Every season a special night rolls across the calendar, the annual Shrine Race. The Laurens County Speedway, the Darlington of Dirt, hosted the 39TH annual Shriners event sponsored by Great Southern Homes.
The Shrine Race is designed to bring awareness and raise funds for local Shriners Hospitals who help families and children in need. To learn more about Shriners Hospitals, find information at www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.
The Thunder Bomber kicked-off the crown jewel Shrine Race event, and never missed a beat bringing the excitement. Before the field took the green, Storm Harsey faced issues on pace laps that would bring an end to his night. The always fast Harsey broke in the middle of three & four which forced the No.55 to stall next to the outside wall. After a brief red flag for fluid on the track, the 39th annual Shrine Race presented by Great Southern Homes would finally get underway! Pole sitter Brandon Satterfield, who earned that mark via his heat race win, would storm the lead through turn two. A three man battle would break our for the third spot between Travis Mabe, Reid Neaderhiser and Chris Lyons. Mabe would hold the spot as the yellow flew for the first time for debris on the front stretch. On the following restart, Brandon Satterfield got caught in his own shenanigans. Being the leader, Satterfield controlled the restart. Satterfield attempted to fake out the second place driver of Dylan Chappell by mashing the gas to then back it down before officially restarting. Officials ruled that Satterfield fired first, allowing the restart to continue without a reset. Chappell snuck around Satterfield for the lead and set sail. Chris Lyons continued to attack Reid Neaderhiser for the third spot, but before he could strike the second caution of the evening fail as Grant Burton spun off of turn four. As the yellow flew, race leader Dylan Chappell faced significant mechanical issues, which saw him fall from the lead to out of the race. The race would go back green with 9 laps to go in the 20 lap feature, as Satterfield once again led the field to green. Just as soon as we got back racing, the field would go back under caution again with Travis Mabe losing a wheel. The same issue would occur with Chris Lyons just laps later. As the final restart came with 4 laps to go, Brandon Satterfield was able to put a gap between himself and the competition. Satterfield scores the Shrine Race win, with Reid Neaderhiser holding off a hungry Johnny Westmoreland for the runner up spot. Ray Cagle finishes fourth, Bo Baker fifth.
Tucker knows best! Rain or SHRINE, Rod Tucker finds victory lane! The 602's were up second on the night, with 2020 LCS winners flooding the front row. Colt Smith and Rod Tucker led the field to green with a war of restarts to kick-off the feature. On attempt number one, Colt Smith got aggressive forcing Tucker up the hill, clearing his Colt-45 machine to the lead. Before the field made it into turn one, the yellow would fly as David Smith spun going into turn one. As the field re-racked, Rod Tucker would take restart number two, powering his way to the lead on the outside of turn two. As the field flew into turn one, Lucas Motte and Nick Coleman came together, forcing Coleman into the outside wall and ending his night before it officially began. With the field getting one last shot at a double file restart, Tucker and Smith would duke it out once again. Tucker would win the tie breaker by snagging the lead once again on the outside. The field would click nearly half the race off before Chris Patterson would have issues off of turn two, putting him in the fence. The remainder of the event saw Tucker dominate the field. Tucker grabs yet another win at the Darlington of Dirt in 2020 for Jimmy Blackwell and company.
“HELLS BAILES”, Ross Bailes passes Trent Ivey in closing laps to secure his third Shrine Race victory! The highlight of the night goes to the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series! Trent Ivey kicked-off the night by rolling out first in qualifying and landing the pole for the feature event. Ivey ran a 13.819, just a tenth off the track record set by 602 driver Rod Tucker earlier this season. Ross Bailes would join Ivey on the front with a 18.837. As the field came to green, Ivey would use the outside lane to grab the top spot, but before he could separate the lone caution for the night flew as Zach Cox took a spin in turn one, with many others getting collected. Fortunately, no damage came from the incident, and all were able to continue. On the restart, Ivey once again took the lead on the outside & separated himself from the field early. A three wide battle for fourth broke out between Rambo Franklin, Michael Brown and Brett Hamm. Up front, Bailes began tracking Ivey for the lead. Ivey continued to utilize the top lane with Bailes running the bottom. Lapped traffic helped Bailes close in briefly before Ivey once again found breathing room. As laps clicked away, Ivey would move to the bottom with Bailes moving back up top. Bailes had a massive run off of turn two with 15 to go, but Ivey threw a block that prevented Bailes from taking the lead. Inside 10 laps to go, Ivey headed into the turn three and would push up the track, opening the door for Bailes to take the lead. Ross Bailes would rocket to the lead, but not without one last shot from Ivey. Ivey attacked Bailes from the bottom, but couldn't get to the quarter panel. Bailes goes on to win his third Shrine Race at the Darlington of Dirt and his first with Big Frog Motorsports. Trent Ivey comes home second with Zach Mitchell coming home third. Rambo Franklin, Brett Hamm, Michael Brown, Kenny Collins, Cla Knight, Jeff Smith and Anthony Sanders would round out the top-ten.
Mr. Wilson!!! Phillip Wilson scores back-to-back wins & back-to-back crown jewel victories at the Darlington of Dirt. Wilson started off the night by winning his heat race which landed him the pole for the main event. Dusty Eaves would join Wilson on the front row, with Scott Nelson and 602 Crate regular Colt Smith in row two. As the green flag waved, Wilson and Eaves battled for the lead early. Both stayed side by side on the opening lap through turns one and two, which continued down the backstretch. Wilson would clear for the lead off of turn four. The single caution for the event came out as Alex Woodard took a spin by himself. Woodard, who's been fast all year long continues to workout issues on his new ride in the Monster Mini division. On the final restart of the night, Wilson, Eaves & Nelson would lead the field. As laps clicked off, the order would stay the same. Phillip Wilson wins his second consecutive race at the Darlington of Dirt! This is Wilson's second crown jewel win of the season, as he also won one of this years Monster Mini Stock Associate (MMSA) events earlier this season. Wilson is just a handful of points behind points lead Larry Teal in the battle for a track championship. Another win could be what it takes to push him back to the top of the standings.
Front Wheel Drive:
The Front Wheel Drive class rounded out the night, and as always a show was expected. Last weeks rivalry between Mason Mack and Travis Jamieson looked to be on showcase again, as both won their heat races to create the front row. With the race underway, Mack would clear to the lead after a shove in the rear from Jamieson in turn one. As Mack separated slightly, the battle for 3rd emerged with Blaise Strickland attacking Justin Harris. The first caution occurred as Kyle Brown had a flat right front tire, which would re-stack the field. The first restart came with 14 laps to go, with Jamieson trying to get to the quarter panel of Mack. Mack once again cleared for the lead, with battles all over the top five breaking out. Stickland continued to pester Harris, and Cody Paige all over the rear bumper of Robert Spencer. At the front, Jamieson began tracking down Mack. Jamieson had great entry, but Mack would find momentum on exit. The second to last caution came with 6 laps to go as Darrien Norwood for the second week in a row had troubles and stalled on the racetrack. On the restart, Mack took off once again with Jamieson going high off of turn four. Mack looked to finally get out of the grasps of the No.135 of Jamieson before the final caution dropped on the evening as Robert Spencer blew an engine in the closing laps. The field would go green one final time, with Mack and Jamieson under a blanket. The battle for third would get intense between Harris, Strickland & Paige, as they went three wide with Harris eventually clearing. For the lead, Jamieson got closer as laps ticked away. On the white flag lap, Mack wiggled in turn one allowing Jamieson to get one last shot in turns three and four. Jamieson got to the bumper of Mack, bumping the 94 car to get side by side off of turn four. With the checkered flag in the air, a roll reversal occurred as Mack turned Jamieson on the front stretch for the win. As Jamieson turned up the track, Mack lost control down the track, forcing his No.94 machine to lose speed quickly. Justin Harris, sitting in third, saw his opportunity to strike & took advantage. “Muddy” Justin Harris beat Mack back to the line by inches to score his first career win at the Darlington of Dirt! Always a crowd favorite & a huge asset around the garage, Harris' win was a popular one. In victory lane, Harris said he was tired of finishing second and taking the trophy home to his momma!