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McConnell Wins at Mt. Lawn
May 7, 2008 - Opening night at Mt. Lawn Speedway proved to be one of the coldest in recent history, with temperatures nearing the 40-degree mark. But the fans who braved the cold were rewarded with some great racing.
In the first event of the evening, the qualification time trials, track records were broken in the Late Model and Thunder Car divisions. Going into the evening the old track record in the Motion Motors Late Models was held by Knightstown’s William Mefford, at 16.595, set on August 14, 2004. Kevin Claborn, of Cambridge City, was the first to topple Mefford with a lap of 16.585.
Then Jason Atkinson, who was subbing for the injured Terry Cater, lowered the mark to 16.560. Next it was Eric Evans’ turn to lower record even further at 16.511. In the Dependable Drywall Thunder Cars, Kevin Claborn lowered his own record from a previous 18.463 to 18.399.
In the Late Model feature, Greenfield’s Chad White led the first three laps from his pole position. On lap four, Shirley’s David McConnell took over the lead, with Randy Anderson, of Knightstown, in hot pursuit. By lap seven, Scott Knepley, of Greensboro, was second with Evans right on his tail.
On the next lap, Evans tried to slip inside in turn one, but made a little contact with Knepley, resulting in a cut right front tire. Over the next 20 laps McConnell still led, with Knepley, David Fox of Markleville, Jeff Marcum of Morristown, Cater, and Knightstown’s Brandon Mefford all trying to jockey for position to make a run at McConnell.
In the end, McConnell held on for the win. He was followed by Marcum, Fox, Knepley, Mefford, Cater, Anderson, White, Johnny Fugate and Kent Carson.
Kevin Claborn won the Razzles Dash for Cash, with Knepley and McConnell winning the heats. By virtue of fast qualifier effort, Evans, rolling a three on a dice, gave Kevin Claborn the opportunity to start at the rear of the field and attempt to win the Tail Gunner Challenge jackpot. By lap 12, Claborn had moved to fifth position, but a flat tire on the next lap sent him to the pits for the evening.
In the Dependable Drywall Thunder division, Shirley’s Pam McConnell tried to make it two in a row for the McConnell family as she grabbed the lead at the start. On lap six Kevin Claborn was able to get around McConnell and led the rest of the way. McConnell finished second, followed by Jameson Owens of Greenfield, Ed Knott of Muncie, Jerry Chesher of Centerville, Kenny Lee of Anderson, Paul Starks of Fortville, Bill Clark of Rushville, Chris Bolyard of Rushville and Terry Malone of Anderson. Owens won the Dependable Drywall Dash for cash, with Claborn and Knott winning the heats.
In the Collins Auto Service Hornets, Anderson driver Nick Warner led the final 16 laps of the 20 lap feature to take the win. Warner was pushed all the way by Chris Jennings and Keith Morris, who finished second and third, respectively. They were followed by Gary Bragg, Kim Lawrence, Joyce Dyer, Rus Humes, John Massengale, Gary Bragg, Sr., and Mark Dulworth. Dyer set fast time at 19.748. Warner won the Collins Dash for Cash, with the heats going to Warner, Josh Neal of Indianapolis and Massengale.
Next Saturday night will be Spring Fan Night at Mt. Lawn, with all tickets $5 with ages five and under free. On the schedule for Saturday night will be an on-track autograph and photo session and Big Wheel races for the kids.
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