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Sweatt captures Summer Slam checkers

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Lancaster Motor Speedway action

By The Staff

 

   

Veteran Lancaster Motor Speedway driver Dustin Sweatt captured the Deal 1 Auto Sales Crate Sportsman Summer Slam to highlight racing action at LMS on Saturday.

The front row after qualifying had pole sitter Sweatt and the “Rock Hill Bad Boy,” Ben Watkins. Before the green flag dropped, the track was standing room only in the pits and grandstands.

When the green fell, it was Sweatt, Watkins, Timbo Mangum and Frankie McGuire roaring into turn one battling for the lead.

Sweatt and Watkins put on a show. As the laps passed, Sweatt led over Watkins.

Watkins was all over Sweatt’s bumper, seeking to pass.

Watkins, roaring down the straightaways, put the pressure on Sweatt. Entering the turns and exiting the turns, Sweatt pulled away from Watkins.

With about four laps left, Watkins made his move on Sweatt and took the lead, but Sweatt was not about to yield.

A late-race caution set up a green, white and checkered restart.

When flagman Scotty Mackey waved the green to restart, Watkins and Sweatt roared into turn one for the lead. Watkins slipped high in turn two, allowing Sweatt to dive to the bottom and regain the lead.

Waktins gave chase to Sweatt. Coming out of turn four to take the white flag, Sweatt had about a two-car lead over Watkins, who gave his all on the last lap.

Sweatt, coming out of turn four, took the checkers as the fans roared.

When Sweatt pulled into victory lane, his fans, crew members and family greeted him. Sweatt annouced he was taking time off from racing to spend time with his family and friends.

If this is it for Dustin Sweatt’s racing career, then he will be remembered as one LMS’ greatest drivers. Track officials praised Sweatt for his big win and many racing memories. Top 5: Sweatt, Watkins, McGuire, Jeffrey McGuirt and Bryan Mullis.

u In the Super Street main, the front row had Jody Bigham and Johnny Starkey.

When the green fell, Bigham, Starkey, Kevin Godbee and Joey Engelbrecht battled for the lead entering turn 1. Exiting turn two, it was Starkey, in his white No. 20, leading over Bigham, who chased Starkey. Starkey’s lead didn’t last as something broke on his racer.

This gave the lead to Bigham.

When the green fell to restart the race, Bigham led over Godbee, Engelbrecht and Matt Cauthen.

As the laps ticked by, Bigham pulled away, but the battle for second was on.

Jake Gibbons, working his way up through the field to third, began to pressure Godbee for second.

Godbee and Gibbons raced each other hard for the remaining laps. Back up front, Bigham won, with Godbee holding off the hard-charging Gibbons for second.

Top 5: Bigham, Godbee, Gibbons, Cauthen, Engelbrecht.

u In the Pure Street main, the front row had James Marion and David Price. When the green waved, Marion, Price, Kevin Blackwell and Cody Honeycutt roared into turn one in a battle for the lead. Exiting turn two, Price led over Marion, Blackwell and Honeycutt.

As Price and Blackwell battled for the lead, the action was intense.

Jesse Carson, Steve Hinson and Robbie Helms, who have won this season, worked through the field. Back up front, Price and Blackwell battled for the lead. As the laps passed, it was Price, Blackwell and Hinson in third.

Coming to the white flag, Price had a full mirror of Blackwell and Blackwell had a mirror full of Hinson. Exiting turn two, it was a drag race down the back straightaway. Price, entering turn, had the edge over Blackwell, with Hinson behind Blackwell. Top 5: Price, Blackwell, Hinson, Honeycutt and Peter Gibbons.

u In the Stock 4 main, the front row was Wes Helms and Evan Thomas.

When the green flag fell, Helms, Thomas, Chase Wilson and Andy Helms battled for the lead entering turn one. Exiting turn two, Helms led over Thomas. As the laps passed, Helms upped his lead and cruised to the win. Top 5: Wes Helms, Evan Thomas, Chase Wilson, Tyler Funderburk and Andy Helms.

u In the NDRA GM Performance Late Model main, it was “The Rock Hill Bad Boy,” Ben Watkins and fan favorite Timbo Mangum on the front row.

When the green waved, Watkins, Mangum, Michael Brown and Brandan Blackmon roared into turn one for the lead. Exiting turn two, Mangum led over Watkins, Blackmon and Brown.

As the laps passed, Mangum held a three-car lead over Watkins.

Blackmon and Brown raced each other hard for third. Brown looked under Blackmon in every turn as these young drivers were bumper to bumper for the majority of the race. Back up front, Mangum held a commanding lead over Watkins.

Coming to the white flag, Watkins gave it his best shot, but Mangum was too tough and took his second straight win. Watkins was second. Top 5: Mangum, Watkins, Blackmon, Robbie Aldridge and Mike Cicchillo.

u In the Vintage main, the front row had Jerry White and Brian Crump. At the green, it was White, Brian Crump, James Crump and Lakota Burns battling for the lead.

White led early over Crump. Two drivers on a mission were Marty Spittle and Chris Fincher.

White led, but Spittle and Fincher worked through the field.

Once Fincher gained second, something happened to the No. 4 car of White. This allowed Fincher to gain the lead.

As Fincher led, he had a mirror full of Spittle, who sought a way by Fincher. Once Spittle got around Fincher, Spittle pulled away for the win. Top 5: Spittle, Fincher, Steve Helms, Brian Crump and James Crump.

 

The FWD/UCAR main front row had David “Porkchop” Motes and Adam Leaird.

Motes, Leaird, David Laney and Josh Klimczak battled for the early lead.

Exiting turn two, Motes led over Laney and Klimczak.

Behind the leaders, the man on a mission was Mel Privette, who started eighth and picked off cars on the high side and low side in working through the field.

Back up front, Motes led over Klimczak and Laney.

Once Privette caught Klimczak and Laney, he worked his way by them and set his sights on Motes. Once Privette caught Motes, the drivers put on a show.

Privette worked under Motes lap after lap, seeking a way around the fast No. 91 machine. Coming to the white flag, Privette made his move on Motes for the lead. Motes battled only to come up shy at the line. Top 5: Privette, Motes, Laney, Klimczak and Scotty Steen.

If you missed any racing action from Saturday night, visit Jackie Sims in the pits. Sims has DVDs for sale for $10. For more details about LMS, visit the track website, www.lancasterspeedway.net, or the two facebook pages. To discuss upcoming events, or racing action or favorite drivers, visit www.Dirtracefans.com and register.