ROSSBURG, Ohio – Jacob Hawkins (UMP DIRTcar Modifieds) and Rob Trent (Stock Cars) couldn’t have found a better audience than Saturday night to pick up their first Eldora Speedway wins of the 2014 season.
By virtue of a re-draw involving the top two finishers from the preliminary heat races, Hawkins started on the outside pole position, but it was Jason Kinney charging into the early lead, with Hawkins dropping to third behind fourth-place starter Evan Taylor.
Taylor then shot past Kinney down the back stretch on lap two to take the lead, with Hawkins still in third, and Evan’s brother, Jonathan, in fourth.
By lap six things began to shake up. Kinney brushed the outer wall a few times which slowed down his pace and dropped him back through the field. That allowed Jonathan Taylor to move into third behind Evan Taylor and Hawkins. Also on the move was Matt Westfall, up to fourth.
Hawkins picked off J. Taylor on the next circuit and one lap later Westfall got by E. Taylor for third. Only one lap later Westfall continued his march forward to ride runner-up to Hawkins and begin a battle that had the huge crowd on their feet.
Westfall tried every combination and trick in the book, including using lapped traffic, to reel in Hawkins and nearly had the job done on one occasion, but fell short at the finish by .562 seconds. Jonathan Taylor crossed the line third, while Jeremy Hayes and Jerry Bowersock completed the top five.
Attrition was the name of the game in the Stock Car finale, as multiple attempts were needed to get the first lap completed.
Once things settled down, it was Trent moving into the lead with defending champion Barney Craig in tow.
Craig and Dean Pitts waged a torrid battle for the runner-up position behind Trent in the early stages, with Craig finally getting the upper hand at the mid-point of the race. A few laps later Jeff Koz slipped past Pitts for third and then with four laps remaining Wayne Williams turned in the best performance of his career to take fourth away from Pitts.
As the checkered flag flew, that is how they remained with Trent taking the win over Craig, Koz, Williams and Pitts.