The dust has now settled on the 2017 racing season at Bowman Gray Stadium – and just as expected, the final night had enough fireworks to get the fans on their feet.
In the Brad’s Golf Cars Modified Series, Tim Brown of Tobaccoville qualified on the pole for Saturday’s Carolina Farm Credit 150. Brandon Ward of Winston-Salem started on the outside front-row but was unable to steal the lead away on the initial start.
Ward tried again during the first double-file restart, but he was caught on the outside row while James Civali of Davidson moved up to second. Civali began immediately applying the pressure to Tim Brown. On lap 27, Civali gave a strong shot to the bumper of Brown, sending him sliding to the outside row and falling back in position. Civali took over the lead.
However, Civali quickly began receiving the same pressure from Brandon Ward. A string of cautions gave Ward four chances to take to the outside and challenge for the lead. On the fourth attempt, Ward battled with Civali side-by-side for a full lap until eventually clearning Civali and stealing away the lead.
Ward then had to defend the top spot from Tim Brown, Bobby Measmer of Concord, James Civali, and Jonathan Brown of Winston-Salem. Through it all, Ward held strong and went on to win. The last time Ward had entered Winner’s Circle was last year’s season-ending Carolina Farm Credit 150.
“I hate it took us all year to win one again. We’ve had good race cars,” said Ward. “A couple mechanical issues put us behind, but these guys have worked super hard to get caught back up. Tonight’s the best car we’ve had.”
While the battle for the checkered was raging on, Burt Myers of Walnut Cove was making his way through the field on a mission for his eighth Modified championship. Myers moved up to third early in the race but was involved in a wreck that dropped him back. Despite the incident, Myers fought forward to finish fourth – more than enough to clear the rest of the field in the points standings.
“I used to sit right there in the stands – and to think about winning eight championships is just unbelievable,” said Myers. “You start out the season, you try to win as many races as you can. You try to do the best you can, be as consistent as you can. And we were just right there. God’s blessed me so much – me and my family.”
In the Texas Steak & Tap House Sportsman Series, John Holleman of Winston-Salem led the first few laps of Saturday’s 40-lapper. He seemed to be on the way to taking his ninth win – and potentially even the Sportsman title.
But Dylan Ward of Winston-Salem bumped him out of the lead. A few laps later, Zack Clifton of Walkertown banged fenders with Holleman – sending his car spinning along with his championship hopes.
Dylan Ward went on to take the checkered. Finishing a smooth second place was Derek Stoltz of Walkertown, who claimed the Sportsman championship.
The points battle in the Q104.1 New Country Street Stock Series was as tight as they come entering Saturday’s race. Jacob Creed of Dobson was tied for the lead with Jeremy Warren of Winston-Salem. Brian Wall of Winston-Salem was just eight points behind.
With hard racing and wrecks left and right, Warren and Wall were taken out of the race early. Their ailing cars weren’t enough to make it back to the front – but Jacob Creed was able to avoid any incident, finishing second and winning his first Street Stock Championship.
In the Law Offices of John Barrow Stadium Stock Series, Chase Hunt of Lexington was one lap away from winning the championship when disaster struck and Hunt began slowing due to a flat tire. He tried to continue the race, needing to preserve his position in order to win the title.
But on the white flag lap, Hunt fell back several positions. Wesley Thompson of Advance went on to win, boosting him past Hunt and A.J. Sanders of Mocksville in the points rankings and giving him the Stadium Stock title for 2017.