Published: Jun 27, 2012 02:35 PM
Modified: Jun 27, 2012 02:38 PM
ROUGEMONT - Chuck Lawson made the most of his front row starting position last Saturday, holding on for his second win of the short-track racing season at the Orange County Speedway.
The end result is a tighter than ever points race.
In last Saturday’s featured Late Model Select race, Lawson started in his 42 car outside the pole position of Craig Moore (1), who was trying for a first LMS finish this season.
Within the first lap, Lawson powered around Moore on the outside line through turns three and four to take the lead.
After Daniel Moss (58) spun out for the first caution of the race, the field bunched again, opening the way for three-time 2012 winner Tripp Massengill to get alongside Lawson. The two, who rank 1-2 in the points race, broke away from the field on the restart and stayed locked in a battle for the lead for the next 20 laps, with Moore hanging back in third.
Abruptly on Lap 35 of the 75-lap race, Massengill spun in turn one while battling Lawson for the lead. Sideways on the banked OCS track, he got tagged driver’s side door by Moore.
Massengill had to restart in the rear of the field. Unfazed, he methodically worked his way back to the front past every car except one —the 42 machine of Lawson.
Lawson fought off Massengill’s repeated charges and took the win.
Massengill still leads the points race with 287, but Lawson is now just three points back at 284.
Cole finished third and now has 277 points, while Durham native Brandon Baker took fourth Saturday and sits in fourth place of the points standings with 270. Mason Hudson was fifth Saturday, matching his best finish in six starts, for 212 points.
In the Limited Division race Saturday, a poor start didn’t prevent an excellent finish, which ended up with Keith Edwards getting his second straight win of 2012.
Season points leader Daryl Carver started on the pole, with Edwards starting on the outside. The race stalled almost immediately on Lap 2 after Harold Summey Jr. spun his 87 car.
After the field bunched for a restart, Daniel Schadt (12) and Jerry Hinesly (46) battled hard for the third position behind leaders Carver and Edwards, and it stayed like that throughout the race.
With three laps to go, Hinesly got inside Schadt and inched past. Schadt got tangled with the lapped Madison Whittle coming out of turn two. Schadt’s No. 12 car climbed on top of the red No. 1 car of Whittle.
Later, Schadt would have to be held back by OCS officials as he unleashed his anger towards Whittle.
A spinout by Daniel Moss on Lap 33 of 35 bunched the field once more. All along Keith Edwards was able to keep a comfortable distance from Carver, and Edwards would collect his second victory of the 2012 season — a win made more special by the presence of his son in the pits to share the moment.
Edwards was followed in by Carver, Jerry Hinesly, Casey Pope and Thomas ’Alejandro’ Chappell to round out the top five.
Carver and Edwards are now less than 10 points apart in the standings.
In the Pure Stock Division’s 25-lap race, Chuck Watkins took first, followed by Michael Milam and Austin Milam.
After a disputed finish in Street Stocks, Danny Brewer came out on top, ahead of Jason Warsing in second and Richard Hayden third.
An action-packed Super Mini-Trucks 20-lap race ended with Junior Chrisco getting the win, followd by Tyler McDonald in second and Ray Chrisco third.
In Legends, Austin Osborne pulled ahead early with a huge lead and never looked back. In fact, Osborne mentioned that he backed off some early to save his tires for the next event. He was followed across the line by John Hilliker and Rodney Tharp.
The next races the Orange County Speedway will be July 7, with the first of six events starting at 7 p.m.