Racing Report: Tucker slips past Wilson in Monster Minis main event at LCSlaurens
It was a race that Phillip Wilson looked to have won but, as is always the case in auto racing, victory isn’t assured until the final turns are cleared and the finish line is crossed.
Rod Tucker made sure Wilson knew this the hard way as he made a pass in the final turns of the last lap Saturday night in the Monster Minis Division main event and picked up the victory at Laurens County Speedway. Wilson was second with Larry Teal finishing third.
Wilson won his heat race, earning the chance to start on the pole for the main event. He used that starting spot to take the lead on the first lap with Tucker following in second. In the early going the battle was between Travis Sharpe and Larry Teal, a battle Teal eventually won on the fourth lap.
After Teal secured third place, the focus turned to the front of the field as Tucker and Wilson dueled for the top spot. Wilson continued to lead through each lap, even with lap traffic presenting an obstacle late in the race.
That changed on the final lap as the two dueled on the final lap. In what turned into a sprint to the finish after a caution came out on the last lap, Tucker got to the inside of Wilson, who went high and tagged the wall in Turn 4, and Tucker passed Wilson and picked up the victory as a result.
Limited: Deano Long proved to be the top driver in the Limited Division, turning back Billy Rushton (second) and Frank Coates (third) to win the main event.
Long started with Rushton on the front row, setting up what appeared would be a fierce battle for the top spot. Long, however, jumped out to a quick lead as Rushton spun in turn 4 of the opening lap and forced a yellow flag, knocking Rushton to the back of the field as a result.
Long and Jimmy Taylor then fell into the top two spots on the restart, but Taylor fell back after a caution came out on the second lap. Taylor had a flat tire and got it replaced but eventually retired from the main event before the race resumed on the second lap. Coates held second behind Long for a time, with Rushton back in third, but eventually got past for the spot at the halfway mark.
Despite his best efforts, though, Rushton could never get all the way past Long at the front of the field, and that gave Long the victory as a result.
604 Crate: Taylor Puckett had the luck of the draw for the 604 Crate main event, moving up to first from third due to the inversion draw and carrying that good fortune to victory later in the evening. Larry Timms was second and Goose Calvert was third.
Timms had the best time on the night, edging out Calvert for the top spot with a time of 15.421 seconds – topping Calvert by .091 seconds. After qualifying Timms drew the “3” for the inversion, meaning he switched places with the third-place qualifier (that being Puckett, who had a time of 15.543 seconds).
Puckett didn’t let his good fortune go to waste, either, jumping away from the field on the start and opening a fair lead on Timms. After passing lap traffic on the fifth lap Puckett continued to pull away from the field and eventually won going away.
Thunder Bombers: Casey Lawson stopped Bo Baker in the main event and picked up the victory as a result. Baker took second and Anthony Kiker was third.
Lawson and Baker, who held the top two spots from the start of the race, quickly pulled away from the third-place car of Kiker and made it a two-car battle until Kiker spun out on the eighth lap. The two leaders re-established their edge on the field after the restart, and Baker’s persistence appeared ready to pay off when he closed right next to Lawson’s bumper with two laps to go, but Lawson made a last charge and opened up the lead again to end Baker’s hopes and hold on down the stretch.
602 Crate: The season-long battle at the top of the division continued with Mart Patterson turning back Chris Patterson to win the main event. Chris was second with Jeff Robinson in third.
Mart Patterson had the lead from the start and eventually pulled away from both Chris Patterson and Robinson, but Chris Patterson did not have it easy as Robinson was right on his tail. Robinson, in the final laps, tried to make a pass on Chris Patterson for second place, but each time he got close enough to see second place Chris Patterson made sure to shut the door.
Mart Patterson, meanwhile, stayed well away from the fray and won the main event with ease.
FWD: Mason Mack won his second straight Saturday night race at LCS, denying Travis Jamieson at the finish of the main event. Jamieson was second and Andrew Patterson was third.
Joel Cabe was on the pole for the main event and di well though the first half to hold onto the top spot with Mack pushing hard from the outside of Row 1 to take hold of second place in the early going. On the third lap, though, Mack’s persistence paid off when he got past Cabe for first. Jamieson followed in Turn 2, during the fourth lap. Cabe, after losing the top spot, eventually lost momentum and forced out the yellow that ended his night.
With Cabe out of the race Mack and Jamieson were joined by Grant Burton for a time at the front of the field, but Patterson eventually took the third spot on the eighth lap.
Mack maintained his lead through the final laps, even with a hard-pushing Jamieson on his back bumper, but Jamieson’s best efforts were not enough to deny Mack the victory