Over 100 race teams were on hand as Portsmouth Raceway Park ran its final points race of the season Saturday.
All track champions were officially crowned on a night when fans witnessed an outstanding Late Model finish and dominating performances in the other divisions. After years and years of trying and many great runs, Jason Montgomery finally won his first-ever Late Model A-Main at PRP. Montgomery climbed from seventh to win PRP’s regular-season finale, making him the race’s hard charger as well as the winner.
Montgomery battled back-and-forth with Delmas Conley for second before eventually clearing the 70-year-old veteran. Montgomery then set his sights on race leader R.J. Conley, who started on the pole and led every lap of the 25-lap A-Main except the final three.
Montgomery got by R.J. Conley on lap 22 and pulled away in the closing circuits. R.J. Conley held on for second, his father and the night’s fast qualifier, Delmas Conley, placed third while Duane Chamberlin and Ben Adkins rounded out the top five.
Jason Montgomery had quite the evening at PRP. In addition to driving in the Late Model class, he also raced in the Modifieds.
Of the four races he participated in, he won three of them and finished second in the other. Montgomery won his Late Model and Modified Heat Races, took the checkers in the Late Model A-Main, and finished as the runner-up in the Modified Feature.
While Montgomery was strong in the Mods, Todd Robinson was the class of the field. Robinson started in eighth, but by lap 5, he was at the point. Once he got out front, nobody had anything for him.
The win was Robinson’s third of the season at PRP. Ironically, all three victories have come in three different cars.
Finishing behind Robinson and Montgomery were Eric Hatfield, Tony DeHart and Tim Tribby. Luke Jordan was the race’s hard charger as he moved up 11 positions from 19th to finish eighth.
Robbie Lewis held on to win a caution-plagued Limited Late Model A-Main. The race was cut short due to a time-limit expiration, but Lewis led all 11 laps that were ran.
For Lewis, it was his eighth feature win in 14 starts. Cameron Logan, Matt Cook, Jesse Lyons, Jr. and Ken Atkins made up the rest of the top five.
Entering the night, three of the four PRP divisions already had their 2012 track champions determined. R.J. Conley had clinched the Late Model title giving him four PRP track championships.
Doug “The Buzzard” Adkins had the Modified championship locked up, winning a PRP title for a fifth time and Robbie Lewis had already salted away the Limited Late Model crown. For Lewis, this year’s achievement marks his second-straight track championship as he won in the Bomber Division last year.
This season’s points race in the Bombers, however, came down to the final race. Conard Newman led Jeremie Bretz by five points entering the night. Whoever finished ahead of the other would win it all. Even if Bretz finished just one spot ahead of Newman, the two would’ve wound up tied and Bretz would have earned the tiebreak because he had more wins.
Bretz did everything he had to do to win his fifth Bomber title. He won his heat and went on to win the feature. Newman placed fourth in the A-Main and wound up finishing just 10 points behind Bretz.
The top five finishers in Saturday’s Bomber Feature were Bretz, Brett Carey, Shane Pendleton, Newman and Justin Jaynes.
All of the 2012 track champs had won titles in the past. R.J. Conley, Adkins, and Bretz all now have more championships in their respective divisions than any other driver.
PRP’s next race will be the historic Dirt Track World Championship scheduled for Oct. 18-20.