Thrilling Late Model Event Goes To Buttke------ Transponders are a wonderful thing. Those small pieces of electronic wonder can take the guesswork out of scoring, timing, and also give those who are all about the numbers game something to talk...
Thrilling Late Model Event Goes To Buttke------
Transponders are a wonderful thing. Those small pieces of electronic wonder can take the guesswork out of scoring, timing, and also give those who are all about the numbers game something to talk about over a cold drink at the end of a tough night of racing. That small piece of plastic was definitely needed Saturday night at the Old Dominion Speedway, as Franklin Butler and Nathan Buttke competed in the 100-lap feature for the BG Products NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Late Model Stock Cars. After 100 grueling laps on the 3/8-mile oval, the two drivers came across the stripe at a virtual dead-heat, with Buttke edging his Woodson Lawn Service / Buttke's Dairy Pontiac out in front of Butler's Chevy by less than 6 inches, which converts to .025 seconds on the electronic clock. The win was Buttke's third win in 2005.
Lindsey Chevrolet Quick Qualifying was just as tight, as Buttke picked up his sixth pole in 2005. circling the oval in 15.743 seconds, which was just .050 seconds quicker than Butler (15.793). Point leader Richard Boswell was third quickest with a 15.814 lap, followed by Tom Hall (15.888), Jack Bailey (15.960), and Mike Southard (16.003). Those top six drivers were inverted for the Manassas Dodge "Dash For The Cash", a 10-lap sprint to determine the top six starting positions for the night's feature event. Southard would lead flag to flag to take his second "Dash" win in 2005, and would lead the field to the green for the 100-lap event. When the green flew, Southard darted out in front as the field rumbled into turn one. But his lead was short lived as Buttke took the top spot early, and seemed to have the car to beat. Meanwhile, the battle raged on for the top five spots involving Bailey, Butler, Boswell, and Hall. Butler, who had started fourth, battled his way up to the second spot, and ever so slightly began to reel Buttke in. Two cautions in particular changed the complexion of the event. The first was when Boswell and Southard got together in turn four, sending Boswell to the rear, and Southard to his trailer. The other came late in the going as Bailey appeared to have a mechanical failure, as he spun on the front straight. Bailey took his Ford straight to the trailer, his night ended. That caution bunched up the field, and gave Butler another shot at Buttke. The two veterans took the white flag, and going down the back straight, Butler was able to pull along side of Buttke. The two drivers came out of turn four, with Butler having the advantage. But at the stripe, Buttke edged the Chesterfield driver by the nose of his Pontiac.
"Man, I hate to lose those like that," Butler said. "But I enjoy racing Nathan, he is a veteran, and ran me clean the entire event. I had a fun time racing him," he added. Buttke was just as appreciative in victory lane. Following Buttke and Butler were Bruce Stachitas, Boswell, and Hall. The MARF Hard Charger Award, Courtesy of McGee Crane Rental and Convenience Car Care, was awarded to Steve Jenkins, who qualified 14th, and finished 7th.
Chris Donnelly extended his win streak to three as he took the checkers for the ninth time in 2005 in the Redman Fleet Service Grand Stock 100-lap feature. Donnelly, who had earlier in the event been sent to the rear of the field after an altercation with quick qualifier Les Miranda, methodically came back and took over the top spot late in the going. Finishing second was Jimmy Hardin, followed by Miranda, Michael Hardin, and T.J.Henderson.
Eddie Hugill took his second win in a row in the 30-lap Mini Modified feature. Hugill, who had been running a distant second throughout most of the event, took advantage of the ill-handling machine of leader Scott Roux, and made the pass for the lead with less than five laps remaining. Hugill would cross the stripe less than five car lengths of Roux.
Finishing third was Michael Troiano, followed by Mike Carte, and Keith Riley.
Kyle Hendershott returned to his winning ways in the 30-lap INEX Legends feature, taking the Hall Construction pole position, and leading every lap in the event for the motorcycle engine powered machines. Duncan Molesworth made a late race charge after a caution with two laps to go, but Hendershott was able to hold on for the win. Following Hendershott and Molesworth across the stripe was Rick Bowman, Max Smith, and Ryan Ellis.
Tony Henderson won the second of the four-race Victory Lane Graphix Mini Series for the UCAR's. Starting from the sixth spot, Henderson battled early leader Lenny Baird for his third win in 2005. Baird held on for the second spot, while John Butler, Scott Gore, and Clayton Blankenship rounded out the top five.
The Rolling Thunder Modified thundered into the Old Dominion Speedway for their second visit to the historic track, and former Legends driver J.J.Jensen III led flag to flag to take the win in the 50-lap event.
Next Saturday night, the Late Models are scheduled for a 200-lap event, along with 50 laps for the Grand Stocks, 30 laps for the Mini Modifieds, 25 laps for the Winning Edge Performance and Graphics Speedway Sportsman, and a non-points event for the Convenience Car Care UCAR's. Practice begins at 2PM, Lindsey Chevrolet Quick Qualifying begins at 4PM, with racing action set for 7PM.
-Old Dominion Speedway