Plenty of Fireworks at Grassroots Nationals
Robbins of Spartanburg, S.C., came from the 11th starting spot to win the caution-filled feature for the stock 4-cylinders that was shortened to 15 laps due to time constraints. Robbins methodically worked his way to the front, staying out of trouble as cars crashed and spun all around him, and took home $1,000 for his evening¿s work.
¿I just stayed in there and waited for my tires to warm up,¿ said Robbins. ¿I was concerned because the frontrunners were fast all night and I was half a second off the pace. I guess luck was in our favor tonight.¿
Jason Owens of Gaffney, S.C., finished second with Greg Barker of Gastonia, N.C., third. Mike Ledford and Jake Brown rounded out the top five in the 24-car field.
No one was injured in the numerous accidents, the most serious of which brought out the red flag when Steve McIntyre ended up on his roof.
Seventeen-year-old Hughes led a midwestern sweep of the 20-lap IMCA modified feature. The West Pains, Mo., driver started third, used lapped traffic to take the lead on lap 13 and held off a late charge by Chris Aiwilke of Ames, Iowa, to claim the $350 prize.
¿Awesome,¿ was Hughes¿ summation of his winning drive. ¿I¿ve got to thank a lot of people in the pits. We changed motors between the heat and the feature and without them helping, I wouldn¿t be here. I got by him (Aiwilke) and then he got back by me on the restart. I thought I was in trouble, but I got back around him. He definitely gave me a run for my money.¿
Aiwilke settled for second in the 24-car feature with Hughes¿ older brother, Josh, third under the checkered flag. Missouri¿s Roger Moser finished fourth and Lee Bills in fifth place was the first North Carolina driver across the stripe.
The only major incident during the IMCA modified feature came on the opening lap when a car near the front of the pack slowed on the backstretch, causing a 10-car tangle. None of the drivers were injured and several returned to action.
The stock 4-cylinder heat races were won by Damon Crump, Ledford, Paul Grimsley, Eddie Burks, Greg Davis and Seth McKinney. The last chance races, also eight laps each, were won by Hal Goodwin Jr., Scott Morgan and Jason Owens as 57 stock 4-cylinders filled the pit area.
Aiwilke, Bryan Martin, Phil Gann and Greg Hughes won the eight-lap heat races for the IMCA modifieds while Craig Smith and Bill Cassavaugh were victorious in the eight-lap last chance races. Thirty-two IMCA modifieds, including some from as far away as Missouri, Iowa and Pennsylvania, were on hand.
Brown and his Dixie Express station wagon were the class of the 18-car field in the destructive demolition derby. The Winston-Salem, N.C., driver earned $1,000 for his survival tactics.
The program concluded with a gigantic fireworks display presented by RBC Centura.
The Dirt Track @ Lowe¿s Motor Speedway returns to action Saturday night, July 26, with the inaugural Charlotte Freestyle Motocross Championship. The event will feature the high-flying, two-wheel antics of 10 Freestyle Motocross stars including Clifford Adoptante, Doug Parsons and ¿Back-Flip Guy¿ Jeff Fehr. Adult tickets start at just $20 and can be obtained online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.
Stock 4-Cylinder Feature (15 laps): 1. Travis Robbins; 2. Jason Owens; 3. Greg Barker; 4. Mike Ledford; 5. Jake Brown; 6. Shane Laughter; 7. Travis Lee Smith; 8. Hal Godwin Jr.; 9. Dennis Kirk; 10. Darrel McLaughlin; 11. Paul Grimsley; 12. Shannon Barnhill; 13. Steve McIntyre; 14. Jeremy Leagon; 15. Gerald Miller; 16. Eddie Burks; 17. Raymond Theiss; 18. Jason Horn; 19. Donnie Austin; 20. Jeremy Tupper; 21. Greg Davis; 22. Damon Crump; 23. Seth McKinney; 24. Scott Morgan.
IMCA Modified Feature (20 laps): 1. Jason Hughes; 2. Chris Aiwilke; 3. Josh Hughes; 4. Roger Moser; 5. Lee Bills; 6. Junior Daniels; 7. Richard Clew; 8. Shawn Martin; 9. Larry Grube; 10. Jamie Kuntz; 11. Ben Chilton; 12. Mike Duke; 13. Craig Smith; 14. Terry Hayes; 15. Greg Hughes; 16. Phil Gann; 17. Traci Hudnall; 18. Greg Rice; 19. Lynn Mercer; 20. Bryan Martin; 21. Jay Sessoms; 22. Bill Cassavaugh; 23. Doug Letson; 24. Jeff Rogers.
Demolition Derby: Jonathan Brown.