Ponderosa victory gives Lee record third straight win
By Michael DespainO'Reilly Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series
JUNCTION CITY, Ky. (May 30) — Leading the final 27 laps at Ponderosa Speedway, reigning series champion Victor Lee of Stanford, Ky., won the ninth annual Junebug Rowland Memorial to become the first driver in O'Reilly Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series history to win three straight events. Lee, whose previous wins came in Brownstown, Ind., and Tazewell, Tenn., earned $3,000 for his fourth career series victory as he continued to increase his series points lead. | Audio slideshow | Ponderosa notebook | Slideshow
Tyrel Todd of Eubank, Ky., overtook Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., in the final corner to narrowly grab the second spot while Jeff Watson of Campbellsville, Ky., rallied from his 19th starting spot to finish fourth. Brad Neat of Dunnville, Ky., rounded out the top five in a 45-minute race slowed by eight cautions.
Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., led at the outset with Aaron Hatton, Damon Eller, Michael Chilton and Lee among those battling in the top five early. Two spins by Don O'Neal and a Watson spin slowed the early going and Lee worked his way into second following a lap-five restart. The frontrunners began working traffic and Wells ran into trouble attempting to lap Rocky Hodges as they collided in turn three, knocking Wells out of the race with suspension damage.
Lee inherited the lead for the restart in the 40-lapper and stayed in command the rest of the way while Watson worked his way back into the top five in the second half of the race. The fast-qualifying Hatton ran among the leaders much of the race before ending up 16th.
Notes: Lee's victory came in a Frank Revel Motorsports-owned Rayburn Race Car powered by a Jay Dickens engine and sponsored by Kentucky’s Best, Budda Bert Transmission Sales and Service, Junction City Quick Stop, Tim Logan Racing and Xtreme Style Signs and Graphics. ... Jeff Watson's 19th-to-fourth run gave him the PPM Racing Products Hard Charger award. ... The series heads to 201 Speedway in Sitka, Ky., for a $3,000-to-win event on June 7.
O'Reilly BoB @ Ponderosa: (1) Victor Lee, (2) Tyrel Todd, (3) Mike Marlar, (4) Jeff Watson, (5) Brad Neat, (6) Don O’Neal, (7) Dustin Linville, (8) Mike Jewell, (9) David Webb, (10) Bobby Wolter Jr., (11) Zach Carney, (12) Dustin Neat, (13) Royce McGowan, (14) Larry Gray, (15) Arnie Fields, (16) Aaron Hatton, (17) Bobby Carrier Jr., (18) Joey Daniel, (19) Chris Combs, (20) Michael Chilton, (21) Damon Eller, (22) Eric Wells, (23) Rocky Hodges, (24) Tim Tungate. Fast qualifier (among 27 cars): Hatton, 13.275 seconds. Heat race winners: Lee, Eller, Chilton, Wells. Consolation winner: Wolter. Provisional starters: Tungate, Gray, Carrier, McGowan.