It took seven restarts, but Ron Lawson of Austinville, Virginia got it done, capturing the 20-lap Open Wheel Modified feature Saturday night at Friendship Motor Speedway.
Winners also included Elkin’s Trent Chatham in the Super Stock 4 class; and Hamptonville’s Chris Cheek in the SECA Crates. Mount Airy’s Kevin Gwyn in the Renegades; Cooleemee’s Austin Caudle in the Xtreme Stock 4; and Kasey Shane in the UCars.
Lawson said he didn’t have the fastest car Saturday night. “I probably had the third-fastest car,” Lawson said. “I saw some pretty clean driving out there considering. A lot of give and take out there.”
The track was in good shape, but did hold a few bumps low and some loose clay high between turns one and two.
Lawson started ninth in the 11-car field. He didn’t show up in the top five until lap 13. He was the fifth different driver to hold the lead when he took it for good on lap 14, following a crash in turn four on the restart that took out Steve Kirkman, Steven Hines, and Jeff Parsons.
It was Lawson’s third time at Friendship. “The other two we don’t want to talk about,” he said.
Elkin’s George Anen finished second. “I’m about as give out as I can be,” Anen said after the race, adding he wasn’t disappointed at all with second. “I feel pretty good about it,” he said.
Parsons, who battled back from losing two positions for allegedly jumping a restart and later a flat tire suffered in the crash, finished third.
Cheek was dialed in during the SECA Crates Late Model feature. He would lead the entire way, threatened only by Statesville’s Kent Peckham early on.
Chase McCormick took second after Peckham tangled with a lap car on the front straightaway on lap 18. Benji Hicks ran consistently well throughout to take third after starting eighth.
Gwyn was the fastest car in Renegades. Gwyn started on the pole and held the lead throughout - successfully navigating the lapped traffic and holding off Parsons for the win. Shaun Robinson recovered from getting caught in lapped traffic on lap seven to finish third.
Racing continues Saturday night with warm-ups at 6. The six classes that ran Saturday night will be back as will the Limited Sportsman class. The grandstands and pit areas open at 3:30.
Results — Super Stock 4: 1. Trent Chatham; 2. Chad Call; 3. Steve Faw. Open Wheel Modifieds: 1. Ron Lawson; 2. George Anen; 3. Jeff Parsons. UCars: 1. Kasey Shane; 2. Shawn Oliveira; 3. Clifton Richardson. Renegades: 1. Kevin Gwyn; 2. Jeff Parsons; 3. Shaun Robinson. SECA Crate Late Model: 1. Chris Cheek; 2. Chase McCormick; 3. Benji Hicks. Xtreme Stock 4: 1. Austin Caudle; 2. Joe Joe Wagoner; 3. Tim Wyatt.
Jim Fuller may be reached at 336-835-1513 or Twitter @elkinareasports.