HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (September 22, 2001) - The Thunder Roadsters, a new class of racing developed by 600 Racing, Inc. in Charlotte, North Carolina, competed in the Inaugural Triple Crown event at the Hardeeville Motor Speedway. Nicholas Hutchins...
HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (September 22, 2001) - The Thunder Roadsters, a new class of racing developed by 600 Racing, Inc. in Charlotte, North Carolina, competed in the Inaugural Triple Crown event at the Hardeeville Motor Speedway. Nicholas Hutchins from Columbia, S.C., became the first Triple Crown Champion as he won all three Thunder Roadster feature events. Chris Beach of Hardeeville, S.C. won his 9th career Late Model feature and Hubert Into of Bloomingdale, Ga. picked up the Street Stock win. Steven Moore from St. George, S.C. won his fourth consecutive Mini Stock Feature event. Don Dean of Sheldon, S.C. became the all-time career feature winner in the Xtreme Stock Car division by picking up his 8th and surpassing Scott "the Problem Child" Thorne from Hardeeville, S.C. Frequent visitor Craig Goess Jr. of Greenville, N.C. and Jonathan Haidon of Hilton Head, S.C. both collected Legends Cars victories. Billy Schilling of Hilton Head, S.C. won the Legends Cars Young Lions feature and Tish Mock of Ridgeland, S.C. won the Lady Legends division. Brad Moore from Jonesboro, Ga. picked up the Bandolero Car victory.
During last weekend's racing events, the drivers from the Hardeeville Motor Speedway went into the grandstands and collected $1,180, which was matched by the owner's of the speedway. Along with a few more checks donated during the past week, the Hardeeville Motor Speedway presented a $2,450.00 to Craig Sproul, from the Palmetto Chapter of the American Red Cross servicing Beaufort, Jasper, and Hampton Counties.
The Thunder Roadster Triple Crown Event consisted of three 20-lap features in which drivers earned points towards an event champion. Nick Hutchins won the first 20-lap feature race after starting at the rear of the field because he missed time trials. Taking the lead on lap seven, Hutchins showed the rest of the field that he was going to be the man to beat for the Triple Crown Championship. Philip Pittman of Lizella, Ga. finished second followed by Mickey Lawson of Charlotte, N.C. Huthcins found himself starting outside row three for the second feature as all finishers on the lead lap were inverted for the second 20-lap event. This time, Hutchins grabbed the lead from Pittman again on lap four and never looked in the mirror. Pittman once again came home second followed by Lawson. Feature event #3 would prove to be harder for Hutchins to win three-in-a-row, as he started outside row four. Bob Jarvis from Greenville, S.C. lead early with Roger Simons from Charlotte, N.C. giving chase. Pittman stuck his nose into the lead on lap five but was soon overtaken by Hutchins who claimed all three Thunder Roadster features of the evening and became the Thunder Roadster Triple Crown Champion. Pittman scored three 2nd place finishes for the runner-up position for the championship and Jarvis held onto third at the line in the third feature. Consistently in the top five, Mickey Lawson was third in the points battle and came home fourth in the third feature.
After winning their respective heat races, Tom Haidon from Hilton Head, S.C. and Dusty Williams from Savannah, Ga. started on the front row of the 40-lap O.C. Welch-Ford-Lincoln-Mercury Late Model feature. Williams jumped out to an early lead and was passed on lap ten by Chris "the Shark" Beach. Beach led the remainder of the caution-free feature event with Williams riding home in second and Haidon following in third. Bubba Jones and Leland Prewitt, both from Savannah, Ga., finished fourth and fifth respectively.
In Street Stock action, Hubert Into jumped out to a lead from the start and never looked back. With only one caution in the event, David Huggins from Richmond Hill, Ga. was unable to overtake Into and settled for second followed by Bob Gossett from Hilton Head, S.C. Payton Prewitt of Savannah, Ga., finished fourth, the same position that his father finished in the Late Model event. Last week's feature winner, Glenn Mappus from Ridgeville, S.C. rounded out the top five.
Steven Moore started on the front row and won the Mini Stock feature by leading all twenty laps. Moore picked up his fourth consecutive win, a feat only matched by runner-up Mark Terry of Rincon, Ga. Bluffton's Police Chief, Johnny Brown came across the stripe in third, followed by Danny Bagwell from Lexington, S.C. and Jack Jordan from Pelion, S.C. Jordan was able to move back into the top five after going to the tail of the field for bringing out a late race caution on lap 18.
In the "full contact" Xtreme Stock Car division, Chuck Johnson of Dublin, Ga. won the heat race and lead the first lap of the feature event. Johnson held the lead for four more laps until Don Dean slid by. Johnson and Dean battled to the end of the 20 lap event with Johnson looking for his first career win at the Hardeeville Motor Speedway and Dean looking to become the all-time career win leader for the division. At the end, it was Dean ahead of Johnson with Scott "The Problem Child" Thorne finishing third. Thorne was relegated to the rear of the feature starting lineup after some post heat race activities.
An extremely large field of Legends Cars forced officials to separate the field into two feature events. In the Pro/Masters division feature, Eric King of Hartsville, S.C. jumped out to an early lead. Showing signs of a full recovery from a near fatal motorcycle accident earlier in the year in Myrtle Beach, S.C., King was impressive until lap 9 when Craig Goess took the lead. Darting in and out of lapped traffic, King pursued Goess but could not catch him. 2001 Lowe's Motor Speedway Summer Shoot-Out Pro Division Champion Chase Pistone from Charlotte, N.C. finished third. Another Summer Shoot-Out superstar, Clay "Hollywood" Hair from Mt. Pleasant, N.C. came across the finish line in fourth and the "Legends Gypsie" Tommy Jordan from Hartsville, S.C. finished fifth but was the first Masters division driver of the event.
In one of the most exciting races of the evening, Garrett Shurling of Ellabell, Ga. jumped out to an early lead in the Legends Cars Semi-Pro twenty-five lap feature. Shurling held onto the lead for the first nine laps until Jonathan Haidon squeaked by him. The top five positions on the scoreboard changed every lap as John Metts of Cordova, S.C., Andrew Smith from Savannah, Ga., Thomas Coburn III of Ridgeland, S.C. and Walter Reardon of Savannah, Ga., jockeyed or position. The feature event went non-stop with Haidon holding on for the win and followed closely by Metts who is still looking to pick up his first career win at the Hardeeville Motor Speedway. Walter Readon and Thomas Coburn settled for fourth and fifth place.
Zack Tysinger of Hardeeville, S.C. and Billy Schilling from Hilton Head, S.C. battled during the Legends Cars Young Lions feature with Schilling coming out on top. Tish Mock picked up the Lady Legends feature which is a division that is quickly becoming a fan favorite.
Next weekend, the Hardeeville Motor Speedway will host "Hargray Communications Night at the Race" with a spectacular fireworks display scheduled at the conclusion of the racing events. There will also be prize giveaways, including Winston Cup tickets, all night long. The divisions of racing featured will be the O.C. Welch Ford-Lincoln-Mercury Late Models, Legends Cars, Mini Stocks, Street Stocks, and Xtreme Stock Cars.
The blood mobile from the Savannah Community Blood Bank will be at the speedway next Saturday as well from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for a blood drive. Any individual donating blood will receive a complimentary ticket to the race events that night. For more information, contact Debra Harper at (843) 784-2211
Grandstands open at 5:00 p.m. The green flag waves at 7:05 p.m. for the heat races and then followed by feature event racing for all divisions. The Hardeeville Motor Speedway is located three miles southeast of I-95 on Highway 17. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, with reduced rates for seniors, military and children. Children under 12 years of age are admitted free with a paying adult. Information is available at online at www.hardeevillespeedway.com or by calling (843) 784-RACE (7223).