Combs takes thrilling victory at Rocky Top Raceway

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 20, 2006

COAL GROVE — A beautiful day in Coal Grove along with a fast, three-groove surface with a good field of cars in the pits and a large crowd in the stands made for a interesting night of racing at Rocky Top FRiday.

In the Late Model A-Main, Nick Bocook jumped to the lead at the start with Tom Hall and Joe Ramey on the attack directly behind him. On lap three, Ramey got by Hall for second and a lap later, his car stopped in turn four with Hall having no place to go, slightly tapping him.

Both Ramey and Hall would be done for the night. That left fourth place runner Rick Combs in second.

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When the race went back to green, Combs stayed inches apart from leader Nick Bocook. Combs stayed like that for the next 10 laps as on lap 15 he decided to ride the high line, which took him side by side with Bocook.

Combs and Bocook stayed side by side, nobody giving an inch for the next five laps in some of the tightest racing of the year at Rocky Top.

Combs was finally able to clear Bocook on lap 21 but Bocook still wasn’t done.

In the races remaining four laps, Bocook was able to get to Combs rear quarter panel but just would not have enough as Rick Combs took it through traffic to claim his first win at Rocky Top in his first ever Rocky Top start.

Behind him was Nick Bocook in second, Josh Bocook in third, Rick Christian in fourth, and Tony Hamilton in fifth. Nick Bocook was fast qualifier and won the first heat race while Tom Hall won the second heat.

In the AMRA Modified A-Main, second place starter and 2005 Rocky Top champion David McWilliams took the lead at the start. Behind McWilliams the best battle was for second as Jeremy Berwanger battled side by side with Aaron Higgins.

Berwanger was finally able to get by Higgins and now put himself right on the tail of McWilliams for the lead. Berwanger stayed right with McWilliams for the rest of the race but just wouldn’t have enough as David McWilliams took his first win at Rocky Top this season.

Berwanger held on to second while the racing through the field was furious with last weeks winner Rick Hensley finishing third, Greg Thompson fourth, and Aaron Higgins fifth. Jeremy Berwanger was fast qualifier while Aaron Higgins won the dash and Dave Kelley and Todd Robinson won heats.

In the Bomber A-Main, Brian Lawson took the lead at the start while Wayne Hughes battled directly behind him in second.

Lawson and Hughes had a great battle the first half of the race as they even went side by side at times.

However, Hughes had tire problems at around the halfway point, forcing him to retire from the race. When the race went back to green, nobody had anything for the leader as Brian Lawson took his first career Rocky Top win over Brett Carey in second, Jason Rayburn in third, Daniels in fourth, and McCloud in fifth. Brian Lawson and Wayne Hughes won heats.

This Friday there will be a full racing program featuring Late Models with $1,200 to win, AMRA Modifieds $650 to win, Bombers $350 to win, and racing with the 4 cylinder/6 cylinder class.

For more information on the Rocky Top Raceway visit us on the web at