Suffolk’s Florian gets first UCAR win

Published 9:34 pm Monday, September 29, 2008

HAMPTON — Joe Scarbrough moved into the lead on lap 34 and showed the way to the finish to win the Plaid 19 “Race Against Autism” 75 for the Rolling Thunder Modified tour, the featured event of Saturday evening’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program at Langley Speedway.

Ronnie Davis set the fast time in qualifying for the race, lapping the .395-mile oval at 84.562 mph. The top six qualifiers were inverted for the start, though.

By lap 7, Michael Leech had extended his lead to almost half a straightaway over Scarbrough.

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Scarbrough continued to follow in Leech’s tire tracks until lap 34 when he cut to the bottom of the track off Turn 2 and motored into the lead on the back straightaway.

The race went green for the final time at lap 70. As he had several times before, Scarbrough immediately manufactured a two-length lead and began to ease away.

At the finish, Scarbrough was the winner by 0.552-second — about three lengths — over Doug Paasch. Aubrey Thurston was third to the line, followed by Mike Hanbury and Davis.

For Scarbrough, the win was his sixth at Langley this season and his fourth in a Rolling Thunder Mod event. He’ll look to wrap the ‘08 championship in the track’s own B&C Seafood Modified class next Saturday night in the 50-lap season-ender.

In Victory Lane after the race, Scarbrough said, “We’ve got one race left, man. I’ll tell ya’ what, I love coming out here tonight ‘cause we’re not racing for points. It was just relaxing. It was fun. It was no pressure. I’ve got fingernails left. October 4th, I’ll chew ‘em to the knuckle.”

In the evening’s other feature events:

It was a big night for the Wood family as the Bass Pro Shops Super Street division completed its 2008 points campaign with a 50-lap feature. Brother Jeramie Wood snatched the lead off the final corner to capture his first win and sister Jessica Wood outdueled Ryan Nester to claim the championship.

The action for the season championship took place deep in the field. Nester entered the race with a two-point lead in the standings and needed to finish in front of or, since the tiebreaker favored him, immediately behind Wood to bag the crown.

At the halfway mark, Jeramie Wood was on Ritchie German’s rear bumper, hounding him for the lead. Behind them, Jessica Wood and Nester maintained the seventh and 10th spots.

Following a caution on lap 37, Nester made his way into eighth place, right behind Jessica Wood and in position for the title.

On lap 39, however, Jessica Wood scooted by Sean Calway for sixth. Needing to match her, Nester tried to follow on lap 40. Instead, he spun to the infield in Turn 2.

In the final points tally, Jessica Wood ended up with 562 to win the season title. Randy Sample’s third-place run was just enough to vault him ahead of Nester in the standings. Sample was second with 550, while Nester, who was 13th in Saturday’s race, wound up with 548.

In the 25-lap EZ Auto of Newport News UCAR points finale, rookie Adam Florian took the lead on the 22nd lap and motored on to his first win. Meanwhile, Renno Marchetti IV turned in a steady, seventh-place effort and sealed the ‘08 championship.

Allen Dail started on the pole and led the first 21 laps. After Florian moved in front on lap 22, he had to survive a two-lap sprint to the finish after a yellow flag on lap 24.

Under green for the final time, Florian eked out a slim margin over Matt Hockaday, who had his hands full with Chris Hildebrand and Robbie Salas. With Hockaday’s attention divided, Florian pulled away over the last two laps and won by about three lengths.

In the final standings, Marchetti claimed the championship by 12 points over Hockaday, 626-614.

Jeff Sampson wrapped up the 2008 championship in a 12-lap dash for the Wolf Contractors Wolf Trucks. He started on the pole, at 87.459 mph, and led all the way.

Flexing his muscle in the early going, Sampson was ahead by almost a full straightaway at the halfway mark.

Spencer Saunders scored his third straight victory in the 20-lap points finale for the Rhonnda Claiborne, Realtor HRKC Pro Winged Champ Karts, taking the lead off the last corner.

Saunders was the winner by 0.168-second over David Phelps. Adam Chalkley was third, followed by Jeremy Grogg and Ryan Hudgins.

Dannie Wyatt is the 2008 Champ Kart titlist. He had clinched the championship before Saturday’s event and sat out the season-ender. Chalkley was second, followed by Saunders.