Although the end was the same, the path to the ending was far from normal for Ricky Elliott in Saturday night’s 20-lap Super Late Model feature. The field may have been light on cars but it was highly competitive with several lead changes and some very hard racing. Elliott and Nick Davis won the heats but the six car inversion draw would place them sixth and fifth respectively on the starting grid.
Lou Johnson took advantage of his pole starting spot to lead from the start. The first of only two cautions was out on lap two when Amanda Whaley got around in the fourth turn. Johnson continued to lead on the restart as Brandon Dennis got by Donald Lingo, Jr. who was driving Herb Tunis’ car after his car experienced problems in hot laps.
Dennis looked strong as he took the lead on lap five with Lingo, Jr. following into the second spot once again. On lap seven, Elliott dropped Johnson to fourth and went to work on Lingo, Jr. Two laps later, Elliott took second but as he headed into the third turn, Lingo, Jr. tried to squeeze back by on the bottom but jumped Elliott left rear tire sending both cars hard off the turn. Elliott was able to limp to the pits with a bent wheel and a flat tire but Lingo, Jr. had backed hard into the barrier doing considerable damage to the rear of the car and was done for the night.
Elliott’s crew was lightning fast making repairs and getting Elliott back out on the speedway before Lingo, Jr. was towed in. At the halfway sign the top five were Dennis, Johnson, Davis, Kerry King and Elliott. Dennis led through lap 12 but slipped high in the second turn turning the lead over to Davis with Elliott following into second.
Elliott worked by Davis with five to go but Davis was not willing to give up the lead. With four to go he got back by Elliott coming off turn two but Elliott powered off the bottom of the fourth turn to regain the lead with three to go. The final lap saw lots of excitement as Davis began to slow on the back straight. Dennis took advantage of the situation to get by both Whaley and Johnson to take second. Elliott would secure his 14th win of the season with Dennis second and Johnson third. Fourth went to Whaley with Kerry King taking fifth. Davis coasted across the line a disappointing sixth.
“They (the crew) did a good job,” said Elliott. “I don’t what happened there (referring to the crash with Lingo, Jr.). I had been racing him there on the bottom and I was clear when I came across and he pile drove me coming off. But I not going to complain we’ll just keep on and it was just racing. We’ll be back.”