McFarland Scores Win Number 14 ..
In perhaps his toughest challenge thus far, Mark McFarland
from Winchester Va. took home his 14th win in 16 tries Saturday night at the
Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas. Starting from the 6th spot, McFarland
survived a first lap caution period, and took over the top spot on lap 60 from early
leader Andreas Kestermann, and went on to take home yet another victory in the Dodge
Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car 75 lap feature.
In qualifying, McFarland was the quickest for the 10th time, circling the 3/8 mile oval in his Popeyes Dodge in 15.48 seconds. Mike Southard qualified his Try-It Racing Chevy at 15.58 seconds, followed by the Century 21 Ford of Jack Bailey with a 15.72 lap. Rounding out the top five was Danny Fair in a back up Popeyes Dodge with a 15.74 lap, and Kestermann with a 15.75 lap.
On the initial green, Jimmy Hardin, who had started on the pole, led the 24 car field into turn one. But the action heated up as the field came out of turn 4 when Bailey got sideways and rammed into the side of McFarland. Bailey then came back up the track and collected Southard, who slammed into the fence in turn one. The red flag was displayed as officials attended to Southard, who was unhurt in the melee. The crash rendered Southard to a 23rd place finish, knocking him from 4th to 6th in the points. The damage to Baileys car was enough to tear most of the front of his car off. He was able to continue the event, and wound up finishing 15th, many laps off the pace. Meanwhile, the attention was on McFarlands right front tire, which was damaged in the crash. But the young driver was able to manhandle his ride around the competition after just a few laps, and began his assault on Kestermann. McFarland tried on several occasions to pass the veteran driver from Woodbridge, but Kestermann slammed the door. Finally, on lap 60, McFarland was able to make the pass, just 15 laps from the end. He stretched his lead after the pass for the top spot, and breezed to the win. Kestermann held off Danny Fair for second, while Richard Boswell II and David Quackenbush rounded out the top 5.
In the Redman Fleet Service Grand Stock feature, Ron Jardine was in the right place at the right time, and took home his second win of the season in the 50 lap feature. Jardine, who was running third on the final lap, took advantage when Chris Donnelly and Willard Lawrence tangled in turn one while battling for the lead. He was able to dodge the melee, and take home the win. Tom Rice came home a career best second, while Mark Miller, Eric George, and Steve Gibney rounded out the top 5. Donnelly, who wound up eighth, takes over the point lead over Lawrence, who was credited with tenth, by just two points.
Mike Carte led from flag to flag in the 30 lap Mini Stock feature, taking home the checkers for the fourth time in 2003, and Jamie DeMattio held off James Lucas for the win in the 25 lap Gaston Automotive Speedway Sportsman feature. And in a thrilling INEX Legends 50 lap event, Kyle Hendershott took over the lead with just two laps remaining, and beat Roger Austin Jr. to the stripe for his second win in 2003. Finishing third was Kevin Yeatts, followed by Sean Dawson, and Mike Bryant.
Next Saturday night, the Old Dominion Speedway oval track is closed. Racing action returns to the 3/8 mile oval on Saturday night, August 23rd, with a 100 lap feature for the Late Models. Also on the schedule is a 30 lap feature for the INEX Legends, and a special 75 lap feature for the Mini Stocks. The Grand Stocks will compete in a 50 lap event, along with a 25 lap feature for the Speedway Sportsman, and a special event for the BDE Racing Series Pro Mini Cups. Qualifying begins at 5:15 PM, with racing action set for a special start time of 6:30 PM.
(Photos Courtesy Of Johnna Jenkins)