CALLAWAY, Va. – Kyle Dudley added to his points lead by sweeping Late Model features at Franklin County Speedway on Saturday night. His sixth and seventh wins of the season essentially secured a third track championship for the Roanoke driver.
“It was a good night,” Dudley said. “We’ve been running great all year. I think we’ve clinched the championship as far as that goes winning these races tonight. It’s been a good year. Tonight was a good night. The car was great and all I had to do was hold the wheel.”
Dudley entered the race with a 67 point lead over Wesley Thomason and a 75 point advantage over Rusty Gaspard. With his victories, he will extend his points lead by 12 points over both drivers, virtually securing his championship bid with just two races to go. Dudley took the lead on the seventh lap of the first race and went on to win after starting in fifth. In the second race, Dudley prevailed over Rusty Gaspard in a battle for the win.
“The car was just wicked,” Dudley stated. “I could put it wherever I wanted on the track. It just about drove itself. It was in a league of its own. I couldn’t do it without all my guys. I can’t thank them all enough.”
While the championship is all but official, Dudley says it doesn’t change his outlook on racing.
“I never race for points,” Dudley explained. “We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing for the rest of the year. We’ve had the car rolling. It’s just been good. We’ll see what happens. All these big names are coming for the Bullring Battle so we’ll see what we’ve got when they come.”
Bobby Gillespie made his first start since early-July and made the most of it finishing in the second position in the first race.
“I told Kyle to let me borrow his carburetor but he won’t let me,” Gillespie joked. “It’s alright. I’ll go back and put my old carb on now. I feel like I’ve got a lot of rust on me, need some bondo to cover it up.”
Steven Truell finished third in the first race followed by Billy Martin and Wesley Thomason. Rusty Gaspard finished sixth despite a line breaking on his car causing it to erupt in flames. Track officials quickly extinguished the flame and Gaspard, remarkably, was able to rejoin the race. In the second race, Gaspard finished in second while Thomason, Truell and Gilespie rounded out the top five.
Andy Lombi scored the win in the World Series of Mini Cups feature race over Buck Mitchell, Jeff Davis, Jeff Stump and Justin Manning. Mitchell had the better car on the restarts but Lombi was able to make the pass on Mitchell several times a few laps in to each green flag run and held on for the victory.
“The car was good at the top end,” Lombi stated. “I just didn’t have anything on the restarts and Buck was pretty quick on the restarts. He kept getting by me but the car was really hooked up after a couple laps.”
Amanda Harrison, who was involved in an accident in the Mini Cup feature, won the Junior Mini Cup race. Harrison was treated at the track after her accident in the Mini Cup race and was okay.
Steve Cannaday passed Brittany Cockram late in the race to win the Mini Stock feature. Tony Housman won his fourth U-CAR feature of the season. Danny Bush won the Street Stock race, his third consecutive win, holding off Eddie Rocke late in the race. Chris Amos won the TunerZ race and celebrated with the Carl Edwards backflip in victory lane.