Riggs, Bailey Take Late Model Victories
The biggest question as the Geico Late Model schedule has progressed this year has been would any driver not named Peyton Sellers, Landon Pembelton, or Daniel Silvestri win a feature race this season. All three drivers are part of the Sellers racing stable and have dominated victory lane to this point. Saturday night though, saw not only one, but two drivers not in that stable get wins this season. Sellers ran at South Boston as part of the SRX racing weekend where he finished 10th, and Pembelton made his ARCA Racing series debut with Venturini Motorsports at Elko Speedway where he finished third.
Mason Bailey took the pole with a time of 15.295 over current national points leader Layne Riggs’s 15.363. Bailey and Riggs led the 19-car field to the first green flag of the night to kick off the action. Riggs jumped out to the early lead but with in 15 laps, Bailey was knocking on the door, literally. He started to look underneath Riggs and gave him some solid pushes trying to get Riggs loose so he could scoot underneath and complete the pass. Riggs, in true veteran driver fashion, used lap cars on two occasions to keep Bailey behind him. With 34 to go, the two touched going down the backstretch, but their racing cooled off when the first and only caution of the feature came out.
On the restart, Bailey started to the outside of Riggs and slipped up in turn one which dropped him back to fourth and opened the door for Doug Barnes to try and sneak under Riggs. The two ran side by side for a few laps but eventually Riggs was able to pull away and the top three cars fell into a single file line for the last 28 laps. Riggs picked up the victory with Barnes second, Bailey third and Silvestri fourth.
Following the invert for the second race, Logan Clark was on the pole with Justin Martz to his outside. When the green flag dropped, Clark, Martz and Michael Hardin had a three car break away with the fourth through eighth place cars were racing hard two by two behind them. All of that was short lived though as a caution on lap seven brought everyone back together. On the restart Hardin was able to put his car out front, but the hard charging Bailey assumed the lead and never looked back. Helping his cause was the fact that it took Barnes and Riggs several valuable laps to get around Martz which allowed the top two to drive away. With no cautions the rest of the race, the field spread out for the remaining 37 laps and Bailey picked up his first win of the season. Rounding out the top four were Hardin, Barnes, and Riggs.
In other action Saturday night, Chris Hicks picked up the win for the Southern Ground Pounder division, John Andrews won the 4/6 cylinder Any Car feature and Tyler Warriner dominated the Mini Cup feature.
The track is closed this Saturday July 2nd but racing action will resume on July 9th with twin Geico Late Model 60 lap features, Twin Dominion stocks, Mini stocks, Any Cars, Legends and twin Bando races. Gates open at 5 and green flag drops at 7.