Old Dominion Speedway / April 20, 2002

Darne Picks Up First Win In 2002 ………………….

Mike Darne from Warrenton Va. picked up win number one in the 2002 season, breezing to victory in the 75 lap feature for the Bailey’s NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Presented by Dodge Late Model Stock Cars. Darne took over the top spot early in the feature event, and was never pressured throughout the final 30 laps. Earl Case, in the Idylwood Exxon Shop Chevy, paced qualifying with a lap of 15.636. Mark McFarland from Winchester Va., who last Saturday night eclipsed the modern day track record, circled the 3/8 mile oval in his Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits Chevy in 15.682 seconds, which was good enough for the second fastest time of the night. Darne followed with a 15.723. After the inversion, it was Brian Jenkins from Fairfax, Va. on the pole for the feature, and things got interesting from the start. Jenkins appeared to bit off the mark when the green dropped, which bottled up the field behind him. McFarland, who had started 6th as a result of winning last Saturday night, came through the pack quickly, and was battling for the 2nd spot with Darne before the 5th lap. But Jenkins was hung up on the outside where McFarland was, which allowed Darne to go to the low side. Darne darted out in front, with McFarland held up on the outside. After Jenkins was disposed of, McFarland went after Darne, but Darne was strong on this night. Several caution periods early allowed McFarland to close the gap, but the final half of the event was run caution free, and Darne was able to pull away. Crossing the stripe behind Darne and McFarland was James Penny, Stan Owens, defending track champ Dustin Storm, Danny Fair, and Mark Jenkins.
Jimmy Hardin from Pomfret, Md. got back on track, and put his Kitzmillers / Double Eagle Communications Chevy in victory circle for the first time this season in the Redman Fleet Service Grand Stock 50 lap feature. Hardin took the lead early from Chris Donnelly in the Donnelly Concrete Chevy, crossed the stripe 3 cars lengths ahead of Donnelly. Willard Lawrence came home 3rd, followed by Ray Terczak, and last week’s feature winner Jerry Black.
Defending track champion Sean Dawson from Stephen’s City Va. battled last week’s feature winner Keith Machliet to the wire, taking home the checkers in the 30 lap Mini Stock feature. Dawson took over the top spot after early leader Vince Langen broke a wheel while leading the event, sending him into the turn four fence.
Apparent winner Ray Miller was disqualified after post race inspection, handing the win to Ted Queen from Manassas, Va. in the 25 lap Gaston Automotive Speedway Sportsman feature. Queen finished the event 5 car lengths at the end, but after inspection of the new restrictor plates required on the Speedway Sportsman division, it was found that the plate had been tampered with. This resulted in the win and all accrued points being taken from Miller, who now finds himself going from the point lead with 2 races down, to last place in the points chase.
Kevin Yeatts from Powhatan, Va. made a daring move with a lap to go, and took home the checkers in the 30 lap INEX Legends feature. Heavy lapped traffic slowed leader Mike Gwaltney on the back straight, opening a hole on the outside for Yeatts to pick up the lead. He was able to hold off Gwaltney, who tried in vain to take the win, coming up just a few feet short. Brian Curry came home 4th, followed by defending track champ Kyle Hendershott.
Next Saturday night, it’s the Popeye’s 200 lap feature for the Late Models. Also slated is a 50 lap feature for the Grand Stocks, 30 laps for the Mini Stocks, and 25 laps for the Speedway Sportsman. Qualifying begins at 5:15 PM, with racing action set for 7:00 PM.

Saturday night feature winners: Sean Dawson, Jimmy Hardin, Kevin Yeatts