Puckett triumphs in Laurens County Speedway openerlaurens
After nearly six months of slumber, Laurens County Speedway roared back to life Saturday night with the first races of 2019.
Taylor Puckett was one of many who made sure his first night was a great one as he won the Limited Division main event late Saturday, beating Frank Coates by 4.403 seconds in the 25-lap race. Tony Quarles was third, with Austin Watkins fourth and Dustin Sloan fifth.
Puckett started the race on the inside of row 3, and soon found his way to second place at the start. Coates held the early lead while, behind both drivers, Colby Cannon and Quarles dueled for third. Cannon’s night soon ended when he exited the race on lap 4, leaving him seventh, and Quarles (defending champion) soon moved to third and stayed there for the duration of the race.
Coates was able to hold off Puckett through the first half of the race, but at the halfway mark Puckett was finally able to go to the inside of turns 3 and 4 and find a path to get past Coates and take the lead. Coates then found himself trying to hold off Quarles for second, which allowed Puckett the chance to start pulling away from the field, and by lap 15, the lead was nearly 1.5 seconds over Coates.
SECA 604 Crate: Brad Rachels won the first main event of the season, with Bradley Silvers second and Danny Howell third.
Rachels used the pole position to his advantage as he took the lead on the dropping of the green flag, but a spin by Michael Akeson negated the start. When the race was restarted, Rachels had little difficulty matching his previous surge, getting back into the lead with Silvers holding onto second. Rachels soon built a lead of about two seconds and had a dominating hold for the rest of the race and was well on his way to victory.
Thunder Bombers: Dan Lawson won the initial main event race of the season at LCS, with Dwight Smith second and Casey Lawson third.
It was the most caution-filled main event on the night, with four stoppages, but Lawson held the lead from the first lap of the race when he zipped by Troy Bagwell, who shared the front row with Lawson to open the race. After a restart on lap 2, Casey Lawson was able to make a move past Bagwell to get to third after Bagwell hit the wall. Bagwell later appeared to lose a bumper cover on his car, but he was more than able to keep racing.
Dan Lawson, after another pair of cautions, re-established his lead on the field on lap 7, and when he did, Lawson was able to strengthen his hold on the top spot enough to make it to the finish line.
Front Wheel Drive: Mason Mack outdueled Travis Jamieson in the main event. Jamieson was second and Robert Spencer third.
Jamieson and Mack were 1-2 for the entire night, even starting on the front row together. The two drivers were side-by-side through the early laps and each managed to navigate lapped traffic to stay at the front of the field.
After a red flag briefly stopped the race due to a wild accident, the two lead drivers again kept up the pace. With four laps to go, Jamieson found himself with a lead of less than 1/10 of a second over Mack, but on the seventh lap Mack was finally able to make a pass in turn 2 to grab the lead. Once Mack found his way to the front, he was able to find some separation and won the main event by 1.839 seconds.
4-Cylinder: Rod Tucker found his way back to a familiar spot, victory lane, after winning the main event. Phillip Wilson was second and Bradley Lambert third.
Tucker showed the dominance that helped him through much of the 2018 season at LCS, using a great start to pull away from the pole position and grab control of the main event. Once he took the lead, Tucker was never seriously challenged as he built a lead of 2.6 seconds at the halfway mark. Tucker eventually won the race by 4.183 seconds.
602 Crate: Michael Smith grabbed hold of the first main event in the 602 Crate Division, bettering second-place driver Jeff Robinson by .655 of a second. Billy Rushton was third.
Smith, the pole-sitter, held a slim lead at the start as Robinson tried to track him down from the outside position in Row 1. Robinson fell back just a bit after the first lap as Smith started to establish a lead, all while Colt Smith and Chris Patterson dueled for fourth. Smith eventually moved into fourth place, ahead of Patterson, but while that was going on, Rushton tried to make what was a two-car battle for the lead into a three-car battle.
Smith maintained his lead throughout the race, and while Robinson was within a second in the final three laps and kept the pressure on until the end, Smith did just enough to hold on.
Young Guns: In the new division at LCS, Zak Brown won the battle with T.J. Teal to claim first place.
Brown was able to hold the lead from the start, with Teal going to the outside in hopes of finding a passing lane. Brown maintained his lead throughout the race as Teal hit the wall near the halfway mark, and Brown pulled away to an easy victory.