By Reese Fant
GPS Staff Writer
Trey Gibson's fans were practically on holiday Saturday night as the youthful Easley driver led from the very start to win the Late-Model Stock main event.
The real action in the race came behind Gibson as Bryan Walker, David Roberts and Dylan Hall put on quite a shot for the spots immediately behind Gibson.
Walker was fairly secure in second, but Roberts and Hall battled side-by-side, lap after lap, for the third-place finishing slot. Gibson is already the youngest driver ever to win a Late-Model Stock main event, and Roberts is a former track champion.
Hall may still be in a learning curve to some race car fans, but as he and Roberts ran side by side, lap after lap, the two Fords were the most equal cars on the track. Roberts eventually took the position, and Hall was fourth.
Kyle Plott was fifth, and Kason Plott took sixth. Andrew Cordell was seventh. Dale Dove, Tasha Kummer and Rodney Howard rounded out the top ten.
The opening race of the evening was for the 4 Cylinder, Front-Wheel Drive cars, which was a make-up race due to a track lighting failure from the week before.
Jack Hooper won with Travis Shelton in second. Hooper seemed to be in a race of his own, holding a straightaway lead, with the rest of the cars battling tooth and nail behind. Robert Hall was third, with Don Tavernia, fourth and Michael Cross fifth.
Joshua Thomasen, Chad Tavernia, Danny Esco, Barry Gonsalves and Manuel Molleda rounded out the top ten, as Dannon Esco, Sandra Tavernia and Karl Hilderbrandt completed the field.
The nightcap race in this division was much different. Several caution flags flew, including one at the start of the face that saw Hooper's car wrecked. Shelton was also in that accident.
Another wreck, at the end, had Casey Finley and Shelton losing their positions to finish back in the pack. Sheldon had fought his way back up until another late caution relegated him to ninth.had to fight his way back to ninth from the rear of the field on the restart .
Michael Cross won, with Don Tavernia second and Chad Tavernia third. Manuel Molleda fourth and Karl Hilderbrandt was fifth. Casey Finley was sixth, followed by Dannon Esco, Joshua Thomasen, Travis Shelton and Danny Esco completing the top 10. Robert Hall, Jack Hooper, Barry Gonalves andSandra Tavernia rounded out the field.
Jason McGrew took the win in the Pure/Street Stock main, with Jimbo Mann in second and Freddy Hale, Jr., in third. Hank Hutto was fourth. Ashley Granata Ray Mullinax and A.J. Davis finished fifth through seventh.
Brad Burns notched yet another victory to his total in the Renegade ranks, as he came from near the rear to take third place in just one lap. With wrecks and dropouts taking their toll, fans were treated to another good race all through the field. With Burns on the point, Shane Hill and Black Gregory battled lap after lap for second, with Hill getting the edge. Bobby Emory was fourth and Parker Jameson was fifth.
Larry Nabors was sixth and Daniel Jameson was seventh. Eighth went to Matt Hale and Greg Manley was ninth. Connie Cepek was tenth, as Scotty Tyner, Blake Galloway and Colt Smith followed.
In the Super Renegade race, track promoters allowed Nick Thunder to compete,although his vehicle raced at GPS with the second division of the Southeastern Super Trucks. Everyone knew the cars are very different, but with a much smaller carb, Thunder was asked to race and see what the level of competition would be.
Thunder had little trouble being the dominant car and took the checkered flag.
But without making an issue of it, Thunder's car was disqualified and the victory went to Josh Sams, who had raced to a commanding second-place finish but just could not compete with the car from the different series.
Sams was declared the winner and promoters are going to have to try to figure out something else to shore up competition in the Super Renegade division.
Sams' victory puts him within 32 points of the division leader, who just happens to be his father, Tim Sams, who has recorded eight victories this year.
Dale Stancil was second to Sams and Andy Norris, making only his second appearance of the season,finished third. Norris was able to make only two laps before blowing his engine in his earlier appearance, and Saturday night he had brake problems but still managed the third place finish.
Dale Gilbert was fourth and Chris Meinders fifth.
Points leader Tim Sams was involved in an early accident, but still was sixth, was sixth, as Joe Satterfield took seventh. Ricky Stephens was credited with eighth, Dale E. Walker was ninth and Zach Meinders was tenth.