With a grandstand full of children looking on at Portsmouth Raceway Park Saturday night, it seemed only fitting that several second-generation drivers managed to give their dads an early Father’s Day present by recording feature wins.
PRP hosted its annual Kids Night presented by The Roger W. Davis Funeral Home. Toys, bicycles, caps, t-shirts, candy and all kinds of other goodies were given away throughout the evening.
As for the action on the track, three drivers recorded their first victories of 2012. R.J. Conley won in the Late Model Division. Anthony Slusher prevailed in the Modifieds. Matt Melvin took the checkers in the Limited Lates, and Jeremie Bretz was the winner in the Bombers.
Conley, Slusher, and Melvin all come from racing backgrounds. All of their fathers were or still are racers. As the matter of fact, Conley and Melvin had to compete against their dads in their respective races. Slusher’s father assists him with his car.
Conley set fast time in the Late Models and pocketed $100 for his efforts courtesy of Wesbanco. Conley started on the outside pole of the feature and jumped out to the early lead. He never looked back leading all 25 laps en route to his first PRP win of the season.
Donnie Moran came in second. His 17-year-old son, Devin Moran, finished third. Jackie Boggs crossed the line in fourth. Josh Bocook rounded out the top five. Mark Frazier was the race’s hard charger, as he advanced from 15th to seventh.
The Modified A-Main had three different leaders, but in the end Anthony Slusher took the checkered flag. For Slusher, it was his second career win.
Doug Adkins led early on, but spun on lap three while battling Rick Hensley for the lead. Hensley led laps three through 12 before Slusher passed him going into turn one.
Finishing behind Slusher were Tim Tribby, Bo Cox, Jeremie Bretz, and Doug Adkins. Jeremy Hayes was named the race’s Markwest Hydrocarbon Hard Charger climbing from 17th to eighth.
Like Slusher, Matt Melvin also recorded his second career win. Melvin started the Limited Late Model feature on the inside of row two but wound up beginning from the pole after a first-lap caution took the front row out of contention and forced a complete restart.
Melvin led every lap, as he held off Robbie Lewis, Evyian Terry, Greg Thompson, and Joe Whitt.
One of the more sportsmanlike gestures of the night took place during the Limited Late Model feature. Mike Steele of Catlettsburg, KY was involved in an early crash, which seemingly destroyed the body on his new race car. At a moment when most drivers would’ve been beside themselves, Steele walked up through the stands on his way back to the pits and took the time to greet many of the younger fans who were in attendance shaking hands and signing t-shirts.
Another driver who is always very generous to the kids at PRP is Bomber and Modified driver Jeremie Bretz of Maysville, KY. He gave away several bicycles and big wheels throughout the night, and as he has done throughout the year, he won the Bomber feature yet again making himself a perfect five for five in 2012.
Bretz started the feature on the pole and led every circuit. However, his teammate, Shane Pendleton was on his rear bumper the entire race. Finishing third was Conard Newman. David Dunn and Corey Lewis rounded out the top five.
Portsmouth Raceway Park’s next event will be The Premier Pre-cast Products Limited Late Model Extravaganza this Saturday, June 23. Late Models, Modifieds, and Bombers will be on the schedule along with the highlighted division which will be the Limited Lates. Gates open at 4 p.m. Racing begins at 7:30 p.m. For more details visit www.portsraceway.com and follow Portsmouth Raceway Park on twitter @PRPDirt.