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Robinson gets first win at Rocky Top

COAL GROVE — After rain the previous week, beautiful weather covered Rocky Top Raceway last Friday in preparation for the big “Summer Sizzler 50” this Friday.

With large field of Late Model drivers on hand, polesitter Kenny Christy took the lead at the start and had the dominant car throughout the race. That left a strong battle for second-place which saw some intense racing.

In the first five laps, Chris Garnes, Rod Evans and Aaron Hatton all went side-by-side. The three drivers showed incredible driving skill as they went two- and three-wide for five straight laps, splitting lap cars in the process.

But nobody could catch Christy as the 2005 track champion took his first win of the season at Rocky Top.

Garnes was second and Evans was third in a photo finish ahead of 2004 Battle of Bluegrass Series champion Hatton. After Hatton was Kevin Wagner in fifth place.

Christy was the fastest qualifier in the first heat and Garnes second.

The AMRA Modified feature saw 2004 track champion Todd Robinson get the lead at the start. With Robinson leading, several caution flags marred the first eight laps of the race.

However, when the green flag came back out, the racing was intense as Rodney Keefer, Eddie Harmon, Jason Perry and Robert Garnes all had a tremendous battle going for the second position.

For a couple of laps, the drivers even went side by side, two rows deep making it look like the start of the race.

Way in front of this battle was Robinson as he took his first win at Rocky Top this season. Keefer finished second with Harmon third, Perry fourth, and Garnes fifth. Keefer was fast qualifier while Robinson won the dash and Harmon and Rick Hensley won heat races.

Perhaps the best race this season came in the Bomber feature.

Robbie Lewis took the lead at the start with Brett Carey right behind him.

However, when the race hit the halfway point and the leaders got into lapped traffic, that was when it really got interesting.

In trying to split the lapped traffic, Lewis and Carey exchanged the lead numerous times with none of the drivers giving an inch.

Both Lewis and Carey were almost completely sideways racing for the lead but were still able to save the car and keep on going.

With two laps to go, Lewis was able to get back around Carey, but Carey wasn’t done yet. On the last lap, side-by-side coming out of turn two, Carey cleared Lewis on the backstretch to take his second win at Rocky Top this season.

Lewis finished second with John Daniels third, Wade Miller fourth, and Jason Rayburn fifth,

Carey, Lewis, and Zack Dunn won heat races.

Brian Maynard won the 4 cyl/6 cyl feature.

The &uot;Summer Sizzler 50&uot; on the card will be a 50-lap feature paying $3,000 to win Late Models with AMRA Modifieds and Bombers also on hand.

General admission to this, the &uot;can’t miss race of the summer&uot; is only $17.

Gates open at 4 p.m. with hot laps around 7:30.

For more information, log onto www.rockytopracewayinc.com.