Jonesville’s Kayla Harrell has emotional win
As the dust cleared at Friendship Motor Speedway Saturday night, Jonesville’s Kayla Harrell was overcome with emotion.
Harrell held off a late-race charge for her second-career win in the Xtreme Stock 4 series. As she pulled into victory lane, she shared a touching moment with her father. To get a win in front of her family has been a long time coming.
“I’ve had so much trouble the past couple of weeks,” Harrell said. “I overdrove my car, I got frustrated, and finally tonight my car was running good, and I got my family here. I’m tickled to death, I couldn’t believe it. I was really, really excited and it felt like the longest 15 laps of my life.”
Harrell, 24, has only been racing at Friendship Motor Speedway for three years, and is in her second season in the XS4 series. Living just across the river in Jonesville, Harrell is happy to be a local winner.
“I get to come home and everybody that was here watching tonight, it’s a small town, everybody knows everybody, so that’s kind of cool,” Harrell said.
Harrell might be spending her off weekend racing somewhere else to stay fresh. If she does, it will be at Antioch Speedway in Morganton.
Four in a row for Anen
Elkin’s George Anen Jr. said last week that it was going to be tough to get his fourth win in a row in the Renegade series. He certainly didn’t expect to do what he did Saturday night.
At Friendship Motor Speedway, the rules are if a driver in any class wins three races in a row, he must start at the rear of the field for the feature event. After a dominating win last Saturday night, that’s exactly what Anen had to do. By lap three, Anen had moved up to the lead.
Racing in third place, Anen was trailing the 36 and 56 in turn two when the two got together and spun. Anen assumed the lead, and said he saw the wreck coming a mile away.
“I expected to get close to the front, and maybe even win, but to [pass everyone] in three laps, I’m shocked,” Anen said.
The 56 was strong all night, and charged his way back up towards the front. The ensuing race to the finish took mental strength, and Anen prevailed.
“He was strong tonight, I had to change my lane. I had to take his line away from him,” Anen said.
Four weeks ago, Anen was in third place in the standings trailing the leader by a decent margin. Now, he has four wins in a row and is within striking distance of the point leaders as they head into the off weekend.
Many local winners at Friendship Motor Speedway
At Friendship Motor Speedway Saturday night, local drivers were the class of the field.
Ronda’s Bryan Nance kicked things off with a win in the Limited Sportsman series, and definitely had the bold move of the night. After working his way up to third during the heat race, Nance dove to the inside to make it three-wide in turns three and four, and made it stick and passed them both. Nance drove away in the heat race for the win, and pull away in the feature race to add another win for him at Friendship.
Elkin’s George Anen Jr. charged his way from dead-last to the front of the field in three laps and drove away for his fourth win in a row in the Renegade series. He has closed the gap substantially in the points standings and is now well within striking distance of the lead.
Jonesville’s Kayla Harrell had an emotional win in the XS4 series. It came after struggling performances over the past four weeks.
Other winners included Mocksville’s Richard Clew in the Open Wheel Modified series, Wilkesboro’s Kenneth Miller in UCAR series, and Hamptonville’s Chris Cheek in the SECA Crate Late Model series.
Stakes were raised in all classes for this weekend, as Cheek won $1200 dollars for his win in SECA, Clew won $600 for his win in Open Wheel Modified, and all other feature winners won $400 dollars for feature wins.
Friendship Motor Speedway heads into its off week. It gives drivers an opportunity to race at other tracks, or get a well-deserved week of rest. Racing returns to the dirt oval Saturday night July 25.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.