MONROETON — Buckle up race fans, it is championship points season! The most grueling stretch of the dirt race season is upon us and the point battles at The Hill Speedway are shaping up for close finishes.
This is the time of year that comes during the dog days of Summer. When patience runs thin, parts and pieces wear out and get put to the test and the give and take racing you see in April and May are merely dust in the wind.
Dalton Maynard and points leader Chris Clemens battled for the lead in the early laps of the Snell Metalfab Crate Sportsman feature, with last week’s feature winner, Rich Talada challenging. Talada took over the second spot as the trio ran in a tight group with Kinser Hill and Rich Powell just a couple of car lengths back.
As Maynard led, Talada was able to pull alongside Maynard a number of times during the closing laps, but Maynard continued to hang onto the lead. On the final lap, Talada pulled even again, and the pair ran side by side down the back straight with Maynard still maintaining the edge as they entered turn three.
The race off turn four to the finish was won by Talada by only a few inches. Clemens crossed third with Hill fourth and Powell fifth.
Defending IMCA-style Modified track champion Gary Lamphere quickly grabbed the lead in their feature to pace the popular division’s pack. Sixth place starter Brad Sites took over the second spot on the third lap and grabbed the lead on the fourth circuit.
Eddie Sites was on the move from his ninth place starting spot,and took over second on lap seven drawing alongside Brad two laps later. The pair ran wheel to wheel for the lead through the halfway point, but as they were coming to complete lap thirteen, Eddie’s mount slowed then came to a stop on the outside of turn four.
Jason Benjamin, who had been battling Sonny and Logan Terry for the third spot, took over second on the restart and challenged for the lead. Sites was able to fend off the challenge and pick up the win with Benjamin a close second. Logan got around Sonny as the Terrys recorded third and fourth with last place starter Jake Maynard steadily working up through the field to take fifth and keep his championship hopes alive in a borrowed ride.
Cole Burgess quickly jumped out front to lead the first three laps of Friday night’s Pure Stock race with Daltyn Decker and two time feature winner Buck Mills Jr. giving chase. Decker pitted with a flat tire on lap two, and Mills suffered the same fate on the third circuit moving Dusty Decker to second.
Decker charged to the lead on the next lap with Burgess and Les Smith keeping the pressure on from second and third. By the midpoint, Mike Chilson had moved into the top three and was challenging Burgess for the second spot.
With the field coming to the two to go signal, Burgess spun out of second in turn four, and Mills finally completed the pass for third on the white flag lap. Decker led Chilson to the line with Mills third, Smith fourth and Duane Bailey rounding out the top five.
Lou Sharpsteen paced the Street Stock field for the first two laps with points leader Earl Zimmer taking command on lap three. Sharpsteen, Mike Koser, and Jason Benjamin debated the runnerup spot with Benjamin winning the debate as the race neared the midpoint.
Benjamin set his sights on the top spot, but while he closed in, he was unable to get close enough through the closing laps and Zimmer picked up his sixth win of the season. For the second week in a row, Benjamin had to settle for second. Sharpsteen held onto the third spot at the finish with Koser crossing fourth and Dustin Maynard holding on to fifth.
Larry Colton was looking to close in on points leader Joe Lane and quickly wrestled the top spot from Anton Smith on the second lap of the Rear Wheel Drive Four Cylinder feature. Lane spun to avoid a collision on that second lap, and Colton began to pull away.
It was not to be as Colton was bit by mechanical ills for the second week in a row and pulled off the track on Lap 6 as he was building a lead. Brett Gleason took over the lead with Smith in tow, but Lane was moving back to the front and by Lap 11 took the lead.
As Lane pulled away, Smith kept the pressure on Gleason for second. With five to go, Smith’s car seemed to fall off the pace a bit, and he lost contact with the leaders. At the line, Lane picked up his fifth win of the season with Gleason second, Justin Hall third, Mike Navone fourth and Smith fifth.
Trevor Williams and Adam Delgrosso ran wheel to wheel for the lead in the early laps of the Front Wheel Drive Four Cylinder feature with Delgrosso taking command on lap three.
Williams stayed close, with Josh Bailey, Greg McKernan, Mike Ely and Devon Bailey running with him in a tight pack. Points leader Matt Browning joined the group, taking over fifth on the sixth lap, fourth on lap seven, third on lap eight, and moving into second as the field approached the halfway mark.
After that, it was the Adam and Matt show as the pair ran side by side for the remainder of the event. Browning was scored in the lead on lap fourteen, but the remainder of the trips past the scoring line, Delgrosso had the advantage.
The pair split around a lap car off the final turn with Delgrosso hanging on for his first win of 2019 by just a few inches. Williams was a couple car lengths back in third with the Bailey boys, Devon and Josh, recording fourth and fifth. The Front Wheel Drive championship will run through Browning and DelGrosso, and it is sure to provide top grade entertainment as championship night approaches.