Lake View, SC – The 40th Anniversary season at Lake View Motor Speedway kicked off in earnest Saturday night with Willie Milliken of Roanoke Rapids, NC taking the Late Model win in the inaugural JD Pridgen Memorial. The 22-lap race paid $2200 to the winner, plus other added awards, and honored Mr. Pridgen, who passed away recently. Mr. Pridgen competed in the first event ever held at Lake View in 1981 all the way through 2019, winning many events throughout the Carolinas during his storied career.
“I really wanted this win tonight for the Pridgen family, it’s an honor to win it for them and their dad,” said Milliken afterwards. “I know I had to beat Shaun [Harrell] on the start because he is one of the best drivers on the east coast and if you beat him, you’ve done something.”
Hope Mills, NC’s Shaun Harrell set the fast time in qualifying, winning $200 from Carolina Threads for the pole award. At the start, Milliken, who started from the outside pole, got the advantage over Harrell as they entered turn one. Sentimental favorite, Johnny Pridgen, started fourth but went off the back straightway embankment to bring out the first caution of the night.
Milliken continued to pace the field when the caution waved on lap 14 for the stalled machine of his teammate, Mason Price. Then, two laps later, Jeffrey Johnson would spin in turn four, sending Tony Terry over the turn four embankment.
On the next restart, Chris Miller was sent spinning entering turn three, collecting seven others, including Josh Richeson, Timmy and Zach Blackwell, Steven Blanton and others. When racing resumed, “The Wild Child” Willie Milliken cruised to nearly $5,000 in posted awards ahead of Harrell, Christian Thomas, Dustin Perritt, and Bryson Harper. Rounding out the top 10 were Josh Richeson, Zachary Cox, Price, Johnathan Ward, and Kale Green.
AJ Belanger took advantage of an untimely spin by race-long leader Case Daniels with three laps to go to take the 602 Modified win. Daniels started on the pole and dominated until he spun in turn two and would go on to finish fifth. On lap eight, Jerry Dove and Brian Strickland spun in turn four as they battled for sixth. Following Belanger at the finish were Cameron Norris, III, Brandon Carter, Johnny Pridgen, and Daniels.
After a scare on the initial start sent outside pole sitter David Royal for a spin, Ron Pope dominated to score his first Super Street win of the season. Royal’s night would go from bad to worse when he hit the inside guardrail on lap seven as he tried to avoid the spinning car of Jamie Barnes. At the finish, Pope took the win, followed by Benji Thompson, Scott Patterson, Cameron Norris, IV, and Johnny Pridgen, driving the last race car his father every competed in at Lake View.
One of the most competitive races of the evening was the Crate Racin’ USA Street Stock feature won by Latta, SC’s, Tom Lovett. Outside pole sitter Michael Butler got the lead over Lovett at the start. After a caution on lap five for hard contact with the inside guardrail by Ashley Best, Lovett was finally able to move around Butler for the lead two laps later. Lovett led the rest of the way for his second win of the season over Butler, Donald Williams, Josh Herring, and Anthony Spivey.
Jerry Johnson, Jr.’s luck at Lake View finally turned around leading every lap to take the win in the SCDRA Sport Compact feature. Ronnie Perritt scored his best finish coming home in second, ahead of Derek Kemper, Glenn Register, and Julio Cifuentes, Jr.
A full replay of Saturday’s race can be viewed with a monthly or yearly subscription on Speed51 by clicking here.
The next event at Lake View Motor Speedway will be Saturday night, June 13th, with the 3rd Annual Sandra Miller Memorial, featuring a 38-lap special for the Late Models divided into two 19-lap stages. Super Streets will also be in action, along with 602 Modifieds, Crate Racin’ USA Street Stocks, and SCDRA Sport Compacts. 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 & Photo