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Crews wins 50-lap Pure Stock

Stuart Crews has made the most of his two racing opportunities thus far at South Boston Speedway.

The Long Island driver took home his first Budweiser Pure Stock victory of the season Thursday in the pre-July 4 50-lap race, taking the pole and leading each lap to win over his brother, Eric Crews.

Greg Autry of South Boston finished third, and Mikkie Milam of Ringgold and Bruce Mayo of Halifax rounded out the top-five finishers in a race with a 10-car field, the largest of the season thus far.

Stuart Crews, who finished second in his first race of the year on June 28, held a comfortable margin over the rest of the field until Eric Crews came on strong in the second half of the race.

Eric Crews passed Johnny Layne for second-place on lap 20 and pushed his brother to the end.

Stuart and Eric Crews, running one-two at the time managed to avoid the spinning car of Harrison Walker coming out of turn four on lap 48, and the elder Crews held off his brother for the win by 0.667 seconds.

“It’s pretty cool to win this 50-lap race,” said the race winner in Victory Lane.

“It was really a long race, and I didn’t think it would ever end with the way the cautions were falling.

“I thought my little brother was going to pass me at the end, but luckily we had that caution and I was able to hold him off.”

The late caution hurt him more than it helped him, Eric Crews admitted.

“I think Stuart would have me on the short runs but after we were running a little while it seemed like I gained on him,” he explained.

“When that caution came out, I think it hurt me, but we had a good run for our first race of the season.  We hadn’t run much this year.”

Autry had to start at the rear of the field after making post-qualifying mechanical adjustments to his racecar.

He was in the top-seven by lap 18 and cracked the top-four by lap 25 before passing Milam for third on the final lap.

“We hadn’t even prepped this car and came right out here and qualified,” explained Autry.

“I had to start at the very back, so all in all, a pretty good night.” 

Stuart Crews qualified on the pole with a time of 18.607 seconds (77.390 MPH) for a race that took 26 minutes to complete and was delayed by cautions three times.