Ricky Locklair Jr. didn’t expect to be racing on a Sunday afternoon in January at South Carolina’s Dillon Motor Speedway. The New Year’s Bash 106-lap Street Stock race was scheduled for a Saturday afternoon. Locklair and the rest of the field took the green flag on a Saturday afternoon. But he crossed under the checkered flag to take the win on a Sunday afternoon anyway.
Just 14 laps were completed on Saturday before the rain came and never stopped. It quickly became apparent to everybody at the South Carolina oval that there was no way racing could resume on Saturday night. Track officials called all the spotters into a meeting and it was decided that racing would resume on lap 15 on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Gary Ledbetter led the first 14 laps on Saturday, and the first five laps on Sunday before losing the lead to Ricky Locklair Jr. Locklair and Ledbetter battled hard for close to three laps before Locklair prevailed with the lead off turn four.
Ledbetter fell back to about fifth before fighting his way back to second-place by the halfway break at lap 53.
Meanwhile, Locklair attempted to drive away from the rest of the field. But every time Locklair would get out to a lead of more than 10 car-lengths the yellow flag would fly.
After the halfway break, Ledbetter and Locklair fought for the lead the rest of the race. Ledbetter
would stay right with Locklair for a few laps, then Locklair would pull away for a few laps, and then Ledbetter would come charging back.
The caution flag waved with nine laps to go after a multi-car incident in turn three, and that set up a nine-lap shootout between Locklair and Ledbetter.
Locklair lined up on the inside with Ledbetter, sporting an open-faced helmet, on Locklair’s outside.
When the green flag waved, Locklair and Ledbetter got into each other just a bit, but it was enough to cause Ledbetter to fall back to fifth.
The caution flag came out one final time with eight laps to go, and this time it was Locklair on the inside with Sonny Schoffen on the outside.
Locklair got a great jump and drove away from Schoffen. Locklair beat Schoffen to the checkered flag by nine-tenths of a second to take the victory. Jeff Melton, Cooper Faassen and Ledbetter completed the top five.
“We had a fast car all weekend long, said Locklair in victory lane. “We got tight on the long runs, but it was still fast enough.
Todd Bradburry, Curtis Peeples, Ron Flynn, Phil Jenkins and Ricky Locklair Sr. completed the rest of the top 10 finishers.
Speed51.com powered by JEGS will have more from the New Year’s Bash Street Stock event at Dillon Motor Speedway soon on the Speed51 Network.
New Year’s Bash
Dillon Motor Speedway, Dillon, South Carolina
|1||12w||Ricky Locklair Jr.|
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com