Leavell scores SBB double at Hagerstown
HAGERSTOWN, Md. (June 9) — Joey Leavell of Waynesboro, Va., swept a pair of Steel Block Bandits features Saturday at Hagerstown Speedway, winning the rain-postponed Richard “Boney” Bonebrake Memorial along with an added series feature. He earned $3,000 in all.
Leavell captured his first-ever Hagerstown victories and tied Walker Arthur of Forest, Va., as the winningest driver in series history with five checkered flags. Justin Weaver of nearby Williamsport, Md., was second in both races, a combined seven seconds back.
“This car drives awesome,” Leavell said following his second victory. “It just drives in the corner, go in real hard and it tracks good, it goes anywhere I want to go. I kept thinking (on restarts) — ‘Nail the lift point in turn one, don’t over drive it or under drive it,' because I knew he’d be there.”
Because rain postponed the Bonebrake Memorial on April 28 before the final consolation race, Hagerstown rescheduled the race and added an additional Steel Block Bandits event.
In the first feature, Glenn Elliott jumped out to lead with series point leader Andy Fries taking second from polesitter Rick Hulson after starting fourth. Fries overtook Elliott following a lap-three caution to lead the fourth lap, while the fifth-starting Leavell moved into third and on the eighth lap, then went by Elliott and Fries to take command.
Leavell was out front more than two seconds at a lap-12 caution and, on the restart, again began to stretch his distance on Elliott, who held to second until Fries drove past on the 18th. Leavell was still pulling away and more than five seconds ahead by the last caution on lap 22.
On the restart, he immediately dashed away from Fries and more than three seconds ahead with five to go when the ninth-starting Weaver took the runner-up spot. Weaver never got close as Leavell was still hammer down and took the checkered 5.561 seconds ahead.
"This thing can get in the corner so good, and it makes it easy to drive,” Leavell said. "I can’t say enough about the Barry Wright chassis. Every time I call down there and talk to (Wright), he tells me what to do to make it right. I do it and it makes it right every time.”
Fries, Elliott and Arthur were next to the line. Tyler Armstrong came from 23rd to claim sixth.
In the second feature, Leavell started outside the front row and beat Weaver around the first corners and again began to show his strength by pulling away to three seconds by a lap-six caution.
The race remained green on the restart and went to the 19th as Leavell was four seconds ahead when he began through the rear of the field on lap 15. On the next circuit, he had three racers between himself and Weaver.
A lap-19 caution gave Leavell open track, and Weaver couldn’t mount a challenge then or following a lap-23 restart as Leavell pulled away to score the double by 2.121 seconds. Elliott was third with Armstrong and Wayne Walls Jr. completing the top five. Kyle Lear was sixth as Arthur came from 14th to finish seventh.
Steel Block Bandits (first feature): (1) Joey Leavell, (2) Justin Weaver, (3) Andy Fries, (4) Glenn Elliott, (5) Walker Arthur, (6) Tyler Armstrong, (7) Bruce Kane, (8) Brent Smith, (9) Chaz Walls, (10) Wes Bonebrake, (11) Cory Houck, (12) Ryan Hackett, (13) Kyle Lear, (14) Nick Pappas, (15) Mike Walls, (16) Paul Cursey, (17) Couirney Shreiner, (18) Scott Palmer, (19) Billy Beacher, (20) Matt Howsare, (21) J) T)� Spence, (22) Denny Bonebrake, (23) Rick Hulson, (24) Pete Weaver)
Steel Block Bandits (second feature): (1) Joey Leavell, (2) Justin Weaver, (3) Glenn Elliott, (4) Tyler Armstrong, (5) Wayne Walls Jr) , (6) Kyle Lear, (7) Walker Arthur, (8) Denny Bonebake, (9) Andy Fries, (10) Nick Pappas, (11) Sammy Schaffer, (12) Will Rowe, (13) Scott Palmer, (14) Chaz Walls, (15) Scott Palmer, (16) Cory Houck, (17) Paul Cursey, (18) Scott Cross, (19) Billy Beacher, (20) Chad Myers, (21) Brent Smith, (22) Bruce Kane, (23) Rick Hulson, (24) Randy Burkholder).