AFTON – The final night of points, otherwise known as championship night, brought the weekly racing curtain down for the 2017 racing season at the Afton Motorsports Park.
The racers were greeted with an all new clay racing surface that was applied during the week in the corners by Mike Ford of ZMK Construction.
Nick Nye has been knocking on the door for a feature win all season long, and tonight he put it all together in the Randy Metcalf owned car – as he dominated the 30 lap Modified feature for his first win of the year. Nye took the lead on lap 10 from Paul Jensen and was never headed after that. Alan Barker, Jensen, track champion Andy Bachetti, and JR Hurlburt completed the top five.
Claude Hutchings, Jr. won the 20 lap Open Sportsman feature to win the track championship. He took the lead on lap 17 from Don Hart, Jr. and went on to the win over Hart, Craig Pope, Aaron Shelton, and Travis Smith.
Allan Hodge won the 20 lap Crate Sportsman feature, Hodge inherited the lead when leader Cody Clark was penalized one spot for rough riding during a lap 13 yellow flag period. Hodge and Clark battled tooth and nail over the final seven laps with Hodge taking the win by a couple of feet over track champion Clark, Matt Cole, AJ Digsby, and Tim French II rounded out the top five.
Matt Bowman wheeling the Polhamus Motorsports entry won the 20 lap Street Stock feature. Despite leading the entire distance Bowman withstood the race long challenges of Shane Wolf, Jr. who ended up second, Dustin Harris, track champion Damon Decker, and Fred Christ rounded out the top five.
Ralph Cuozzo won the Four Cylinder Truck track championship. Ralph then he went out and won the 12 lap feature as he took the lead on lap five from Bob Crandall, Brandon Clapperton, Pete Christensen, and Jeff Young completed the top five.
• Jeff Sheeley and Paul Jensen brought the 30 lap Modified feature field to green with Jensen using a new motor under the hood grabbing the lead over Sheeley, Charlie Hendrickson, Jr., JR Hurlburt, and Jim Becker.
Nick Nye took a liking to the all new clay surface in the corners and he immediately jumped up to the extreme high groove to move into fifth on lap two from his eighth place starting spot, Nye moved into fourth on lap three.
A grinding homestretch crash on lap four saw the fortunes of many drivers altered for the remainder of the evening. Five cars were stopped blocking the track after the dust settled, but another five cars who made it through the melee also had damage. Only two (Jeff Sheeley and Kyle Weiss) of the ten cars involved were unable to continue, there were no driver injuries.
On the restart Jensen opened up a big lead over Hurlburt, Nye, Mitch Gibbs, and Alan Barker. Nye quickly disposed Hurlburt for second and set his sights on Jensen for the lead. Meanwhile Gibbs, Barker, and Andy Bachetti were in a crowd pleasing race for positions four, five, and six.
After a lap nine restart Jensen and Nye raced side by side for the lead and entering turn three coming around to complete lap ten. Nye using the extreme high groove grabbed the lead and opened up a big lead.