Williams big Wwnner in Southern Maryland Nationals at Potomac Speedway. Potomac Speedway October 5, 2002 Budds Creek, Md., -- Potomac Speedway hosted their season finale this past weekend, the annual Southern Maryland Nationals. Sixty-seven ...
Williams big Wwnner in Southern Maryland Nationals at Potomac Speedway.
October 5, 2002
Budds Creek, Md., -- Potomac Speedway hosted their season finale this past weekend, the annual Southern Maryland Nationals. Sixty-seven cars attempted to qualify for the 30 car field in the 40-lap, $1,500 to win Coors Light Street Stock event. When the checkered flag waved, Barry Williams, of Potomac Speedway, went home with the victory.
"It was a hard race but we've been working on this car constantly to get it set up just right this year and it's finally paid off" said Williams. Bobby Franklin was the M.A.R.F. Hard Charger of the race award winner. Franklin, who started 27th on the grid, moved up through the field to finish fourth.
In the 30-lap $800 to win Bell Motor Company Limited Late Model feature, Ronnie Hollidge of Mechanicsville, Md., a regular campaigner of Potomac Speedway, was the third fastest qualifier in the time trials held on Friday night and also won his heat race. Hollidge then went on to hold off Ronald Cusic, who led most of the event, to get the win. "When Fireball flew out of the pits, he messed Ronald (Cusic) up a little bit," said Hollidge. "I'd like to do this again at Winchester in a couple of weeks," Hollidge added. Kevin Nelson was the Jay Dee Supply Hard Charger of the Race award winner as he came from a 24th place starting position to finish sixth.
Greg Keister, a regular racer of Winchester Speedway, took the checkered flag in the 25-lap, $500 to win Four-Cylinder event. "I have `Calm Down' painted on my dash. I kept telling myself to look at that. Calm down, be patient and just worked my way towards the front. There's a lot of fast cars out here. I would like to thank Potomac Speedway for putting on the show for us. I was worried about the track earlier but it came around," said Keister. He was also named the Jay Dee Supply Hard Charger of the Race award winner as he started in the 20th position and worked his way up to first.
Beedle Binelli won the Chesapeake Web Design Bomber feature after Cory Hanson was disqualified during the post-race inspection for an illegal carburetor. Martin Graybeal won the first Classic Car feature while Bill Brown Sr., took the checkered flag in the second event. C.J. Schirmer won the 15-lap Vintage Car event.
Jay Dee Supply sponsored the children's prize giveaway. Eleven-year-old Alysha Hanson of Mechanicsville, Md., was the lucky winner of a girls bike while 11-year-old Jason Allport of Pasadena, Md., won a boys bike.
The weekend of racing began with qualifying on Friday night. Time trials were held for the Pure-Streets, Limited Late Models and Four-Cylinders. Heat races were then scheduled after the time trials with the fastest qualifiers automatically being placed in the field for the feature event. Mother Nature interfered with the order of things as it began to rain just after the completion of the first Limited Late Model heat. Track promoter Pete Cameron was forced to cancel the rest of the racing action. To complete the heat races, the Pure-Street Dash for position, and the Chesapeake Web Design Bombers and the Classic Car features, the track opened earlier on Saturday.
Stevie Long was the fastest qualifier for the Coors Light Street Stocks with a lap of 19.47 seconds. Ashley Barrett was second with a time of 19.57 seconds. Only one second separated the fastest qualifying speed back to the 33rd fastest qualifier. Heat races winners Chris Clark, Mike Latham, Bernie Beard, Bryan Kerns, Barry Williams, and Jimmy Jesmer, along with Long and Barrett all competed in a six lap Dash for Position.
Beard drew the outside pole position and took the early lead. He led all six laps to give him the pole position for the feature event. Williams finished second followed by Latham in third, Clark in fourth, Kerns in fifth, Jesmer in sixth, Long in seventh, and Barrett in eighth.
The feature event got off to a slow start as the caution flag waved three times before the first lap was completed, forcing the field to go to a single file restart. Beard led the way on the restart. Williams dove to the inside of him in turn four. The two crossed the start-finish line side-by-side with Williams leading the lap by inches. Williams was able to make the pass in turns one and two for the top spot.
On lap four, Beard and third place runner Latham made contact in turns one and two. Both drivers were able to keep going but both lost a lot of track position. Clark then moved into second.
By lap eight, Williams had about a five-car length advantage over the rest of the field. His lead was soon cut down as the yellow flag waved for the seventh of 16 cautions. On the restart, Clark was able to stay with Williams. On lap 15, Williams' car drifted up the track in turn two. Clark dove to the inside and was able to make the pass for the lead.
Once Clark took over the lead, he never looked back. He went on to lead the rest of the feature unchallenged for the lead, finishing with a five-car length lead over Williams. Clark was later disqualified in a post-race inspection where the Tech Men found a modified carburetor, giving the win to Williams. Eric Johnson ended up in second, followed by hard charger award winner Bobby Franklin in third, Walt Homberg in fourth and Walter Crouch in fifth.
Thirty-six cars attempted to qualify for the 30-lap Bell Motor Company Limited Late Model feature. Paul Cursey set the fastest lap with a time of 17.69 seconds. Barry Lear Jr. was the second fast qualifier with a time of 17.71 seconds.
With Ronald Cusic's heat race win, he started from the outside pole position and took the early lead. By lap four, he had a half straight-a-way lead. Cusic continued to pull away from the rest of the field. Just after crossing the start-finish line to complete lap 11, the red flag waved for an incident involving Mike Hardy and Bubby Tharp who both hit the wall hard on the front stretch.
Cusic once again showed the way when the green flag waved. On lap 19, the yellow flag waved for an incident involving Fireball Latham and Barry Lear Jr., in turns one and two. On the restart, Cusic led the way. As he entered turn four, Cusic got loose. He almost spun, but saved it. With the slower car of Fireball Latham in front of them, Hollidge was able to get by Cusic for the lead.
Hollidge continued to show the way with Cusic then glued to his rear bumper. On lap 23, Cusic tried to retake the lead in turn four. Hollidge edged Cusic back to the start-finish line to lead the lap. The two continued to battle side-by-side.
On lap 25, Cusic again used the inside groove as they exited turn two. He was able to make the pass going into turn three, but then got loose and almost spun. He saved the car and his position.
Cusic made one last effort to retake the top spot. With the checkered flag in sight, Cusic dove to the inside of Hollidge as they exited turn four. Hollidge once again got the advantage and went on to get the win. Cusic finished second followed by Dave Padula in third, Paul Cursey in fourth, and Chris Eaton in fifth. Hollidge, Cursey and Cusic won the heats.
Arlin Brougher set the fastest laps of 20.64 seconds for the 24 four-cylinders attempting to qualify for the 25-lap event. Wayne Graves was second fastest with a lap of 20.80. Brougher's heat race win gave him the pole position along side of Greg Gunter.
Gunter and Brougher battled for the lead at the drop of the green flag. The caution flag waved for an incident involving J.T. Mclanigan and Rodney Hoffman. The field had a complete restart. As the caution flag waved again, Brougher pulled his car in the pits.
The field had their third restart. Gunter and Calvin Wright battled for the lead as the green flag waved. Gunter got the position but the yellow flag waved once again.
When the field went back to green for a single-file restart, Gunter led the way. On lap 12, Billy Sonner challenged Gunter for the lead as they exited turn two. The two ran side-by-side with Gunter leading the lap by inches. Sonner got the advantage as they exited turn two to take over the lead. On lap 14, Scott Russell challenged Gunter for second. Gunter got loose in turn four and fell back to fourth.
Russell then set his sights on Sonner. On lap 18, Russell challenged Sonner for the lead in turns one and two. The two made contact causing Sonner to spin. Russell then took over the lead.
On lap 19, Russell got loose in turn two. He did a 360, but saved the car. Greg Keister then took over the lead. Keister went on to lead the rest of the feature unchallenged for the lead. Gunter finished second, followed by Chuck Johnson in third, Robbie Holmes in fourth, and Brougher in fifth. Linda Wright was the highest finishing Potomac Speedway regular with a sixth place position. Brougher and Gunter won the heats.
In the 20-lap Chesapeake Web Design Bomber feature, Cory Hanson started on the pole and took the early lead. He went on to lead all 20 laps but was disqualified during the post-race inspection for an illegal carburetor. Beedle Binelli then got the win followed by Jimmy Suite in second, Kyle Lear in third, Debbie Williams in fourth, and Greg Mattingly in fifth. Hanson also won the heat.
Kurt Welsh started on the pole and led the way as the green flag waved in the first 20-lap Classic Car feature. The caution flag waved for Welsh on lap four, giving the lead to Randy Dody. Dody showed the way for the next four laps. Martin Graybeal passed Dody for the lead on lap eight but Dody retook the position on lap nine but for only one lap as Graybeal once again got the lead position. Mike Ashwell led the next eight laps with Graybeal taking over once again with two laps to go. Graybeal got the win followed by Mark Jago in second, Charlie Weaver in third, Duane Fabrick in fourth, and Mike Schultz in fifth.
In the second 20-lap Classic Car feature, Tim Stem took the early lead. On lap seven, the caution flag waved for Randy Dody. On the restart, Bill Brown Sr., made a bid for the lead. He was able to make the pass with Stem then spinning in turns one and two. Brown easily went on to lead the rest of the event, unchallenged for the lead. Kurt Welsh finished second followed by Martin Graybeal in third, Jamie Lloyd in fourth, and Mark Jago in fifth.
Potomac Speedway would like to thank all of the drivers, crews, fans, and staff for another successful season. The annual awards banquet will be held on Saturday November 16th at the Mechanicsville Firehouse at 6 p.m. For more information, contact the track office at 301-884-4624 or check us out on the web at potomacspeedway.com.