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Stallings, Willis split sportsman double bill

SoVaNow.com / June 17, 2013
Blake Stallings and division points leader Danny Willis Jr. split the limited sportsman card at South Boston Speedway Saturday night, with each taking a win in the two 50-lap features.

Willis continues to have a wide lead in the limited sportsman points. Stallings, meanwhile, notched his second win of the season.

Stallings seized the lead on the fourth lap from Garrett Bunch and led the rest of the way.

Stallings finished 2.760 seconds ahead of Willis, who was second in the nightcap. Bunch finished third, 4.6 seconds behind the winner.

J.D. Eversole was fourth and Tommy Peregoy fifth. Charles Barnes was sixth, Joey Throckmorton seventh, Caleb Davis eighth, Libby Prevette ninth and Daniel Moss tenth.

Stallings averaged 44.243 mph.

Willis had to start fifth in the second feature.

The caution flew on lap two, when Austin Babb cut a tire in turn one.

The second caution arrived moments later, when a jarring turn one crash ended the night quickly for several drivers, including the no. 58 of Daniel Moss and former division winner Michael Maresca.

Maresca’s no. 7 suffered heavy damage. Privette and Caleb Davis, who were able to return, were also caught up in the incident.

Stallings took the lead on lap four and held off Willis at the end.

Willis roared back to second but did not have enough time to reel in Stallings. Willis was hampered somewhat in the closing laps by lapped traffic in his way.

“My guys worked super hard today. We made a motor change (among other changes),” Stallings said.

“Off on practice, and worked hard through the first race,” said Stallings.

“It’s hard to pick, in this division, which driver’s going to be on top each week. I was super thankful I was the one to be on top in this race.”

Willis, who retained his overall points lead, said “it was good, hard battling. It was a lot fun. Just came up a little short. Came up a little short, we ran out of time there. We just ran out of time, I don’t know if we could have caught Blake or not.

“But me and Bunch had a good battle for second, beating and banging a little bit. It was a lot of fun,” said Willis.

Bunch, said Willis “is tough here. He’s been racing here a long time. No doubt, he’s probably the top of the limited class right now.

“He had more than me (in the race for second). But I was doing all I had to try to get second, but I just didn’t have enough,” said Bunch.

FIRST LIMITED TWIN:

Willis led from the outset early in the first race, dominating early. But the first caution tightened the field on lap 12 after Trey Crews spun in turn four. Willis led the restart, with Mike Jones pressuring the leader, albeit briefly. Willis clearly had the setup down pat and extended his lead with 25 laps on the board.

By lap 35, Willis enjoyed a comfortable margin.

The race went green the rest of the way, with Willis ringing up a flag to flag win.

Willis recorded win no. 4 on the campaign, extending his already dominant points lead in this division.

Willis won by 2.647 seconds, with Tommy Peregoy second, 3.036 seconds off the pace. J.D. Eversole was third, with Stallings fourth. Bunch, who drives here from Front Royal, Va, landed the fifth place spot.

Bunch, the second place points man, finished fifth, as he slipped further backwards in the points race. Willis had entered the night with a 199-151 edge over Bunch in the limited sportsman championship points’ race.

Willis averaged 70.529 mph in taking the first 50-lap win.

Bunch finished sixth in the first limited feature.

“She was on a rail tonight ... these guys (the crew) worked their butts off. It’s pretty awesome to get a win on Father’s Day, my first father’s day,” Willis said.

Willis and his wife, Kim, recently celebrated the birth of their son, Declan, who was there in victory lane.

Willis is celebrating with Declan, who has his own agenda. “Cars (the movie) and Mickey Mouse, that’s all we love,” said Willis.

Mike Jones has been running well, but could not haul in Willis.

Jones said the car was too tight, and he hoped to make adjustments for the second race.

Jones has seen improvement, including his first win recently.

“We’re really hitting on something in the last couple of weeks. We tested (Friday) and the setup is completely different from the last race we won. It’s good to have two setups in the box to work for us,” said Jones.

But then Jones’ car failed to pass a post-race inspection, giving Clarksville driver Peregoy the second place finish.

Peregoy said of track conditions, “the tires were so junky. Look at the right rear, 50 laps, and blistered. You’ve got what you’ve got,” said Peregoy.

PURE STOCK SHOW:

That no. 3 car driven by Nathan Crews went wire-to-wire to win the on-track part of the race. However, Crews’ car failed to pass a post-race inspection by NASCAR officials, and runner-up Joe Allred III was awarded the win.

It is Allred’s third win of the season.

The race got one lap completed before Harrison Walker spun. Then, the no. 75 (Daniel Crews) took the worst of a messy restart, setting up another caution, with Nathan Crews leading.

Crews packed a half straight away lead, but the field tightened on a caution on lap 19. Austin Milam appeared to spin the no. 27 of Vic Ingram, with Jake Brown getting caught up in the incident.

N. Crews won the restart, with Joe Allred pressing him for second. Crews took a two car length lead, as Allred lost ground by sliding up the track a bit.

N. Crews powered ahead to the win in the 30-lap feature, only to get DQ’d. Allred will continue as the points leader.

Crews had a strong qualifying run, and then the driver of the no. 3 sprinted to a 2.115-second win over Allred. But the post-race inspection bit Crews.

Stuart Crews will get a second place finish as a result. with Johnny Layne third and Daniel Crews fourth. Eric Crews will be fifth.

Allred said track conditions were a challenge.

“It’s a whole lot slicker this race than it’s been. We had to struggle with that,” said Allred.

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