Posted: Saturday, July 5th 2008 at 1:47am
Kelly avoids fireworks on Fourth of July races
By Jeff Hart Staff
BRASELTON – Fireworks on and off the track did not keep Paul Kelly from continuing his outstanding season so far 2008 at Lanier National Speedway.
Kelly was either in first or second place for 87 of the 100-lap Pro Late Model feature Friday night at the annual Fourth of July extravaganza at LNS before eventually pulling away in the final 10 laps for the victory. Kelly took the lead for good on Lap 46 after Kevin Stephens, who led 37 of the first 40 laps, appeared to have mechanical problems on a restart.
“It’s been a pretty good year and the car is running real well,” Kelly said. “I just kept it going once I got the lead.”
Shawn Simpson, who led the first three laps of the race, survived several cautions and a side-by-side battle most of the race with his uncle and car owner Greg Simpson, to finish second. Greg Simpson was third flowed by Kevin Barrett and Fredrick Moore.
Shawn Simpson led the first three laps before Stephens got underneath him on Lap 4 and it stayed that way until a caution on Lap 40 bunched the field.
Joey Love continues to be hard to beat in the open-wheeled modified division. Love took the last of three lead changes on a Lap 10 restart and then held off Darren Cronin on a Lap 23 restart to get the win. Jason Bates was third, Randy Haney fourth, and Bill George was fifth.
It was the 10th win of the season for Love, who is in the middle of his best season ever at LNS.
“I’ve won this many races before but this is probably the best we’ve run (at LNS),” Love said. “This car is really working well right now. I’m fortunate and we’ll just try to get No. 11 next week.”
In the 25-lap supertrucks race Paul Antley led from start-to-finish to get his ninth win of the year. Mark Wilbanks and Hoyt Steps challenged Antley early but was not able get past him. Wilbanks took second, Stephens was third, Joel Townsend fourth, and Clinton Sheriff came around for fifth despite spinning out twice in the race.
Davey Matthews only led one lap in the Legends semi-pro race but it was the most important one. Matthews took advantage of a late caution to grab the lead on a green-white restart to get his first-ever LNS win in the 20-lap race. There were five lead changes in the race, which had four caution flags. Dylan Ames finished second, Ray Heim was third, Trey Ridley was fourth despite leading half the race, and Cameron Michael was fifth.
After an early caution Zac Kittle was dead last in the 13-car Legends Pro-Masters race. It didn’t phase Kittle as he maneuvered his way to second place after a Lap 8 caution and then slid under Will Prance with one two laps left in the 20-lap race and then held on for the Pro win. Prance finished second, Bill Close was third and the Masters winner, Parker Hammonds was fourth and Lamar Adams fifth.
Mark Caudell took the lead on the start and then cruised to an easy win in the 25-lap Sportsman division race. Jackie Daniel started on the pole but couldn’t hold off Caudell’s quick start and finished second. Jeff Chadwick was third, Bryan Jones fourth, and Richard King fifth.
In the Street Stock division Mike Childers took the lead on Lap 3 and then cruised to the win in the 15-lap race. Josh Hughes, who led the first two laps, came around in second, Jody Trivett, who battled handling problems the entire race, held on for third, and Nathaniel Carlisle was fourth.
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