HANOVER. Pa. – Brad McClelland has earned most of his 32 career wins at Trail-Way Speedway. But Friday night’s victory landed in his lap.
“This one was a gimme,” said McClelland upon exiting his Don Beard Racing Engines/Rucker Computer Solutions No. 6R in victory lane, “He was so far gone I didn’t know where he was.”
The driver who was gone was rookie Matt Campbell, who started on the pole, grabbed the lead from fellow front row starter Zach Euculano at the flagstand, and dominated the first 23 laps of the race. But while everyone was watching a fantastic race for second between McClelland, Cris Eash, and Austin Hogue as the crossed under the flagstand to complete lap 23, Campbell was losing the handle and spinning in turn two.
McClelland assumed the lead for the restart and held off Eash and Hogue for his fifth Trail-Way win of the year, pulling him to within 10 points of Jeff Rohrbaugh in the season-long Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic point series. Rohrbaugh dropped out on lap 16 and was credited with a 16th place finish.
“The last two weeks we’ve bent stuff up,” said McClelland, “I would have been happy with third. Matt’s going to be a great driver. He has Adrian Shaffer helping out and Adrian knows his stuff.”
Campbell rejoined the field and crossed 12th at the finish.
Tim Wagaman finished fourth, followed by Euculano. Sixth through tenth were Shane Hoff, Brian Eichelberger, 15th-starting Mike Bittinger, 14th-starting Cody Fletcher, and 18th-starting Dwight Leppo.
Gene Knaub started sixth and drove around Travis Mease on a lap six restart to score the win in the 25-lap Precise Racing Products/Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic “358” late model feature. Though his final margin of victory was 3.1 seconds, a rapidly-closing Dominic Delfino caught Mease on lap 13 and was closing on Knaub at the finish. J.R. Rodriguez moved into third on lap 16 and finished there, with hard charger Grant Adams (who started 16th) and Mease completing the top five.
Bill Laughman started fourth, took the lead by the end of the first lap, and led the rest of the way in the 20-lap 270cc micro-sprint feature. Laughman was running his own motor for the first time this year, and crossed 1.2 seconds ahead of Brent Bull at the checkered. Joe Trone Jr., Michael Boer, and 13th-starting Levi Peck rounded out the top five.
Tom Senseney edged Matt Chronister by inches in a thrilling 15-lap limited stock feature that saw a race for the lead and a six-car battle for third at the end. Senseney’s victory ended Chronister’s three-race win streak, but Chronister was able to close within 10 points of Cory Weishaar in season points. Weishaar left the track with a flat tire on lap four and was credited with a 21st-place finish.
Senseney assumed the lead when Ricky Weaver, Jr. pulled into the infield while leading on lap 13. Chronister, who started 12th, was all over Senseney over the final two laps, but couldn’t make the pass. Jeff Foster, Todd Miller, and Kenny Startzman completed the top five.