Racing Report: Strong finish gives Rushton win at Laurens County Speedwaylaurens
Billy Rushton picked up the checkered flag in Saturday’s Laurens County Speedway Limited Division main event, a victory that wasn’t assured until the final turn of the last lap.
Rushton made a move through the final turns and, after contact with Frank Coates’ car in the final turns, sped past and got to the finish line in time to knock off Coates in the first races at the speedway in two weeks. Coates finished second and Michael Smith finished third.
Coates and Rushton started the main event on the front row after winning their respective heat races. At the start the two lead cars, along with Smith, made for a three-car battle at the top of the leaderboard. The three stayed at the front through the remainder of the race, but neither Smith or Rushton made any move to take the lead from Coates through the first half of the race. Rushton, however, later found himself gaining ground and got himself into a spirited fight for the lead in the final five laps. Coates continued to hold on as Rushton pushed the pace, but Coates appeared to have the answer each time.
But on the final lap Rushton dove low going into the final two turns, contacting Coates as they were finishing those turns, and kept his momentum going to help speed past Coates to grab the victory.
604 Crate: Larry Timms edged out Deano Long in qualifying to win the pole and a $50 bonus, then kept the good times rolling in the main event as he ran away from the field to pick up the victory. Terry Bullard was second and Goose Calvert was third.
Timms won the qualifying with a lap of 15.265 seconds, edging Long by .023 seconds. Long, however, was unable to race the main event as his car was damaged after riding the wall in turns 3 and 4 of his second qualifying lap. Timms had no similar problems, though, and punched forward on the third attempted start to grab the lead on Bullard.
After a final restart on Lap 2, Timms started to separate himself from the rest of the field. He maintained his good pace through the remainder of the race, and was never seriously challenged.
FWD: Joel Cabe held off Mason Mack to win the main event in the Front-Wheel Drive Division. Andrew Patterson was third.
Cabe won the first heat race to start on the inside of Row 1, while Mack won the second heat race to earn the starting spot on the outside of Row 1. The start of the race was stop-and-go as caution after caution came out. Finally, on a single-file restart, the cars got the race going with Cabe remaining at the front, and Mack and Travis Jamieson following in third. Jamieson’s night, however, ended on the fourth lap when he was cited for a crash that spun out Mack. Jamieson was black-flagged for the crash, sending him off the track.
The remainder of the field continued after the final restart of the night, which saw Patterson make a move from fourth to third. Cabe, however, opened separation from the rest of the field and managed to grab an insurmountable lead.
Thunder Bombers: Tinker Roberts powered through the field and took home the top spot in the main event race, with Casey Lawson second and fill-in Dan Lawson third.
Dan Lawson was not expecting to race Saturday night, but was called into action when Bobby Tucker fell out due to a health episode. That moved Dan Lawson to the back of the grid to start after Tucker had won his heat race and would’ve started on the outside of Row 1, next to Troy Bagwell.
Bagwell held the lead for much of the main event and denied Roberts’ best efforts early on, but on the 10th lap Bagwell first lost the lead on a pass by Roberts, but then hit the wall and fell further back in the field until he slowed to the point that the caution flag came out. Bagwell finished in eighth.
Casey Lawson, who was now second behind Roberts, tried his best to make a move to the inside in the final laps, but Roberts shut the door on Lawson’s opportunity, and Lawson was unable to make any further pass attempt as the race wrapped up.
Monster Minis: Dusty Eaves knocked off Larry Teal to win the main event. Teal was second and Jasper Brown took third.
Teal started on the inside of Row 1, but fell behind Eaves after a solid pass at the start of the race. Eaves stayed on the high line through the first turns to grab the advantage, while Brown used his inside Row 2 starting position to get third place. Teal and Brown later made contact but neither car was damaged to the point of retiring and both continued.
Eaves had no such trouble at the front of the field, and he managed to win by a healthy margin.
602 Crate: Another week, another Patterson domination.
Mart Patterson won the main event with Chris Patterson taking second and Butch Riddle. The two Pattersons have combined to win all but one of the races in the division this season – Dale Timms owns the other victory.
At the start, Mart Patterson fired first and jumped out to the lead with Chris Patterson settling into second. Riddle fell into third and the three never lost their spots the remainder of the race, with Mart Patterson cruising to an easy victory.