POTOMAC SPEEDWAY: Redemption for Lathroum in Bobby Allen Memorial - Southern Maryland Headline News

POTOMAC SPEEDWAY: Redemption for Lathroum in Bobby Allen Memorial

BUDDS CREEK, Md. (Aug. 10, 2009)—The Mid Atlantic Championship Series super late model touring division came to Potomac Speedway on a perfect August night. Perfect weather, and no rain, after two straight weeks of battling weather greeted some of the region's biggest drivers. Rick Eckert, Jason Covert, Austin Hubbard and Booper Bare all came out to race with local regulars David Williams, DJ Myers, Kyle Lear and Jamie Lathroum among others. A 26 car variety of speedway regulars and touring drivers made up the impressive Super Late Model field.

Jamie Lathroum was the fastest qualifier in time trials, beating out Doug Horton and Darryl Hills. Lathroum won the first qualifying heat convincingly. A wreck on the opening lap of the second qualifying heat took out Scott Cross and Jeff Pilkerton. Rick Eckert took the lead early and went on to win the second qualifying heat. Coleby Frye led every lap of the third qualifier and went on to win easily in a clean race. Other heat winners included Walt Homberg and Donnie Smith in Street Stocks and Thomas Pickeral and John Burch in Hobby Stocks.

The first feature event of the evening was the Strictly Stock feature. Ken Sleight and John Kalin brought them to the green flag. Sleight led the first handful of laps but the cars to beat early on appeared to be John Hardisty and Larry Fuchs driving car number 2. Fuchs battled for the lead on lap eight but a blown tire took him out of contention moving Hardisty to second. John Hardisty took the lead on lap 12 only to be passed by Justin a couple laps later. Point leader Kyle Vantassel dropped off the pace due to a flat tire on lap 18. From there, it was all Justin Gilroy as he charged to the checkered flag to score his first career Potomac Speedway feature win. He was excited to, performing burnouts on the main straightaway.

Donnie Smith and Mike Reynolds brought the Street Stock feature to the green flag, Reynolds led the first lap. However, Mike Reynolds went behind the wall on lap three with a suspension problem, moving Scotty Nelson in car #33 to the lead. Stephen Quade sat in second and Kurt Zimmerman moved up to third. Stephen Quade took the lead from Nelson with a little bumper on lap 5. Zimmerman also got around Nelson for second and set his sights on race leader Stephen Quade. Zimmerman got by Quade on lap 11 when Quade overdrove turn four giving Zimmerman a lot of racetrack. In the second feature of the night, car #9 would win for the second time of the night although this time with Kurt Zimmerman behind the wheel.

Don Breach and John Burch brought the Hobby Stock feature to the start, this race did not have a car #9 in it so one trend would be snapped here. Burch led the first handful of laps and stretched out to a huge lead while Rusty Alton battled for second with Don Breach. Alton got the second position on lap six and the caution came out one lap later when Hilton Pickeral fell off the pace with a blown right-front tire. That caution erased Alton's deficit to Burch, and Alton took advantage by passing Burch on lap seven to take the top spot. John Burch answered back the following lap going back around Alton on the outside just as the caution came out for Joe Ender's single car spin. Just after the restart, Burch lost control of his car in turn two and struggled to avoid slamming the outside barrier allowing Rusty Alton to take the lead. Alton was quickly challenged by BudPickeral who got around Alton for the lead on lap 11 and set sail. Bud Pickeral crossed the finish line first but was later Disqualified after an infraction was discovered in postrace tech. The infraction cost Pickeral, but it was good news for Rusty Alton as he would be credited with winning the race.

Coleby Frye and Jeremy Miller started on the front row for the Bobby Allen Memorial, with Nick Dickson and Jamie Lathroum in the second row. Ross Robinson and Rick Eckert made up the third row. Jeremy Miller led the first lap while Dickson and Frye battled for second holding up the charge by Lathroum, Eckert and Jason Covert. Jamie Lathroum charged to second on the first restart of the race and then stormed by Miller for the lead on lap seven. A gaggle of cars battled for second behind him. Jason Covert made quick work of getting around Frye for second on a restart after Jeremy Miller's car came to a rest to bring out a caution. Caution came out again on lap eight for Deane Guy's turn two spin.

Lathroum led on the restart over Covert and Frye. Dale Hollidge got help on the restart, though it wasn't the help he needed, to bring out the caution. Austin Hubbard got around Frye on the restart to assume the third position, and then challenged Covert for second. While those two raced for position, Jamie Lathroum was driving off to his own zip code. Caution came out again on lap 19 when Robinson blew a tire and came to a rest along the turn two barrier. Covert used the restart as an opportunity to try to knock Lathroum off the point. Caution came out for a three car spin before he could complete a pass. The three cars involved in the incident were DJ Myers, Nick Dickson and Darryl Hills. Covert challenged Lathroum for the top spot and those two raced side-by-side until the caution came out on lap 26 when Rick Eckert's car came to a stop because of some sort of suspension problem.

The car on the move was David Williams who had moved up 20 spots from his 25th starting position by lap 25. Covert, who appeared to have a good short run car, challenged Lathroum again for the top spot but Lathroum was able to hold him off on the high side coming out of the corner each time. Caution came out on lap 38 when David Williams spun off the front bumper of Coleby Frye. Williams was not happy with Frye and let him know under the caution pulling alongside and giving him a one-finger salute. Larry Ramsey and Roland Mann got together coming to the restart to bring out the caution right after the leaders had taken the green flag. Once the field got the green flag, they went clean and green to the end with Jamie Lathroum holding off Jason Covert and Austin Hubbard for the win after two straight upsets.

"The car was really good tonight." Lathroum stated in victory lane. "I saw Covert get along side of me a couple times, but I knew if I kept the car straight and could dodge the holes and not mess up we'd be all right." After his disappointment in the Three State Flyers event two weeks ago Lathroum was asked what finally changed his luck at Potomac. "I stopped wearing that black driving suit." Lathroum said with a laugh. "Ever since we got that we haven't done anything so we switched back to red."

By the end of the night, there were a lot of cars with bent fenders and a lot of drivers with bent emotions, but those would all be put to a rest as most of the drivers would go to South-Central Virginia on Saturday Night to compete in the $12,000 Topless 100 feature at Virginia Motor Speedway. However, that race would end up being cancelled due to storms.


Super Late Models: 1. Jamie Lathroum, 2. Jason Covert, 3. Austin Hubbard, 4. Doug Horton, 5. Booper Bare, 6. D.J. Myers, 7. Rod Conley, 8. Ross Robinson, 9. Harold Dorsey, 10. Colbey Frye, 11. Ronnie Dehaven, 12. David Williams, 13. Dale Hollidge, 14. Kyle Lear, 15. Roland Mann, 16. Larry Ramsey, 17. Rick Eckert, 18. Chris Cromer, 19. Nick Dickson, 20. Darryl Hills, 21. Ray Kable, 22. Deane Guy, 23. Jeremy Miller, 24. Scott Cross, 25. Matt Quade, 26. Jeff Pilkerton.

Street Stocks: 1. Kurt Zimmerman, 2. Walt Homberg, 3. Stephen Quade, 4. Kyle Nelson, 5. Troy Kassiris, 6. Scotty Nelson, 7. Paul Quattro, 8. Eric Johnson, 9. Josh Williams, 10. Dale Reamy, 11. Scott Wilson, 12. Country Prince, 13. Mike Reynolds, 14. Chuck Bowie, 15. Donnie Smith, 16. Kevin Cooke, (DNS) Jason Murphy, Phil Lange.

Hobby Stocks: 1. Rusty Alton, 2. John Burch, 3. Josh Dotson, 4. Don Breach, 5. Ralph Price, 6. Hilton Pickeral, 7. Joe Ender, 8. Jimmy Suite, 9. Mike Scaggs, 10. Jeremy Wicks, 11. Wil Nelson, (DNS: Jimmy Randall) DQ: Bud Pickeral.

Strictly Stocks: 1. Justin Gilroy, 2. John Hardisty, 3. John Kalin, 4. Rusty Jones,5. J.T. Bowie, 6. Ray Hutchins, 7. Ken Sleight, 8. Kyle Vantassel, 9. Mark Wroble, 10. Kevin King, 11. Zach Mattingly, 12. Mark Chapman, 13. Ed Pope Sr, 14. Ray Bucci, 15. Larry Fuchs,16. James Gass, 17. Art Jolliffe, 18. Mike Maske, 19. John Oliver, 20. Darrell Battle, 21. James Sparks,(DNS) Kevin Lear.

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