The 2014 Delaware dirt track season got underway on Saturday night at the Delaware International Speedway. Driving to the win in the 25 lap NAPA Big Block Modified feature was former five time champion, H.J. Bunting of Milford, Del.
Dana Walker and Matt Jester captured the qualifying heats placing them first and second at the start. Walker led going into the first turn but had to check up causing Jester who was following in second to do likewise. Bunting had shot to the outside groove and shot by both cars to lead going down the back straight.
Bunting almost gave up the lead on lap two when he jumped the cushion but he was able to recover and keep the point. Beau Wilkins worked into third by lap seven as Jamie Mills cracked the top five.
A multi-car tangle on lap nine involved the cars of Mills, Jordan Watson, Scott VanGorder, Art Valdesere, Jr., Shawn Ward and Mike White. Jester continued to chase Bunting and by halfway, Brad Trice had cracked the top five after starting in 11th, Mills charged back through the field and got by Trice for fourth with nine to go.
With the final 15 laps going caution free, Bunting was able to maintain a comfortable lead. However, on the final turn, Bunting got out of shape but was able to recover in time to hold on for the win. Jester finished in second with Wilkins third. Fourth went to Mills and Trice rounded out the top five.
“I was trying to slow down a little and be conservative on that final turn,” said Bunting. “It almost cost me.”
NAPA Big Block Modified Finish: 1. HJ Bunting; 2 Matt Jester; 3 Beau Wilkins; 4. Jamie Mills; 5. Brad Trice; 6. Jordan Watson; 7. Dana Walker; 8. Matt Hawkins; 9. Drew Simmons; 10. Bobby Watkins; 11. Scott VanGorder; 12. Michael White; 13. Shawn Ward; 14. Art Valdesere Jr; 15. Dale Hawkins; 16. Howard ONeal; 17. Norman Short Jr.