“This is such a tough field of cars” Parker & Griffith split UCAR wins
Photo by Kevin Freer Photography
Written By Cody Sealey
It was a race against the clock Saturday August 5, as Dominion Raceway hosted ten races before the 11 o’clock curfew.
The Va Racers, Ucars, Super Cup Stock Car Series, and the 8-cylinder Anycars all ran twins while the Modifieds and 4/6-cylinder Anycars also ran.
The 8-cylinder Anycars kicked off the night’s action. Three laps in, Richard Storm passed Michael Pifer for the lead. Pete Sullivan moved up to second and within striking distance of Storm two laps later. Sullivan pushed Storm’s machine to the limit, as the Stormer Performer literally was driving the wheels off it.
Tire smoke emerged from the #07 of Storm about halfway through the race, but Sullivan was unable to take advantage. Storm was able to hang-on in his smoking car and take the first checkered flag of the night.
“I had to drive the wheels off this thing, because Pete was here,” said Storm. “I don’t know if it will make it to the second race, but we are gonna try.”
The Modifieds and Va Modifieds took to the track next, and the 35 laps ended with Kayla Surles and Shannon Marano in victory lane. Both drivers lead their respective divisions' standings. Surles has gone 7 for 7 in her Modifieds races, while Marano is credited with winning 6 of his 7.
“I gotta credit this win to mom; today is her 70th birthday,” said Marano. “I am happy with the car, because last week this thing sounded like Daffy Duck. I’m just happy that it was a $20 solution.”
While Marano celebrated mom in victory lane, The Va Racers had a birthday of their own in Mike Ganoe. The driver took to the grid with his competitors and his #82 machine led the first several laps, but 13 laps in, it was the #21 of Reid Murphy passing for the lead on the frontstretch.
It was an uncharacteristic night for points leader, Alex Brock, as he was mired back in the field and incidentally spun the #4 of Josh Blankenship at the flagstand. The caution period was delayed longer as the tow truck tending to the accident hit the #07 of Richard Storm. All cars were able to fire back up and go to the rear on the restart; albeit Brock’s car was without a hood.
Murphy beat Ganoe on the restart and held on the rest of the way to win his third race of the season. Ganoe finished second, Jason Pitman finished third, Peyton Lee came home fourth, while Carson Higgs rounded out the top-five.
“That was a fun one,” said Murphy. “Came from 5th place, and was a little worried when the caution came out, but we got it done.”
The Super Cup Stock Cars visited the High-Banked Ring of Fire, and ran back to back 30 lap contests. The first race saw the #44 of Ben Ebeling pace the field and beat the #35 of Bill Ashton.
The second race featured a full invert, and Ebeling drove from last to third in 3 laps. The #3 of JJ Pack was styled to look like The Intimidator’s white GM Goodwrench Chevrolet he would have drove in the 2001 All Star Race, and the throwback hotrod was Ebeling biggest competition in race two.
Pack struggled mightily in race one, as he was down a gear, but his car was remedied in the intermission between races. Pack pressured Ebeling, and with 11 to go, Pack used a lap car as a pick and got around the outside of Ebeling on the backstretch.
It was the race-winning move as JJ Pack parked the #3 in victory lane.
Next up was the 4/6 cylinder Anycars in a 20 lap shootout. An early caution flew for Alyssa Atkins who blew a motor, but Kris Kurtz regained his lead on the restart. It was a back-and-forth battle for the lead, as Mason Pifer and Mike Chapman all swapped the lead from Kurtz before the #69 would pass them back late in the race and take the checkered flag for his Catfish Kelly’s racing team.
The VA Racers came back out for race two, and early calamity struck the race one winner, as Reid Murphy and Jason Pittman tangled in a violent collision on the front stretch, before both cars came to a stop in turn one.
Richard Storm was the leader on the restart, with the #9 of Brock in third behind him. Brock was able to complete the pass for the lead 10 laps in, and he would accelerate to a large margin ahead of Peyton Lee and Ganoe, who had strong runs. The victory was number nine for #9.
As the night moved on, races eight and nine were back-to-back twins for the Ucars. The first race saw history, as two laps in, the #28 of Jimmy Parker passed Dallas Cosby on the outside of turn four to attain the lead. The powder blue and white machine would go unchallenged the rest of the way and earn his first race win.
“I went to my first NASCAR race when I was in my teens and started out drag racing,” said Parker. “I started at Southside at 49 and I am 53 now. This is a bucket list item for me.”
In race two, it was Tanner Griffith’s turn, as got to the lead early and held off points leader Michael Frayser for his second win of the season.
“This is such a tough field of cars,” said Griffith. “Jimmy and I have worked together on cars, and it’s pretty cool to win together on the same night.”
The night's action ended how it started: a tense battle between Storm and Sullivan in the 8-cylinder anycars. Despite his best efforts, Sullivan was again unable to best Storm, as the #07 got the Anycar sweep.
“Pete kept me honest tonight,” said Storm. “Everytime I tried to take a break, he was right there.”
Next week Dominion Raceway action features $1 Hot Dog Night with Twin 50’s from the late models, Twin Dominion Stocks, Twin Ucars, Mini Cups and Mini Stocks.