By CHARLIE BROWN, DELMAR, DE – H.J. Bunting padded his point lead slightly as he powered his way to the front and drove to his fourth win of the season in the 25-lap NAPA Big Block Modified feature Saturday night at the Delaware International Speedway.
Matt Jester and Jamie Mills captured the qualifying heats and with the zero inversion draw they started one/two. The yellow was out before the first lap was complete as Howard O’Neal and Robert Dutton came to a stop on the back straight. Jester pulled away on the restart with Bunting getting by Mills for second.
A good battle developed between Beau Wilkins and Brad Trice for the fifth spot with the two swapping the position back and forth. The yellow was back out on lap nine when Joseph Watson slowed. On the restart Mill slipped into second at the line but Bunting regained the spot in the first turn. By lap 11 Bunting was challenging Jester for the lead, taking the spot just past halfway.
Once out front Bunting opened a comfortable lead. Trice was on the move taking fourth from Wilkins with six to go. With three to go he got by Mills for third and one lap later took second from Jester. His drive ended there as he spun in the fourth turn bringing out the yellow on lap 23.
Bunting had no problems holding off Jester on the restart as he drove to his fourth win of the season. Jester finished in second with Mills third. Fourth went to Scott VanGorder and Howard O’Neal recovered from his first lap tangle to finish in fifth.
“Jake’s (car owner Jake Marine) a little under the weather and couldn’t be here tonight,” said Bunting following the race. “He makes all of this possible so hopefully when he hears about this it will make him feel a little better.”
NAPA Big Block Miodified Finish: 1. HJ Bunting; 2. Matt Jester; 3. Jamie Mills; 4. Scott VanGorder; 5. Howard ONeal; 6. Shawn Ward; 7. Michael White; 8. Brad Trice; 9. Beau Wilkins; 10. Drew Simmons; 11. Robert Dutton; 12. Matt Hawkins; 13. Joseph Watson; 14. Dale Hawkins; DNS: Dana Walker; Kyle Fuller.