WEST PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth Raceway Park ran its final points race of 2022 this past weekend, the final event prior to next month’s Dirt Track World Championship.
Saturday night at PRP was Weaver’s Gas & Oil “Meet The Drivers” Night and Pepsi “Employee” Night.
Kenny Christy, Jeremy Rayburn, Matt Melvin and Zack Pendleton all recorded wins in their respective divisions, while Brandon Fouts, Anthony Slusher, Evyian Terry and Derek Richmond all captured track championships.
Vanceburg’s (Ky.) Christy took over the lead on lap 6 of The Giovanni’s Wholesale Pizza Late Model A-Main presented by Impact Race Gear.
The 62-year-old three-time track champ would hold on for his second win of the season.
Polesitter Kevin Wagner would place second.
Mike Hildebrand, Nick Bocook, Zach Hill, Ronnie Whitt, Justin Carter, Robert Starret, Matt Isaac and Kenneth Howell rounded out the top-10.
Fouts would set quick time with a lap clocked at 14.816, and would go on to dominate the first heat.
However, he suffered a mechanical issue not discovered until after winning his heat race.
He had to go to a backup car and start the feature from the back row instead of on the pole.
Fouts would march all the way up to fifth before having to pull off the track on lap 11, but despite his issues, the Kite, Ky. driver would hold on to win his second straight PRP Track Championship.
Lucasville’s Rayburn scored his fifth win of the season in The Local Happenings App Modifieds, which was also his 50th career victory.
The two-time PRP champ took over the lead from Brian Skaggs on lap 14 and never looked back.
While Rayburn’s five wins were the most in the modified class this season, fellow Lucasville driver Slusher was a picture of consistency all year long — and wound up winning the 2022 track championship.
Slusher placed fourth in his heat, but much like Late Model driver Fouts, Slusher realized after the heat that he had mechanical issues forcing him to use a backup car for the feature.
As a result, he started at the tail of the A-Main.
Slusher entered the evening with a 30-point lead over Rayburn, meaning he could finish no more than five spots behind Rayburn and still win the title.
Slusher would charge his way up to third in his backup car, and would win the title by a mere 20 points.
The championship is Slusher’s second at PRP.
While Rayburn won Saturday’s feature and Slusher was third, Skaggs finished in between them, crossing the line in second.
Aaron Branham was fourth and Sport Mod regular Richmond rounded out the top-five.
Completing the top-10 were Logan Burke, Adam Colley, Harold Branham, Tommy McClain and Derek Spencer.
Skaggs and Rayburn were the heat-race winners, as Skaggs was the fast qualifier in The Dynamic Shock Service Modified Time Trials with a time of 15.956.
Coal Grove’s Melvin took Saturday’s win in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Late Model A-Main, leading all 15 laps of the race.
Mike Meyers, Billy Staker, Joe Harper and Jason Salmons made up the rest of top-five.
Finishing sixth through 10th were Rick Stringer, B.J. Branham, Casey Rhodes, Dustin Booth and Terry.
Entering the evening the points battle was the tightest in The O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Lates, as Terry and Robbie Lewis were tied for the lead.
The championship would simply go to whichever driver finished ahead of the other.
Lewis had a fast car and started on the outside pole, but he tagged one of the infield tractor tires early in the race, forcing him to be towed to the pits.
His departure cleared the path for Terry to win his second PRP Limited Late Model title, 12 years after his first.
Stout native Pendleton took the checkers in The Express Oil & Tire Engineers Sport Mod Division.
He got past Joe McClain on lap 3 and would cruise to the win, as Adam Jordan would finish as the runner-up with his son Luke placing third.
The rest of the top-10 were Branden Colley, Stevie Thornsberry, McClain, Chris Howison, Kyle Call, Alan Kiser and James Cox.
Stout’s Spencer had the Sport Mod Track Championship locked up before the evening ever started, so he decided to race with the Modifieds.
Spencer wound up winning the Sport Mod title by 150 points over McClain.
Portsmouth Raceway Park’s next event will be Carl Short’s 42nd annual General Tire Dirt Track World Championship, presented by Optima Batteries.
This three-day event will take place from Oct. 13 to Oct. 15, and for more details, log on to www.portsraceway.com.