Kevin Bray avoids the big crash for sixth win at Dixieland Speedway
By Jami Frankenberry
Sunday, August 12, 2018
MORGANS CORNER — Kevin Bray kept his cool — and the lead — on a sweltering night that featured some harrowing crashes at Dixieland Speedway.
Bray, of Elizabeth City, led all 35 laps in the Little Caesar’s Super Streets $500-to-win feature on Friday night, steering around six cautions, including a four-car crash that was the track’s scariest in recent memory.
Bray picked up his sixth victory and fourth in the past five races, surviving a feature in which only six of 16 cars finished.
“We’ve definitely had a good year,” Bray said. “Last year we ran decent but came out this year and wasn’t planning to run for the points and missed the first race on purpose. I’ve never won a championship here but we’ll see.”
While Bray turned in a dominant performance, the image most Dixieland fans will remember from Friday is the site of four mangled cars on the front stretch after a violent crash just five laps from the finish.
The cars — those of Devin Weatherly, Michael Morris, Allen Shiflett and Rod Busitzky — tangled on the front stretch before they got to turn 1. Weatherly hit the outside wall and flipped at least twice before his car landed on its roof against the cars of Busitzky and Morris.
All four drivers walked away before race workers cleared the track for the final five circuits.
Bray raced into the lead on the restart and led by a straightaway on the final lap. Justin Pruitt finished second, followed by Joey Seward.
The race also was stopped early after a scary crash involving Virginia Beach’s Jeff Hunt.
He lost control coming out of turn 2 when he nearly tangled with two other cars and flipped over the guardrail on the backstretch. He quickly emerged from the car unscathed, but the race was red flagged as officials worked to pull the car back onto the track.
“A lot of guys got their stuff torn up tonight,” Bray said, “and I hate that.”
Three of Dixieland’s other divisions also were in action Friday night:
The Biggs Cadillac Buick GMC Stock Fours division also held its special feature, with Chesapeake, Va., driver Trevor Battoia leading all 30 laps.
Battoia, a former track champion, dodged five cautions for his second victory and the $1,000 prize. Shane Loving finished second, followed by Jason McCauley.
In the Budweiser All-Star division, veteran driver Tom Wilson led all 20 laps of a feature that was shortened because of time. Wilson, of Knotts Island, climbed atop the car in Victory Lane after his first win of the season. He finished in front of points leader Billy Hubbard and Will Pritchard.
In the Rapid Ron’s Racing Sportsman division, Elizabeth City’s Ray Miller led from start to finish for his first victory of the season. Miller – making just his second start of the season – finished ahead of Joe Weiss and Mark Gonzales.