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Lights Shine on First Time Winners at Potomac
Budds Creek, MD - 4/2/2012
By Andy Marquis
After the sun went down, two drivers rocketed to first career victories under the lights at Potomac Speedway on Friday night. David Puckett and Kevin Pollard both scored their first career Potomac Speedway feature wins in their respective classes.
Puckett passed veteran driver Ryan Hackett to take the lead on the first lap of the 20 lap The Carruth & Son Concrete Late Model feature event. He would not look back for the rest of the race as he drove off in to the sunset to score the victory, the first of his career.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Puckett said. “I paid my dues so I figured it’s time to start winning.”
Ben Bowie, who won the season opener, finished in second after making a last lap pass on Hackett for third. Ryan Hackett showed up driving for his father, and NASCAR team owner, Ray Hackett. Ryan Hackett has experience in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, but he got his start at Potomac Speedway.
Kevin Pollard took the lead on the fourth lap of the 15 lap Gunter’s Honey U-Cars feature and held off challenges from Josh Willkins and Steve Katz to score his first career Potomac Speedway victory in his second start. Pollard was so new to victory lane, he didn’t know where to go after winning the feature.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Pollard said. “You know, first time out, it’s fun. I’m having a great time. I don’t know what else to say. It’s really fun and I’m really enjoying it. My dad used to race back in his day and he’s been a lot of help with me. Tom Paddock is the sole provider. He’s there for me every day, that’s my father in law. Love him to death and I couldn’t do anything without him.”
Kyle Nelson scored the victory in the 16 lap feature for the Coors Light Street Stocks. Nelson had to hold off a late race charge from Mike Corbin who got a run when a lapped car broke Nelson’s momentum forcing Nelson to change his line. Corbin didn’t have enough speed to get there and Nelson went on to score the win.
“We haven’t raced all year so this is the first one we’ve got,” Nelson said. “It’s been over a year so it feels pretty good. The lapped car messed me up, broke my momentum and pushed. I saw Mike get under me but luckily the lapped car was fast enough that I didn’t have to slow down too much.”
The most entertaining race of the night was the 15 lap Quality Auto Body & Collision Hobby Stocks feature. Matt Tarbox took the early lead in the first turn and got ahead of all the action. Jonathan Raley took third position from Don Breach on the fifth lap and the two got together the next lap sending Raley around.
On lap 11, Brian Adkins spun off the front bumper of Brittany Wenk in a battle for fourth. On the ensuing restart, Don Breach was also spun off Wenk’s front bumper. Track officials moved Wenk to the end of the line. Tarbox would go on to win the feature with John Burch finishing second and Jonathan Raley rallying to third after his early race incident.
“I’m just glad everybody raced me nice and clean tonight,” Tarbox said. “I was able to get out front and hold on.”
Ray Bucci won the 50 lap B&B Welding Strictly Stock Feature after taking the lead on lap 18. He held off challenges from Nabil Guffey and Ed Pope, Sr. during the race to score the win. The top three cars spent most of the time close enough to throw a blanket over all three cars. Guffey and Bucci swapped the lead a couple times after CJ Pannuty and Greg Morgan both had issues.
“The car ran good tonight,” Bucci said. “The track was in perfect shape. I was lucky to finish second last week so it feels good to get a win here tonight.”
Next Friday night, the Budweiser Super Late Model division will run the 35 lap Ed Canupp Memorial at Potomac Speedway and the Marshall & Associates Modifieds will make their first appearance of the season along with a meet and greet with the Easter Bunny for children in attendance.
Photography by Tony Knott and Andy Marquis
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