Nashville, TN (Saturday, April 16, 2022) – An overcast Saturday night greeted the fans and drivers at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway for night number two of the US Legends and INEX Nashville Spring National. After a successful Friday night with just Bandoleros and Legends, Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers Super Trucks were added to the card, alongside a Pro Late Model 100 Lap night cap.
After setting fast time for the second event of the season, Chase Johnson and William Hale led the field to the green flag. Hale, after blowing an engine during practice Friday night, jumped out to the lead down the backstretch. Then, as the field was exiting turn four, Hale and Johnson made contact sending Hale spinning into the turn four wall. The spin collected Cole Williams, Steven Chunn, and Bennie Hamlett spun to avoid. The crash brought an end to the night for Hale and Chunn.
On the restart, Johnson brought the field back to the green flag, now alongside Dylan Fetcho. Johnson took control of the race, leading for the first 25 laps until the second caution of the night flew on lap 25 when Jim Wall spun in turns three and four. On the restart, Hunter Wright found his way around Johnson and took the lead officially on lap 26.
The race stayed green for just shy of 20 laps before another caution flew on lap 41. Michael Bolden and former Track Champion, Jackson Boone had been battling for position for several laps before Bolden seemed to have finally passed Boone going into turn one. Then, as the pair exited turn two, Bolden got loose and had to chase the car out to the wall. Bolden appeared to make contact with the wall, and Boone had no where to go before driving into the back of Bolden. Boone would end up stopping in turn four bringing out the yellow before going to the garage. Bolden was able to continue.
The race resumed but was quickly slowed again when Jake Bollman’s number 25 suddenly spun in turn two following the restart. The field mostly managed to avoid him, but issues in the front of the car would draw the end of the night for the California native.
After the lap 41 restart, the race remained green the rest of the way. Initially it appeared as though Wright would have to earn his first career Nashville Pro Late Model win by holding off Johnson and 12th place starting Brent Crews – but that narrative quickly changed when Stacey Crain, longtime competitor at NFS, started quickly working his way through the field. Crain all but erased an over 2.5 second deficit, and came from outside the top ten to within striking distance of Wright by the 10 lap to go mark. Crain was able to get close to Wright, but passing him was an entirely different story.
With two laps to go, Crain looked to the inside of Wright going into turn one, but Wright defended the move, keep Crain behind him for another lap. Then, with the white flag in the air, Crain was able to put a fender to the inside of Wright going into turn one. The pair met in the middle of the corner, sending Wright sideways up the hill, nearly spinning off turn two. Crain rolled out of the gas and let Wright save the racecar, and the pair raced back into turn three. Crain had nothing left for Wright, who cruised across the line for his first career Nashville Pro Late Model Feature win. Wright became emotional in Victory Lane speaking about the dream he has had for so long to win on Nashville’s “big track”.
A small yet entertaining field of Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers Super Trucks unloaded for their first race of the season. Tanner Arms set fast time and rolled from the grid in third behind Jeremy Burns and Joseph Myers. On the start, Myers appeared to miss a shift, stacking up the outside line allowing Jeremy Burns and Arms to slip up to the lead. Once Myers got rolling, he and John Burns quickly tracked down the lead duo. Exiting turn two, Jeremy Burns got tight and had to check up to keep from hitting the backstretch wall, in doing so, Arms rocketed by and took the lead.
Arms seemed to be on his way to another fairly easy win in Nashville, until attempting to go around the slower car of Brittany Climer on lap 11. The two made contact on the front stretch, sending Climer spinning down to the inside wall. The incident ended Climer’s night, but Arms was able to continue.
Arm’s truck appeared no worse for the wear, as he raced on for the final 14 laps holding off father-in-law John Burns to pick up his first win of the 2022 season.
The US Legends conducted their final features of the week as well. The division winners were: Laquan McCoy (Beginner Bandolero); Nicolas Denton (Bandit Bandolero); Alex Hartwig (Outlaw Bandolero); TJ DeCaire (Young Lions); Jensen Jorgensen (Pro); Robbie Woodall (Master); Jarrett Wagman (Semi-Pro).
The next event at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway is the North/South Super Late Model Challenge on Saturday, May 7th. The Southern Super Series and ARCA/CRA Super Series will go head-to-head for 100 laps about NFS. Plus, The ARCA Menards East Series will compete in the Music City 200. Advanced tickets are available now at www.NashvilleFairgroundsSpeedway.Racing.
Story – Zach Hiser, Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
Photo – Hunter Wright Facebook