Lathroum nabs impressive Winchester victory
By Jason Shank and Clifford DoveDirtonDirt.com correspondents
WINCHESTER, Va. (May 9) — Grabbing one of the biggest victories of his career, Jamie Lathroum of Mechanicsville, Md., outdueled Robbie Blair of Titusville, Pa., amid lapped traffic to lead the final 10 laps of the Lee Stultz Memorial at Winchester Speedway. Lathroum's 40-lap victory on the first-year O'Reilly All Star Series paid a career-high $5,000. | Slideshow
Jason Covert of York Haven, Pa., finished second at the 3/8-mile oval while Blair settled for third. Two drivers on a break from the World of Outlaws Late Model Series — Rick Eckert of York, Pa., and Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va. — rounded out the top five finishers in the third O'Reilly All Star event of the season. Points leader Boom Briggs of Bear Lake, Pa., winner of the first two series events, was 18th at Winchester.
Blair jumped into the lead over fellow front-row starter Gerald Davis of Delray, W.Va., at the outset, and Blair was in command when the event's only caution flew on the ninth lap for a turn-two tangle triggered by contact between Bo Feathers and Andy Anderson. Jared Hawkins, Coleby Frye, Jared Miley and Alan Sagi were also involved; only Feathers wasn't able to continue.
Lathroum was up to second for the restart, and he began to stalk Blair as the leader entered lapped traffic. Covert and Eckert were also in pursuit.
By the 25th lap, Lathroum was on Blair's rear deck, looking to make a move. He pulled alongside on lap 29 and the frontrunners ran door-to-door until Lathroum edged ahead. Blair stayed with him for a few laps before Lathroum began edging away. As Lathroum went on to the checkered flag, Covert nabbed the runner-up spot from Blair with three laps remaining.
Notes: Lathroum's Ford-powered No. 6 is sponsored by Three Mules Welding Supplies, Abell Auto Glass, Superior Tank and Double J Grafix. ... Lathroum got his first career win at Winchester. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature lineup: Scott Lebarron, Gary Stuhler, Tyler Armstrong, Brad Omps, Duane Chamberlain, Booper Bare, Mike Knight, Roland Mann and Nick Dickson. ... Bryan Wright won the track's Limited Late Model feature. ... Next up for the O'Reilly All Star Series is a May 23 event at K-C Raceway in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Lee Stultz Memorial: (1) Jamie Lathroum, (2) Jason Covert, (3) Robbie Blair, (4) Rick Eckert, (5) Josh Richards, (6) J.T. Spence, (7) D.J. Myers, (8) Gerald Davis, (9) Ronnie DeHaven Jr., (10) Andy Anderson, (11) Jeremy Miller, (12) Tommy Armel, (13) Ricky Elliott, (14) Coleby Frye, (15) Keith Jackson, (16) Mike Lupfer, (17) Brian Tavenner, (18) Boom Briggs, (19) Rod Conley, (20) Jared Miley, (21) Tony Crim, (22) Jared Hawkins, (23) Alan Sagi, (24) Kris Eaton, (25) Bo Feathers. Fast qualifier (among 40 cars): Richards, 16.524 seconds. Heat race winners: Miller, Lathroum, Spence, Covert. Consolation winners: Lupfer, Anderson.
Correction: Fixes that it wasn't Lathroum's richest victory; he earned more than $6,000 last fall at Delaware International Speedway.