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After a week off, roaring engines and heavy crowds poured into the Natural Bridge Speedway once again. The drivers noticeably took advantage of the extra week to tune up their cars, which awarded fans with a night packed with excitement. While the racing line-up may have been a regular point’s show, Former Racing Icons of the Valley made an appearance at the speedway to sign autographs and talk to fans about their racing careers.
The excitement started with the Street Stock division where Michael Lawhorne would take the green flag from the front row and quickly pull ahead of the pack. Lawhorne created a comfortable cushion between himself and Keith Herring. Herring would later draw a caution flag forcing him pit on lap 12 after drifting back several positions. On the restart, Lawhorne once again was able to open up a considerable lead. With five laps to go, Jeff Campbell dove to the bottom of turn four to pass Brandon Ramsey for the second position. The two would race side by side for the remainder of the race, until the last lap when Ramsey finally surpassed Campbell to earn second place. While the battle for the runner-up spot would take the spotlight, Michael Lawhorne quietly raced to victory for the sixth time this season.
Timmy Mays would be the fastest qualifier among eight Sportsman drivers. However, Mays would draw the sixth inversion pill, sending him back in the pack for the start. David Brogan would lead the first lap, as Mays would quickly start working his way toward the front of the field. Mays was in the top three by lap five when something went amiss on his machine forcing him to the infield for the remainder of the race. The caution flag was the only thing slowing leader David Brogan down. On the restart he once again distanced himself from the rest of the field. Mike Bryant worked his way around Josh Lilly on lap nine to pull into second. Brogan would lead the rest of the race making him the second driver of the night to lead flag to flag for the victory. Brogan, a former track champion in the street stock division, moved up to the sportsman division for the 2015 season. Brogan found victory lane in just his second career start in this division.
The Late Model division would be the next to take to the speedway. Fast qualifier, Greg Roberson, drew the number six inversion pill, allowing Brandi Breeden and Eric Groah to start on the front row. Groah jumped out in front of Breeden on lap one, with Phillip Woods also making his way past Breenden for the second spot. Breeden’s skid backwards continued as Roberson moved past for third on his way to the front of the field. Eddie Gibson would force the caution flag on lap five as smoke poured from the rear of his machine. The restart would put Larry Ramsey, who was in victory lane just two weeks ago, in perfect position to pass current point leader Greg Roberson for third on lap six. Roberson then dove to the bottom of the speedway the next lap to take back that third position. A caution flag on lap 15 tighten the field. On the restart, Roberson immediately moved past Woods to move into the runner-up spot. Groah then hit the wall in turn one on lap 19, allowing Roberson to slip underneath and into first place. Woods then set his sights on Groah for the second position. The two would race door to door for several laps until Woods finally took the second spot from Groah on lap 27. Groah slid all the way back to the fourth position as Ramsey moved past into the third position in turn four on the final lap. The victory would be Roberson’s eighth victory of the season, adding to his lead in the points standings.
The excitement would continue with our Pure Stock division, as the field would need two green flag attempts to start the feature. Troy Dowdy would lead the first lap but an early caution, on lap two, erased his early lead and bunched up the field. After Ben Hamilton pulled into the infield during the caution, Howard Hall inherited the second position. Hall had already jumped up three spots after starting fifth. Troy Dowdy would take the green flag once more with Hall starting right behind. The two would battle back and forth, allowing Derek Wright to first sneak past Hall on lap eight and then Dowdy on lap nine to take the lead. Wright would then extend his lead to several car lengths and eventually race his way to his sixth win of the season. Wright was followed by Dowdy, who was able to fend off Hall on his way to a second place finish.
The fans would once again see another great race thanks to the All American series. Michael Demmers would jump into the lead early after passing Hunter Landes on lap one. Just four laps later a caution would bring the field together allowing for yet another restart. Demmers would once again be able to pull well out in front of Landes. Landes was granted yet one more try at Demmers after a lap ten caution, but Demmers got the better of Landes once again. Landes then started drifting to the back, giving the second spot to Jonathan Burnette. Demmers suffered a mechanical failure on lap thirteen while leading and his car went up in smoke. Burnette took over the lead and held off a hard charging Nick Magliochetti to score the victory.
Natural Bridge Speedway will be home to the Virginia Sprint Series this coming Saturday night to kick off the month of August. The Virginia based sprint car series always brings a huge field of cars to NBS. The five weekly divisions will also have regular point’s races. Gates will open at 5 pm with racing beginning at 7 pm. Fans may visit www.nbspeedway.com for more information.