Barnes Wins Soles For Souls Big One
On Halloween night and with a full moon, the Late Model division ran 200 laps for $10,000 at Dominion raceway and Doug Barnes turned the ultimate trick and walked away with the prize.
Aaron Donnelly got things kicked off with a blistering lap of 15.06 to take the pole, just edging out John Goin and Barnes who both posted a lap of 15.14. Unfortunately for Donnelly, the invert would put him rolling off in the fifth spot and Sergio Pena on the pole.
The first segment of the 200 laps saw only one caution and it saw Conner Jones lead most of the first 75 laps. At the break Jones held the lead followed by Goin, Donnelly, Barnes and Eddie Johnson. Track champion Peyton Sellers, who was relegated to the back of the field for taking four new tires after qualifying, moved up to ninth place by the first break.
The second leg of the 200 laps was like the first with drivers trying to save their tires for the 50-lap sprint that would wrap up the event and send a driver home with $10,000. The second segment ran caution free and saw a mixing up of the top cars. At the break, Donnelly was in the lead, followed by Jones, Goin, Sellers, Barnes and Pena.
The last 50 laps segment under the full moon ended up being what everyone expected. A mad dash for the cash. Eight laps in to the final 50, Sellers had moved into second, perfect position to take another win at Dominion and the cash. Five laps later, Sellers and Donnelly got together in turn one sending Donnelly around and putting him to the rear of the field. When the green flag dropped with 33 laps to go, Sellers was in the lead with Barnes right on his bumper. Barnes march to the lead would be halted a few short laps later with the third caution of the night when four cars came together on the front stretch which took out Jones for the rest of the night.
With 23 laps to go the race went back under green with Sellers showing the way and Barnes right there in second, Pena in third, but Barnes was able to get by Sellers before the next caution with which took our Donnelly and Andrew Grady. That would be the final caution of the night and Barnes was able to hold off Sellers to win The Big One. Rounding out the top five were Sellers, Michael Hardin, Johnson and Goin.
The Virginia Racer Late Model division ran 50 laps to wrap up the final leg of the Challenge Series between Dominion and Langley Speedways. Landon Pembelton came in with the slimmest of leads over Cole Bruce, and at one point it looked like Bruce would take the championship when Pembelton spun, was black flagged, and restarted in fourteenth. But shortly thereafter, Bruce had a right front tire go down on a restart causing him to pit and go 3 laps down, ending his championship hopes. Logan Clark drove past Zack Lightfoot late in the feature to pick up his second win of the year and Pembelton won the Challenge Series Championship. Top five finishers were Clark, Lightfoot, Davey Callihan, Pembelton and Eddie Slagle.
Also in action Saturday night were the Ucar division that saw Todd Ruggles win his first of the year beating out Alex Ayers, Cameron Ruggles and Don Schumann. The AnyCar division saw Thomas Fontaine take the checkered in their final race of the year in the four cylinder division and Michael Pifer won in the eight cylinder division.
Next week is the final week of the season and the Late Models, Virginia Racer Late Models, Dominion Stocks, Mini Stocks and Mini Cups will all be in action. As well as the Modifieds with a first time winners race and the AnyCar with the Clutches and Purses ladies only race. Gates open at 3 and racing begins at 5.