HANOVER, Pa. – As Trail-Way Speedway celebrated Flag Day on Friday night, the only flag which Westminster, Md., driver Brad McClelland wanted to see by the end of the 25-lap 358 sprint feature was the checkered variety.
“I don’t know if the steering something come loose or (it was) the power steering line or something. It got tight, then loose, then tight and, when I got to those lapped cars, I’m like, ‘Man, I hope there aren’t too many more laps to go,’” McClelland said about his control of the Rucker Racing No. 6R in the closing laps.
However, once McClelland passed outside polesitter Joe Trone Jr. for the lead at the flagstand on the 12th tour of the Adams County oval, there was no turning back. McClelland claimed not only his second straight victory, interrupted by the track’s June 7 rainout, but notched his track-leading 29th career 358 sprint victory.
By surging from 10th starting spot, McClelland also took the Hard Charger Award as he edged eventual runner-up Austin Hogue. The Manchester driver collided with Robbie Kendall during his heat race and so had to start the feature in 15th and last place. However, when Dwight Leppo opted to start at the rear, Hogue started 11th. Like
McClelland, he also improved nine positions, but the award went to the highest finisher.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to the shocks I put on the car,” McClelland said in victory lane. “It’s making this thing handle like a dream.”
McClelland, who won his heat, used that ability to improve five positions on the initial start and to third place on the next circuit. Meanwhile, Trone and polesitter Shane Hoff, who won the other heat, held the top two positions until McClelland edged Trone at the flagstand.