Spence steers Timmons machine to Hagerstown victory
By Bob VoresHagerstown Speedway
HAGERSTOWN, Md. (April 30) — J.T. Spence of Winchester, Va., led all the way Saturday for a $4,300 victory in the Greg Kerr Memorial, the first-ever D&D Auto Recycling Steel Block Bandits event at Hagerstown Speedway.
Spence, who piloted a No. 16T car owned by Doug Timmons, beat Kyle Lear of Severna Park, Md., to the checkers by 2.47 seconds after avoiding problems late in the 30-lap feature at the half-mile oval. | Slideshow
“When you start on the pole and lead all the way, you have everything to lose,” Spence said. “I lost my brakes there with about five laps to go and that one lapped car about put me in the infield. I was going into three and four with my foot to the floor on the brake and on the gas at the same time trying to get it to turn.”
Reigning series champion Walker Arthur of Forest, Va., was third followed by ninth-starting Tyler Armstrong of St. Thomas, Pa., and 12th-starting Bo Feathers of Winchester.
Spence surged forward on the start to beat Arthur off the second turn while Lear pulled ahead of Rick Singleton and Andy Fries to take third on the third circuit. After a lap-four yellow, fast qualifier Rick Hulson slowed with mechanical problems to retire on the seventh circuit as three cars got together in turn one trying to avoid his slowing racer.
After a 12th-lap caution for a spin in turn four, Spence pulled away from Arthur by more than a second until the 17th circuit, when Fries retired with mechanical problems.
Spence was even stronger following the final restart and pulled away more than two seconds by the 22nd circuit and approached the rear of the field. Lear kept the pressure on Arthur and took the runner-up spot on the white flag lap as Spence worked through lapped traffic to maintain a safe distance.
“Doug and them build one hell of a piece. They have the knowledge and equipment, I just had the privilege of driving it,” Spence said, adding the Greg Kerr Memorial was special for him. “We wanted to win this race. Doug quarter-midget raced with Greg and I knew Tanner (Kerr) and them pretty good so we wanted to see if we could win. I’ve know Tanner for a couple years now. He’s helped on my car. You couldn’t find a nicer family. Greg used to come to the shop and shoot the breeze about racing. This means a lot to win this one.”
Notes: The winning car is sponsored by D&D Auto Recycling, the series sponsor. ... Spence earned $4,100 in purse money and an extra $200 for winning the dash among heat winners. ... The 52 entries was the most for a single race in the tour's three-year history. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature: Duane Harbaugh, Cam Zeigler, Tim Fedder, Wes Bonebrake, Billy Beachler, Rance Garlock, Kristian Looney, Bryan Bernheisel, Ben Bowie, Derick Quade, and Marvin Winters. ... Trever Feathers was on hand but scratched for the night. ... Hagerstown is dark on May 7. ... The track's next Late Model special is the Richard "Boney" Bonebrake Tribute, a $3,000-to-win Three State Flyers event on May 28.
Greg Kerr Memorial: (1) J.T. Spence, (2) Kyle Lear, (3) Walker Arthur, (4) Tyler Armstrong, (5) Bo Feathers, (6) D.J. Troutman, (7) Rick Singleton, (8) Al Shawver Jr., (9) Kenny Moreland, (10) Mike Walls, (11) Cody Lear, (12) Steve Long, (13) Scott Palmer, (14) Kyle Merkel, (15) Donnie Farllng, (16) Matt Parks, (17) Bruce Kane, (18) Corey Weaver, (19) Paul Cursey, (20) Andy Fries, (21) Pete Weaver, (22) Joe Leavell, (23) Rick Hulson, (24) Sean Merkel. Scratched: Booper Bare. Fast qualifier (among 52 cars): Hulson, 19.090 seconds. Heat race winners: Arther, Spence, Lear, Fries, Singleton, Bare. Dash winner: Spence. Consolation winners: Merkel, Parks.