LAKE VIEW, SC – “The Dirt Deacon” Christian Thomas of Wake Forest, NC made a last lap charge to edge out Chuck Smith in a photo finish to win Saturday night’s Blue Ridge Outlaw Late Model race at Lake View Motor Speedway. The win on First Responders Night was the first for Thomas in a Late Model at Lake View and was the first for the Sewell Logging team.
“I got passed and I started looking at the car owner down here and I just don’t like it when he’s got a disappointed face on and I said ‘we’re gonna blow it up or I’m gonna win it’, and I think we won it,” said Thomas afterwards. “It’s a huge relief for the whole team, we’ve wanted to win here for a while in front of the hometown crowd, but it’s growing on me and I think we’re starting to figure it out here.”
Thomas was the fastest qualifier and outran Daniel Tucker and Scott Shirey in the 6-Shooter Dash to start on the pole in the 25-lap main event. Thomas jumped into the lead at the drop of the green flag and was leading when the first caution of the night waved on lap four for a spin by Blake Sanderson.
Thomas continued to lead when another caution flag flew for a spin by Eddie Baggs on the front straightaway to avoid the slower car of Robbie Bailey. Both Bailey and Blue Ridge points leader Cody Tanquary, who failed to start due to mechanical issues, took a hit at the end of the night in the point standings. The caution waved again on lap 12 after contact from Michael Marlowe sent 2018 Blue Rudge Outlaw champion, David Minton, spinning in turn four.
After starting fifth, Chuck Smith had moved up to second and was ready to challenge Thomas for the lead. Thomas bobbled in turn four with 10 laps to go allowing Smith to move by for the lead. Smith had opened up a sizeable lead until the caution slowed the field with four laps to go for the stalled car of Dean Bowen.
Smith continued to lead working the bottom groove, while Thomas started to gain ground on the high side. On the last lap, Thomas sailed to the outside in turn three and powered by Smith to take the win by less than a car length at the checkered flag. Smith’s teammate Mark Dysart finished third, followed by Marlowe and Tucker. Rounding out the top 10 were Shirey, Johnny Pridgen, Minton, Bowen, and Bailey.
Autryville, NC’s Case Daniels made a daring move to take the lead on a restart and would go on to win the 602 Modified feature. Pole sitter Josh Fields led early, withstanding a furious challenge from Greg Cain. After a spin by Dennis Brewer and Albert Brayfield in turn four, Fields would lead Cain and Daniels for the lap 7 restart. Daniels moved to the outside of Cain in turn one on the restart, then cut down to the inside of Fields exiting turn two to take the lead. Daniels led the rest of the way for his second win of the year at Lake View over Cain, Fields, AJ Belanger, and Colton Beasley.
Ron Pope of Erwin, NC jumped to the lead from the pole position over Benji Thompson and would go on to lead every lap for his third Super Street win of 2020. Rounding out the top five were Cameron Norris, IV, Michael Freeman, and Perry Page.
Tom Lovette only led one lap, but he made it count to take his third Crate Racin’ USA Street Stock win of the year. Brad Harrelson was the early leader but was bypassed by former track champion, Michael Butler, for the lead on lap 3. Butler led through several cautions, but was caught by Lovette coming to take the white flag. Slight contact between the two in turn one sent Lovette spinning and Butler to the rear of the field for the contact. Lovette was placed back to the front of the field and he was able to hold off Jeffrey Batten and Mike Manes for the win. Chandler Fowler came from the rear to finish fourth and Ed Mason was fifth.
Jerry Johnson, Jr. took the lead at the drop of the green flag from pole sitter Derek Kemper and led flag-to-flag for second SCDRA Sport Compact win of the season. Following Johnson and Kemper at the checkered flag were Jason Brown, Andrew Rabon, and Ronnie Perritt.
Dustin Watkins passed Morghan Johnson on lap 3 and the led the rest of the way for his first Mod-Lie win this season. Rounding out the top five were Johnson, JJ Williams, Andrew Albertson, and Bladen Core.
The next event at Lake View Motor Speedway will be the 3rdAnnual Sandra Miler Memorial Saturday night, August 8th, featuring a 19-lap dash for the Late Models, paying $1900 to the winner. 602 Modifieds will also be in action, along with the Super Street, Crate Racin’ USA Street Stocks, SCDRA Sport Compacts, and Mod-Lites. Be sure to “Like” Lake View Motor Speedway on Facebook, follow @LakeViewDirt on Twitter to keep up on all that’s going on in 2020 or visit lakeviewmotorspeedway.com
-Lake View Motor Speedway Press Release and Photo