Former UARA Champion Jason York Wins Thriller at Ace  by Wink Bodenhamer / UARA-STARS PR
UARA-STARS Keep The Entertainment Coming
Wow, Wow, Wow. That's pretty much all you can say about this one. Beating, banging, racing, fighting, wall-climbing, ACE had it all Friday night when the UARA-STARS invaded the 4/10 mile facility.  The fans were on their feet right through to the final lap.

Former UARA champion Jason York decided to race with the series again, and was strong taking the win in a 4 car fight to the checkered flag. And there was so much more.

Roger Lee Newton set fast time in the first practice session of the day.  B.J. Mackey and Jake Crum lead the field in the final session. Behind them was the story though. Melling Select Rookies Brandon McReynolds, Ryan Robertson, Scott Turlington and Garrett Campbell were consistently fast all day long. Behind them came local favorite Rodney Cook. Everybody knew to keep an eye on Cook making his first UARA run for 2008.

In Sunoco Pole qualifying, 25 cars took to the track. Darrell Wallace Jr. and Andrew Carlsen each had to change motors before qualifying after having terminal problems in practice. Richard Boswell II blistered the field for the Sunoco Pole award.

Remember those rookies in practice? Garrett Campbell wowed the crowd by clenching the KLB Race Cars and Parts outside pole.  This will be his best starting position with the UARA and only the beginning of an awesome night for Campbell.

Jason York heads to the finish. (Langley Austin Photo)
Justin Boston was a little loose coming thru turn four on his first qualifying and posted a time of 16:805. Lap two turned out to be his downfall. Coming through four again the car wiggles, Boston looses control and hit the wall hard at the start-finish line ending his hopes of a good run.

As the first of 2 support events were finished, there was a feel that this night was going to be wild. In the first 2 races before the UARA event, the modifieds had the leaders wreck coming to the checkered, then they fought, and the Limited race was highlighted by a nasty wreck with cars on top of each other.

Could the UARA-STARS keep up the pace? They sure did. The field pulled out for the warm up laps, and just before the field was given one to go, the #50 machine of 5th place qualifier Jamey Caudill ducks onto pit road. To every one's surprise, he didn't come back out until 63 laps had been run. The culprit, a broken brake line. The 50 car returned much later and showed he was just as fast as anyone, but too little too late.

As the filed took the green, we wondered what the rookie Campbell was going to do from the outside pole. Was he going to fall behind Boswell and ride? Would he get shuffled back into the field never to be heard of? How about he races extremely hard and takes the lead. That's what he did. After running on the outside for the first 8 laps Campbell made his move and gained that first place spot.  He held it for three laps.

The 78 machine of Jason York is driving aggressive and going to the front.  York claims the lead on lap 20.

Caution one of nine flies on lap 22. Roger Lee Newton and Brandon McReynold’s spin out in the first and second turn.  Both cars will continue on.

On lap 38 B.J. Mackey puts the move on Boswell for second and sets his sites on York. A lap later Ryan Robertson and point leader Jake Crum have contact spinning in turn four  bringing out the second caution.  The field goes green on lap 46 and right back yellow on lap 47 as Stacy Puryear spins in the one and two turns.  Dillon Smith will come around with some damage as well.

Back to green on lap 53 and point leader Crum seems to be in a rocket back in the pack.  He passes Scott Turlington on lap 54 then Roger Lee Newton on lap 57.  His flight is slowed as Stacy Puryear spins coming out of four bringing out the fourth caution on lap 59. 

The action goes back green on lap 64 and Mackey is on the prowl.  Mackey moves York up the track off turn two and Wallace and Boswell follow putting York back to 4th. Caution five flies when Scott Andrews Jr. continues to have that bad luck monkey on his back.  He and Thomas Hartensveld get together off turn four, resulting in heavy damage to the front of the Andrews car. Andrews expressed his displeasure as he was interviewed from pit road.  He has been fast at each of the UARA events this year.

At the halfway point it is B.J. Mackey that will win the Mel’s Ignition Award.  Mackey is followed by Wallace, Boswell, York, Alex Yontz Rodney Cook, Campbell, Ryan Robertson, Jamie Yelton and Curtis Truex Jr. Mackey will remain in the lead for quite a while an appears to be the man to beat. 

Caution six falls after the Kyle Grissom and Curtis Truex, Jr. cars get together.  Truex will be the worse for wear coming down the backstretch minus the left side sheet metal.

Mackey will get a good restart and start his move on up ahead of the remainder of the field.  The action behind him will be vicious.   As Mackey is in his own little world out front York puts the pressure on Boswell for several laps and will get by him for 3rd. Lap 100, York let’s Wallace know he is there with a little nudge and goes around for second, Wallace tries to repay the favor and in the process allows Boswell to pass and put the Wallace car back to 4th. Behind them the cars of Campbell and Cook are having a spirited battle with Campbell moving Cook out of the way for the 6th spot. Even though Cook has been passed, you could almost see the smile on his face. He loves good competition and the beating and banging without wrecking is right up his alley. He tries desperately to get to the back of the #12 car, but handling off the corner would be his downfall on this night.

Kyle Grissom started back in the 18th spot, but had dodged all the carnage and had just
taken the 10th spot from Jake Crum. In front of them were Ryan Robertson and Jamie
Yelton.  All 4 come up on the lapped car of Dillon Smith. Everybody slowed and Grissom
was tagged by Crum and he slowly went around on the frontstrech bringing out the
caution on lap 127 for the seventh time.  Mackey had built up nearly a 3 second lead by
now, but it was all erased for the Grissom caution.

This was the break York needed, and after the restart he was in B.J.'s back pocket. After
6 laps of green flag racing, York gets under Mackey and they race side by side, making
contact numerous times. Mackey hangs tough and keeps the lead. Then another caution
is displayed for the cars of Clay Greenfield, Paddy Rodenbeck and Brandon McReynolds.

The “big one” happens on lap 147 and the red flag flies.  Roger Lee Newton and Scott
Turlington make contact coming off of turn 4. Newton’s car hooks and climbs the wall
at the flag stand, nearly going over it and actually touching the grass between the wall and
the fence. Newton will leave tire marks on the windshield post of the Turlington car as he
goes up and over.  Newton comes to a rest with half the car on the track and half still up on the wall. Both drivers will be just fine although I can’t say as much for the cars.

One more time for 2008, the UARA-STARS will have a green-white-checkered finish. It is going to be exciting. There is serious racing all over the track tonight, and it was going to come down to the wire the way it should be. As the green flies, York dives to the inside of Mackey. They exit turn 4 and make contact coming to the white flag, sideways and still side by side. Behind them going down the backstretch, Alex Yontz slips just a little while racing with Rodney Cook, Garrett Campbell and Ryan Robertson and goes from 5th to 10th in half a lap. Back to the leaders as they enter turn 4, York runs Mackey high; Boswell dives to the inside and uses the apron to turn. They come to the line and its York beating Boswell by a fender with another fender length back to Mackey. Wallace is right there on the back bumper of Boswell. 

What an amazing finish to a superb night of racing. It was a finish I ‘m sure these fans won’t forget in a long time

York in victory lane.  (Jim Carson Photo)
There was lots of beating and banging at Ace.. (Langley Austin Photo)