PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth Raceway Park entertained a packed house Saturday night as the Coleman-family owned facility opened up its 2012 season with The PRP Kickoff Classic featuring Late Models, Modifieds, Limited Lates, and Bombers. Over 80 race teams were on hand.
Jackie Boggs took the checkered flag in the Late Model A-Main. South Point’s Todd Robinson fended off four-time track champion Doug Adkins to win the Modified feature.
Robbie Lewis of Tollesboro, KY proved he is capable of winning in any class, as the defending Bomber champ opened the season with a win in the Limited Late Division. In the Bomber A-Main, Maysville, KY native Jeremie Bretz posted a heart-felt victory.
The Late Model racers showcased stellar speeds, as numerous drivers clicked off qualifying laps that were timed below 15 seconds, including Grayson, KY’s Josh McGuire who posted the Wesbanco Fast Time.
In the Late Model Dash, another Grayson driver managed to find success - two-time PRP track champ Jackie Boggs. Known for having a loyal devotion of fans, Boggs didn’t disappoint his followers. He took the checkers in the Dash, which put him on the pole for the 25-lap A-Main.
Boggs led every single circuit en route to the $2,000-dollar prize. Three-time PRP Late Model champion R.J. Conley of Wheelersburg ran second. McGuire rounded out the top three. Terry Hicks was named the race’s Hard Charger, as he moved up seven positions from 16th to ninth.
In the Modified A-Main, Todd Robinson jumped out front early and never looked back despite receiving stiff challenges from both Doug Adkins and Beaver’s Tim Tribby. Robinson, Adkins, and Tribby finished one through three. Lucasville’s Anthony Slusher passed more cars than any other driver. He advanced from 19th to fourth but pulled off on Lap 15.
Robbie Lewis led all 15 laps of the Limited Late Model feature, which was quite a way to begin his first full season of competing in the class.
Perhaps the bigger story of the night was that nine-time Limited Late Model track champ John Melvin didn’t win. The Coal Grove driver has dominated Portsmouth Raceway Park’s Limited class for the better part of the last 15 years. He finished second in both his heat and the feature. Matt Cook rounded out the top three.
One of the bigger collisions of the evening took place in the Limited Late Model A-Main when Robbie Lyons, Jr. and Chris Burchett crashed into the front straight-away wall just under the flagstand and slid down toward turn one.
Burchett’s machine got up on its side but thankfully came back down on all four wheels. Both drivers walked away unscathed.
The Bomber Feature showcased close racing as the top five ran nose-to-tail for nearly the entire event. Conard Newman remained within feet of race-winner Jeremie Bretz throughout all 12 laps but never could pull up alongside.
Victory Lane was highly emotional at the conclusion of the race. Bretz races for Team Pendleton. His car owner is teenager Lakin Pendleton, whose father Darren recently passed away after a bout with cancer. Both Bretz and his teammate Shane Pendleton sported Darren’s number 88 on their cars Saturday night.
PRP will be back in action this coming weekend featuring two nights of racing. On Saturday Late Models will run The Big Red Book Stars & Stripes 35 paying $3,000 to win along with Modifieds and Bombers.
On Sunday the first-ever Boone Coleman Memorial will be raced, which will provide the Late Model feature winner with a $5,000-dollar paycheck as well as a provisional starting position in October’s Dirt Track World Championship to be held at PRP. Also racing at Portsmouth Raceway Park Sunday will be Modifieds and Limited Lates.
A-Main: Jackie Boggs, R. J. Conley, Josh McGuire, Paul Davis, Kenny Christy, Mark Frazier, Billy
Gullion, Shannon Thornsberry, Terry Hicks, Kirk Phillips
Dash: Jackie Boggs, R.J. Conley, Rod Rayburn, Zach Dohm, Josh McGuire, Ben Adkins.
Heat I: Kenny Christy, Paul Davis, Mark Frazier.
Heat II: Josh Bocook, Nick Bocook, Billy Gullion.
A-Main: Todd Robinson, Doug Adkins, Tim Tribby, Bo Cox, Dave McWilliams, Rick Hensley,
Jeremie Bretz, Greg Anderson, Adam Colley, Steve Clemons.
Heat II: Tim Tribby, Jeremie Bretz, Justin Conn.
Heat III: Todd Robinson, David McWilliams, Bo Cox.
Limited Late Models
A–Main: Robbie Lewis, John Melvin, Matt Cook, Greg Thompson, Jeremy Akers, Emily Jordan,
Matt Melvin, Kevin Terry, Ronnie Whitt, Brandon Conkel.
Heat I: Matt Melvin, John Melvin, Roger Dilly.
Heat II: Steve Dillow, Cameron Logan, Matt Cook.
Heat III: Robbie Lewis, Greg Thompson, Evyian Terry.
B–Main: Tommy Twinam, David Grubb, Ryan Washington.
A–Main: Jeremie Bretz, Conard Newman, Brett Carey, Corey Lewis, Shane Pendleton, Joseph
McClain, Jeremy Cassidy, Mike Drake, Jeremy Brady, Jason Spillman.
Heat I: Conard Newman, Brett Carey, Shane Pendleton.
Heat II: Jeremie Bretz, Jason Spillman, Jeremy Brady.