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Excitement Was Aplenty for the Bobby Watson Memorial

It was “Party Time” at Bobby Watson’s Carteret County Speedway on September 24th. On what would have been Watson’s 70th birthday an exciting night of eight divisions competing began with an impromptu rendition of Happy Birthday to Bobby whose dream was in full view of a large crowd of fans and racers and ended with a round of fireworks. It was the “Bobby Watson Memorial” in honor of the man who made this track a reality and the night did not disappoint.

Dyan Newsome all but wrapped up the season points championship in the Solid Rock Carriers Big Money Late Model Series. Despite a bounty on Newsome because of five straight victories, he led the late Model feature wire to wire for 70 laps and his sixth consecutive win heading into Race of Champions weekend December 10-11. Newsome was flawless as Casey Wyatt gave chase but could never catch Newsome. The double-zero of Jody Measamer finished third.

Newsome also took home a bonus prize of $200 for leading on the 40th lap designed to pay homage to Bobby Watson. Even with the special competition yellow, Newsome owned the final 30 laps to victory lane.

In the Legends division, 12 year old Joel Smith powered his No.24 to the lead going from last to first in just 11 laps. Smith survived a yellow restart on lap 16 and was never headed towards his fate with victory lane. Top qualifier Brenton Irving had mechanical problems on the first lap and while his crew worked feverishly to fix the issue, Irving hit the pits early. Scotty Benford was second by a mere 0.309 seconds with DJ Murphy on the podium in third.

The popular Flathead Fords made the tow to Carteret Speedway for Saturday’s card. These crafty veterans and their classic machines wowed the crowd as Johnny Johnson took the 99 car to the checkered flag. “I love coming down here” said Johnson, “this is my favorite track”. Johnson has been racing since 1964, that’s 58 years but who’s counting! Jeremy Cox and Wayne Lawson grabbed second and third respectively.

The Junior Mini Cup cars actually led off the night's racing show and Colby Gurganus in the No.88 left no doubt he was the champion. Gurganus led wire to wire to win the Season Points Championship. Despite leading from the green, Gurganus would later say, “I had to drive hard to win this one”. His comment referenced Michael Bivens who pushed him the final few laps to take second. Anthony Vantresca was third. One note of Junior Mini Cup interest, Bivens and 4th place finisher Nolan Walker are both graduates of Carteret Speedway Summer racing camps.

The UCAR points title was also decided Saturday when Dustin Jolly jumped to a big lead, some 11 seconds at the halfway mark, to win the UCAR feature and the season points title. Jolly’s lead was so huge he joked afterward, “I had to cruise the final five laps.” Jolly is only in his second season of racing, another up and coming driver at Carteret Speedway. Steve Sullivan was second and Tom Bonner third.

Sullivan was also second in the Mini Sock feature race losing to Neil Mason by 1.057 seconds. Travis Provost checked in at third.

The Street Stock feature provided some intrigue when James David Horner and Chip Daniels tangled on the track, not once but twice. Daniels was knocked out of the race after the second incident. I guess you could say things got “Chippy”.

Meanwhile, Kyle Lynch powered the 16-car to an early lead, avoided the drama in the back of the pack, and won the Street Stock Feature. John Sharp had a chance to catch Lynch thanks to a yellow restart with 16 laps remaining but Lynch jetted to victory lane. Steve Wells finished third.

Last but by no means least, the Bombers closed out an exciting night of racing wit Cornell Williams coasting to an 11 second win over Duane Walker with Brian Gooden third.

More racing this Saturday October 1st with the Fall Showdown. The Grand National Super Series will conclude its season with Championship night. Among the drivers coming to Carteret Speedway is NASCAR great Jeremy Mayfield. It will be Championship Points night for the Chargers!

As always kids 10 and under are admitted free and it’s $15 for adults unless you present your arm band from September 24, then admission is half price.

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