By: Rob Lee
LAKE CITY, Fla. (Sept. 10) – Remnants of Hurricane Hermine remained at and around North Florida Speedway and its fans Saturday evening. A night of racing was a great way to put that aside for a few hours.
Nevin Gainey, Shawn Creech, Heath Walker and John Windham put on a show to pick up feature wins to open up the second half of the NFS season.
Creech snuck by Darrell Roberts about halfway through the 15-lap Thunder Stock feature and went on to take the checkered flag.
The Wellborn, Fla. pilot pulled away during green flag runs and became the ninth different feature winner in the final tune up before the Sept. 24 Bennie Corbin Memorial.
“Car was real good,” Creech said in Victory Lane. “I just found a hole and got past (Roberts).”
There were only four cautions during the event, but one turned into an extended red flag on Lap 3.
Gainesville driver David Haslam, making his first 2016 NFS start, spun entering turn three and collected a hard hit from Nelda King.
The driver side of Haslam’s Campus Scooters/Transmissions by Carl Camaro collapsed from the impact. Haslam was extricated by rescue crews and taken to the hospital. He was awake and alert.
At the checkers Roberts hung on for second followed by Andy Olson, Dylan Hilliard and Gerard Haley.
Hilliard started at the back of the 19-car field and maneuvered through.
Gainey wasted no time on a tacky track getting to the front of the Late Model finale and set a torrid pace to the finish line in the Snow Brothers Chassis house car.
“We’ve been working hard on this car,” Gainey said. “It’s a lot different to drive than an EMod. I wanted to run high and we weren’t able to all around the track, but we were able to try a few things.”
Previous winner Adam Bedenbaugh gave chase early, but went pitside with mechanical issues early in the race.
Brandon Catto, Louis Ledlow, Tom Smith and Mike Rogers rounded out the top five. It was Rogers’ first race ever in a Late Model.
Heath Walker praised God and his crew after his Hobby Stock 15-lap win.
The elder Walker inherited the top spot when Tyler Sistrunk retired while holding a nearly straightaway advantage.
“I don’t think we would’ve caught Tyler, but this car was on a rail tonight,” Walker said. “I can’t thank everyone that works on this enough.”
John Windham swept the Box Stocks, taking the heat and feature. Brandon Givens and Seth Caudill, Jr. rounded out the field.
The wait is nearly over for the one of the NFS season’s biggest races. The Benny Corbin Memorial weekend is Sept. 23-24.
Friday Sept. 23 is topped with free grandstand admission for fans. Practice and the Fast Time Challenge for Benny Corbin Memorial Thunder Stocks takes place ahead of the full show of heats, B-Mains and the 98-lap BCM feature Saturday Sept. 24. Also Friday will be Florida Outlaw EMod Series, Florida Outlaw Micro Sprint Series, Hobby Stocks and Box Stocks. Saturday’s support show includes FOMS and Box Stocks.
For more information log on to northfloridaspeedway.com, the track’s Facebook page or call 386-754-8800. Also log on to the NFS fan Facebook page Slidin’ Sideways at North Florida Speedway.
Following are results from racing Saturday Sept. 10 at North Florida Speedway, Lake City, Fla.
Feature (15 laps) – 1. 07 Shawn Creech 2. 1x Darrell Roberts 3. 13 Andy Olson 4. 45 Dylan Hilliard 5. 99 Gerard Haley 6. B27 Ethan Butts 7. 7 Frank Premorel 8. 23 Chris Rowe 9. 00Z Bryar Zimmerman 10. DOUBLE07 Jimmy Peele 11. 26 Cliff Bellomy 12. 19B Brad Nixon 13. 15 Brent Strickland 14. 24 James Schreiber 15. 58 Justin Wilson 16. 46 Michael Carr 17. 84 Roy Crain 18. 59 David Haslam 19. 22K Nelda King
1st Heat (6 laps) – 1. Peele 2. Rowe 3. Haslam 4. Carr
2nd Heat (6 laps) – 1. Haley 2. Roberts 3. Premorel 4. Crain
3rd Heat (8 laps) – 1. Creech 2. Olson 3. Nixon 4. Schreiber
Feature (15 laps) – 1. 17 Nevin Gainey 2. 59 Brandon Catto 3. 00 Louis Ledlow 4. 0 Tom Smith 5. 2 Mike Rogers 6. 14 Parker Blankenship 7. 10x Dave Ponton 8. 83 Shawn Taylor 9. 26 Adam Bedenbaugh 10. 37 Allen Cribbs.
1st Heat (8 laps) – 1. Cribbs 2. Ponton 3. Catto 4. Smith
2nd Heat (8 laps) -1. Gainey 2. Bedenbaugh 3. Smith 4. Ledlow
Feature (15 laps) – 1. 55 Heath Walker 2. NINE Devin Walker 3. F16 Jerry Fortner 4. 14 Dean Sands 5. 37 Tyler Sistrunk 6. Y7 Joseph Yakaboski 7. 80 Steven Quick 8. 31 Jonathan Crain 9. 3 Josh Sanford 10. 61C Doran Cheney 11. 22 Cory Howard 12. 18M Marty Smith.
1st Heat (6 laps) – 1. Sistrunk 2. Sanford 3. Howard 4. Crain
2nd Heat (6 laps) – 1. H. Walker 2. D. Walker 3. Sands 4. Fortner
Feature (6 laps) – 1. 65 John Windham 2. 9 Brandon Givens 3. C2 Seth Caudill, Jr.
1st Heat (4 laps) – 1. Windham 2. Caudill 3. Givens