Two more quick yellows for separate spins involving Cody Haskins and Randy Porter took place before another lap was complete.
Under the second yellow, Purdy took the No. 41 to the pits and out of the action with mechanical issues.
Hall led the final 14 laps unchallenged to pick up his first win of the season, with Burns having his best finish as well with a second and Ryan Walker also having his finest 2016 hour with a third place effort. Tasha Kummer finished fourth and J.P. Dyar fifth, the only five cars to complete the entire 60-lap distance.
Purdy, who came into the event just one point out of the national points lead in the division, was credited with a sixth place finish.
The 12-lap pure stock race went without a yellow. Charlie Meinders started first and led every lap en-route to his second win of the season with his No. 66. Buck Simmons charged his way through the field to finish second, but needed a caution that never happened if he wanted to catch Meinders for the win. Spencer Morgan crossed the line in third followed by Zack Meinders, who came from the back of the field to fourth and Hank Hutto.
Next up were the four-cylinders. Chad Redding started on the pole with his “Silver Bullet” No. 1 and was never headed as he picked up the win, besting a determined Manual Molleda to do it. Molleda came across in second, holding off Jack Hooper, Ray Mullinax and Tommy Davis at the line.
Last week’s winner Dannon Esco dropped out of the event after stalling on the track in turn three on lap seven. That was the second of two yellows that slowed the event, with the first being for Michael Cross, who spun in turn three. Cross also exited the race early.
Dylan Hall outraced Chase Purdy for the lead at the start of the second late model race of the evening, but it was short-lived as on lap 9 the No .82 of Will Burns took control and began to pull away. Hall began to fall back and two laps later he stopped on the backstretech with an engine issue, going pitside after the yellow came out.
His teammate for the event, Luke Sorrow, also went to the pits for adjustments on the backup Hall No. 4, which had been driven by Hall’s father Shane in race one. Sorrow and Hall both returned to action before the green.
For the restart, it would be Burns leading Trey Gibson, Cody Haskins, Purdy (who had also fallen back early) and Ryan Walker in the No. 28.
When the green flag flew, Gibson took control from Burns and pulled out to a 2.6 second advantage as he grabbed win number four on the season with a convincing performance and a bit of redemption following his DNF in race one. Burns finished in second, with Haskins holding off a fast-charging Hall for third. Hall finished fourth and Tasha Kummer completed the top five.
Robin Darnell led all 20 laps of the super stock feature, staving off a late race challenge from Tim Sams. Sams and Ted Somero swapped second place and put on a fantastic race all the way to the checkered for that runner-up finish, which was earned by Sams. Somero took third, Travis Cox fourth and Andy Norris finished fifth.
Bobby Emory started third in the 20-lap renegade feature, but he quickly worked his way by Spenser Darnell and early leader Alexx Breazele and went on his way to the checkered flag in a race that also saw no yellow flags. Breazele, Darnell, Parker Jameson and Shane Hill rounded out the top five.
Next Saturday, June 18th, Greenville-Pickens hosts the limited late models for a 50-lap feature event that is sure to be fast and furious. Luke Sorrow, Tasha Kummer, Colby Howard and Blair Addis have all parked it in “Call Double Aught Bryan Ramey” victory lane in the division so far this year. Who will be next?
Renegades, pure stocks, four-cylinders and super stocks will also compete next Saturday, and there will be an autograph session featuring both renegade and super stock racers.
Gates open at 4pm. Race time is 7pm. Admission is $12 for adults, $5 for ages 9 to 11, and free for ages 8 and under with paid adult.
For more information, visit www.GreenvillePickens.com, search Greenville-Pickens Speedway on Facebook or find them on Twitter @GP_Speedway.
STAT ZONE – FEATURE FINISHES
Root’s Tire and Auto Fast Time Award (Late Model) – Chase Purdy
LATE MODEL RACE 1 (60 laps) – Dylan Hall, Will Burns, Ryan Walker, Tasha Kummer, JP Dyar, Chase Purdy, Cody Haskins, Randy Porter, Luke Sorrow, Trey Gibson, Shane Hall, Taylor Sorrow, Robert Hasseleu, Cody Satterfield, Brandon Fox, Raines McCall.
PURE STOCK (12 laps) – Charlie Meinders, Buck Simmons, Spencer Morgan, Zack Meinders, Hank Hutto, Ashley Granata, A.J. Davis, Brian Benton, Darrell Meinders and Freddy Hale.
FOUR-CYLINDER (15 laps) – Chad Redding, Manual Molleda, Jack Hooper, Ray Mullinax, Tommy Davis, Randy Huff, Bobby Wortham, Barry Gonsalves, Brian Messer, Jeb Kelly, Dannon Esco, Michael Webster and Michael Cross.
LATE MODEL RACE 2 (60 laps) – Trey Gibson, Will Burns, Cody Haskins, Dylan Hall, Tasha Kummer, Luke Sorrow, Ryan Walker, Taylor Sorrow, Chase Purdy, J.P. Dyar, Cody Satterfield, Brandon Fox, Robert Hasseleu and Raines McCall.
SUPER STOCK (20 laps) – Robin Darnell, Tim Sams, Ted Somero, Travis Cox, Andy Norris, C.M. Knight, Stanley Pressley, Danny Gilbert, Dale Stancil
RENEGADE (20 laps) – Bobby Emory, Alexx Breazele, Spenser Darnell, Shane Hill, Parker Jameson and Ricky Burnett.