On Saturday evening, Portsmouth Raceway Park welcomed the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series for the annual running of the Independence 60 presented by R.W. Rental and Supply.
Shinnston, W. Va’s Josh Richards dominated the entire evening as the Mountaineer State native set quick time, won his heat, and led all 60 laps of the Late Model feature event. John Melvin took the win in the Limited Lates, while Jeremy Rayburn grabbed the checkers in the Modifieds.
Richards was strong on restarts and was stellar maneuvering his way through lapped traffic late in the race.
For Richards, Saturday’s win marked his second career feature victory at PRP coming nine years after his first. The Independence 60 was the fourth Lucas Oil race of 2017 won by Richards.
Tim McCreadie, a Watertown, N.Y. native, climbed from sixth to second. The final 21 laps of the Independence 60 went green, and after Richards established a lengthy lead, McCreadie began to make a charge. However, it proved to be too little, too late.
Indiana, Penn.’s Gregg Satterlee finished third, while Union, Ky.’s Darrell Lanigan and Martinsville, Ind.’s Don O’Neal came across the line fourth and fifth, respectively. Jimmy Owens, R.J. Conley, Steve Francis, Eddie Carrier, Jr., and outside pole-sitter Brandon Fouts rounded out the top 10.
Current Lucas Oil Series points leader Scott Bloomquist had trouble during the early stages of the evening and was forced to bring out a backup car for the feature. He started dead last in 24th but climbed to 11th before bringing out a caution on lap 30. Two laps later, he would bring out his second yellow ending his night.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Late Model A-Main was a wild one. Being in the lead did not seem to be the luckiest position to be in. Nine-time PRP Limited Late Model champ John Melvin wound up taking the win, but even he had issues while at the point.
Cameron Logan led early before surrendering the top spot to Mike Meyers, who was running away with the event before issues with his machine gave the lead back to Logan on lap 10.
In the closing laps, however, his car developed a push, and Melvin, in his familiar No. 81 machine, made the pass for the lead with two circuits remaining and hold on for the victory. Saturday’s win was Melvin’s first at PRP since 2015.
Lucasville’s Jeremy Rayburn took the win in the R.W. Rental and Supply Modified Division in a dominating performance where Rayburn led every single lap of the feature. Rayburn has not finished outside of the top four in five races thus far this season.
Nathon Lone, Jody Puckett, Eddie Harmon, and Jimmy Lennex made up the rest of the top five with Adam Colley, James Grigsby, Bill Keeler, Justin Jacobs, and Drew Bender rounding out the top 10.
PRP will take this coming Saturday off but will return on July 15th for the Premier Precast Products Limited Late Model Extravaganza. Also on the card will be Giovanni’s Pizza Late Models, R.W. Rental and Supplies Modifieds, as well as the M&M Inflatables Sport Mods. For more information, log on to www.portsraceway.com.
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