Trackside Now: UARA-STARS at Tri-County Speedway
BJ Mackey Claims First Career UARA Victory
Friday, 11:30 am ET - The weekend races are getting started just a little bit early as the UARA-STARS are hosting their event at Tri-County Speedway in Hudson, North Carolina on Friday evening as opposed to the typical Saturday Show.
It's a beautiful partly cloudy day with mild temperatures in the mid sixties.
There are about 35 cars out in the garage, including the surprise entry of 2007 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Rookie Wade Day. He is here helping out UARA regular Lance Gatlin by driving one of his back up cars. Gatlin drives the Razor chassis which Day builds and they are working on getting both cars set up just right.
Friday, 1:09pm ET - The cars are out on the track for practice and so far the practice has been incident free although there seem to be a few traffic jams on the tight pit road with cars heading back out to practice while others are attempting to come in.
It is a tight squeeze on pit road at Tri-County.
Friday, 1:50pm ET - The UARA-STARS practice concluded incident free.
Travis Swaim was the fastest on the track with a lap time of 16.451 over
second fastest Kevin Leicht who ran a 16.454. The track is now cold until
UARA-STARS qualifying which is scheduled to go off at 5:00pm.
Travis Swaim was fasted in practice at Tri-County Speedway.
Despite plenty of close racing through out the practice, the practice was a clean one and was incident free.
Friday, 2:45pm ET - The track has been cold for a little over an hour now and the UARA drivers are getting ready for qualifying.
The UARA races are typically held on Saturday so this Friday show has left a couple of crews short handed as many of their crews are made up of volunteers and friends who have jobs during the week. This has left many a driver to have to work on his own car to get it set up for today's events.
Barry Andrews works on his car before sending it through inspection.
Friday, 3:48pm ET - The UARA Late Models have just finished going through pre qualifying tech. 33 cars are set to take time when qualifying starts at 5:00pm.
The field has been cut down just a notch. Two cars have loaded up and went home due to engine problems. Those two were the No. 10 of Nick Hutchins and the 00 of Ryan Salomon.
Friday, 4:46pm ET - The drivers and teams in Group 1 are finished with their hotlaps and making last minute adjustments to their vehicles before they go qualifying at 5:00pm.
Friday, 4:39pm ET - The UARA Drivers who are in Group 1 are being called to their cars to go and take their hotlaps before their group heads out to go qualifying.
Lance Gatlin in the No. 74 will be the first driver to take time in qualifying and he will also be given only one green flag lap during his qualifying run due to his car being deemed too low in pre qualifying tech.
Friday, 4:50pm ET - UARA Late Model time trials are now underway as a handful of drivers have completed their times. Currently Kevin Leicht is sitting on the pole with a time of 16.273, faster than any of the times that were turned during practice.
Friday, 5:40pm ET - Kevin Leicht's fast time stood up through the rest of qualifying although one car in particular did give him a run for his money. That car just happened to be his younger brother Matt Leicht who put up a time of 16.274. The Leicht brothers were the only two drivers who posted times in the .200's.
The UARA Scoring and Timing system had some technical difficulties throughout qualifying and the officials are working on getting the times in order. We will have qualifying times shortly, as well as the line up for the heat races.
UARA-STARS Time Trials
1. Kevin Leicht, 16.273
2. Matt Leicht, 16.274
3. BJ Mackey, 16.307
4. Mark Setzer, 16. 326
5. Travis Swaim, 16.354
6. RA Brown, 16.371
7. Roger Lee Newton, 16.392
8. Lucas Ransone, 16. 394
9. Matt DiBenedetoo, 16.409
10. Andy Johnson, 16.411
11. Jeffrey Earnhardt, 16.420
12. Daniel Pope II, 16.423
13. Justin Hill, 16.431
14. Jake Crum, 16.434
15. Wade Day, 16.442
16. Todd Goble, 16.443
17. Robert Ferguson, 16.456
18. Junior Franks, 16.485
19. Barry Andrews, 16.518
20. Lee Tissot, 16.518
21. Casey Holt, 16.520
22. Dennis Queen, 16.521
23. Ross Furr, 16.526
24. Alex Yontz, 16.530
25. Brandon Dean, 16.560
26. Mikey Kile, 16.562
27. Clint Mills, 16.568
28. Patrick McVay, 16.570
29. Zeke Shell, 16.608
30. John Gottsacker, 16.692
31. Clay Greenfield, 16.694
32. Lance Gatlin, 16.700
33. Scott Bishop, 16.750
Friday, 7:00pm ET - An on track autograph session is underway for the UARA-STARS Late Model Drivers and the last chance heat race will follow the session.
Friday, 6:20pm ET - There will be a 28 car field for this UARA event, and the two Leicht brothers will take the green first. The field is made up of the fastest 22 cars from time trials, another two will be given provisionals from the points and four will be taken from the heat race.
For the first time this year, the 2007 points were used to determine the provisional starting positions and those were awarded to Ross Furr and Clay Greenfield.
That leaves Alex Yontz, Brandon Dean, Mikey Kile, Clint Mills, Patrick McVay, Zeke Shell, John Gottsacker, Lance Gatlin and Scott Bishop to fight for the four remaining spots in the feature.
The 32 of Kevin Leicht (top) and the 23 of Matt Leicht (bottom) will start up front.
Friday, 8:20pm ET - If the Last Chance race was the best race of the night, then fans got their money's worth. It was a crazy 25-lap event. 2007 Pre Season Favorite Alex Yontz started on the pole but was spun by Mikey Kile in turn 2 on the first lap. Yontz had to restart from the back and was working his way to the front when John Gottsacker got into the back of him and was able to get him around him to claim the 5th spot.
That didn't work out so well for Gottsacker as Zeke Shell made contact with him and sent him spinning, collecting Alex Yontz.
The top four drivers were the ones who stayed out of the mess. And the drivers who will be moving on to the 150-lap feature event tonight will be Brandon Dean, Patrick McVay, Mikey Kile, and Clint Mills.
The local divisions feature events are now under way. The UARA-STARS Feature will immediately follow.
Mikey Kile is one of they drivers who will be moving on to the feature event.
Friday, 9:32pm ET - Lap 75 -HALFWAY - The race has been green since lap 17 and as they run now the top-five are: BJ Mackey, Kevin Leicht, Travis Swaim, Matt Leicht and Andy Johnson who has having to put a fierce battle with Matt DiBenedetto for the fifth spot.
Friday, 9:15pm ET - Lap 14 - Caution is out for the No. 42 of Todd Goble who went spinning on the backstretch, Most drivers were able to see through the smoke and get out without any damage except for the Hickory race winner Dennis Queen. He made hard contact with Goble and both of the drivers nights look to be over. BJ Mackey is the current leader, followed by Travis Swaim and Kevin and Matt Leicht.
Friday, 9:10pm ET - GREEN FLAG The Leicht Brothers took the green flag side by side with, they stay side by side to the start-finish line but Matt Leicht leads the first lap and gets by his brother on lap two.
Friday, 9:00pm ET - Ernie Harris won the Street Stock division when the top two cars crashed in turn 4. Nikki Long won the Fast and Furious caution free event. Now the UARA-Late Models are rolling out on the track for driver intros
Friday, 9:48pm ET - Lap 114 - The green flag didn't last too long as the caution came out again on Lap 114 for the spinning car of Junior Franks. No other cars were caught up in the incident. Mackey is still the leader.
Friday, 9:40pm ET - Lap 102 - The Caution is out for the two spinning cars of the lapped car of Lucas Ransone and the lead lap car of Matt Leicht. Ransone went spinning and Leicht ended up in the marbles trying to avoid the accident and also went for a spin. Both cars were able to drive away but both did make pit stops before continuing on the racetrack.
So far in this event, the No. 12 of BJ Mackey has been the class of the field, but this caution will bring a hard charging Kevin Leicht even closer. The top-five on the restart will be: BJ Mackey, Kevin Leicht, Travis Swaim, Matt DiBenedetto and Lee Tissot. The restart will come on lap 109.
BJ Mackey in victory lane.