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  • Travis Dockery

Ledford Dominates, Payne Wows On Independence Day

Photo by Deango Motorsports Photography

The heat was on in Brasstown, NC on Tuesday, July 4th, but that didn't keep folks away from Tri County Racetrack. The stands were filled with red, white and blue clad racing fans who were ready to celebrate freedom with American horsepower.

A 25-lap Super Late Model feature was the main event on the card and event though the field was light, the race was spectacular. Murphy's Jamie Oliver claimed the lead from his outside pole position as the field exited turn two and led the first lap. For the first portion of the race, Oliver was able to pull away from second place David Payne. However, as the laps ticked by, "The Coach" started tracking down the leader. With just a handful of circuits left, Oliver found himself under serious attack from Payne. The pair crossed under the white flag side-by-side and the crowd stood as one to watch the veterans fight it out. Payne managed to clear Oliver and steal the win. Oliver was second and Daniel Wilson crossed the line in third.

In the King Ford Limited/Crate Late model feature, the familiar duo of Danny Ledford and Jason Deal brought the pack up to speed after qualifying on the front row yet again. Ledford wasted no time in motoring by Deal to establish an early lead. Deal was able to close a bit on Ledford in lap traffic, but the point-leader found himself being challenged by young gun Tucker Anderson for the runner-up spot. While the duo battled for the position, Ledford set sail and cruised to the victory. Deal was able to maintain to finish second and Anderson had to settle for third.

For the second event in a row, qualifying for the Interstate Welding 602 Late Models shook up the starting order, with weekly favorites finding themselves mid-pack when the green flag waved. After an initial start resulted in a spin, the field doubled up once again as pole-sitter Brandon Elliott and Jonathan Cope mashed the loud pedal to start the event. Cope's No. 116 was like a bullet down the backstretch and cleared Elliott to pace the field. While Cope led, Dylan Beaver used his trademark move, dropping to the bottom lane to work his way into the second position from his fifth starting spot. The racing was furious throughout the field, but Cope was just too strong, securing the win with Beaver finishing second and Elliott held on for third.

Other winners:

Mark Ledford: 602 B-feature

Alex Vance: Street Stock

Chris Nickerson: Open Wheel Modified

Jim Exum: Front Wheel Drive

On Thursday, July 13, Tri-County will hold the Interstate Welding 602 Late Model Spring Championship. The event is a make-up from a rainout earlier in the season. All other weekly divisions will also be in action.

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