Elkin’s George Anen Jr. picked up right where he left off before the off week with a memorable performance at Friendship Motor Speedway Saturday night.
Following a long side-by-side battle with Clinton Barker that lasted over 10 laps, Anen finally overtook Barker and held on for his fifth straight win in the Renegade series.
“That was a great battle,” Anen said. “He ran me hard, he ran me clean. I just kept chiseling away at him every lap and the outcome was what I thought it would be. Luck runs out eventually but right now we’re on top and it’s great.”
Five race weekends ago, Anen was third in points needing a big run to close the gap for a shot to win the championship. Unofficially, he is now second and within striking distance of first. Despite that, Anen has other plans.
“We’re not really out here racing for points. We’re here to win every week. If we win the points, it’s just a bonus,” Anen said.
Dobson’s McCormick grabs third win of season
Dobson’s Chase McCormick was able to hold off all his challengers after a late-race restart to get his third win of the season in the SECA Late Models.
McCormick, 24, is known as “Little Mac” to Friendship faithful, and was happy to win at what he considers his home track on a special day.
“It’s pretty special because it was my girlfriend’s birthday. Every win we’ve had this season has come on either a holiday or a birthday,” McCormick said.
Watch out for McCormick on Labor Day then, and because the points appear to be heavily favoring Chris Cheek, he said he’s been going out just for wins every weekend.
Perhaps stealing the headline from the SECA race was an on-track incident. Steve Blackburn was spun and retaliated during the cool down lap. Many in the infield expected that there would be a Bowman Gray-like incident after the race, but the Friendship staff managed to keep them separated. Whether or not the emotions boil over to next week is yet to be seen.
Controversial finish in Super Stock 4; Other notables
Wilkesboro’s Roger Nance grabbed the win in the Super Stock 4 race, but it did not come without post-race emotions.
The final restart saw Nance and Trent Chatham banging into one another for the lead. On the final lap, Nance and Chatham got together sending Chatham up the hill while Nance drove off for the win.
However, after the race, it wasn’t Chatham who was the angry racer, but rather points leader Billy Robbins and his supporters. They claimed that the incident could have put Robbins in serious danger. As a result, they’ve protested Nance’s win. At press time, no official update was given on Nance’s win.
Greensboro’s Ben Walker made sure to pump up the crowd who waited 45 minutes for racing to begin due to rain with his win in the UCAR series. He pulled out front and never looked back.
Taylorsville’s Larry Martin pulled off a dominant performance in the Xtreme Stock 4 series. He unloaded off the truck fast during the heat races and followed it up by leading every lap in the feature.
Richard Clew continued his dominance of the Open Wheel Modified series, fighting his way to the front and holding off challengers during pivotal restarts for his eighth win in the past ten races in the Minions car.
Spencer Gallagher made it down to Elkin for the modified and late model races, just days after competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at legendary Eldora Speedway. Gallagher ran into trouble early on in his first truck race on dirt, but rebounded for a 17th place finish. He followed that up with a third place finish in the modifieds Saturday night. Gallagher is having a great season on dirt, but perhaps what’s more impressive is his truck results so far. He currently sits 9th in standings for GMS Racing, and has posted his career-best finish, a second place finish at Gateway Motorsports Park.
Next week features a new series appearing at Friendship Motor Speedway for the first time. Read more about the new series in upcoming Wednesday’s Tribune.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.