WEST PORTSMOUTH — Saturday night saw Portsmouth Raceway Park host its final points race of the 2021 season, and final event prior to next month’s Dirt Track World Championship.
Brandon Fouts, Brian Skaggs, Mike Meyers, and Zack Pendleton were officially crowned as track champions.
Shannon Thornsberry, Skaggs, Billy Staker and Pendleton all scored feature wins.
The Giovanni’s Pizza Late Model A-Main was a wild one. Eventual race winner Shannon Thornsberry from Martin, KY was maybe the fourth fastest car at best, but he kept digging, stayed together, and got a little lucky as the three drivers in front of him all broke with the race winding down.
Brandon Fouts led the first 24 laps of the 25-lap feature and appeared to be on pace for the victory. The Kite, KY driver, who had already clinched his first PRP Track Championship prior to the start of the evening, would manage to sputter around the speedway on the white-flag lap for a fourth-place finish.
Early on in the race, Fouts was challenged by Wheelersburg’s R.J. Conley, but Conley would pull off the track with 11 laps to go. Wheelersburg driver Nick Bocook would eventually have to exit the track while riding second. Due to their misfortunes, Thornsberry would move up to the runner-up spot.
It appeared that Thornsberry was going to finish second until Fouts had his issue. Thornsberry’s fortunes Saturday were quite ironic. The last points race of the season has not been kind for the 2019 track champ in recent years. With a little luck, he could’ve possibly claimed titles in 2017 and 18, but accidents on the final points races those seasons cost him.
Placing behind Thornsberry in Saturday’s feature were Mike Hildebrand, Kevin Wagner, Brandon Fouts, and Charlie Jude. Rounding out the top 10 were Robert Starret, Austin Mullett, Lucas Crooks, Corey Lewis, and RJ Conley.
Fouts and Conley were the Late Model Heat Race winners. Fouts set fast time tripping the clock with a time of 14.699. Fouts has set quick time every race this season with the exception of the two Lucas Oil shows.
Brandon Fouts certainly earned the 2021 title. He finishes PRP’s points races with three wins and six top-five finishes in nine starts.
Pedro’s Brian Skaggs was once again dominant in the Local Happenings App/Keaton’s Collision Center Modified Division. For the third consecutive race, he set quick time during the Dynamic Shock Service Time Trials, led every lap of his heat, and led every lap of the feature en route to his first ever PRP Modified Track Championship.
Skaggs was outstanding all season winning six of the nine A-Mains he started. He did however have to work a little harder Saturday than he has on many nights. Lucasville’s Anthony Slusher stayed right with him the entire race and pulled up alongside once but could never get by.
Beaver, KY’s Ervin Vance put on an incredible show in the Modified A-Main. He entered the night leading the points holding a five-point edge over Skaggs. Skaggs had the tie-breaker though because he had more wins, so whoever finished ahead of the other would exceed the other in points.
Vance put himself in a solid position early on winning his heat, but his motor let go as he was crossing the finish line. Melvin, KY’s Jody Puckett would allow Vance to use his car in the feature, but because of the car change, Vance would have to start dead last in 20th position. Vance would climb all the way up to third advancing 17 positions, but would fall in the championship chase by merely five points.
Rounding out the top 10 behind Skaggs, Slusher, and Vance were Brandon Smith, Mark Dickson, Tony DeHart, Robert Garnes, Adam Colley, Joe Hamon, and Tommy McClain.
There was a great field of O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Late Models, as 21 entries were on the scene. “The Rosemount Rocket” Billy Staker took the win fending off Fayetteville’s Mike Meyers. Pete Crum, CJ Branham, and Dakota Pennington made up the rest of the top five. Kent Keyser, Kyle Gentil, Lane Meredtih, Matt Melvin, and John Melvin completed the top 10.
Meyers’ 2021 Limited Late Model Track Championship is his third at PRP. In seven A-Mains, he scored three wins and posted six top fives.
Stout’s Zack Pendleton again made it look easy in the EMC2 Party Rentals & Inflatables Sport Mods. He won his eighth feature in nine tries claiming his second PRP Sport Mod Championship to go along with three Bomber Track Championships. His five PRP titles equals him with Doug Adkins for the second most behind John Melvin, who has nine.
Cody Gifford placed as the runner-up in the points and in Saturday’s Sport Mod Feature. Emily (Jordan) Jones returned to the drivers’ seat to place third in her first PRP showing of 2021. Stevie Thornsberry finished fourth, and Jeromy Brady rounded out the top five. The rest of the top 10 consisted of Mike Drake, Danny Hamilton Jr, Dillon Hamilton, Robbi Johnson, and Jason Spillman.
PRP’s next race will be the 41st annual Dirt Track World Championships, slated for Oct. 14-16.
That three-day event will be culminated by the 100-lap, Lucas Oil Late Model Feature — paying $100,000 to win.
Also racing that weekend will be Modifieds, Limited Lates and Legends Cars.
Discounted pre-sale tickets for that event will be available online up through Oct. 1st.
For more details, log on to www.portsraceway.com.