“It’s been a long time coming,” said John Smith about his victory in Saturday’s Kevin Powell Motorsports 100 at Bowman Gray Stadium. It had been nearly five years since Smith had taken the checkered in the GMAC Insurance Modified Series.
But Smith seemed at home as he sailed ahead of the pack.
“We had a really great car tonight,” said Smith, a resident of Mount Airy. After drawing the pole as his starting position, Smith never relinquished the lead – holding off outside row challenges from Lee Jeffreys of Wallburg, Dean Ward of Winston-Salem, and Brian Loftin of Lexington.
Loftin did make Smith sweat, though. “Everything was good until we caught those lapped cars with about 10 laps to go,” said Smith. The #25 of Smith had to navigate the slower traffic while Loftin was looking for any weakness to pounce on.
“I thought I was going to ride behind the lapped cars – but when Brian hit me, I realized I had no time. I had to make a move. It was really hairy those last few laps,” said Smith.
“I was just trying to use what I could,” said Loftin about his strategy around the lapped cars. “He had a good enough race car to win, and we were just trying to use every outlet we could to get that checkered flag.”
“I’m a little frustrated because I wanted to win - but coming from 17th to 2nd isn’t exactly a bad night,” said Loftin, who utilized the double- file “choice” restarts to climb through the field. “I like to go to the outside every time I can - I think on every restart we went forward.”
Tim Brown of Rural Hall, who qualified on the pole, drew 18th for his starting position and charged up to a seventh place finish. Michael Clifton of Walkertown moved from 14th up to 3rd, and Defending Champ Burt Myers climbed from 22nd to 4th.
In the Webb Heating & A/C Co. Sportsman Series, the results are currently unofficial pending technical inspections. But unofficially, Derek Stoltz of Walkertown and Kevin Neal of Walkertown each claimed the checkered on Saturday.
Darren Cotner of King had a dream night in the 104.1 WTQR Street Stock Series. After dealing with mechanical issues in practice, Cotner and team turned things around – qualifying on the pole and taking the checkered in the USG Street Stock 50. “It was looking bad and it’s like pulling a miracle out of a hat,” said Cotner about victory in the longest and most prestigious race of the season for the Street Stock cars.
His brother, Matt Cotner of Rural Hall, finished right behind him in second. David Sumner of Trinity and Jody Fritts of Winston-Salem came in third and fourth.
In the Freeman’s Auto Center Stadium Stock Series, Chuck Wall of Clemmons brought home the win in the first 15-lapper with Jordan Fleming of Mount Airy winning the second race.
GMAC Insurance Modified Series
Kevin Powell Motorsports 100
125John SmithMount Airy, NC 223Brian LoftinLexington, NC 350Michael CliftonWalkertown, NC 41Burt MyersWalnut Cove, NC 54Jason MyersWalnut Cove, NC 653Jonathan BrownWinston-Salem, NC 783Tim BrownRural Hall, NC 813Chris FlemingMount Airy, NC 948Brad RobbinsWinston-Salem, NC 1164Steven TruellWinston-Salem, NC 1266Ronnie CliftonWalkertown, NC 1381Austin PackWalkertown, NC 145Randy ButnerPfafftown, NC 1528Joseph BrownWinston-Salem, NC 1675Robert JeffreysWinston-Salem, NC 1759Danny BohnHuntersville, NC 1804Brandon WardWinston-Salem, NC 1971Dean WardWinston-Salem, NC 2045Lee StimpsonLewisville, NC 217Bobby ReedClemmons, NC 2212Mike NormanLewisville, NC 2369Junior MillerDanbury, NC 2477Lee JeffreysWallburg, NC