Estes takes $2,000 Steel Head win as Welshan’s bid for ‘daily double’ falls short
BULLS GAP (4-19-14) – Jason Welshan’s perfect night at Volunteer Speedway was spoiled 23 laps into Saturday night’s 40-lap Steel Head feature when a mechanical failure took him out of the race while holding a comfortable lead.
Welshan had already won the pole for both Crate Late Model and Steel Head races, and was one of only two drivers to hit the 12-second mark on his Steel head qualifying run (12.809).
Welshan also won night’s opening event, the 30-lap Crate Late Model feature. He was pretty much in a class all his own, and when he drove off the track in his Crate Late Model following post race inspection, many people in the bleachers speculated whether he’d been disqualified because he was so much faster than the rest of the field.
Actually he had to rush back up to the pits to get into his Steel Head ride for the next event.
The real action in the Crate feature was behind Welshan.
A spin on the sixth lap bunched the field up for the final time. On the restart division champion Tim Byrd took third away from rookie Bryson Dennis after several laps of side-by-side racing.
Byrd then ran down second place McMahan, putting on the pressure for second place in the final laps of the race. Byrd got to the inside of McMahan coming off of turn four to take the checkers but was unable to complete the pass.
Meanwhile Ricky Moore had been in a serious battle for fourth with Dennis when they hit lapped traffic. A slow car moved up into Dennis’s path, clearing the way for Moore to take fourth. Tim Maupin followed Moore a few laps later, to finish fifth and Dennis finished sixth.
In the Steel Head feature it was “second verse, same as the first” for Welshan who led the first 23 laps without a serious challenge, looking for three wins in a row in that division.
Ross White, who qualified on the outside of the front row with a time of 12.942, held second place before Welshan’s departure.
Another top contender, Anthony White, had been in a serious fight for fourth place with Cory Hedgecock when his car slowed on the back stretch with mechanical problems and fell out on lap 14.
Jason Manley and Jason Cardwell tangled on the backstretch on lap 23, sending Manley into the inside wall.
There had been a lot of follow-the-leader in the first 23-laps, but when Welshan fell out it seemed to reinvigorate some of the other leaders.
Ross and Greg Estes raced side by side for several laps for the lead before Estes prevailed.
Ross then lost second place Hedgecock.
A car spun in turn four on the white flag lap, but the race stayed green with Estes edging out Hedgecock, followed by Ross, Cardwell and Josh Collins in fifth.
Ross’s car caught on fire after pulling into the pits following the race in what looked like a possible brake fire.
Jamie Whitt won his third Hobby Modified feature of the season, but Parker Estes made it to Whitt’s door panel as they crossed the finish line.
Whitt started on the pole beside last week’s winner Dale Reed.
Four laps into the race Reed tangled with Charles Bates in turn one on while running second and third, sending both cars spinning. Both restarted at the rear of the field, with Bates working his way back up to third and Reed to fourth.
That put Whitt ahead of Estes for the restart, and although Whit ran away with the lead at first, the long green run seemed to favor Estes who was glued to Whitt’s back bumper in the final five laps.
Coming to take the checkers flag Estes got to the inside of Whit and made it to Whitt’s door as they took the checkered flag. Finishing behind Bates and Reed were Mike Mays in fifth and sixth place Clynus Phillips, that last car on the lead lap.
The next race on the schedule is Saturday May 10 — “The Carolina Clash” which features a $4,000 to win Super Late model feature, as well as $1,500 to win Steel Heads and Crates.
40-Lap Steel Head Late Model Feature:
(Pole time 12.809 Jason Welshan)
1. #31 Greg Estes
2. #23 Cory Hedgecock
3. #0 Ross White
4. #07 Jason Cardwell
5. #44C Josh Collins
6. #00 Ruben Mayfield
7. #14G Weston Gante
8. #23L Layne Clifton
9. #25 Boibby Mays
10. #5 John Tweed
11. #29 Jason Welshan
12. #32J Jason Manley
13. #2X Anthony White
14. #88 Vic Chandler
15. #0F Jensen Ford
30-Lap Crate Late Model Feature:
(Pole time 13.336 Jason Welshan)
1. #29 Jason Welshan
2. #33 Warren McMahan
3. #24 Tim Byrd
4. #75 Ricky Moore
5. #2T Tim Maupin
6. #15 Bryson Dennis
7. #18G Gary Crittenden
8. #12 Eric Register
9. #00 Tyler Dixon
10. #21W Ken Wilkerson
11. #73 Richard Adkins
12. #56 Hugh Scalf
13. #5G Greg Burchett
14. #19T Joey Tweed
25-Lap Hobby Modified Feature:
(Pole time 15.090 Jamie Whitt)
1. #1 Jamie Whitt
2. #31E Parker Estes
3. #27 Charles Bates
4. #52R Dale Reed
5. #30 Mike Mays
6. #46 Clynis Phillips
7. #3 Kaleb Trent
8. #52C Chris Long
9. #79 Jesse Wilder
10. #9 Eddie Adams
11. #20 David Bullington
12. #66 Daniel Reece