It was a race that kept fans and those in attendance on the edge of their seats as two drivers battled closely for a coveted victory.
Ultimately Mark Gonzales, of Elizabeth City, earned the special 35-lap Rapid Ron’s Racing Sportsman feature win and a $1,000 check, in the largest event for that division this season.
Gonzales had his number 51 Chevrolet in command of the race but was in close pursuit by Will Pritchard.
Pritchard, a long-time competitor, was piloting Ben Worlford’s car for the evening and had it wound up. He made multiple attempts to pass Gonzales and came close to succeeding on several occasions.
It wasn’t until Gonzales crossed the finish line on the last circuit by a narrow margin of a half-second that it was known who had won. Pritchard barely lost out on getting a win, something he was looking forward to.
Following the race Pritchard’s car was disqualified after failing post-race inspection for a weight infraction, giving second to Mark Overman.
Brickhouse continues to leads the championship standings heading into Friday night’s race over Overman. With his second win of the season, Gonzales moves from fourth to third in points.
Brent Robinson became the first two-time winner in 2021 in the Allstar Late Model division. Robinson dominated the 30-lap event to claim his first win since capturing the season-opening race on May 14th. Hunter Bailey recorded the second-place finish with Ryan Steeley grabbing another podium effort with the third-place.
Points leader Billy Hubbard had issues early in the race as his car stopped on the front stretch on lap three, necessitating the only yellow flag of the event. Hubbard was able to refire his machine and take it to the attention of his crew. They made slight repairs and he returned to the event to secure a 11th-place finish. Hubbard moves from first to second in points, as Larry Jackson becomes the new leader.
Dennis Barnes took his Hardees Chevrolet to the front and never looked back in the 20-lap Little Caesars Super Streets contest. The veteran racer from Camden, held off Chris Lincoln who secured the runner-up position and Kolton Stevens took third-place.
Barnes took over the points lead from Kevin Bray who did not start Friday evening’s match after getting in a major incident a few weeks ago that damaged his car. Barnes hopes to snag another title in his final season of racing.
Trevor Battoia notched his fourth win of the year in the 15-lap Biggs Cadillac Buick GMC Stock Fours race on Friday evening. He held off Chris Freeman and Lance Gregory who finished second and third respectively.
Virginia Beach’s Rickie Waters took the R&D Super Fours trophy home after dominating the event and parking his car in winners circle by the races’ conclusion. Dylan Rollinson grabbed another podium finish of second and past track champion Kyle Barnes of Windsor, was third.
Racing resumes this Friday evening, July 23, with the return of the popular traveling wing sprint car touring division, known as the Virginia Sprint Series, which makes its final appearance in Elizabeth City this year. Additionally, the Allstar Late Models will take to the raceway, with the Rapid Ron’s Racing Sportsman, Little Caesars Super Streets and Biggs Cadillac Buick GMC Stock Fours. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. and the competition begins at 8:00 p.m. For more information, dial 252-771-5151.