A wild finish to the Winter Series Micro Sprint opener at Millbridge Speedway produced a first-time winner, as former pavement Midget racer Neal Allison started off his sophomore season on dirt with a hard-earned victory on Saturday.
Allison, a former race-winner in the USAC Eastern Midget ranks, made the jump to Micro Sprints on the dirt in 2020. After a rookie season which included a top-10 finish in the TRD Keith Kunz Motorsports Giveback Classic presented by Rowdy Energy, Allison took the next step to victory lane.
For most of the afternoon at the Salisbury, North Carolina facility, Allison appeared to have the car to beat, setting fast time in hot laps and dominating the first heat race of the day. Allison continued that trend in the 30-lap feature, stretching out a lead on the competition.
However, that run was nearly derailed with just a handful of laps to go. Allison rapidly approached the slowing machine of Brianna Lawson, who was in the process of pulling to the infield. The two drivers came together, sending Allison into the infield as well but maintaining forward progress.
The caution flew shortly thereafter, with Allison maintaining the lead after his wild ride.
“I just got up on her,” explained Allison. “Luckily, it didn’t spin me out too much and I was able to keep it going. Going into one, the steering wheel locked up on me, all the way right. We got a bent rack, but we were able to straighten it out and keep it going.”
From there, Allison held off Matt Francis and Eli Adams to score the win in the first Micro Sprint race of the year at Millbridge.
“Last year was my first year driving anything on dirt, and it was in the Micros. I was able to get that experience, and pick up the win in the first race this season.”
While last year’s experience was helpful for Allison, there were not many occasions in 2020 to prepare the Micro Sprint racers for the track they saw Saturday. On this occasion, Millbridge featured an uncharacteristically dominant bottom lane, rewarding precise driving.
“You really just had to hit it perfect,” said Allison. “There was rubber just about the size of your right-rear. If you missed it, you were in the slick and you were going to spin out. You just had to keep it in there, watch out for people in front of me, and run my race.”
Francis and Adams completed the podium, with Joey Robinson and Hunter Kohn rounding out the top five.
While Saturday’s race featured Winged Micro Sprints, the second and final leg of the Millbridge Winter Series will take place next Saturday, January 30, without the wings. Fans can watch next Saturday’s race live on Speed51.TV by clicking here.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo
Official Results – Winged Micro Sprints at Millbridge, January 23, 2021
- Neal Allison
- Matt Francis
- Eli Adams
- Joey Robinson
- Hunter Kohn
- Nathan Hauck
- Blake Hunt
- Caden Englehart
- Brianna Lawson
- Sheldon Creed
- Coen McDaniel
- Brett Moffitt
- Timmy Nye