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Luke Roffers Takes First Ever Checkers at Wythe Raceway in Carolina Clash Event

Sunday September 23, 2012

 

Luke Roffers and Zack Mitchell are from two very differently racing regions. Roffers grew up on the ovals of the upper Midwest competing in both asphalt and dirt competition there during the 1990s and 2000s. Mitchell got his racing starts on the ovals of upstate South Carolina having followed in his father’s footsteps and stepped up into crate late model and super late model racing in the past seven years. However, both had a lot to prove against 23 of the best super late model teams in the southeast and started from the front row. Luke Roffers took the fastest qualifying honors and picked up his 2nd XS Power Racing Batteries “Fastest Qualifyer” award, his first since I-77 Speedway in July. This was the first start on the front row for Mitchell this season in very limited Carolina Clash action.

Among championship contenders, Dennis Franklin started third, coming off three wins in a row. Tim Allen, and Jeff Smith started in the top five.

On the first lap of the feature, Zack Mitchell took the race lead in a furious battle with Dennis Franklin and Luke Roffers. Mitchell held the race led over the first seven laps of the event until Dennis Franklin made a huge run off of turn two to the race lead. Franklin held the lead over the next four laps of the event until problems developed on the #37c machine for AES Racing. Franklin pitted on lap 10 of the event, giving the lead back to Mitchell. While on pit road, the race restarted and Franklin came back out after going a lap down to the field.

Then, on lap 14, Travis Greer of Marion, VA slapped the outside wall in turn one putting the field back under caution. Meanwhile, Mitchell continued to hold off Roffers and Johnny Pursley, who were raging a battle for second. Another caution occurred on lap 18 as the King cars of Deleware crashed on the frontstraightaway. The heaviest crash of the night occurred on lap 19 when Dennis Franklin, Michael Marlowe and Randy Harmon crashed on the front.

During the race, Dean Bowen was working his way through the field and entered the top six, racing with Tim Allen who had a strong top five run over most of the event. Bowen was the Safety-Kleen Hard Charger of the Race, finishing fourth from his 13th starting spot.

After taking the halfway flags, Zack Mitchell continued to pace the field. Doug Sanders was solidly in the top ten for all of the event and was eighth at halfway.

Late in the event, Scott Autry fell of the pace on lap 25 in a scary situation that sent all of the cars behind him scrambling down the track. His right front steering was broken and he retired from the event.

In the final ten laps of the event, the cars entered turn one. Michael Marlowe exited the pits in turn one as the leaders went high around him. This forced Mitchell to the high side and opened the door for Luke Roffers to maneuver beneath. Mitchell would challenge back but could not gain any ground on the leader in the final six laps.

Roffers picked up his fourth win on the season and will go to Lancaster Speedway next Saturday with an 11 point lead over Ricky Weeks in the Championship standings.

Thanks to Fred & Susan Brown for hosting this event in cooperation with H&H Auto Sales of Galax, VA.

Round Three of the Roush Yates Performance Products/JE Pistons Chase for the Championship will move to Lancaster Motor Speedway in Lancaster, SC next Saturday, September 29.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS FROM WYHTE RACEWAYSEPTEMBER 22, 2012

1. Luke Roffers
2. Zack Mitchell
2. Johnny Pursley
4. Dean Bowen
5. Tim Allen
6. Ricky Weeks
7. Mike Gault
8. Doug Sanders
9. Billy Hicks
10, Chris Ferguson
11. Jeff Smith
12. Daniel Baggerly
13. Wayne Hughes
14. Gary Mabe
15. Kerry King, Jr.
16. Dennis Franklin
17. Craig Shuffield
18. Scott Autry
19. Travis Yow
20. Michael Marlowe
21. Randy Harmon
22. Kerry King
23. Travis Greer
24. David Smith
25. Ronnie Hoover

UNOFFICIAL POINTSROUSH YATES PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS/JE PISTONS CHASE FOR THE CHAMPIOSHIP

1. Luke Roffers 1081
2. Ricky Weeks 1070
3. Jeff Smith 1062
4. Dennis Franklin 1060
5. Johnny Pursley 1057
6. Mike Gault 1056
7. Scott Autry 1055
8. Travis Yow 1047
9. Doug Sanders 1043
10. Wayne Hughes 1041
11. Michael Marlowe 1038
12. Ross Bailes 1011

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This report was provided by an outside PR source and posted by Mike Neff.

 

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