Andrews gets thrilling 410 Sprint race win at Rocky Top Raceway
COAL GROVE — With a big crowd, good car count, and great racing, the first ever “Les Boggs’ Open Wheel Shootout” at Rocky Top Raceway was a huge success last Friday.
Cars from Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland competed and the 410 Sprint Car field featured former World of Outlaws winners and a former National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Rookie of the Year driver.
Chris Andrews and Cole Duncan battled side-by-side for the lead to start the 410 Sprint A-Main. Andrews led the first two laps with Duncan taking the lead on lap three.
Duncan continued to lead with Andrews close behind in second and Jimmy Stinson moving up to third until a caution flag flew on lap 21.
On the restart, Stinson put a major slide job on Andrews to move into second and set his sights on Duncan. Two laps later, Andrews got back by Stinson as Duncan pulled out to a seven-car length lead. Everything changed however when the caution flag flew on lap 28 for a spinout.
When the race restarted, Andrews looked to the inside of Duncan as the two battled wheel to wheel for the lead off of turn four. The two continued side-by-side with Andrews throwing a major slide job to take the lead in turn three the following lap coming to the white flag.
Andrews, the former National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Rookie of the Year, held on the final lap to win the first ever 410 Sprint Car race at RTR.
Duncan finished second with eighth-place starter Keith Baxter finishing third, Stinson fourth and 15-year-old Kory Crabtree fifth.
Andrews won the dash race while Johnny Beaber and Keith Baxter won Engines Inc. heat races. Stinson set a new overall track record in time trials with a time of 12.661.
Pennsylvania driver Rod Jones took the lead to start the Mod Lite A-Main. Tracy Fritter moved into the second position and stayed right on Jones’ bumper with Maryland’s Tim White running third.
Around lap 20, White passed Fritter to move into the second position and challenge Jones. Jones faced strong pressure from White the remainder of the race but held on to take the big $1,000 win. White finished second with Fritter third, Ken Meadows fourth, and Alan Knepper fifth. Jones, Knepper and Fritter won Engines Inc. heat races.
In the Modified A-Main, outside polesitter Eddie Harmon took the lead at the start. On lap three, Harmon got loose off turn four as that allowed second-place runner Jason Perry to take the lead.
Perry maintained a five-car length lead the entire race and appeared destined for victory lane until disaster struck on lap 10 when Perry pulled off with mechanical problems. That would leave Harmon with the lead with Dave Kelley in second and Robinson third.
The three ran in that order with all of them running nose to tail for the next nine laps in a great race for the lead. On the final lap, Robinson moved up on the outside lane with Harmon in the middle and Kelley down low as they went three-wide for the lead off turn two.
Robinson and Kelley split Harmon down the backstretch and battled side-by-side for the win into turn three. All drivers drove in hard with Kelley spinning and Robinson going on to take the big win.
Harmon finished second with Craig Christian third, Mike Matney fourth and Jake Keaton fifth. Perry and Harmon won Engines Inc. heat races.
There will be no racing at RTR the next two weeks as the track prepares for its biggest race of the year on Sept. 4 with the $5,000 to win “Engines Inc. 50.”
In addition to the big Late Model show, Modifieds, Bombers, and Mod Lites will be racing for regular purses. For more information visit www.rockytopraceway.net