Alex Fleming has won the bulk of races at Wake County Speedway this season, but they haven’t come easy. Friday night Fleming looked to all but cement his track championship hopes, looking for his sixth win in seven events.
Fleming would put his Dunn-Benson Ford Super Late Model on the pole, with Joe Heigl starting to his outside. Early on it appeared as though Heigl had something for the Raleigh driver, with Heigl making a handful of attempts to get by. Fleming would fight off Heigl lap after lap, and eventually stretch his lead out to .3 seconds.
Behind the leaders, last race’s winner Charlie Stephenson found himself racing hard with a fresh face in Kevin Harvick Inc. driver Gray Gaulding. The 13 year old PASS South driver qualified just ahead of Stephenson, but it was Stephenson’s experience that would prevail, making it by Gaulding and allowing him to set his sights on Heigl and Fleming.
Fleming would pull away late, leaving Heigl to fend for himself against Stephenson. The final 10 laps saw a duel between two veterans, with Stephenson waiting until the final lap to try a bump-and-run move that would come up short. Alex Fleming would take his sixth win of the season, Joe Heigl would fight off Charlie Stephenson for second, while Stephenson, Keith Oliver and Gray Gaulding would round out the Dunn Benson Ford Super Late Model top five.
Justin Jones has dominated the Pro Modified this season, winning all but one event. Dennis Capps looked to end that streak on a night where the Garner driver looked back to his championship form. Jones would take the lead from the start, but Capps would give chase, never letting Jones’s black and yellow machine more than a second out of sight. Late slower traffic would give Capps one last good shot at Jones, but Jones would prove too strong, taking the checkered flag and all but clinching a track championship in the process. Capps would hold onto second, with Todd Langdon holding off Matthew Denton for third.
The Harper’s Grafix Limited Late Model division has been Will Roland’s sandbox all season, and Friday night proved no differently. Roland would place his Chevy on the pole, and while division rookie Robert Arch would give chase, he proved no match for the Limited Late Model veteran. Roland would lead all 25 laps, all but clinching a 2011 track championship. Arch would finish second, with Curtis Simpkins crossing the line third.
Jeremy Ottaway won the season opener in Citgo Mini-Mart Four Cylinders, but since then it’s been the Jesse Duke show. Duke has piloted his Ford to victory lane in every race since the early-season upset. Friday night proved to be no different, with Duke being the class of the competition. Ottaway would hold off Wilbur Duke for second, with the elder Duke finishing third.
In Dirt Cheap Sand Rock & Mulch UCARs, Darrell Haynie continued his late-season domination of the division. Having missed a few early-season races, Haynie is out of the track championship chase, but has put on a solid showing throughout the second half of the season. Haynie would lead wire to wire ahead of Chris Gault and Josh Taylor. Gault’s runner-up finish, coupled with late race trouble for point leader Kristin Gault moves Chris Gault within 18 points of sister Kristin.
Lawson Flood dominated the Noles Cabinets Mini Cup race, holding off a hard-charging Nick Robinson late, while in Southern Ground Pounders action, Rodney Dye made a late-race pass on Cory Agee to win his first of the season.
Racing returns to Raleigh’s bullring in two weeks for the next to last race of the season. In action will be the Dunn Benson Ford Super Late Models, Harper’s Grafix Limited Late Models, Modified 4 Cylinders, Citgo Mini-Mart Four Cylinders, Dirt Cheap Sand Rock & Mulch UCARs and the INEX Legends series. Tickets are just $10 for adults, with kids 6-11 just $5, and children 5 and under free. Surf to www.wakecountyspeedway.com for more information.