Cleveland County Speedway
Hendren wins father's memorial at Lawndale
LAWNDALE, N.C. (Sept. 16) — Steve Hendren won a satisfying, if not lucrative, victory Friday at Cleveland County Speedway, leading all 40 laps of the inaugural Bill Hendren Memorial.
While Hendren was in line for $2,000 in purse money and another $2,000 in bonuses and contingencies, he left without any cash after pledging his earnings to the Hospice of Rutherford County that helped care of his late father. | Slideshow
"My goal is to leave here with a race car and a huge sense of pride," Hendren told the other 45 competitors before the event. Hendren achieved that goal after helping organize the successful event, working the phones three weeks to build cash and prizes for the Fastrak Southeast touring event for Crate Late Models.
Hendren continued his work at the racetrack behind the wheel, capturing the night's Dash for Cash, starting up front in the 40-lapper, and dominating at the 4/10-mile oval by lapping all but seven competitors.
“We had a really good car tonight and it was just meant to be," said an emotional Hendren in victory lane. "I think my dad would have been really proud of this race and all the people that had a part in it. I am very proud to be the winner. I need to thank all these fans for coming out and hanging here with us. And I really want to thank all of the drivers, car owners, sponsors and everyone who helped to make this race such a great success. We are looking forward to making next year even bigger and better.”
Brandon Umberger of Rural Retreat, Va., finished second and took the Fastrak Southeast points lead while David Watts of Buchanan, Va., came home third. Dennis Franklin of Gaffney, S.C., and Jeff Smith of Dallas, N.C., rounded out the top five finishers.
The race was slowed by five incidents, the most serious when Furman Parton of Union Mills, S.C., slammed the right side of his brand new car into a tire barrier in turn one. The car was destroyed after briefly going airborne before returning to earth on four tires, but Parton wasn't hurt.
Notes: Hendren's Lazer Chassis is powered by a Hendren GM 604 and sponsored by Mike's Custom Tanks, Parton Lumber, FK Rod Ends, Fragola Performance, Heintz Performance, R2C Filters and DirtWrap. ... The 49-minute feature ended after 1:30 a.m. ... Chris Ferguson of Mount Holly, N.C., finished 10th and won Circle K Hard Charger honors. ... Ricky Weeks of Rutherfordton, N.C., scratched from a second-row starting spot after engine problems in the dash. ... David Smith of Inman, S.C., entered the event leading Fastrak Southeast points but struggled to a 14th-place finish in an ill-handling car. ... Owen Osteen earned $300 for his victory in the non-qualifiers' race as he topped Douglas Davis, Noel Tucker, Gib Gibbons and Roger Pate. ... Fastrak Southeast and Mideast touring drivers head to Wythe Raceway in Rural Retreat, Va., on Sept. 24 for a $3,000-to-win event, the makeup of the Super Nationals rained out Labor Day weekend.
Bill Hendren Memorial: (1) Steve Hendren, (2) Brandon Umberger, (3) David Watts, (4) Dennis Franklin, (5) Jeff Smith, (6) Chris Steele, (7) Steve Banal, (8) Matt Long, (9) Lee Cooper, (10) Chris Ferguson, (11) Donald Bradsher, (12) Brian Connor, (13) Chad Hale, (14) David Smith, (15) Doug Sanders, (16) Kenny Peeples Jr., (17) Brian Ligon, (18) Vic Chandler, (19) Jonathan Davenport, (20) Ron Parker, (21) Jordan Dill, (22) Jeff Cooke, (23) Furman Parton, (24) Jensen Ford, (25) Trent Ivey. Scratched: Ricky Weeks. Fast qualifier (among 46 cars): Umberger, 18.403 seconds. Heat race winners: Franklin, Davenport, Banal, J. Smith, D. Smith. Dash winner: Hendren. Non-qualifiers' race winner: Owen Osteen.