Chinn edges Carrier in Buckeye Nationals
COAL GROVE — The first ever Buckeye Nationals presented by Les Boggs at the Rocky Top Raceway saw drivers from Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Delaware among other states in attendance. Mod Lites had the highest car count at 33.
The largest general admission crowd in two years gathered to watch the exciting racing action.
In the 40-lap Late Model A-Main, Eddie Carrier Jr. took the lead at the start. The caution flew early on as second place runner Duane Chamberlain got sideways off of turn four and collected Wayne Chinn. Chamberlain was charged with the caution with Chinn getting his spot back.
When the race resumed, Carrier and Chinn battled side-by-side for the lead. The two battled side-by-side for several laps with Carrier up
high and Chinn down low. On lap 15, Carrier got a little too high off of turn four and allowed Chinn to get by and take the lead.
Chinn and Carrier continued to battle for the lead for the next 15 laps. At one point, the two went three wide as they split lapped traffic. On a lap 30 restart, Carrier got a strong run on the high side and took the lead on lap 31.
Chinn fought back hard and retook the lead on lap 32. Chinn pulled away by three car lengths until a caution came out with three laps to go.
On the restart, Carrier got a strong run on the high side and inched his way to Chinn. Coming off of turn four going to the white flag, Carrier got alongside Chinn as they battled side-by-side for the win on the final lap.
They remained side-by-side off of turn four and down the backstretch. Into turn three, Carrier drove in very deep and nailed the turns three and four guardrail, almost flipping his car.
This allowed Chinn to come across the line and win the $4,000 Buckeye Nationals.
Jackie Boggs finished second with Kenny Christy third, Greggie Oliver fifth, and Carrier limping his car to the line to finish fifth. Boggs, Tim Dohm, and Carrier won Engines Inc. heat races.
It was 16-year-old driver Alan Knepper took the lead at the start of the 30 lap, $1,000 to win Mod Lite A-Main. While Knepper led, all eyes were on 2008 T-USA National Champion Tim White as he worked his way up to the second position.
White worked his way up to Knepper and took the lead on lap 9. White then started to pull away until a caution flag flew on lap 22. On the restart, Knepper closed right up behind White and put an impressive slide job on him to take the lead on lap 23.
Knepper survived strong challenges from White the remaining laps to come across the line to win the Buckeye Nationals.
White finished second with Mikey Hay third, Mark Marcucci fourth, and Ken Meadows fifth.
Richie Armentrout, Knepper, White, and Brandon Fluberly won Engines Inc. heat races. Tim Vangundy won the B-Main. Phil Asseff won the KS Vinyl Graphics hard charger award while Mark Marcucci won the Pro Star Designs longest tow award.
Knepper also received a $50 bonus from TJK Racing LLC and 50 free, custom made trading cars from 2Graphic Distributions.
Wayne Hughes took the lead at the start of the Bomber A-Main with Jeremie Bretz running right on his bumper. The two stayed that way the entire race as they were nose to tail for the win on the last lap.
In the final corner, Bretz put his machine up high and got a strong run on Hughes as they were side-by-side heading to the finish line. Bretz carried high side momentum to win by one foot in a photo finish.
Hughes finished second with Eric Dennison third, Chris Maynard fourth, and Sam Allen fifth. Hughes and David Dunn won Engines Inc. heat races.
Racing continues at RTR on Friday, May 1st featuring Late Models-$2,000 to win, Modifieds-$650 to win, Bombers-$350 to win, and Mod Lites-$200 to win.
Adult general admission is $12 with kids (7-12) admission $5. Pit admission is $25. Gates open at 4 p.m. with Hot Laps at 7:30.
For more information visit www.rockytopraceway.net.
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