HAGERSTOWN, Md. – After a young fan pulled J.T. Spence the number one for the 35-lap sixth annual Red Nininger Memorial Hagerstown/ Winchester Shootout for the Buchanan Auto Stores Late Models, he made the best of it by leading every lap and pick up the $3,000 triumph.
Spence’s last time spent in victory lane was September 2010 when he grabbed another big one, the McBee/Hays Championship.
“It’s an honor to win this race for Glenn (Nininger), Glenn’s family, and Red Nininger,” Spence, of Winchester said. “This win is for (car owner) Greg Gunter. He’s been wanting to win over here (at Hagerstown) for a long time.”
After Jeremy Miller got into the runner up spot, Spence had no peace as Miller pestered him for the last half of the race and actually pulled into the lead on lap 28 but a caution flag negated the pass. Spence then held off Miller by .455 second at the checkered.
“I saw Jeremy get into second on the scoreboard,” Spence said. “ I gotta thank Mike Betson for giving me signs coming off two. The lapped cars raced the leaders so much. I couldn’t clear Jason (Miller) there. I was so good in the middle and I kinda give up on the bottom and got off of it and then I kept seeing Jeremy getting beside me off the turns .That caution won the race. If that one caution hadn’t come out, Jeremy probably would have got by me. I don’t know the name of the little boy that drew me the pill, but he’s the one that won the race.”
Spence and Kenny Pettyjohn occupied the front row as Spence bolted ahead on the start and left Pettyjohn and Dan Stone nearly two seconds behind by a lap seven caution when Jamie Lathroum rolled to a stop with a left front flat.
Spence again had no problem distancing himself from the others while sixth starter, Jeremy Miller had worked his way to the front and took the runner up spot from Pettyjohn on the 14th circuit with Spence more than one and a half second ahead.
The caution came out two laps later when Stone rolled to a stop but on the restart, Miller was looking for a way past Spence as the two distanced Pettyjohn and 11th starting Tyler Hershey with seventh starter D.J. Myers in the mix.
Spence caught the rear of the field on the 27th as Miller was making his move the next lap when fast timer David Williams had problems and stopped.