Resurgent Hatton grabs $3,000 at Bardstown
By Michael DespainBluegrass Speedway
BARDSTOWN, Ky. (June 19) — Surging to the front after dropping back to fifth midway through the race, Aaron Hatton of Mount Sterling, Ky., led the last seven laps Saturday at Bluegrass Speedway for a National All Star Racing Association victory. Hatton earned $3,000 and his first-ever victory at the half-mile oval in the ninth annual June Jam after overtaking Mike Jewell of Scottsburg, Ky., on the 24th of 30 laps.
Justin Rattliff of Campbellsville, Ky., as second, duplicating his NASRA victory the previous night at Ponderosa Speedway, while Jewell settled for third. Steve Barnett of Franklin, Ind., led 21 laps but settled for fourth and reigning track champion Dustin Neat of Dunnville, Ky., rounded out the top five.
Barnett got the jump on Hatton at the outset and stretched his lead. Neat dropped Hatton to third on the 13th lap, and Hatton was shuffled back to fifth on lap 17 by Rattliff and Jewell.
Jewell continued his charge, taking third from Rattliff on the 20th lap and then jumping to the high side the next two circuits to go past Neat and then the leading Barnett.
Hatton was also using the high side, following Jewell’s path to grab second and then diving under Jewell in turns one and two on the 24th lap for a lead he’d never give up.
The race’s lone caution appeared in turn three on the first attempt start when Arnie Fields, Michael Chilton, Jeff Watson, Bobby Wolter, Jr., and Christian Rayburn were involved in a scramble; all except Fields continued.
Notes: Hatton’s Draime-powered Rocket is sponsored by Checkered Flag Auto Sales and Russell Hatton Mobile Home Rentals. ... Victor Lee of Stanford, Ky., rallied from 12th to seventh. ... NASRA competitors take a break before another Ponderosa-Bluegrass weekend on July 9-10 feature a pair of $5,000-to-win features.
June Jam: (1) Aaron Hatton, (2) Justin Rattliff, (3) Mike Jewell, (4) Steve Barnett, (5) Dustin Neat, (6) Marty O’Neal, (7) Victor Lee, (8) Todd Coffman, (9) Tim Tungate, (10) Skylar Marlar, (11) Aaron Ridley, (12) Terry English, (13) David Webb, (14) Jeff Watson, (15) Jason Smith, (16) Greg Johnson, (17) Chris Combs, (18) Christian Rayburn, (19) Bobby Wolter Jr., (20) Wesley Brummett, (21) Michael Chilton, (22) Lee Devasier, (23) Arnie Fields, Fast qualifier (among 32 cars): Jewell, 16.314 seconds. Heat race winners: Rattliff, Neat, Hatton, Barnett. Consolation winners: Webb, Watson. Provisional starters: Wolter, Rayburn, Devasier.