Old Dominion Speedway / October 3, 2002

It’s Official: Mike Darne Crowned Track Champ…….

The wait is over. After over 20 races, and 6 months of competition, it all came down to one night, one race, one position. After numerous reviews from track officials and then NASCAR themselves, the final verdict was released today. Mike Darne from Warrenton Va. has been crowned the 2002 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Presented by Dodge Late Model Champion at the Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas Va. The decision came from NASCAR 5 days after the final checkers had flown at the famed 3/8 mile oval. What it came down to was whether or not a driver had been scored a lap down. One driver, and one position, made all the difference. Had Darne finished one position farther back, the points would have been tied, which would have given Mark McFarland the title because McFarland had more wins throughout the season. But as it stands, Darne takes the title by a scant 2 points.

Bailey's 100 Feature Winner
Mark McFarland

Old Dominion Speedway / September 28, 2002

Track Champions Crowned at Old Dominion Speedway…….

It was the final night of NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Presented by Dodge at the Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas Va., and, with just a touch of controversy, the 2002 track champions were crowned. The major story was the battle for the Late Model Stock Car track championship. Heading into the night’s activities, Mike Darne had a 20 point advantage over Mark McFarland. Darne could finish 9 spots behind McFarland and still secure the track title. On the schedule was the Bailey’s 100 lap feature, and the stage was set for a show-down. McFarland started on the front row and led the 25 car field into turn one, while Darne battled for the 5th spot. But about midway through the event, Darne was involved in an altercation on the back straight, causing major damage to the front of his Chevy. It took the crew several pit stops to tear away the sheet metal from the mangled machine,  as twice Darne streaked down pit road with sheet metal dangling from the front of the car. But on the third attempt to clear the damaged pieces, the crew took just a tick too long, and Darne lost a lap in the pits. On the restart, McFarland had the advantage he needed to secure the title, with Darne now a lap down. But a late race caution involving 2 of the 11 cars that were ahead of Darne in the running order, put Darne in the 10th spot, which is where he would need to finish. He then managed to bring what was left of his machine home to that 10th place finish, taking home the title by a scant 2 points. However, at the time of this release, there has been a protest involving the scoring of a lapped car, which, in effect, could change everything. Darne, who was the first of the lapped cars to cross the stripe at the end, is now scored as finishing 9th. Matt Bucher, who was the second car one lap down, finished behind Darne. The scoring issue is that whether Bucher was a lap down. If he is found to be a lap down, the title is Darne’s. If he is found to be still on the lead lap, Bucher finishes 10th, Darne goes to 11th, and the title goes to McFarland. The protest has been filed and will go to NASCAR. Stay tuned……
In other racing action, Jim Todd Jr. took home the win in the 50 lap Redman Fleet Service Grand Stock event. Jimmy Hardin had already secured the track title for the second year in a row in that division. Keith Machliet took the win in the 30 lap Mini Stock feature. Sean Dawson claimed his second track title in a row in the 4 cylinder class. James Lucas came across the stripe with two flat tires after an altercation on the final lap for the Gaston Automotive Speedway Sportsman 25 lap feature, and took the win after apparent winner Jeff Pearson was found illegal. Jeff Sisak came home with a top five finish to secure the track title in the division. And Kyle Hendershott became a 3 time feature winner in the Legends division, dominating the field in the 30 lap Legends feature. Kevin Yeatts finally was able to complete the final event and take home his first track title at ODS.




Feature Winners From 9/28/02
From Top Left:
Kyle Hendershott - INEX Legends
Keith Machliet - Mini Stock
Jim Todd Jr. - Redman Fleet Service Grand Stock
James Lucas - Gaston Automotive Speedway Sportsman