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Mother Nature served up severe thunderstorms and heavy rain on Saturday night forcing speedway officials to postpone the night’s racing action to Sunday afternoon. Racing on Father’s Day certainly created a special atmosphere around the speedway. Racing families share a special bond as many families have generations of driver’s in their family. Every driver who won this past Sunday evening dedicated their win to the father figures in their lives. Each victory lane interview was memorable and it was awesome to see the smiles on dad’s face as the youngsters pulled into the winner’s circle.
Logan Roberson is a second generation driver who is beginning to make a name for himself in the crate late model racing world. His father, Greg, is a regional standout in the late model ranks and is the current point leader at Natural Bridge Speedway in the late model division. Sunday night the crates competed for the first time at NBS in 2015 and it was the younger Roberson who stole the spotlight. Roberson started the night off turning the fastest time in qualifying which meant he had to draw the inversion pill. He pulled a number five, inverting the top five drivers in crate qualifying. Ryan Adams started on the front row and jumped out to the early lead. Adams led the first five laps before Roberson used an inside move off of turn four to take the lead. Justin Williams also made his way around Adams but was no match for Roberson. Third generation driver, Tyler Bare, started dead last and patiently worked his way towards the front of the field. Bare took over the second spot on lap nineteen but was over seven seconds behind Roberson with just eleven laps to go. Roberson worked lapped traffic perfectly and kept Bare a comfortable distance behind in the closing laps. The race ran caution free and Roberson crossed the stripe 6.144 seconds ahead of Bare. Williams slipped back to third in the final rundown. Roberson competed at Natural Bridge early in the season but this was his first win of the season at NBS.
The sportsman drivers also had no trouble negotiating the dry, slick conditions daytime racing creates. Their feature also ran caution free and took just over eight minutes to complete the twenty-five laps. Roger Roberson, Jr. started on the outside of the front row and jumped ahead of Jeremiah Marshall on the initial start. Josh Lilly was the man on the move after falling back to mid pack in the opening laps. Lilly moved past Timmy Mays on lap five and started closing in on Roberson. Roberson was racing in the middle groove while Lilly was on the bottom of the racetrack. Lilly used the inside groove to move past Roberson on lap nine and never look back. Mays and Ronnie Marin, Jr. both moved past Roberson late in the race to claim positions two and three in the final rundown. Lilly picked up his fifth win of the season and extended his point lead over Mays.
The street stock drivers were the first to hit the speedway and test the slick conditions. After three attempts to start the feature, the drivers had to line up single file to get the first lap complete. Lee Herring started first and led the first twenty-two laps before a late race caution for a spin by Earl Brooks completely changed the complexion of the race. On the restart, Herrings machine would not take off and he was forced to retire with transmission problems. Goin inherited the lead and survived a couple of late race restarts to claim his first win of the season at NBS. Brooks recovered from his spin to finish in the runner-up spot. Keith Herring turned in a solid top three finish.
The pure stock division had six cars take the green flag and three of those drivers took turns leading the feature event. Troy Dowdy was the first to lead. Dowdy led the first three laps before his teammate, Frankie Drewry, took over the top spot on lap four. Derek Wright was the third and final leader of the night as Wright took over the top spot on lap fifteen and cruised to his seventh win of the season. Drewry and Dowdy later made contact forcing both drivers to make pit stops for repairs. Both drivers would return to the track and rebound to finish in second and third respectively. Wright won by a margin of 1.391 seconds over Drewry. Wright is nearly 100 points ahead in the standings.
The final feature of the night was the All-American division. Nick Magliochetti has had a season he won’t soon forget. Several weeks ago, Magliochetti went for a nasty ride in turn four barrel rolling a number of times in the opening laps of the feature. Magliochetti and crew went to work repairing his machine and the car once upside down landed in victory lane Sunday night. Greg Austin led lap one and Jonathan Burnette led the second lap. Magliochetti took over the top spot on lap three and held the top spot the final seventeen laps to pick up his second win of the season. Magliochetti had to hold off a hard charging Brian Newton at the checkers. Burnette ended up in the third spot in the final rundown.
The Virginia Sprint Series returns to Natural Bridge Speedway next Saturday night for the second time in 2015. The sprints brought sixteen cars earlier in the season. All other divisions will be in actions as well this coming weekend. In two weeks, Natural Bridge Speedway will move to Friday night for a special night of racing to kick on the holiday weekend. Again, please note the date change from Saturday night, July 4th to Friday night, July 3rd. The ladies will be in action on the 3rd as the ever popular Powder Puff feature returns to NBS. Gates will open both nights at 5 pm with racing at approximately 7 pm. Fans may visit www.nbspeedway.com for more information.