Ross Bailes picked up his third FUEL racing series victory of the season at Friendship Motor Speedway Saturday night.
Other winners included Steve Faw (Super Stock 4), George Anen (Open Wheel Modifieds), Justin Hudspeth (SeCA Crate Late Models), Shaun Robinson (Renegades), and Kasey Shane in UCars.
Bailes, of Clover, South Carolina, started on the outside of the second row for the 40-lap FUEL feature. With Ricky Weeks of Rutherfordton taking the early lead, Bailes worked his way up into second going into lap 15.
Between lap 15 and lap 19, Bailes cut Weeks’s lead from 10 car-lengths to four car-lengths. At that point, a caution came out to tighten the field. Bailes got around Weeks in turn 3 of lap 20 and pulled away for the win.
It was Bailes’s second win at Friendship in as many tries this season.
“The track was different tonight,” Bailes said. Most drivers stayed on the bottom Saturday night, especially between turns 1 and 2. Bailes said he “took it easy” until he was ready to test the top.
“It stuck,” he said. Bailes said if he couldn’t have used the top “it would have been tough to pass Ricky.”
Weeks’s night was over when his rear went out on lap 30. Steve Banal claimed second while Billy Hicks took third.
“I got to thank all of my guys,” said Bailes, who is sponsored by WP Racing Shocks, Bailes Construction, FK Rod Ends, Felony Farms, Dirt Works Performance, John Page Racing, Servicemaster, Velocita, and Carver and Sons.
Faw, of Miller’s Creek, led from green to checkered in the 15-lap Super Stock feature, taking a two-car length win over North Wilkesboro’s Chad Call. Call tried Faw several times, even bumping on lap 13, but could not take the lead away.
Anen, of Elkin, started on the outside of the front row and took the lead for good coming out of turn 2 on lap 1.
“The car was amazing and was able to stay in front,” Anen said.
It was Anen’s first win of the season after finishing second three times in a row. “We try hard every week,” Anen said. “We’ve been a factor. Everybody there is capable of winning.”
Buck Stevens held off Richard Clew to take second in the 25-lap feature that was green the entire way.
Hudspeth, of Ronda, denied Bailes his a win in the SeCA Crate Late Model feature. The two started on the front row and the two stayed up front throughout the race. Bailes held off Ron Parker to claim second.
It was Hudspeth’s third of the season.
The races of the night took place in the Renegades division. After battling it out in a five-lap heat race, Shaun Robinson, Jr. Blackburn, and Jody Miller battled again in the 15-lap feature.
Blackburn and Robinson started on the front row with Miller behind on the inside of the second row. Robinson had the early lead, but Blackburn took it away on lap 6 when Robinson got loose in turn 2. Robinson got back under Blackburn on lap 9, but Blackburn, running on the outside took the lead back coming out of turn 4 on lap 10.
Miller, who finished second, was on either bumper the entire way.
Blackburn held on for the win on the track, but Robinson was awarded the win after Blackburn was disqualified.
Kasey Shane and Kenneth Miller finished right where they started in the UCars feature - first and second. Stephanie Clew Caudle finished third.
There is no racing this Saturday night at Friendship. Racing resumes July 19.
Results — FUEL Series: 1. Ross Bailes; 2. Steve Banal; 3. Billy Hicks; 4. Donald Bradsher; 5. Brett Hamm. Super Stock 4: 1. Steve Faw; 2. Chad Call; 3. Kevin Atwell. Open Wheel Modifieds: 1. George Anen; 2. Buck Stevens; 3. Richard Clew. SeCA Crate Late Model: 1. Justin Hudspeth; 2. Ross Bailes; 3. Ron Parker. Renegades: 1. Shaun Robinson, West Jefferson, NC; 2. Jody Miller; 3. Craig Miller. UCars: 1. Kasey Shane; 2. Kenneth Miller; 3. Stephanie Clew Caudle.