Kenny Collins made his trip from Colbert, Ga., to Laurens County Speedway Tuesday night one to cherish.
Collins set a Carolina Clash record for qualifying at LCS to win the pole position, then survived a 16-car field to win the 35-lap main event of the 38th Laurens County Shrine Race, his first such victory.
Zack Mitchell finished second, with Jeff Smith in third, Brett Hamm fourth and Dennis Franklin fifth.
Collins won the pole with a time of 14.405 seconds.
The first attempt at opening the race was negated due to an illegal start, but on the next start, Franklin and Collins quickly dueled for the top spot before Collins edged ahead of Franklin for the lead.
After a caution on Lap 2, Collins used his starting spot alone on Row 1 and got off to a good start. Smith managed to get to second on the restart, but Collins was already building his lead to more than 1.5 seconds through four laps. The lead continued to grow and grow for Collins as he made the race look too easy, going up by two seconds through the ninth lap, was near a three-second lead two laps later, and by the end of the 16th lap had already established a whopping 4.159-second edge.
A caution on Lap 20 for debris bunched the field again. Collins used a good restart to re-establish a safe lead. Mitchell slipped by Smith for second place.
Collins weathered one more yellow-flag slowdown but wasn’t seriously challenged.
Results: 1. Kenny Collins; 2. Zack Mitchell; 3. Jeff Smith; 4. Brett Hamm; 5. Dennis Franklin; 6. Will Harris; 7. Anthony Sanders; 8. David Yandle; 9. Travis Pennington; 10. Adam Yarbrough.
11. Kale Green; 12. Frank Coates; 13. Bryson Harper; 14. Larry Grube; 15. Kevin Godwin; 16. Mike Kernells.
Thunder Bombers: Scott Pulley took home the victory in the first main event of the night in the Thunder Bombers Division, with Dylan Chappell second and Rod Tucker third.
The race was stopped due to a caution on the fifth lap, and during the time Chappell had some work done on his right front side, while Lawson also had work done to his car, but both were able to continue on. Tucker, meanwhile, kept at it in first. Lawson suffered a flat right-front tire on the seventh lap and pitted under caution. He eventually took sixth.
The rest of the race went off caution-free. Pulley finally got alongside of Tucker with three laps to go, and by the time he got to the line, Pulley managed to put himself up by .13 seconds on Tucker. Tucker’s luck, as it turned out, ran out after he was passed for the lead as Chappell soon sped on and took over second.
602 Crate: Billy Rushton won an early battle with Dale Timms in the 20-lap main event. Austin Mintz was second and Colt Smith third.
Rushton and Timms started own the front row, and the two veterans quickly set out to battle for the entire race. Timms held the early lead on Rushton through two laps, with Rushton eventually trying to go low for a pass but unable to get by early on. The two still dueled until both were involved in an accident in turn 3, with Timms going around. Four other cars spun to avoid a major crash, and all got through safely.
Under the caution, however, Timms appeared to let the emotion of the race get to him as he came up on Rushton and hit his car. Rushton did not take the bait to retaliate against Timms and stayed in the race, but Timms was disqualified.
Rushton managed to stay just far enough ahead through a pair of later cautions. Mintz had one final charge at the end in hopes of stealing the victory, but Rushton was able to turn back the challenge and seal the victory.
4-Cylinder: Phillip Wilson won the 20-lap main event, with Rod Tucker finishing second in his second main event on the night. Scott Nelson was third.
Tucker and Larry Teal started the main event on the front row, with Wilson on the inside of Row 2. The first attempt at starting the race was negated due to caution, but on the second start, Tucker managed to hold the lead with Teal and Wilson chasing close behind. Teal went to the inside through the first two turns and managed to take first for a split-second, only to see Tucker come back and hold the spot again. Teal, however, lost his momentum and quickly fell down to fifth place, then spun out to bring out a caution.
Once the race reached the halfway mark, Wilson took advantage of a little wiggle from Tucker’s car to allow him to get in front. Tucker tried to get the spot back by going to a high line, but by doing so he actually lost ground. Wilson quickly build a lead of more than a second on Tucker, and eventually pulled away to a victory of 2.299 seconds.
FWD: As the clock moved past the witching hour of midnight and Tuesday turned into Wednesday morning, Travis Jamieson proved the top driver in the division as he took home the victory. Danny Anthony was second and Spud Ammons was third.
At the start of the race, it appeared the duel for victory would be between Joel Cabe and Mason Mack, who started on the front row. The two did, in fact, start out strong, with Cabe going under Mack to try and make a pass. The move proved unsuccessful, though, as Mack was sent into the turn 3 wall and even rode the top of the wall for a moment, bringing out the caution. Cabe was disqualified for his actions in the crash, while Mack was able to drive on.
Jamieson and Anthony moved into the front row on the restart, and when the race resumed, Jamieson was able to move out in front. The race quickly entered a stop-and-start mode as three more cautions came out in the next four laps. Jamieson managed to hold onto the top spot through each stoppage, and Anthony remained in second, with Scott Hendricks following in third, Ammons fourth and Jason Bishop in fifth. Jamieson again had a good start when the green flag flew again, while Anthony had to fight off Hendricks for second place. When the race reached the halfway mark in the 20-lap battle, the lead for Jamieson reached 3.633 seconds. The advantage crawled closer to five seconds by the time there were four laps to go, but a caution flag wiped out the lead. Jamieson avoided any pratfalls and won going away.