Hardeeville Speedway race report 2001-10-06

HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (October 6, 2001) - The 2nd annual "NAPA Night at the Races" at the Hardeeville Motor Speedway has become a yearly event that provides both excitement and great prizes for the fans. In their final appearance of the year for the...

HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (October 6, 2001) - The 2nd annual "NAPA Night at the Races" at the Hardeeville Motor Speedway has become a yearly event that provides both excitement and great prizes for the fans. In their final appearance of the year for the O.C. Welch Ford-Lincoln-Mercury Late Models, Chris Beach from Hardeeville, S.C. won the feature picking up his eleventh win of the season. Hubert Into of Bloomingdale, Ga. held on for the win in a wild Street Stock feature event. Mark Terry of Rincon, Ga. finally stopped Steven Moore's winning streak by winning the Mini Stock feature event. Scott Thorne of Hardeeville, S.C. returned to victory lane in the Xtreme Stock Car division. Garrett Shurling from Ellabell picked up his second consecutive win in the Semi-Pro Legends Cars feature victory and Kevin O'Brien from Burton, S.C. edged out Corey Fletcher of Bloomingdale, Ga. in the Pro / Masters Legends Cars feature. Billy Schilling of Hilton Head, S.C. won the Legends Cars Young Lions feature and Michelle Oaks also from Hilton Head, S.C. won the Lady Legends division.

The Hardeeville Motor Speedway also welcomed Donnie Bazemore, Randy Cook and Rob Davis to the high-banked asphalt oval. These drivers competed in a ten-lap exhibition race in their Dirt Late Models. The exhibition showcased the type of cars that will compete next week in the season finale.

Once again, the best event of the evening was the 20-lap Street Stock feature. After winning their heat races, Hubert Into and Payton Prewitt of Savannah, Ga. started on the front row of the 20-lap feature event. Into jumped out to an early lead and held off the hard chargers of Glenn Mappus of Ridgeville, S.C. and Prewitt for the entire event. The majority of the action took place in the middle of the pack. With two laps remaining, Rick Hunter Jr. of Savannah, Ga. and Bob Gossett of Hilton Head, S.C. got together and collided hard into the turn two retaining wall. Both drivers walked away from their cars. After the red flag, a light sprinkle delayed the restart until the track was dried. At the end, it was Into winning, followed by Prewitt and Jeff Merritt of Ridgeville, S.C.

In the 40-lap caution-free O.C. Welch-Ford-Lincoln-Mercury Late Model feature, Shane Jenkins of Statesboro, Ga. led the first 17 laps before he was passed by Chris "the Shark" Beach. Beach held on at the end for the win followed by Jenkins and Tom Haidon of Hilton Head, S.C. Beach also clinched the short five race Fall Shoot Out Championship. The Late Models will not be returning to next week's season finale.

In the Mini Stock main event, front row starter Johnny Brown of Bluffton, S.C. quickly jumped into the lead. On lap two, polesitter Steven Moore passed Brown for the lead and looked to be on his way to a sixth consecutive victory. However on lap 16 of 20, Mark Terry ended Moore's hopes of another victory by passing him in turn four. Terry held on for the win followed by Moore and Brown. Bobby Duncan from Ludowici, Ga. came in fourth followed by Jack Jordan from Pelion, S.C. for fifth.

Contrary to rumors circulating throughout the pits, the "full contact" Xtreme Stock Car division will return to the Hardeeville Motor Speedway in 2002. Speedway management assured drivers that the Xtreme Stock Cars were going to be one of the primary divisions next year and that cost control would be the emphasis. For the second week in a row, a driver was disqualified for illegal performance enhancing and expensive modifications. Don Dean of Ridgeland, S.C. was disqualified for an illegal cylinder head in post race inspection after finishing second to Scott "the Problem Child" Thorne. Although one of the speedway's strongest supporters, Dean and others have pushed the rules to the limit in this new class of racing. Strict technical inspections will be the way the speedway will use to keep the division affordable for many competitors. After the disqualification, Chuck Johnson of Dublin, Ga. moved into second and Randy Crews of Estill, S.C. into third.

A caution-free Pro / Masters Legends Cars event found Kevin O'Brien of Burton, S.C. edging out Corey Fletcher of Bloomingdale, Ga. Dave Sondles of Johns Island, S.C. was the first Masters driver to cross the line at the finish.

Garrett Shurling led all 25 laps of the Semi-Pro Legends Cars feature. Shurling was never passed but closely challenged by second place finisher Thomas Coburn III of Ridgeland, S.C. and Jonathan Haidon of Hilton Head, S.C. The top three finishers ran nose to tail and many times side-by-side during the event. Andrew Smith from Savannah, Ga., finished fourth. Matt Harter from Jesup, Ga. came across the line fifth.

Billy Schilling from Hilton Head, S.C. picked up the Legends Cars Young Lions feature win over Zachary Tysinger of Hardeeville, S.C. Michelle Oaks crossed the line first in the Lady Legends feature, followed by Laura McKenzie of Hardeeville, S.C. and Wanda Sondles of Johns Island, S.C.

Next weekend, the Hardeeville Motor Speedway will host two never-before-seen divisions of racing with lawnmowers that travel up to 70 mph and Dirt-style Late Models in its season finale. The other divisions of racing featured will be the Legends Cars, Mini Stocks, Street Stocks, and Xtreme Stock Cars. 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 5 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).

-HMS-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Andrew Smith