Devine takes win nine at 'Fan Appreciation Night'
By Travis Dockery
389 Country Editor
Tri Country Racetrack was in action Friday, August 26 with reduced ticket prices or Fan Appreciation Night. After a meet and greet was held on the track, fans returned to the stands and the cars returned to the pit area to prepare to battle it out.
Following time trials and qualifying races, it was time to start with feature racing. First out on the track was the newest division, the Open Wheel Modifieds. Prior to the race, points leader Chuck Southard said he needed to focus and perform in order to grab the championship. Southard followed that up with a strong showing, claiming yet another feature event victory.
The Interstate Welding 602 Late Model main event saw the top two drivers in the standings start side-by-side on the front row. "Bad" Bobby Elkins and "The Murphy Missile" Dante Curtis ran door-to-door down the front stretch and through turns one and two. Curtis was able to grab the top spot thanks to the high-side momentum and led flag-to-flag to get the win and increase his points lead by the slightest margin.
Excitement and calamity struck in lap-traffic in the King Ford Limited / Crate Late Model feature. Jason Deal jumped out to an early lead after starting on the pole with the quickest qualifying time. However, his No. 7 wasn't able to gap the field the way it has several times this season. Warne's Danny Ledford was in Deal's tire tracks and waiting to pounce. As the two worked their way past slower cars, Ledford made a power move in turn one and exited turn two with the lead. Deal then attempted to make the same pass on the exit of turn four, but wasn't clear. The result was contact between the two leaders with Ledford getting the worst of it. Ledford's night was done while Deal was able to continue and eventually win the race.
The birthday boy Charles Devine Jr. brought the Street Stock Division up to speed and under the flag stand to get the race going. Devine, winner of eight in a row, was in a familiar spot out front, but unlike other weeks, was unable to runaway with the lead. Before mechanical issues struck, Alex Vance was able to challenge Devine several times, but those issues took Vance out of competition. Lynn Burchfield took over the second place spot and the attack on Devine. With the recent history between the two drivers, fans watched closely as the pair battled. Burchfield was able to pull even with Devine a few times, but was unable to get by the leader. The race for the win was hard, entertaining and clean. Devine claimed his ninth win in a row.
602 Late Model non-qualifier: Mark Ledford
Front Wheel Drive: Josh Deese
Pony: Ricky Dyer
Gates will again open at Tri County Racetrack on Monday, Sept.5 for the annual Labor Day Championships. The main event for the night will be the C.T. Barnett Memorial Super Late Model race. Also in action will be the Southeastern Late Model Sportsman Series along with weekly divisions.