Portsmouth Raceway Park hosted its annual running of the Keaton’s Collision Center Mod Squad Spectacular on Saturday which paid the Modified Feature winner $3,000.
With Late Models, Limited Lates, and Sport Mods also on the card, a total of over 100 race teams rolled into Portsmouth for the event. Drivers came to PRP from Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Devin Gilpin captured The Mod Squad. Jason Montgomery took the win in the Late Models. Mike Meyers was again the class of the field in the Limiteds, and Eric Berry was triumphant in the Sport Mods.
Gilpin started eighth in the 30-lap, Keaton’s Collision Center Mod Squad Spectacular. He steadily worked his way forward before taking the lead from Coal Grove’s Shawn Holliday with 10 to go.
After leading the first 19 laps, Holliday would hold on for second. Keith Smith placed third.
Former NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year David Stremme marched from 20th up to fourth advancing 16 positions to claim the Markwest Ranger Pipeline Hard Charger Award. The Mooresville, NC driver won his heat but had issues during post-race inspection and was disqualified. He wound up winning one of the two B-Mains in order to qualify for the race.
Jeremy Rayburn rounded out the top five. Jeremy Hayes, Taylor Cook, Todd Robinson, Jason Montgomery, and Adam Colley closed out the top 10. The rest of the 22-car field was made up of Tony DeHart, Eric Berry, Jodie Puckett, Brett Kennard, Anthony Slusher, Cody Smith, Greg Thompson, Adam Jordan, Brian Wilburn, last year’s Mod Squad winner Shon Flanary, Aaron Pendleton, and Brian Skaggs. There were a total of 35 Modified drivers signed in to compete in the R.W. Rental and Supplies Modified Division.
The Giovanni’s Pizza Late Models put on quite a show as always, and while Jason Montgomery proved to be the man, early on it appeared as if Wheelersburg veteran Delmas Conley was going to be the driver to beat. Conley posted quick time and earned the pole for the A-Main by coming from the tail to win the six-lap dash made up of the six fastest qualifiers.
In actuality, Conley started fifth because one car failed to make call, but that didn’t detract from the excitement. Conley got by Mike Wilson on the white-flag lap of the dash to earn the top starting spot in the feature.
The Late Model A-Main had a rather peculiar beginning. A jump on the race’s initial start forced a chain reaction causing four cars to wreck on the front stretch. Kenny Howell was unable to continue following the incident.
Then, while working lap two, an accident occurred that wound up taking out the top three cars. While battling hard for second, Circleville’s Mike Wilson and Martin, KY’s Shannon Thornsberry got together. The contact between the two bounced Thornsberry into Conley. Wilson was charged with his second caution which sent him to the pits. Meanwhile, Thornsberry’s and Conley’s cars were damaged to severely to continue.
Montgomery inherited the lead and would never relinquish it. The 41-year-old was not really seriously challenged over the final 24 laps of the race, although Rod Conley did draw within striking distance late.
The win was Montgomery’s second of the season at PRP this season. He wound up posting top-10 finishes in both the Late Model and Modified Features.
Rod Conley, rocking a new paint scheme, held on for second. Mark Frazier was third. Audie Swartz placed fourth, and Robbie Lewis closed out the top five. The rest of the
top 10 consisted of Jake Keaton, Kevin Wagner, Daniel Williams, Mick Sansom, and Larry Martin, Jr.
Like Montgomery, Devin Gilpin also participated in both the Late Model and Modified A-Mains. While Gilpin won The Mod Squad, it looked for awhile as if he was going to be a contender in the Late Model Division. He won his heat, started seventh in the feature, and worked his way up to third before pulling off with car problems on Lap 12.
Mike Meyers continued his dominance in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Late Models. He won for the fifth time in eight races.
Early on it looked as if Pound, VA’s Mark Sturgill was going to give Meyers some competition. He chased Meyers throughout their heat finishing just a car length or so behind. In the first few laps of the feature, Sturgill managed to hang with Meyers, but as the race wore on, Sturgill nor anyone else could keep pace with the reigning PRP champ.
Lavalette, WV’s Jacob Curnutte wound up getting past Sturgill for second. Sturgill placed third. Cameron Logan and Billy Staker rounded out the top five. Kenny McCann, Richie Edwards, Nathan Martin, Duane Pick, and Ronnie Whitt made up the rest of the top 10.
The Sport Mod class brought in over 30 race teams for their annual PRP visit. West Portsmouth’s Eric Berry led the feature from start to finish. Derek Richmond, Brianna Robinson, Mitchell Fields, and Emily Jordan closed out the top five. Finishing sixth through tenth were Tony Whitt, Billy Baldridge, Billy Bowles, Chris Shelton, Jr., and Allen Gulley.
Gulley climbed from 21st position to get 10th. For advancing 11 positions, the Wheelersburg driver was awarded a $100-dollar hard charger award in memory of the late Tony Whitt, Jr.
Portsmouth Raceway Park will be back open for business this coming Saturday, August 8th hosting a full program with Giovanni’s Pizza Late Models, R.W. Rental and Supplies Modifieds, O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Lates, as well as M & M Inflatables Bombers. Gates will open at 4 p.m. with racing at 7:30.