Action heats up in Georgetown
Last week was bittersweet for Sunoco Race Fuels Super Late Model driver Jason Covert. Early in the week, he lost his close friend, Glenny. Then on Wednesday and Thursday he swept the Super Late Model races at Delaware International Speedway in Delmar on Wednesday, followed by a second win, this one at The Georgetown Speedway in Georgetown, Thursday, April 18.
Thursday night Georgetown’s Ross Robinson and Millsboro’s Amanda ‘Wild Child’ Whaley won the Sunoco Super Late Model Late Heat Races on Georgetown Speedway’s wide ½-mile high-banked clay surface. Covert, who is the Series points leader, struggled in the Heat race and was forced to start sixth on the outside of row three.
Austin Hubbard, of Federalsburg, Md., earned the pole. Hubbard took the initial green flag and flew into the early lead. Behind him Robinson and Whaley scrapped over second. Further back Covert, fought his way to 4th before an early race caution flag waved. Again forced to start on the outside, Covert continued using it to his advantage when racing resumed. Staying on the high side, Covert powered passed Robinson and Dale Hollidge before reaching Hubbard. Covert keeping his Rocket Chassis on the high side, shot by Hubbard, but before he could build a comfortable cushion caution waved with nine of 26-scheduled laps remaining.
When the final green flag waved Covert, of York Haven, Pa., easily rocketed away from Hubbard for his second Sussex County win of the week, this one earning him $3,026, on his first ever trip to Georgetown Speedway. Hubbard trailed a distant second with Whaley on his back bumper. Hollidge, of Mechanicsville, Md., was fourth across the stripe.
Millsboro driver Donald Lingo Jr. battled his way to a 5th place finish.
Robinson, Whaley, Hollidge and Nick Davis also raced the RUSH Late Model division. Fifty racers entered the class. To make the 24-car main, racers had to compete in qualifying heat races followed by three B-Mains.
Standing out in the crowd of 50 was all-time series wins leader Max Blair, of Titusville, Pa. Blair, who also won at Delaware International Speedway Wednesday night, timed second overall in the time trials, won his heat race, and won the six-lap dash as well as the 30-lap main.
Dillon Brown, of Gaffney, S.C., was the fast-time winner.
Except for one little burp, Max was perfect. On a restart, Georgetown native Matt Hill slipped by Blair who was forced to recapture the lead.
“The car was good all night. It was a little tight. We tweaked on it, and got it rolling,” Blair said adding, “I goofed a little on that restart, and left the bottom open.”
Robinson was second.
“It was good to run second tonight. You can’t hang your head. (Blair) is first in the nation for a reason,” Robinson admitted. “The car handle good, but we’ve got to work on it harder if we’re going to beat Blair.”
The Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Car race’s finish was so close a review of the video had to be performed before declaring Milton resident C.J. Schirmer the winner by inches.
Joining the Vintage Stock Cars for their 12-lap feature were Vintage Stock Sportsman racers. Piloting a 1999, Norman Smith Racing Engines powered 1999 Olsen Racing Chasses L.J. Walbert of Denton, Md., was the highest finisher of that class.
Matt Esham and David Smith thrilled fans with a dicey fight for the front in the Delaware Super Truck feature. Esham owned the last seven laps with Smith threatening him down to the wire.
“I started fifth, and I think I took the lead on the first lap,” Esham described. “The truck worked pretty good, but it got a little tight at the end. I ran the high side, and David Smith was on me whole time, and I thought he might get me in the turns. But I held on and got my second win here this year, so I’m tickled to death.”
Following Smith across the stripe in the top five of 18-entries were Robert Smith, Shane Clogg and Jerry Hill.
Chris “Tippy” Martinez led 11-Delaware Chargers under the checkers. Joe Walters dominated the first eight laps. Suddenly, on lap eight, Walters car began smoking, an apparent blown engine, robbed him of a likely win. Martinez took over, and showed the field home from there with Ashley Merritt glued to his back bumper. Brandon Riefler. Derek Swafford, and Tommy LeCates completed the top five.
Exciting auto racing returns to The Georgetown Speedway on Friday, May 17, with the annual running of the Deron Rust Memorial Race featuring L&J Sheet Metal Modified cars competing for a $3,960 purse. Also on the bill, Chesapeake Paving/J.W. Brown Trucking Crate 602 Sportsman with a $1,396 purse.
Along with the Modified and Crate cars, will be the Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Cars, Little Lincoln Cars, Delaware Super Trucks, and Delmarva Charger Cars.
Pit gates open at 4 p.m. with the Grandstands at 5 p.m. Racing gets underway at 7:15 p.m.
By Bruce C. Walls
Special to the Coastal Point