“Rocketman” Roberson Wins Steel Block Invitational
Natural Bridge Speedway hosted its first special event of the young season this past Friday night. A stout field of late models was on hand to compete in the $1500 to win steel block invitational race. Greg Roberson made the winning move of the race on the opening lap when he grabbed the lead from Ricky Wells from his outside pole starting position. Roberson led all but one lap en route to victory. Roberson had to fend off a hard charging JR Overstreet throughout the entire thirty-five lap distance.
Early in the season the track often produces a multi-groove racing surface. Roberson jumped out to the early lead with Ricky Wells and JR Overstreet chasing the leader. Overstreet moved by Wells on lap four and starting closing in on Roberson. Roberson liked the top groove while Overstreet ran the extreme bottom of the racetrack. Overstreet challenged Roberson for the top spot and briefly took the lead on lap eight. Roberson would have none of that and powered back by Overstreet one lap later. The two continued their battle the entire thirty-five lap distance but in the end it was Roberson claiming the special event victory. It was Roberson’s first visit to Natural Bridge Speedway in 2013. Overstreet finished three car lengths behind Roberson for a runner-up finish. Last week’s winner, Walker Arthur, finished third. Justin Williams, also making his first appearance in 2013, was fourth. Former Natural Bridge Speedway owner, Larry Ramsey, rounded out the top five.
Michael Taylor picked up his second win of the season in the sportsman feature. Robert Steen led the first six laps of the race before giving up the lead to Taylor. Tyler Bare moved past Steen on lap seven and closed right to the back bumper of Taylor when the caution flag flew on lap eight. On the restart, Taylor stretched his lead to five car lengths. Bare stayed within striking distance but Taylor was on his game. Taylor went on to take his second victory in two visits to the speedway this season. Bare claimed the runner-up spot for the third time in as many starts. Eric Groah rallied from an early spin to finish third, followed by Stephen Campbell and Eddie Gibson.
The street stock race was highly contested between Earl Brooks, Jr., David Brogan, and Bobby Thompson. Brooks took the early lead and held off challenges from both Brogan and Thompson. Thompson took the lead away from Brooks on lap eighteen but suffered mechanical problems one lap later. Brooks held off a hard charging Brogan by less than a car length at the checkers. Scottie Hostetter had another solid run finishing third, followed by Jerret Rae and Thompson.
Daniel Barbour finally put all the pieces together and passed post race inspection to win the pure stock division. Barbour initially won on opening night but had the victory stripped away when he failed inspection. Barbour led all twenty-five laps and crossed the stripe over three seconds ahead of Corey Almond. Howard Hall, Ben Hamilton, and Joey Hall rounded out the top five.
Glen Almond picked up his first victory of the season in the All-American division. Almond led flag to flag holding off Ryan Kassab for the win. The top five remained unchanged after the opening laps. The top five were Almond, Kassab, Brandon Link, Donnie Fisher, and Cory Trivette.
Natural Bridge Speedway returns to Saturday night racing the coming weekend. The speedway will host six divisions of racing as the U-Cars return to action. Gates will open at 5 with on track activities beginning at 6:30. Fans may visit www.nbspeedway.com for more information.