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Natural Bridge Speedway welcomed the Good Ole Boys Vintage Racing Club to the speedway for their inaugural race this past Saturday night. The Vintage Club is based in Danville, VA but brought competitors from North Carolina and West Virginia as well. Fans were taken back in the day as cars from as early as the 1930’s were on hand to compete in a fifteen lap special event. All other divisions were also in action making it a full night of racing on the clay oval.
Tom Nodes, from Writz, VA, driving a 1966 Ford won a preliminary heat race for the nine vintage drivers on hand to set the field for their feature event. Benji Agee, driving a 1955 Chevy from Rocky Mount, jumped out to the early lead. Nodes started dead last in the inverted field and patiently started working his way to the front of the field. Agee lead the opening laps before he suddenly went up in smoke dumping water around the racing surface. Ronald DaRos, in a 1935 Plymouth, inherited the lead. DaRos held the lead until Nodes made an inside move off of turn four to take over the top spot on lap thirteen. Nodes led the final two circuits to capture the checkers. Nodes, originally from New Jersey, recently moved to Virginia bringing his vintage racer with him to compete on the clay of the southern states. The vintage series will return to Natural Bridge Speedway later in the season.
Roseland, Virginia’s Mike Lawhorne led flag to flag to pick up his first win of the season in the street stock division. Lawhorne has experience the misfortunes of Lady Luck the first two weeks of the season but Lawhorne finally got the monkey off his back this past weekend. Lawhorne started on the outside pole and quickly jumped out in front of the field. Just three cars stared the twenty-lap feature. The father-son duo of Lee and Keith Herring were Lawhorne’s competition. K. Herring held down the second spot before slamming the turn one wall and retiring from the event. The caution allowed L. Herring to close to the back bumper of Lawhorne for the restart but he could not seriously challenge Lawhorne for the win.
The pure stock division is shaping up to be the most competitive class early in the season. At the drop of the green flag Howard Hall jumped out to an early lead over Troy Dowdy. While Hall was coasting out in front the racing action for the runner-up spot was heating up. All of the competitors had a shot at taking over the second spot at various stages of the race. After winning last week, the youngster of Derek Wright had to start eighth. Wright moved past Brandon Link for second on lap thirteen and just three laps later made the winning move past Hall using the inside groove off of turn two. Wright went on to lead the final nine laps and claim back to back feature wins over Hall and Link.
It took just two laps for Natural Bridge’s Josh Lilly to make his way from third to first in the sportsman feature event. Ken Nelson, Jr. led the first two circuits before giving way to Lilly. Lilly opened up a seven second lead on the field before a caution on lap sixteen erased his lead. The caution gave fast qualifier, Wes Branner, a chance to move towards the front. Branner moved into third on lap sixteen and took over the runner-up spot on lap twenty –three. By the time Branner was in second it was too little too late as Josh Lilly had distanced himself from the field. Lilly picked up his second win of the season over Branner and Nelson.
Greg Roberson made it three for three in 2015 Saturday night in the late model division. Roberson started eighth and chased down Michael Alderman on lap fifteen. Alderman started on the front row and jumped out to an early lead. Alderman had a 2.330 second lead over Joey Coleman when Roberson made his way past Coleman on lap ten. Roberson, from Waynesboro, took just five laps to erase Alderman’s lead and make the winning pass. Alderman held on for second but was over seven seconds behind Roberson when the checkered flag fell. Coleman held on to finish third.
Llyod Wright waited until lap eighteen to make a move on Nick Magliochetti for the win in the All-American feature event. The two raced nose to tail and door to door the entire feature before Magliochetti pushed high and opened the door for Wright as the field picked up two laps to go. Wright cleared Magliochetti coming down the front stretch and went on to claim his second win of the season. Magliochetti came home second and Brian Newton finished third.
The Fastrak Crate Late Models will be in action this coming Saturday night, April 25. Natural Bridge Speedway is a sanctioned Fastrak track for 2015. Drivers from all over the region will be on hand competing for National Fastrak points. Natural Bridge Speedway is posting a $600 to win, $100 to start purse but several supports are trying to raise money to add to the purse. This event is shaping up to be one of the best events of the early season at Natural Bridge Speedway. Go-kart racing comes to NBS on Friday night, April 24. Gates open both nights at 5 pm. Fans may visit www.nbspeedway.com for more information.