LaJoie and Smith Grab Wins at Bowman Gray
Wild night at the Madhouse for the Modifieds and the KNPSE.

Corey LaJoie in Winner’s Circle, receiving his trophy from racing legend Glen Wood. photo by Rusted Image Photography

(Bowman Gray Stadium, Winston-Salem, NC) With a full moon hanging in the sky, the Madhouse lived up to its namesake on Saturday. The K&N Pro Series East and the Brad’s Golf Cars Modified Series brought the fans to their feet – and both races ended with crowds cheering and booing loudly enough to drown out driver interviews.
            The NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 was expected to be one of the rougher events for the K&N Pro Series East. Bowman Gray Stadium’s tight quarter-mile track produces a definitively close style of racing, and competitors took advantage of every second of their practice sessions to adapt to the track.
            Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, CA was the fastest qualifier with Corey LaJoie of Concord turning the second fastest lap. When the green flag fell, the two fought for the lead over several laps. LaJoie pushed on the outside row but was unsuccessful at completing the pass.
            But on lap 37, another restart allowed LaJoie to grab the lead away from Larson. “I learned how to run the top last year, and I got the lead on the top,” said LaJoie. “We were kinda stuck there. They were lining up on the bottom, so I just had to go. My car was really good no matter where it went. It just stuck on the high side, and we made it work.”
            LaJoie was able to fight off outside row challenges in future restarts to claim the checkered. The victory makes him the 122nd winner of a featured event at Bowman Gray Stadium – adding him to the list of winners that includes Richard Petty, Lee Petty, Ralph Earnhardt, Glen Wood, and countless other legends. “It’s an elite group of people,” said LaJoie. “I have a long, long, long way to go to catch up to the prestige of those guys. I’m just happy to get into Victory Lane once to break that barrier.”
            During the final laps of the race, Darrell Wallace Jr. of Concord and Brett Moffitt of Grimes, IA got a little too close for comfort. Moffitt lost control and fell back a few positions – and then made his grievances known to Wallace as he celebrated his second place finish near Victory Lane.
            “It was a hard fought battle from lap 1 to lap 150,” said Wallace. “Right there at the last lap, LaJoie drove it in a little hard and checked up on Moffitt. I had the bottom covered and just got in the gas too early,” said Wallace. “It’s racing.”
            Bryan Ortiz of Payamon, Puerto Rico took third. Local rookie Harrison Rhodes of High Point claimed fourth in his first race ever in the K&N Pro Series East.

John Smith in Winner’s Circle after winning the Modified 100-lapper. photo by Eric Hylton Photography

            In the Brad’s Golf Cars Modified Series, John Smith of Mount Airy claimed the checkered after a fierce battle with Chris Fleming of Mount Airy.
            Smith, who started on the outside front row, motored past pole-starter Austin Pack of Walkertown as the green flag fell. Chris Fleming climbed up from fourth to second within a few laps.
            Fleming chose the outside row for the first two restarts, but Smith held on to the lead. But during the third restart, Fleming got the best of Smith, grabbing the race lead on lap 47. It was then Smith’s turn to take to the outside and challenge Fleming.
Smith tried for four double-file restarts to overtake Fleming, but the #40 car of Fleming refused to budge. But Smith wasn’t happy about how Fleming protected his lead. “I raced him clean - but every restart, we went down in the corner and he ran me out high,” said Smith. “He just bullied me to the outside and ran over top of me two or three restarts.”
When the caution came out in the final laps - leading to a green-white-checkered finish - the two competitors knew that this battle for the lead would decide the race. Smith followed closely behind Fleming and gave him a stiff shot in turn four of the final lap, spinning Fleming out. Smith went on to win, while Fleming’s spin created a multiple car pileup.
“I went into three, and he was already a little out of control. He just gassed it up and spun it out,” said Smith about the situation.
            “John was starting in turn three. I was trying to get him to do it right,” said Fleming. “He thinks he never does anything wrong. I was just driving my heart out.”
            Smith’s victory tonight not only marks his ninth featured win at Bowman Gray Stadium – but Smith also receives a $2,500 bonus. G-OIL offered the bonus to drivers should they run G-OIL in their cars and win the race on Saturday.
            Austin Pack of Walkertown avoided Fleming’s spinning car to finish in second, with Michael Clifton of Walkertown finishing in third.

 

Race Results

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
NASCAR Hall of Fame 150: 153 laps completed (race extended due to caution)

FINISH

CAR

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

1

07

Corey LaJoie

Concord, North Carolina

2

18

Darrell Wallace, Jr.

Concord, North Carolina

3

4

Bryan Ortiz

Bayamon, Puerto Rico

4

37

Harrison Rhodes

High Point, North Carolina

5

6

Kyle Larson

Elk Grove, California

6

9

Chase Elliott

Dawsonville, Georgia

7

46

Brandon Gdovic

Yorktown, Virginia

8

96

Ben Kennedy

Daytona Beach, Florida

9

11

Brett Moffitt

Grimes, Iowa

10

71

Eddie MacDonald

Rowley, Massachusetts

11

8

Jorge Arteaga

Aguascalientes, Mexico

12

15

Carlos Iaconelli

Sao Paulo, Brazil

13

31

Jimmy Weller

Hubbard, Ohio

14

99

Travis Pastrana

Annapolis, Maryland

15

22

Sam Hunt

Midlothian, Virginia

16

12

Jorge Contreras, Jr

Naucalpan, Mexico

17

49

Sean Caisse

Pelham, New Hampshire

18

2

Ryan Gifford

Wincehster, Tennessee

19

1

Sergio Pena

Winchester, Virginia

20

32

Dale Quarterley

Westfield, Masschusetts

21

26

Dylan Presnell

Sevierville, Tennessee

22

14

Daniel Suarez

Monterrey, Mexico

 

Brad's Golf Cars Modified Series
100-lap Modified race: 103 laps completed (race extended due to caution)

FINISH

CAR

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

1

25

John Smith

Mount Airy, NC

2

81

Austin Pack

Walkertown, NC

3

50

Michael Clifton

Walkertown, NC

4

48

Brad Robbins

Winston-Salem, NC

5

5

Randy Butner

Pfafftown, NC

6

71

Dean Ward

Winston-Salem, NC

7

1

Burt Myers

Walnut Cove, NC

8

4

Jason Myers

Walnut Cove, NC

9

66

Ronnie Clifton

Walkertown, NC

10

3

Danny Propst

Monroe, NC

11

8

Thomas Ferrando

Rians, France

12

40

Chris Fleming

Mount Airy, NC

13

77

Lee Jeffreys

Wallburg, NC

14

21

Tommy Neal

Walkertown, NC

15

83

Tim Brown

Rural Hall, NC

16

05

Tony Black

Lexington, NC

17

22

Jonathan Brown

Winston-Salem, NC

18

12

Mike Norman

Lewisville, NC

19

2

Joseph Brown

Winston-Salem, NC

20

72

Brent Elliott

Denton, NC

21

37

Anthony Garbarino

Aixen Provence, France

22

64

Steven Truell

Winston-Salem, NC

23

69

Junior Miller

Danbury, NC

24

70

Noah Triplett

Lexington, NC

25

75

Robert Jeffreys

Wallburg, NC

26

79

Brian Loftin

Lexington, NC

27

65

Danny Bohn

Huntersville, NC