By Charlie Brown, Delmar, DE (9/29/12) – Jamie Mills of Milford, Del. driving the Will Brown NAPA Big Block Modified capped off one of his best seasons ever as he drove to his eighth win of the season which finalized his run for a third track championship Saturday night at the Delaware International Speedway. As fate would have it, all five point divisions were won Saturday night by the newly crowned champions in their respective divisions.
Brad Trice and H.J. Bunting started out the night by winning the two qualifying heats. The four car inversion draw put Howard O’Neal on the pole with Beau Wilkins second. On the initial start, a car got crossed up at the front of the pack resulting in a tangle that included Trice. He would head to the pits then rejoin the field at the rear.
O’Neal jumped out to the early lead with Bunting working past Wilkins for second at lap two. One lap later, Bunting used the outside groove in the second turn to move around O’Neal for the lead. The second and final caution would come on lap six when a car slowed to a stop.
Bunting continued to pull away at the front with O’Neal now being challenged by Mills. Mills grabbed the second spot on lap ten but Bunting had built about a three second lead at this point. At the halfway sign the top five were Bunting, Mills, O’Neal, Beau Wilkins and Kyle Fuller.
Bunting seemed to have things well in hand until six to go when he slowed coming down the front straight with a broke rear axel and coasted to the pits. The race stayed green with Mills now on top. O’Neal stayed within sight of the leader but was unable to mount a challenge as Mills powered to the checkered. O’Neal ended a great run in second with Beau Wilkins third. Kyle Fuller finished in the fourth spot and Trice came from the rear to finish in fifth.
“I’ll tell you, as brutal as this track was tonight there was no way a car was going to take a pounding for twenty-five laps,” said Mills. “So I just sat there and H.J. (Bunting) gave it a shot and did everything he could do to try and win this championship. My hat’s off to him.”
Three of the four Big Block Modified feature winners this season were on hand for the 10-lap King of Kings dash exclusively for feature winners. Mills, Bunting and Trice started three-wide with Mills jumping out to the lead. Bunting ran wheel to wheel with Mills until taking the point for lap four. Bunting went on to take the $500 win followed by Mills and Trice.
This Saturday night will be the Prelude to the Fall Championship. Drivers in the Big Block Modifieds and Super Late Models will be allowed to run any brand 92 x 13” tire. Regular track rules will apply to all other divisions. Gates open at 5 p.m. with hot laps at 7 p.m.
NAPA Big Block Finish: 1. Jamie Mills; 2. Howard ONeal; 3. Beau Wilkins; 4. Kyle Fuller; 5. Brad Trice; 6. Bobby Watkins; 7. Robert Dutton; 8. Matt Jester; 9. Scott Van Gorder; 10. Don Hallowell; 11. Michael White; 12. HJ Bunting; 13. Dale Hawkins; 14. Art Valdesere; DNS: Shawn Ward; Dana Walker.