Nashville, TN (Sunday, October 18, 2020) – On a night that marked the second the final show of the 2020 season for seven Local Racing divisions, the Whelen Super Trucks crowned a Track Champion Saturday night at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. The pressure to have a successful night was on for all eight divisions and their championship contenders.
The Pro Late Models capped off the evening with what would seemingly be a calm 100 laps around the 5/8ths mile oval. That all changed after lap 83 when race leader Mason Mingus made contact with back marker Mike Murray, sending Murray spinning down the front stretch.
On the ensuing restart, Mingus and Dylan Fetcho were locked in a battle for the top spot, with Cole Williams and Hunter Wright directly behind them. With eight laps to go, Fetcho got loose coming off the fourth turn, opening the door for Williams on the inside. Entering turn one, Williams car got loose under Fetcho, sending both cars up the hill and ultimately spinning Fetcho around. Because contact from Williams turned Fetcho around, both drivers were sent to the tail of the field – handing things back over to Mingus and Rookie of the Year Points Leader Wright.
On the next restart, Mingus got loose under Wright at the exit of turn two, which opened the door for Christopher Tullis down the back stretch. Mingus and Wright made contact halfway down the straightaway and Tullis took advantage with a massive run going into three. By the time the drivers got to turn three, it was a three-wide battle for the top spot, with Tullis on the inside, Mingus in the middle, and Wright on the high line. Mingus attempted to clear Tullis low, but didn’t have the room and spun off the nose of the 12T machine; both vehicles took a slide up the turn three embankment into Wright’s number 29 machine and all three hit the outside wall. Howie DiSavino and William Hale also received contact and slight damage from the incident.
Another restart on lap 92, this time the field led by DiSavino and Michael Bolden. The race went green the rest of the way, with Michael House taking the lead on lap 96 after Bolden got loose in turns one and two; House went on to collect his first NFS win of the 2020 season. As for championship leaders Williams and Fetcho, they came across the line third (Williams) and fourth (Fetcho).
With Wright’s crash, the Pro Late Model Points battle is now mathematically between Williams and Fetcho with one race remaining during the All American 400 weekend. Williams unofficially has the advantage by just four points after Saturday night’s races. As for the Rookie of the Year title, Wright now holds just a one-point lead over Chase Johnson heading in to the final weekend. Had Wright not set fast time earlier in the day, he likely would have lost the Rookie of the Year Points lead.
The Whelen Super Trucks had the task of wrapping up the 2020 season Saturday night, including deciding who would be the 2020 Track Champion. Heading into the evening, Tanner Arms held a slim two-point lead over future father-in-law John Burns. Arms came out of the gate ready to put up a fight, grabbing his first Fast Qualifier Award of the season, while Burns qualified fifth. A season high 13 trucks were in attendance for the final race of the season, and 30 laps awaited them. Troy Hall and Nicholas Formosa led the field to green ahead of Arms and Burns who started side-by-side in row two.
At the drop of the green, Hall quickly jumped out to the lead after a short battle with Formosa. Behind Hall, a battle raged on with Burns trying to find his way around Arms and Formosa in an attempt to close the five-point difference between he and Arms. One single car spin and a red flag slowed the race; the red displayed when Larry Deal and Gene Albert crashed hard on the backstretch – both drivers were ok.
At the finish, Hall picked up the win with Tanner Arms in second, Bobby Terry third and John Burns in fourth. Unofficially, Arms was declared the 2020 Whelen Super Trucks Track Champion, denying Burns his second straight title.
On the 1/4-mile, tempers flared and the points battle stays in a near dead heat between Kevin Rollins and Jeff Belt heading into the final weekend. Jonathan Dishman picked up his first win of the season, ahead of Rollins and Belt who exchanged contact on the track and pleasentries after the race. Unofficially, Belt takes a one-point lead into Championship Weekend.
Drama found the Pure Stock division as well, when Travis Ryman, who crossed the line first, was disqualified in post race tech inspection. Unofficially, Dylan Jones collected the win, while championship points leader Phillip McCord will get credit for second and Joshua Hood third.
Following an opening lap flip on the backstretch byt Jesse Litchford, the Pest Doctor Front Runners ran a mostly clean 25 laps. Matt Hamlett drove his way to the Winner Cirlce ahead of Daniel Harper and Josh Harrell.
The BH Holmes Contstruction Legends saw their fair share of excitement for their 25 lap feature. On lap one, four cars spun in turn number one cueing up the first caution flag of the night; all cars continued. After a restart coming to the five-to-go signal, Wayne Grubb spun at the exit of turn for, causing multiple other cars to have contact, including the 38 of Galen Clark. Clark’s machine went up in flames down the front stretch, but he was able to get the car stopped and get out of the vehicle without further incident. With four laps to go, Maxwell powered around the outside of points leader Byrson Shaffer to take the top spot. Maxwell would go on to win ahead of Shaffer and Fetcho.
For the Street Stocks, Carl Porter, Jr led nearly wire-to-wire for his fourth feature win of the season. He bested Larry Cunningham and Brian Frazer for the win.
The Dye Hard Hair Salon Bandoleros kicked the night off as they always, and Taylor Corum picked up a hard fought win over Austin Harrison.
The next event at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway is the All American 400 weekend, with racing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 30th through November 1st. Tickets are available now at www.nashvillefairgroundsspeedway.racing. Search for Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on Facebook and Twitter @RaceFairgrounds.
Story – Zach Hiser, Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
Photo – Tanner Arms Facebook