Often times when athletes are injured in a sporting event they strive to finish what they started. The same works in racing when you want to get back what you lost or capitalize on the opportunity that was taken away from you. That was priority number one for Joey Doiron at Greenville-Pickens Speedway (SC) and the PASS National event, the Winter Meltdown 150.
Doiron came into the race having won the last time out at Greenville, however he never got to drive to victory lane as his car was destroyed in the turn one wall after contact at the finish line with another driver. This time after the checkered flag flew Doiron got to experience the full victory lane treatment as he climbed out of the car with a bunch of emotion.
“We raced our guts out all day and fortunately we had enough tires left there at the end,” said Doiron. “It’s a lot better to be talking in victory lane with a full car than what happened last fall. I almost ended our day on lap one and we came all the way to get the win.”
The day was not at all easy for Doiron who developed transmission trouble and pulled into the pits after only one lap. While the crew looked to get his car back into gear he lost three laps. Thanks to timely cautions and no on-track lapping, Doiron was the free pass recipient three times and he got back on the lead lap.
“I had no low gear,” said Doiron. “I did it all without the clutch after we pitted. Restarts were okay as I was going into high. Stopping and starting was a challenge.”
After he got back on the lead lap, Doiron cracked the top-10 in no time and slowly moved towards the top-five. He gained the lead before the lap-100 break for two tires, but fell to second to Derek Ramstrom on the restart. He would run him down to take the lead for good.
It was a career-best finish for Mike Hopkins who had good momentum before a yellow on lap-143 for a spinning lapped car. After the restart he got to the back bumper of the leader on two occasions, but he couldn’t pull off the pass. Coming to the white flag he charged into the corner and made slight contact with Doiron, but Doiron took off and won by two car-lengths at the checkered flag.
“I gave him a little nudge, but that was all,” said Hopkins. “I am not going to race like that and I am not going to race Joey like that after what happened to him here last year.”
Former PASS South champion Preston Peltier finished third, which was a career best at Greenville for him. Derek Ramstrom and Jeremy Davis who both led laps rounded out the top five.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Contributor
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
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