Chuck Barnes, Jr., son of seven-time Halloween 200 winner Chuck Barnes, added a street stock victory of his own at Lucas Oil Raceway (IN) on Friday night.
Barnes dominated after starting from the pole and held off an intense challenge from Colby Lane to win the Stealth Trailers CRA Street Stocks Lucas Oil Raceway 125.
Lane finished the 125-lap event in second, followed by his father Jeff Lane. Jacob McElfresh and Mason Keller rounded out the top five.
Barnes led the field to green as the sun set over the Clermont, Indiana track. Barnes would hold the lead for the race’s first 10 laps, conceding the top spot for three laps to Colby following a lap 11 restart.
Owensboro, Kentucky native Brett Hudson appeared to be a contender after setting fast time in the day’s lone qualifying session. Hudson had worked his way up to second on lap 21 when his No. 00 blew a right-front tire, forcing him into the wall and bringing out a yellow flag. Hudson would go behind the wall with extensive damage.
Following a slew of early cautions, the second half of the 85.75-mile race went caution free save for a 10-minute break on lap 75. Barnes paced the field to the break despite conceding a couple laps to a hard-charging Colby as Jeff ran three seconds back in third.
Following the break, Barnes took off, working his way into a lead that he wouldn’t relinquish. Barnes would win the event with Colby coming in just .726 seconds back.
“We got lucky with Hudson having problems early on, a couple good cars having issues early on,” said Barnes. “But Colby’s no joke. He wins a lot of races.
“I do not like driving these street stocks without radios,” Barnes continued. “That was my biggest challenge. I just couldn’t get comfortable in the car, so I was watching my mirror the whole time and he was just right there applying the pressure.
“I’d get squirrely and he’d get right on my bumper. He even passed me a couple times. He’s dang good.”
Despite his talent and the pressure he applied on Barnes, Colby Lane would have to settle for second.
“My car was very slick,” said Colby. “We tried to get a little more forward bite there at the break and it just didn’t happen. I don’t know what we did wrong.
“It was very hard to keep up. I was giving it my all, might’ve went a little too hard early, but good job on Chuck. He barely slipped a tire.”
Despite failing to claim the victory, Colby remained positive after the race.
“Oh well. It was fun. I had a good time,” said Colby. “Chuck Barnes, Jr. is a good one to get beat by. All in all, it was a good points night, and I’ll take it.”
The caution flag fell four times in Friday’s 125-lap feature, including a red-flag on lap 14 for a five-car incident started by Jason Thompson and Jason Atkinson.
The only good news for the field following a beat down from Barnes is that they may not see him again this season.
“No,” said Barnes of running another CRA Street Stock race this season. “This is my dad’s car. We were supposed to bring two cars here and both of us drive, and those plans fell apart.
“I guess we flipped a coin basically to see who was going to drive and I got stuck on this side of it. I like it when he drives it.”
Tempers Flare for Thompson, Atkinson on Pit Road
Thompson and Atkinson were battling for position inside of the top five when contact led to Thompson looping his No. 28 in front of the 21-car field. Thompson, Danny Adams and Robert Amos would sustain heavy damage, while TJ Flynn, A.J. Ridner and Jimmy Kirby came to pit road with minor damage.
Thompson, angered by the incident, walked up the .686-mile track’s racing surface to voice his displeasure with Atkinson before being escorted off of the track by safety personnel.
The two drivers continued their feud on lap 60, when Atkinson was forced to the infield with mechanical issues. Thompson and his crew confronted Atkinson’s crew, leading to a brief altercation while the field continued under green flag conditions on the track.
“I’ve got a lot of comments. I probably ‘ought to keep most of them to myself,” said Thompson. “We worked real hard to have a good car to come back here. Last time we were here we did a lot of homework, and I feel like we had a really good car.
“I think we just got tangled up, somebody maybe being a little impatient. It was way too early in the race to be doing that. Our night got ended way too early.”
The two drivers agreed to disagree on the cause of the incident.
“I don’t really know what happened,” said Atkinson. “With the sunlight, you couldn’t see. I don’t know if (Thompson) got loose. He came across my nose. I was just going to ride and let him go and all of the sudden he spun out.”
Atkinson, who entered the race with the CRA Street Stock Series point lead, maintained his quiet demeanor when asked about the brawl behind the pit area.
“I was still in the car,” said Atkinson. “He wouldn’t let me get out of the car. That’s all.”
Thompson, clearly frustrated, tried to justify the move.
“I probably shouldn’t have done that, but what do you do? The officials didn’t do anything about it in the race,” said Thompson. “It’s happened to us multiple times and nothing’s been done, so I guess the only way to take care of it’s in your own hands.”
-By Aaron Bearden, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com