June 21, 2013 By Tom Baker – If you were anywhere on the grounds at Carolina Speedway on Friday night, you would likely agree that the headline “Full Moon Fever” would be a good way to describe the action that took place on and off the track. What started out as a picture-perfect cloudless and warm night for racing ended with tempers flaring in victory lane and in the pits with possible penalties for a racer who went a little too far in expressing his displeasure with a fellow competitor.
The Tilley Harley-Davidson Renegades got things started with their first of two race events on the evening. The 12-lap feature was a points race but with a special twist – the top eight finishers would qualify for the “showstopper”, an 8-lap “Renegade Roundup” for a larger wad of cash than usual and bragging rights until…the next Roundup event.
John Rhyne of Dallas, N.C. virtually dominated this first race, which started out as if it were going to be a fairly clean event but the last several laps saw more yellow flags than an Oakland Raiders football game as the drivers’ aggression levels increased in an effort to finish top 8.
Rhyne walked away with the victory over Jame Major, Scott Freeman, Elliott Miller and Chris Stowe. Click the link for Rhyne’s post-race interview…June21CarolinaJohnRhyne
Next up was the Four-Cylinder division. Patrick Lyon and Shannon Barnhill battled back and forth for much of the event before Barnhill ran over some debris on the track and suffered a right front flat tire. He was forced pitside to make a change and 14-year-old Blake “The Snake” Pryor stepped up to second place.
Pryor, an intense competitor who’d already graced victory lane more than once this year, gave Lyon all he could handle, chasing him right to the checkered flag before falling just short of the goal.
Lyon got the win with Pryor, Jerry Oliver Jr., Jason Day and Barnhill rounding out the top five. Click the link for Lyon’s victory lane comments… June21CarolinaPatrickLyon
The Carolina Racesaver Sprint Cars were next to do battle in a 20-lap affair. Tony Grams put his No. 22 out front early but the 67 of Jake McLain was not letting him get too far out of striking distance. As the race neared the midway point, McLain made slower traffic work to his advantage, putting his car out front in what turned out to be the winning move.
When the checkered flag flew it was McLain scoring the victory over Grams, Mike Leraas, Bob Komisarski and Gary Troutman. McLain talks about his win here…June21CarolinaJakeMcClain
The Dominos Pizza Street Stock feature turned out to be a one-sided contest as the No. 54 of Travis Mosley jumped off the outside pole into the lead at the drop of the green and was never seriously challenged. Josh Robbins in the Subway-sponsored “5-dollar footlong” car was expected to be a threat but pulled off the track with mechanical problems early in the race.
Mosley led flag-to-flag to capture the win. Andy Thompson, David Carswell, Ronald Pope and Adam Vandiver followed Mosley across the stripe. Mosely’s interview is right here…June21CarolinaTravisMosely
Just a few weeks ago Casey Shane actually led for several laps in a Hornet feature running without a left rear wheel! He pulled away from the field until the right rear wheel fell off and he was forced out. On Friday he kept all four wheels on the car and sped off to a comfortable victory over Brian Blanton, David “Pork Chop” Moates, Steven Self and Brian Green.
Hear Casey talk about “three-wheelin” in our post-race audio interview… June21CarolinaCaseyShane
The NDRA Carolina Workwear Late Model feature saw Matt Stover and Timbo Mangum lead the field to the green. Many were expecting Stover to challenge for the win but he coasted to a stop on the backstretch on lap four and the problem was deemed to be race-ending.
This left Mangum’s young teammate Josh Langley to give chase. This turned out to be a 20-lap education for Josh as he watched the line and the technique his teammate Mangum used throughout the remainder of the event while Timbo was racing to a long-overdue victory at the Speedway.
At the checkers it was Mangum over Langley with Ross Bailes right there third followed by Gary Puckett and the No. 10 of Daniel Tucker. Hear an excited Timbo talk about his green-to-checkered run in this interview… June21CarolinaTimboMangum
The final event of the evening was the afore-mentioned Renegade “Roundup”, an 8-lap/8-car shootout for an increased winner’s purse. This is where the “Full Moon Fever” really took hold as once again the caution flag waved numerous times and the running order kept getting shuffled like a deck of cards.
The race came down to a green-white-checkered and the No. 7F of “Screamin” Scott Freeman was in front with Steve Hinson giving him fits as they raced hard to the finish.
As the pair came through turns three and four to the checkered, Hinson “drove in hard” and Freeman fought back trying to hang on for the win. In a true “all’s fair in racing and war” moment, Hinson’s No. 10 found its’ way to the lead and he crossed the finish line for the win with Freeman, Rhyne and Stowe finishing closely behind.
Hinson drove his car toward City Cheverolet Victory Lane where I was waiting to do the post-race interview. Freeman decided to follow him and we all knew this was not going to be a friendly congratulations.
Freeman drove his car into the back of the Hinson car and pushed him forward further onto the victory lane pad, spinning his tires as he did so.
Those of us standing there ran for cover to dodge the rocks and dirt Freeman was kicking up as he spun his tires. Hinson waited until Freeman decided to back himself out of the area before unbuckling and accepting the trophy along with the mixed reaction of the crowd.
Fortunately, none of us were injured and I was able to get in and do the interview. You can hear that here…June21CarolinaSteveHinson
While the spectators headed for the parking lot a fight broke out in the pits. Security and track personnel headed over to throw cold water on hot tempers at the same time track management was conversing about possible penalties against Freeman for his post-race antics.
The full moon beamed brightly in the midnight southern sky…
PHOTO CREDIT: TimboNation Facebook