Portsmouth Raceway Park welcomed nearly 100 race teams into the area Saturday night as drivers got one more final tune-up prior to next week’s 21 annual Fred Dillow Memorial.
The weekend’s winners were a combination of old and new. Ben Adkins returned to victory lane in the Late Models. Todd Robinson got back to winner’s circle in the Modifieds. Billy Staker recorded his first-ever feature win in the Limited Lates, and Zach Pendleton won yet again in the Bombers.
Adkins was the class of the field in the Giovanni’s Pizza Late Model Division. The defending track champ led every lap of the dash and all but the first two laps of the A-Main.
Saturday’s win marked the first of the season for Adkins, who has been racing a rather limited schedule since blowing his engine on PRP’s opening night of the season. Adkins’ problems may all be behind him now, just like all the competition was on Saturday night.
Rod Conley charged from eighth to second. Audie Swartz drove from 11th to third. Brandon Fouts placed fourth. Shannon Thornsberry rounded out the top five.
Delmas Conley, Derek Fisher, Brandon Mason, Kevin Wagner, and 18-year-old Kirk Phillips made up the rest of the top 10.
While Audie Swartz and Delmas Conley gained a little bit of ground, Kevin Wagner continues to lead the Late Model points.
South Point’s Todd Robinson returned to victory lane in the R.W. Rental and Supplies Modifieds. The defending track champ dominated the early part of the season, but Saturday’s win was his first in over a month.
Robinson’s victory was big. Not only was it his fifth of the season, but it also put him back atop the point standings.
While Robinson led every lap of the feature, the racing behind him was very competitive. Jeremy Rayburn came from fifth to second. Adam Colley drove from eighth to third. Ervin Vance came from seventh to fourth. Brett Kennard rounded out the top five. The next five were Aaron Branham, Jody Puckett, Scott LeMaster, Greg Thompson, and Eric Hatfield.
Eric Berry was named the Markwest Ranger Pipeline Hard Charger as he climbed seven positions moving from 18th to 11th.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Late feature was a wild one. After year’s of trying, Staker recorded his very first PRP win, but his trip to winner’s circle proved to be a long winding road.
Mike Meyers was dominant in his heat race. The defending track champ from Fayetteville started on the pole but quickly faded to fourth. Mark Sturgill led the first seven laps. He for awhile looked to be the one to beat.
However, Sturgill wound up getting caught up in accident with lapped traffic that sent him barreling into the turn-two wall. The Virginian had nowhere to go after a couple of slower cars got together in front of him. One of those cars crashed into the wall and bounced back into Sturgill’s path.
The accident had fans holding their breaths for awhile. Sturgill was found unconscious by first responders, but he eventually came to and denied to be taken to the hospital.
Sturgill’s accident handed the lead over to Meyers, who would pace the field up until lap 10. He then spun and exited the track. Second-place running Evyian Terry left the speedway on the same lap.
That turn of events put Staker at the point. He managed to hold off Kenny McCann to take the win. Staker kept himself in contention throughout the race, as he never ran outside of the top four.
Finishing behind Staker and McCann were Cameron Logan, Duane Pick, Dillon Huron, A.J. Hicks, Nathan Martin, Ronnie Whitt, Chris Lockhart, and Mike Hildebrand.
Zach Pendleton captured the checkers in the M&M Inflatables Bombers. Pendleton led every lap of the feature en route to his fourth win of the year. The victory puts him back atop the point standings, but he has just a five-point lead over Piketon’s Jason Spillman who was Saturday’s runner-up.
Placing behind Pendleton and Spillman were Rick Butler, Mike Drake, Bo McCarty, Kasey Black, Eric Collingsworth, Perry Dearing, Jeremie Bretz, and Shane Pendleton.
Portsmouth Raceway Park will return to action this coming Saturday hosting the 21st Annual Fred Dillow Memorial along with the “Bozo’s Just Give Me One Lap” Late Model Time Trials. Gates will open at 4 p.m. with racing at 7:30.