Birthday boy wins SECA Late Models
If you were to ask Dobson’s Chase McCormick Saturday if a feature win at Friendship Motor Speedway or piece of birthday cake tasted better, McCormick would pick the taste of victory any day of the week.
McCormick got both Saturday night, his sixth win in the SECA Late Model division this year, and a cake for his 25th birthday. McCormick started second but got the lead early, only to find himself battling side-by-side with polesitter Steve Blackburn.
“He was probably a little faster than me tonight. Lap traffic was a little tough to pass, but it worked out better for me, though,” McCormick said.
McCormick was able to use the lap traffic as a pick to keep Blackburn from having a clear lane to pass him. McCormick said his win is a testament to all the hard work the entire team puts in, many of whom are family members.
“My mom and dad especially, because they put up with this deal. People don’t realize all the time you have to put into all this, it’s something you’re doing constantly,” McCormick said.
Anen does it again in Renegades
It’s been months since Friendship Motor Speedway has seen a new winner in the Renegade series. Elkin’s George Anen Jr. made it nine straight wins Saturday night coming up through the field from fourth starting spot.
Anen, now 42, has seen racing success since his teens, but even he struggles to put this summer-long streak into words.
“I’ve won championships before, a ton of races, I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” Anen said.
Anen’s streak started in May, and since then, he said he might be getting into some people’s heads.
“I heard several people say, ‘You have to start in the back next week’ when I got here and I said, ‘We haven’t even won the race yet!’ We might be getting in their heads and they’re beating themselves,” Anen said.
Anen will have to start from the rear of the field next week per Friendship Motor Speedway rules. Anen started fourth Saturday night and swapped the lead back and forth with Zach Lankford a few times before passing him for good on lap 9. With heightened competition, Anen said it will be a challenge to get his tenth straight win, but as always, he’s going to try.
Update on UCAR series racer
On the first lap of the first heat race of the night, all eyes were on the 67 car of Rick Auger.
Racing three-wide on the outside, two cars on the inside collided, sending Auger towards the gate at full speed. Auger hit the side wall near the gate where cars from the hill enter the track. Auger’s car then hit the corner wall head on.
Auger was then transferred to a nearby hospital, where he was released later that night with minor injuries.
Later in the feature race, Wilkesboro’s Kenneth Miller led every lap for the win, despite having two stitches put in his hand from a non-racing incident earlier that day.
Roaring River’s Matt Johnson took home the win in the Limited Sportsman series, with the big move of the night coming off of a restart.
Ronda’s Bryan Nance was leading coming into turn one, but Johnson and Nance got together. Nance, and defending race winner Jeff Parsons were involved in the wreck and done for the night, while Johnson drove away with the win. Many were quick to blame Johnson for the incident, especially after a similar looking incident last weekend. However, Nance had probably the best perspective on what happened.
“Something broke in the rear end, I was just in the way,” Nance said.
Nance said he didn’t feel anything wrong coming to the green flag and that everything broke at once. Johnson was fortunate not to have much damage in the incident, winning the battle with Jay Foley for the win.
Mount Airy’s Bobby Jones came from fifth starting spot and held off a charging Mitchell Coble for the win in Open Wheel Modifieds.
Jones passed the 23G car of Coble on lap 14 for the lead, and when a caution came out with three to go, it set up one final battle during the restart. Coble drove it in deep into turn four but could not make it stick as Jones drove off for his second win of the year.
Xtreme Stock 4
Larry Martin had to start at the rear of the field, but he put on a passing clinic and made for an exciting finish.
After winning three straight, the Stony Point native had to work his way through the field to second spot. Riley Dunford had led the first 10 laps, but on a restart Martin showed some muscle and drove by him. Mocksville’s Austin Caudle started on the pole and slowly crept his way back towards Martin but it was too late.
Full results and points standings can be found at Friendship Motor Speedway’s Facebook page. Additional photos can be found on Facebook at A and M Photography.
The week ahead
Saturday night will feature many familiar faces and some interesting storylines. Renegades, OWM, SECA Late Models, Xtreme Stock 4, and UCAR all return to the track this weekend. Super Stock 4 will be returning after an off weekend.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.