- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Doug Ford
Defending champion Justin Snow, Brian Pembelton and Danny Willis Jr. have won each race this season in the Limited Sportsman Division at South Boston Speedway.
That trend continued Saturday with Snow, of Danville, taking home his first win since April and his fourth overall of the season in a competitive 50-lap race, sweeping past race leader Willis on lap 45 and winning by 0.806 seconds.
Willis, a Cluster Springs driver and winner of three races, finished second, and Pembelton, who was tied for the points lead coming into the night, finished third after qualifying on the pole with a time of 16.024 seconds (89.865 MPH).
Aaron Burnett of Debary, Fl, finished fourth and Bobby McCarty of Summefield, N.C. finished fifth, ahead of Cluster Springs driver Austin Thaxton, who was in line for his first podium finish of the year after running third for much of the race.
Pembelton also has three wins on the season, but had an up and down race Saturday, with second-place qualifier Willis passing for the lead on the opening lap.
Snow got past Pembelton on lap 11 and stayed within sight of Willis through one caution and a red flag stoppage, that coming on lap 44 when Pembelton got into the No. 77 of Blake Stallings, with Stallings hitting the wall hard on the back straightaway.
“We broke something on the sway bar before we ever took off, and it made that thing a handful to drive, but first I want to apologize to Blake Stallings,” said Pembelton after the race.
“I got into him and didn’t really mean to wreck him, and I just want to apologize to him for that.”
“It was just a long night,” added Pembelton, who fell back as far as seventh-place after an early pit stop before coming through the field for his third-place finish.
“I think we had a good car, but the parts deal put us out of whack, and I guess we were just fortunate to get back to third.”
Willis, the new points leader following Saturday’s race, said the last caution hurt his chances for a win.
“The more laps we ran the better we were, and we were hoping to run caution free, but it was just one of those deals,” said Willis, who damaged his car while avoiding a spin in front of him during the race.
“I caught the wall with the right side of the car and I think I knocked the toe end off or something,” he explained.
“I tried to hold Justin off and I believe we would have had him if that last caution had not come out, but he did a great job.”
Snow broke out of an almost two-month long slump with the win.
“I didn’t think there was a bigger hole I could have dug myself into the past three or four races, running the way we had is very uncharacteristic of the way we normally do run,” Snow said.
“I was thinking on that next to last restart I don’t have anything for him…with a bunch of sixth-place finishes, a second would be like a win to me tonight.
“We had that one last restart and I drove it in hard in turn one on the high side as deep as I could, and it was either going to stick or it wasn’t.
“It managed to stick, and we brought home the win.”
The Limited Sportsman Division race lasted 29 minutes and was interrupted twice by cautions and once for a red flag stoppage.
Crews adds to points lead with Pure Stock win
Trey Crews of Halifax, driving out of the Halifax County Public Schools Motorsports Academy stable, collected his third win of the year in a caution-filled but competitive 30-lap Budweiser Pure Stock Division race.
Joe Allred III of Scottsburg, second in points coming into the race and the pole sitter Saturday with a time of 18.244 seconds, dropped out of the running on the opening lap with a mechanical failure, opening the door for Crews, who had to fend off a hard-charging Nathan Crews of Long Island for the win, taking the checkered flag by 0.177 seconds.
Randy Hupp of Halifax finished third, with fellow Motorsports Academy driver and South Boston driver Jake Brown finishing fourth and Eric Crews of Long Island finishing fifth in a race delayed by cautions six times.
“It got a little crazy, but that’s what makes Pure Stock racing the best over here,” said Hupp after the race, referring to the close quarters racing among several drivers Saturday night.
“We’re getting the car right near where we want it to be, and we’re not quite there but we’re close.”
Nathan Crews had at least one prime opportunity to pass the race winner with laps winding down, after he and Trey Crews made contact coming out of turn two.
“I turned him a little sideways in turn two, but I let him go,” said the second-place finisher.
“I didn’t want to wreck him, because I know what I’d feel like if someone did it to me.
“I’m tickled to death we finished second.”
“It got right exciting toward the end, and I appreciate him backing off and not spinning me around,” said Trey Crews.
“Everything was good tonight.”
Blair wins Legendary Flatheads race
Bill Blair of Thomasville, N.C., won the 20-lap race for the Legendary Flathead Ford Racing Association Saturday night.
Garland Ricketts of South Boston finished second, followed by James Rogers of Ridgeway, Va., Bobby Apple of Reidsville, N.C., and Harry Hale of Wirtz, Va.
Blair was the Modified winner and Hale the Sportsman winner for the race.
LIMITED SPORTSMAN 50-LAP RACE
POS. NAME LAPS
1. Justin Snow 50
2. Danny Willis Jr. 50
3. Brian Pembelton 50
4. Aaron Burnett 50
5. Bobby McCarty 50
6. Austin Thaxton 50
7. Charles Barnes 50
8. Meagan Creech 50
9. Blake Stallings 44
10. J.D. Eversole 15
TIME OF RACE: 29 Min.
AVG. SPEED: 53.999 MPH
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.806
RED FLAG: 1
LAP LEADERS: Danny Willis Jr. 1-44; Justin Snow 45-50
POLE WINNER: Brian Pembelton
TIME: 16.024 Sec.
PURE STOCK 30-LAP RACE
POS. NAME LAPS
1. Trey Crews 30
2. Nathan Crews 30
3. Randy Hupp 30
4. Jake Brown 30
5. Eric Crews 30
6. Libby Privette 30
7. Jimmy Wade 30
8. Kevin Bullock 29
9. David Marshall 28
10. Chris Crosby 27
11. Stuart Crews 27
12. Kenny Mills 27
13. Daniel Crews 26
14. Joe Allred 3
15. Bruce Mayo 3
TIME OF RACE: 36 Min.
AVG. SPEED: 21.297 MPH
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.177 Sec.
LAP LEADERS: Trey Crews 1-30
POLE WINNER: Joe Allred III
TIME: 18.244 Sec.
SPEED: 78.930 MPH