By admin | April 15, 2012
By Richard Allen
Greg Martin has established himself as one of the east Tennessee region’s top Crate Late Model drivers and his performance on Saturday night at the Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tennessee further established that.
Justin Summers set fast time in qualifying on the 4/10 mile track with a lap of 16.996 seconds in time trials. But much like he did two weeks ago at the 411 Motor Speedway in Seymour, Tennessee, Martin started from the outside of the front row and wasted no time in putting his Bloomquist Race Car out front. And once in the lead, the #24 was hardly threatened.
Summers settled into the 2nd spot and kept Martin in sight for most of the race but never mounted a serious challenge for the lead. However, the racing from 3rd on back through the field was much more intense.
Anthony White charged from his 5th starting spot to take 3rd almost immediately. David Crabtree, Corey Hedgecock, Mack McCarter and Ryan King all gave chase and exchanged positions in the process.
However, at lap 14 things took a dramatic turn when White found himself tangled up with the lapped car of Danny Yoder on the front stretch. As the two machines raced into turn one, Yoder spun nose first into the outside wall as White limped back to the pit area with what appeared to be a flat left front tire.
On that ensuing restart, Hedgecock’s car appeared not to turn at all as he slammed the wall in turn one bringing out another caution. Although his car appeared to be heavily damaged, Hedgecock seemed unhurt in the accident.
After the final restart of the race, Martin again sailed away from the pack. Meanwhile, McCarter moved around Crabtree to claim the 3rd position.
At the finish, it was Martin winning over Summers, McCarter, Crabtree and Hunter Best.
Perhaps the race of the night came in the street stock class. Travis Reno got out the lead at the start but was shadowed all the way by Dale Watson and Bradley Lewelling. Those two drivers raced side by side for virtually the entire distance of the 15 lap feature event.
Reno laid claim to the victory with Watson edging Lewelling for 2nd while David Price came home 4th.
“I’ve had a lot of bad luck,” an emotional Reno said in victory lane. “It’s been a long time coming. This was for my dad.”