|Lakeville Speedway Review|
June 2, 2007
By Kyle Jones
|On Saturday night June 2nd, I made my first trip of the year up to the|
Lakeville Speedway near Lakeville Ohio. On the card was the Big 4 Series for
the Super Late Models paying $2,000 to the victor. This would be the first
of four, Big 4 Series shows.
On what felt like a long hot mid-summer day, I sat around the house thinking
of not going to the races anywhere. My good buddy Jeremy (JT33) gave me a
call and I told him that I didn't feel like driving all the way to
Lakeville. He said to meet him halfway and he would take care of the final
distance. I was game for that, so I loaded up my things and headed north.
Once I hopped in with JT, the weather worsened. We drove through not one,
but two monsoons. We almost hit a goat during one of the monsoons as well
and I got to thinking maybe we aren't supposed to see a race tonight. Just
then the weather cleared and we rolled in to the Lakeville Speedway. I do
need to mention the Lakeville worker in the pit booth. He was very nice and
I told him I would mention him, so there you are buddy.
24 Super Late Models were on hand for the first of four Big 4 Series events.
Local hot shoes in the pits included the 5m of Ryan Markham, 12 Doug Drown,
17 Charlie Duncan, 02 Jason Flory, 21 George Lee, 14 Corey Conley, 14 JR
Gentry, 240 Benny Lester, 3 Thomas Baker and many more. Pennsylvania's Dave
Hess in the #44 was also on hand and that to me was a big surprise.
Heats race winners were the 5m of Ryan Markham, 44 Dave Hess and the 14 of
Corey Conley. The B-main was won by JR Gentry. Here is something I like
about Lakeville and the Big 4. "NO QUALIFYING" and the top 3 from each heat
"RE-DRAW" for their starting position for the feature event. You don't see
this done much in this area and I love it.
After the re-draw was complete, Doug Drown and Dave Hess brought the 18 car
starting field down to the go flag for the start of the 40 lap main event.
Hess rocketed out front using the banking up high and Drown settled in the
second spot. Drown had his mirror full of George Lee but around lap 10 or
so, Lee washed up too high in turn 4 and lost the handle. He may have had
the best car but was now forced to go to the tail. At this point, the 17 of
Charlie Duncan had moved his way up from his 13th starting position to 8th.
He was the only big mover in the early stages of the race.
Up front, it was still Hess and Drown battling for the top spot. Drown could
peek a nose underneath Hess on restarts but could never complete the pass up
off of turn two. The high side at Lakeville is the place to be with the
banking being higher there than on the bottom but if Drown wanted by Hess;
he was going to have to do it on the bottom. The caution flag would fly
again on laps 25 and 30 giving Drown two more opportunities to get by Hess
on a restart but he was unsuccessful both times. Charlie Duncan however was
using the bottom groove to his advantage as he worked his way up to the 5th
position after a nice long battle with the 02 of Jason Flory. The caution
flag would fall for the last time on lap 36 and with only four laps to go,
Hess brought the field down to the green flag. Doug Drown could not have
anticipated that start better and when they reached turns one and two, they
were side by side. Hess and Drown drag raced down the backstretch and into
turns three and four still side by side. The next lap was the same story as
they came off of turn two, they were still side by side and as they entered
turn 3 with only 2 laps to go, Drown muscled his way past Hess and brought
Corey Conley with him. This knocked Hess back to third and Charlie Duncan
wanted in on the action as he began to battle Hess. Doug Drown held off
Corey Conley in the final laps and came around to take the $2,000 victory.
Corey Conley was second followed by Dave Hess, 13th starting Charlie Duncan,
Jason Flory, DJ Cline, Ryan Markham, JR Gentry, Benny Lester and Clint
Coffman rounding out the top 10.
What an amazing finish! Doug Drown out maneuvered Dave Hess and brought the
fans to their feet. I don't think Hess was very happy with Drown because
after the race, Hess drove up beside Drown and made some contact. I don't
think Drown did anything wrong, he just did what he had to do to take the
win. Hess would have done the same thing if he were in that position. When
Drown passed Hess, he didn't leave him much room but that is racing and I
think that it was an amazing move to take the checkers.
Hats off to Charlie Duncan! Charlie started 8th (last) in heat race #1 and
managed to work his way up into the last transfer spot with a 5th place
finish. That would line him up 13th on the feature starting grid. Charlie
slowly worked his way to the front using the bottom and the top and finished
the feature in the 4th spot. He may have had the best car but just had way
to much traffic to deal with. Great run Charlie! I would also like to give a
shout out to the 14 of JR Gentry and the 240 of Benny Lester. JR started
16th and finished 8th while Lester ran solid all night long and with four
laps to go was running fourth. He was in the midst of the crazy battle for
the top spot when it appeared to me that he got forced over the bank in turn
one. He was able to make his way back to the racing surface but was
relegated to a 9th place feature finish.
Thanks to the Lakeville Speedway for a nice staff, a good race track and a
well run program. The Late Model feature was done around 9:30pm. Oh yeah,
the cheese sticks are pretty good too.
That's it for me; next up is the DREAM 100 at the Eldora Speedway. See