Georgetown, DE – Jamie Lathroum had a hard time just getting to Georgetown Speedway on Friday night.
Lathroum’s drive from his hometown of Mechanicsville, Md., is normally just over two-and-a-half hours. However, summer beach traffic – combined with a crash that shut down the Chesapeake Bay Bridge during the afternoon – lengthened Lathroum’s trip to five hours, 40 minutes.
He arrived just in time for the drivers’ meeting.
“I about fell out of the seat just getting here,” he said with a laugh.
After 30 laps, the long ride was worthwhile as Lathroum won a thriller over Rick Eckert in the Sunoco Super Late Model ‘Clash for Cash’ pocketing $3,500 for his efforts.
The feature event went non-stop from green to checkered, setting up an excellent battle down the stretch between the top two cars for most of the night.
Lathroum and local fan favorite, Amanda Whaley would lead the field to green. Lathroum immediately jumped out to the early lead and began to open it up over Whaley.
Meanwhile, the Millsboro driver was in a battle trying to hold off another fan favorite, this one being Rick Eckert. Eckert was glued to the bottom searching and searching for a way to get by Whaley.
Right behind those two, Jason Covert was attempting to make another charge to the front. Covert was the winner the last time the Sunoco Super Late Models visited the Georgetown Speedway. After failing to make the redraw, Covert’s car came to life as he had gotten to fourth and was chasing the battle for second.
At the halfway point, Lathroum had put more than a straightaway between himself and the battle for second. On lap 16, Rick Eckert made the move that changed the race.
Eckert drove to the outside in turns three and four and went around Whaley to take the second spot. Once he got to the second spot, Eckert went on a fishing trip, reeling in Lathroum every lap.
The lead began to evaporate, with Eckert taking off six-tenths of a second on some laps. With seven laps to go Eckert had gotten within striking distance of Lathroum and began setting up his move.
After multiple attempts to get to the inside of Lathroum failed, Eckert went back to the top and pulled alongside Lathroum as they came to the white flag. The two went door-to-door, literally, into turn number with Lathroum staying in the gas and sliding up in front of Eckert.
It appeared the contact had cut Eckert’s left-rear tire, as he slowed down the backstretch and limped to finish line for a runner-up finish.
“I don’t know if he thinks I crowded him, but he didn’t seem too happy with me after the race,” Lathroum said of the battle.
Jason Covert got by Amanda Whaley for third and had begun to catch the top two while they battled for the win but ran out of time. The “Wild Child,” Amanda Whaley, appeared to be fighting a tight racecar all race long, as she held on for a fourth place finish. Ross Robinson completed the front five.
Matt Hill started on the pole and went wire-to-wire taking the RUSH Late Model feature worth $1,150: $1,000 from the posted purse and another $150 courtesy of speedway supporter Ad-Art Sign Company of Georgetown.
Hill, a Georgetown resident, outgunned Amanda Whaley on the initial start and paced all 20 laps.
Whaley picked up her second top five of the night after challenging Hill for the lead early. Joe Warren quickly made his way from eighth to third before his charge stalled out there. Nick Davis finished with a solid fourth-place night and Ross Robinson rounded out the top five after starting dead last – 18th – on the field.
Kelly Putz, who has been close several times this season at Georgetown, picked up the 12-lap win in the Modified division of the Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Car class. David Tucker won the Sportsman division in his first race ever in the class.
Kirk Lawson used a fast racecar and the outside line to his advantage picking up the Little Lincoln checkered flag over Jordan Herbert, and Melvin Joseph Jr.
Robert Smith won a thriller over David Smith and Matt Esham in the Delaware Super Truck feature. Following a yellow on the white flag lap, Smith used the outside on the restart to take the lead and the win in the 12-lap affair.
Joe Waters made up for heartbreak early in the season, grabbing the Delmarva Charger feature victory. Waters led the whole way over Robert “Pac-Man” Paczkowski and Jarrett Chandler.
Next up on-track at Georgetown is the ‘BetterTitleLoans.com Monster Truck Madness’ featuring BIGFOOT, Snake Bite and a roster of Monster Trucks plus Quad Wars on Friday, July 5 and Saturday, July 6. Two complete shows are planned. For more, visit the speedway website at www.thegeorgetownspeedway.com.
Georgetown Speedway, originally constructed by Melvin L. Joseph in 1949, is located at the intersection of Route 113 and Speedway Road in Georgetown, Del., just miles from the Delaware beaches and less than a 40-minute drive from Ocean City, Md.
A website is live for the speedway at www.thegeorgetownspeedway.com. Like Georgetown Speedway on Facebook, follow @thegtownspdwy on Twitter, e-mail [email protected] or contact the speedway hotline at 302.563.GTWN (4896).
-Georgetown Speedway Press Release & Photo