By Jessica Mardis
A grab-bag of goodies awaited the youngsters attending the races at Hilltop Speedway on Friday, Aug. 3, and when the action finally kicked off, a host of old favorites found their way into victory lane.
It was Kids’ Night at Hilltop Speedway with giveaways including bikes, book bags and other driver’s donations in addition to the night’s regular racing events.
The youngsters in the mini wedge division started off the night’s events with four wedges in each division. In the junior division, it was Gavin Hewitt on the pole as the green dropped. However, taking the lead on lap one and leading to the checker, picking up the win, it was Roscoe Greiner, followed by Natalie Lint, Gavin Hewitt and Casey Stillion. In the senior division, it was Evan Large who would bring the field to the green, leading every lap to go on and pick up yet another win on the season. Large was followed by Miccah Greiner, Devin Wolford and Carson Hubbard.
Setting fast time among 23 Holmes Tire late models was Shane McLoughlin with a time of 14.423. Heat race winners were Ben Mott and Justin Chance while JR Gentry picked up the dash win to claim pole position for their 25-lap feature event.
With the field set, Gentry would bring the field to the green, where “Flyin’” Ryan Markham would take the early lead while a three-wide battle for second would ensue between Gentry, Corey Conley and Craig Wolford. After an early caution two laps in, the green was back out, and Conley would secure second looking in at Markham. Side by side down the front stretch, Conley would take the lead off of turn two, three laps down.
Another caution with 14 in would bunch the field for the restart. With the green out, Conley would again claim the top spot as Wolford and McLoughlin each worked their way around Markham on lap 15. With Conley out in front pulling away from the field, yet another caution would come out, setting up a green, white, checker finish. Once again the green was out, and “The Flying Ace” Conley would maintain his position out front, going on to add to his list of wins at The Hill. Rounding out the top five was Wolford, McLoughlin, Markham and Gentry.
After winning a single heat race in the Holmes Pest Control street stocks, Logan Yelton would bring the field to the start of their 15-lap feature. Making his way to the front, claiming the lead with one lap down, it was Kevin Potts who would put nearly a straightaway lead over the field. However, with eight laps down, caution would come out, bunching the field up for restart. Back under green Potts would again take the top spot, although challenged by Michael Rose, who would work his way up from sixth. Nevertheless, after fending off Rose, going on to claim another win on the season, it was Potts, followed by Rose, Jordan James, Trae Schonauer and Yelton.
Chris Basich would set fast time in the modified division with a time of 15.627. A single heat race win would go to “The General” George Lee while Nathon Loney picked up the dash win.
Setting the pace to the green, pole sitter Loney would take the early lead. Meanwhile, the battle would ensue between Chris Basich and Jimmy Smith for second with Basich ultimately claiming the spot. With second secure Basich would set his sights on the bumper of Loney, looking to make his way to the front. However, he was unable to do so as Loney would fend off his competitors to go on to pick up the feature win. Finishing second was Basich, followed by Smith, Rick Mardis and Robin Duston.
A field of 11 made up the Bugs-R-Gone truck division with Rolly Heyder and Zoe Stafford each picking up a heat race win. With the field set, the green was out, and Rolly Heyder would take the early lead, and that is where he would remain, leading every lap to pick up the win. Second went to Dwayne Powell, third Darek Cordia, fourth Blake Heyder and fifth Dustin Miller.
Heat race winners among the Rigz Towing modlites were Tanner McLoughlin and Jimmy Smith, who would make up the front row for their feature event. With the green out, McLoughlin would battle side by side with Smith to claim the lead with one lap down. Continuing to pressure McLoughlin, who would push up in turn two, Smith would take advantage and claim the lead while Clint Snyder took second with four laps in the books.
Five laps down, caution would come out. Back under green Smith would be challenged by Snyder, who would get the run off four. Side by side the two would go down the backstretch with Snyder taking the lead on lap six. Unfortunately troubles for Smith would cause him to fall back in the field. Nevertheless, once out front Snyder would continue, picking up the feature win. Finishing second was Rob Boano, followed by Cody Stillion, Tyler Purnell and Smith.
With a full field the Short Track Fire and Rescue mini stocks featured three heat races with wins going to Wes Staley, Billy Parsons and Ed Geary. After the redraw the field was set with Parsons and Kevin Markey setting on the front row as the green dropped. Taking the early lead, Parsons as Staley battled Markey for second with five laps down. Once claiming second, Staley would set his sights on Parsons, ultimately taking the lead on lap six. With six to go, Staley would maintain his lead over the field to go on and add another win for the season. Second went to Parsons, followed by Markey, Wayne Newberry and Tim Workman.