SALISBURY, N.C. – Story by RaceChaser Online Senior Editor Tom Baker – Photo By Kara C Photography –
Warm temperatures and sunny, blue skies prevailed over the 1/6-mile dirt track at Millbridge Speedway in Salisbury, North Carolina on Wednesday night as fans and competitors gathered for another exciting evening of Mini Outlaw competition.
The ever-changing array of drivers who may compete in these mid-week throwdowns was extra spicy on Wednesday as Midwest hotshoe Chase Briscoe hopped behind the wheel of the Jeremy Burnett owned No. 7 for the evening, joining NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie Tyler Reddick and about 15 others in the hotly contested open division field.
One would expect lots of lead changes and tight racing with that kind of a field, but when the final checkered flag had flown just after 10:30pm, it was Max McLaughlin standing tall in victory lane after leading every lap of the SKE Open class.
Zach Wolfe, Clark Houston and Gavin Boeschele were also winners on this competitive night of racing.
McLaughlin had his CraZ 8 percolating all night long, winning his heat and setting fast time earlier in the time trial session, started from the pole. He grabbed the lead at the start of the 20-lap feature and stayed out front. His fiercest competitor was Kyle Beattie in the SKE Karts No. 21, who came on to run second and began applying the pressure to young Max as the race got into it’s middle stages.
To Beattie’s misfortune, a mechanical issue forced him out, leaving Max virtually unchallenged for the remainder of the race. Nick Hoffman was strong in his No. 9R but had to settle for second. The No. 30 of Tom Hubert crossed the line third with Briscoe fourth and the No. 3 of Karsyn Elledge finishing fifth. Dylan Smith, Chaz Woodward, Ethan Mitchell and Reddick were also still on-track at the checkers.
The race was slowed by several caution flags, with the most serious being for a hard crash involving Brandon Cavitch and Austin Reed. Both drivers were forced out of the event but were uninjured.
Georgia racer Ahnna Parkhurst has shown tremendous improvement in 2014, and she nearly pulled off two wins on Wednesday. In the QRC Karts Box Stock class, Ahnna fought back repeated challenges from both Clark Houston and Kyle Campbell throughout the exciting race, showing her emerging self-confidence and aggressiveness.
Houston worked high and low to get around Parkhurst until finally, on the final lap, he did. At the checkers it was Houston edging out Parkhurst for top honors. Campbell finished third with Richard Gould and Brooke Benge rounding out the top five.
In the Woodforest National Bank Intermediate class, Parkhurst’s main obstacle was the No. 25 of Zach Wolfe and Wolfe wasn’t going to give up easy. With Dawson Cram keeping both racers honest from third position, Parkhurst and Wolfe put on a show but in the end it was Wolfe grabbing the victory. Parkhurst, Cram, Eli Bodine and Hunter Richards rounded out the top five.
The George Pappas Victory Lanes Beginner Box Stock class was dominated once again on Wednesday by the Flyin’ 5 of Gavin Boschele. Gavin led every lap as Hunter Kohn in the No. 48 did his best to stay within striking distance. Kohn crossed the line second followed by Matthew Gould, Eli Bodine and Nick Goss.
Millbridge Speedway returns to action on Saturday, August 16th, 2014 with Micro Sprints and Mini Outlaws in action.
For more information about Millbridge Speedway, find them on Facebook (Millbridge Racin) or on the web at MiniOutlawSeries.com.
Here is the “winnerview” with Max McLaughlin! Just click the link to listen.