Huge Field, Hot Action At The Dirt Track
The program consisted of 24 qualifying heat races for five divisions while the CRASHCars traded paint in a 20-lap feature that was postponed from Oct. 11.
Furman Parton, who won the limited late model feature during the inaugural version of this event last year, established himself as a favorite to repeat in the United Southern Late Model Series feature. The Union Mills, N.C., driver started fifth in his heat race and romped to victory in the eight-lap event.
Ron Blair, of Troy, Ohio, showed the Heintz Performance American Sprint Car Series Southern Tour competitors that he will be a contender in their 25-lap finale Saturday night as he posted a dominant heat race victory.
Late model veteran Shane Tankersley, of Morganton, N.C., was among the Fastrak Late Model Racing Series heat race winners while Roger Moser, of Fulton, Mo., a two-time feature winner at The Dirt Track, was one of three drivers to visit victory lane following the IMCA modified heat races.
There were only two serious incidents during the action-packed program. Charles "Boz" Daugherty was transported to a local hospital for evaluation following a hard crash in Turn 3 during a Fastrak Racing Series late model heat race and Dale Arnold was also transported after his sprint car slammed the Turn 1 wall following the conclusion of the third Heintz Performance American Sprint Car Series Southern Tour heat race.
Kenneth Deese drove the Big Show entry to victory in the 20-lap feature for the wild-and-wacky CRASHCars. The Monroe, N.C., driver started at the back of the 25-car field and methodically sliced his way to the front, taking the lead just past the half-way point.
Once in front, Deese cruised to victory with Jerry White claiming second in the White Boy machine while Todd Bradberry crossed the line third in the Orange Crash.
The evening featured 212 laps of racing and the final checkered flag was waved at 10:40 p.m.
Last-chance qualifiers and feature events are on tap Saturday night. Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with opening ceremonies at 6:50 p.m. Adult tickets are $25 with children 12 and under admitted for just $10.
Fastrak Late Model Racing Series Heat Race Winners: Buddy Smith, Cherryville, N.C.; Shane Tankersley, Morganton, Ga.; Johnny Purlsey, Clover, S.C.; Jeff Cooke, Spartanburg, S.C.; Bo Stanley, Ellijay, Ga.; Frankie Beard, Hartwell, Ga.
Heintz Performance American Sprint Car Series Southern Tour Heat Race Winners: Tim Hogue, Lumberton, N.J.; Ron Blair, Troy, Ohio; Brian Smith, Mooresville, N.C.
United Southern Late Model Series Heat Race Winners: Gary East, Walnut Cove, N.C.; Ricky Weeks; Rutherfordton, N.C.; Furman Parton, Union Mills, N.C.; Brandon Ifft, Gastonia, N.C.
4-Cylinder Stock Car Heat Race Winners: Mike Wales, Yadkinville, N.C.; Stephen McFadden, Forest City, N.C.; Greg Carroll, Greer, S.C.; Kevin Kelly, Salem, S.C.; Chris Cantrell, Chester, S.C.; Tony Adair, Forest City, N.C.
IMCA Modified Heat Race Winners: J.J. Courcy, Mexico, N.Y.; Roger Moser, Fulton, Mo.; Jim Roach, Kahoka, Mo.