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RACE NEWS.

  • Cody Sealey

"As of two-and-a-half weeks ago I was planning to watch this race on TV on the couch." - Doug Barnes Jr

Dominion Raceway celebrated the Easter weekend by hosting the 2nd Annual Dickie Boswell

Memorial 200 Lap LMSC race to open the 2024 season. The day was all about remembering

the incredible life of Dickie Boswell and the joys of being back at the track, the hopefulness of a

new run at a championship, and the excitement of Bad Ass Fast racing action.


Prior to the 5pm green flag, NAPA of Thornburg provided the eggs for an Easter egg hunt for the kids in attendance. While the children scrambled for the brightly colored treasures, NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Briscoe signed autographs and took photos with fans in the 118 Bar and Grill. Briscoe and Richard Boswell, who is Dickie’s son, won 8 Xfinity races together over a three-yearspan and now work together at stock car racing’s highest level; their appearance at Dominion served as a reminder of Dickie’s lasting legacy on short track racing.


There was also a fan meet and greet on the front stretch where the Bandos, Legends, and Late

Models, like easter eggs, showed off their new colors for the season. During the pre-race meet

and greet, the Dickie Boswell Memorial round table swapped stories about the old days of

racing at Old Dominion. As race time approached, Dickie’s grandchildren sang the National

Anthem and then the engines fired.


The first race of the night was a 15-lap shootout for the Carlisle III Home Inspection and

Consulting INEX Bandoleros. Bryson Nichols put his black and yellow ride on the pole with a

time of 20.381. Nichols started the race with a restart violation, but on the second attempt, he

got it right and never looked back. Despite a wreck by Penelope Carlisle and PJ Surles, Nichols

had few obstacles to the checkered flag; like the yellowjacket on his car, he stung the

competition and became the first driver to park in the Bugsy Auto Repair Victory Lane.

The INEX Legends were on track next, and the 30 car field was split into two 28-lap races: both

in memory of Jason Theriault. The Young Lions and Semi-Pros drivers were featured in the first

race, while the second showcased the Pros and Masters drivers.


The Young Lions and Semi-Pros race saw defending track champion, Conner Weddell lead lap

1 with Kai Johnson, Layton Harrison, and Alec Andrecs in pursuit. #95 Landon McKenzie

charged up to 2nd place with 22 to-go, while C-Weed pulled away. Andrecs would take back

2nd place with 19 to-go. A debris caution would rerack the field late in the race.

A green-white-checker finish concluded the race with Weddell crossing the stripe in P1. Johnson finished second, McKenzie finished third, Andrecs finished fourth, while Petr Theriault rounded out the top-5.


Keelan Harvick made his Dominion Raceway oval debut and raced inside the top-6, but a

restart saw him drop and finish 12th.


The Pros and Masters put on a great race next. Jacob Staten qualified on the pole alongside

Tommy Jackson. Dominion regulars David Polenz and Miles Murray ran third and fourth at the

start, but moved up a spot each when Jackson had an issue challenging Staten for the lead with

11 to-go. Polenz and Murray went back and forth making moves on each other, and both got within striking distance of Staten. When the #7 of Brad Shifflett got lapped and got mixed in with the leaders, it saw Polenz and Murray have to check-up to avoid a wreck. The #7 would bring out the caution with seven to-go The cars restarted with Staten in first, Polenz in second, Murray in third, Cody Carlton in fourth, and Weedy Weddell in fifth. The cars would finish in that order, and the #39 of Staten would take home the checkered flag.


As the sun began to set, the late models took to the track. Davey Callihan was the polesitter

with a lap of 15.226, but he would start third with the qualifying invert. Mason Bailey and

defending race winner Doug Barnes Jr. would be on the front row.


The green flag waved with the #05 of Bailey in the lead until a lap 8 caution for Cameron Burke.

Callihan, who moved up to second prior to the caution, took the lead on lap 10 after the restart.

Three laps later, Bailey would nudge the Papa Johns sponsored #41 out of the groove and

retake the lead with a deep dive into the corner.


A little farther back, the #31 of Aaron Donnelly took fourth place from Landon Pembelton and

then 2 laps later, he’d take third from Barnes. On lap 25, Donnelly would blaze past Callihan for

second.


The #0 of Pembelton would begin to smoke and he would fall from fourth place by several

positions. Due to the extended smoking of the #0 car, a caution came out to check the track for

fluids on lap 64.


One lap into the restart, Chandler Sherman and JD Eversole would get into each other on the

front stretch as the barreled into turn one. Both cars suffered significant damage, and were

hauled off by the Sullivans Towing tow truck.


Davey Callihan would lead the restart over Donnelly, with Barnes and Bailey behind. Donnelly

would make a clean pass for the lead again on lap 78. Bailey would pass Barnes for third and

bring GR Waldrop and Michael Hardin with him, dropping Barnes to sixth.


On lap 88 Callihan and Donnelly would battle for the lead again late in the race, with Callihan

being able to hold on before the halfway point. On lap 100, the caution came out to allow cars to report to the pit lane for midrace adjustments.


Donnelly would lead as the race resumed and Callihan would drop to fourth as Bailey and

Waldrop would get by for second and third. On lap 110 Barnes would clear Hardin and then get

a big run on Callihan to take fourth.


One of the best battles of the night lasted about 10 laps as Bailey went side by side with

Donnelly. Both cars went around and around inches apart until a caution came out for Cameron Burke again.


Donnelly led the lap 131 restart with Bailey, Barnes, Dustin Storm, and Callihan behind. With 58 to-go Bailey would challenge for the lead with Barnes close behind. The move would result with Barnes getting inside position and the two of them would be side-by-side for several laps.

Barnes would get the best of him six laps later. Storm and Callihan would pass Bailey, as it

became apparent Bailey had a tire go down and he had to pit.


Donnelly would continue to lead Barnes until they came up on the lapped car of Trey Williams.

The #31 of Donnelly would get loose navigating traffic and Barnes would capitalize while Storm would follow into second. GR Waldrop’s #03 would also have a tire issue from fifth place and the late caution would mean a dramatic restart.


On the restart, Barnes would get loose coming out of turn 2 on the backstretch. From second

place, the #88 would attempt to clear himself, but Callihan was there. The #41 would go right

front fender first into the wall. The whole fender would come off onto the track, but luckily no

other cars would suffer significant damage.


The debris meant a restart with 15 to-go. Barnes, Storm, Donnelly, and Callihan with damage

would be the top-4. Pembelton would rebound from earlier mechanical issues to be fifth.

Barnes would lead the restart despite pressure from Storm, who was a teammate in the race.

Behind them, Pembelton would barge through the top-5 and work his way up to third. The #0

passed Storm on the final lap.


The checkered flag flew with Doug Barnes Jr. repeating as the winner of the Dickie Boswell 200. Pembelton would finish second, Storm would finish third, Michael Hardin would come home fourth, and Davey Callihan would finish fifth. After fighting for the win most of the night, Aaron Donnelly would finish sixth.


Barnes would raise the big wooden trophy in what he considered a very emotional win. Barnes

was not initially going to run the race, but when Dustin Storm and Scott Lang helped develop an

opportunity for his ride, he entered the field. With this being a one-time opportunity to race at

Dominion, he emphasized he just wanted to have a fun night behind the wheel; winning

certainly was fun for Barnes, but he expressed thankfulness after.


“Our deal [for the upcoming season] fell apart, and as of two-and-a-half weeks ago I was

planning to watch this race on TV on the couch, but Dustin and Scott pushed me to come out

here,” said Barnes in a post race interview. “I had a bad taste in my mouth, but I can’t thank

them enough. This means so much. I just wanna soak this in.”


Dustin Storm said his team put in a lot of work over the offseason, and he said his individual

success means a lot, but having all three Scott Lang Racing cars in the top-5 was special.

“It was a long night from my driver’ seat taking care of three cars here, but really our race car

was phenomenal today and tonight showed that,” said Storm. “I really couldn't be happier. I

definitely feel we had the best car here tonight at the end. It was nerve-wracking, me and

Dougie were nose-to-tail those last ten laps.”


With opening night all said and done, Dominion Raceway moves on to Ladies Night on April 6.

The late models will be back alongside the Dominion Stocks, UCars, Legends, and Bandos with a special pre race performance by Nashville Recording Artist and Legends Driver Carsyn Gray. You can get tickets to that event here https://drevents.ticketstobuy.com/event/192 and if you cant make the race, you can watch live on https://dominionraceway.tv/


Photo by Chris Renner

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