DeGRAFF – Five drivers left Shady Bowl Speedway Saturday night as 2020 track champions.
It was an action-filled night, as all the racers turned it up a notch to see if they could secure enough points to take the coveted track champion title.
Melling Performance stepped up as sponsor for the championship round. The Noble Armor Coating Late Models took to the track first. Only 10 points separated the top four drivers. Jim Lewis Jr. set the pace for the first 18 laps, as the top four drivers in points, Matthew Parsons, Don Mahaffey Jr., Josh Smith and Ryan Fleming, were in a tight battle and were putting on an intense race as all four were together as they made it to the rear bumper of Lewis.
Fast qualifier Mahaffey made it to the lead group to join the three amigos in a great battle that saw positions change nearly every lap. Mahaffey brought out the caution as he and another car made contact with the 18 of Mahaffey going hard driver’s side first into the wall. The crash left Mahaffey dazed and confused. A decision was made to Careflight Mahaffey to a Dayton hospital. A family member sent word that Mahaffey would be discharged as tests showed everything was OK.
When racing resumed Lewis went back out front in his Dave Nagel Excavating Chevy. Parsons and Fleming battled for the championship behind Lewis. When Lewis took the checkered Parsons was second, with Fleming third. The second-place finish gave Parsons his third track title at the rural oval. Kenny George Jr was fourth with Tyler Mahaffey fifth. Fleming won the dash and Dearl Parsons took the heat win.
The Wooten Automotive and Towing Modifieds filed off the hill next. Fourteen drivers took the green flag to start the 30-lap main. Scott Jones led lap one, with Daniel McPherson taking the point next. Chris Parker, who had the points race locked in at the start, led the field to the checkered. Parker was behind the wheel of his Peak Fabrication open wheeler. The title was his second straight. Daniel McPherson finished second with Bill Burba third, Logan McPherson fourth and Jerry Stapleton fifth. Logan McPherson was fast qualifier, with Stapleton taking the dash. Rob Bryant and Brian Brandyberry took heat honors.
The Heath and Sons Farms Street Stocks were up next. Sidney driver Rodney Roush wrapped up his ninth track championship in his Roush and Sons Racing Chevelle. Sixteen drivers dove into turn one at the start of the 25-lap feature. Chris Parker was the leader before tangling with another car, sending him to the pits. The lead soon went to Phil Gussler Jr of Columbus. Gussler went on to claim his first Shady Bowl feature in the Gussler Racing Camaro. Jacob Heckman, Buck Purtee, Rodney Roush and Rob Schaeff finished second through fifth. Gussler won the dash with Buck Purtee and Richard Roush notching heat wins.
The Pines Home Solutions Thunder Cars were up next. The night turned out to be a major disappointment for Brad Blue. Blue set fast time and won the feature only to fail to go to post-race inspection. The same fate fell to Scottie Marquis. Marquis was crowned the track champion and in his excitement failed to go to the inspection area. The win then went to Hunter Hicks of Piqua. The win was the second of the season for the rookie driver. Scott Drake, Curtis Noble, Peyton Burba and Bob Coppock had top five finishes. Drake won the dash, with the heat win going to Hicks.
The Harrods Home Solutions Compacts were next up. Columbus driver Jimmy McElfresh took the lead on lap five and the Barrett Tool Cavalier led the last 20 circuits to win the feature. Fast qualifier Austin Eaton was second, with Tony Heath third, Alex Young fourth and Jimmy Huffman Jr. fifth. The second-place finish for Eaton locked up his points title. The dash went to Young.