They say the third time is the charm which was the case last evening at the Clinton County Motor Speedway as the weather finally cooperated and allowed the Laurel Highlands Sprint Car Series to get in only the second race of the 2018 season and the first at CCMS after two consecutive rain outs. As always a huge thank you goes out to the 21 sprint teams that signed in to race your support is appreciated. Three 7 car heat races were run, in the first heat Tylor Cochran started on the pole, jumped to the front and lead wire to wire with Kyle Ganoe and Bob Garvey, Jr. giving chase with first time competitor to the LHSS, Colton Hoover running a strong fourth. The finish positions were 1st Tylor Cochran, 2nd Kyle Ganoe, 3rd Bob Garvey, Jr., 4th Colton Hoover, 5th Dale Schweikart, 6th Ryan Lynn, 7th Dave Guss, Jr.
The second heat had Brad Mellott and Dakota Schweikart on the front row with Mellott taking a quick lead with Schweikart close behind, the two drivers got a little too racy out of turn two and going down the back stretch Ron Aurand who started third shot past both to take the lead and set a nice pace however a hard charging Ken Duke, Jr. closed in and took the lead and the win with about two laps to go. The finish was 1st Ken Duke, Jr., 2nd Ron Aurand, 3rd Brad Mellott, 4th Reed Thompson, 5th Dakota Schweikart, 6th Jeff Weaver, 7th Eric Husick.
The third heat race saw pole starter Scott Lutz take the lead to set the pace until the mag jumped and started misfiring and he dropped to the infield giving the lead to Ray Sheetz who ran a nice race only to be out muscled by a hard charging John Walp. The Wapwallopen driver went on to win. The finish was 1st John Walp, 2nd Ray Sheetz, 3rd Tyler Denochick, 4th Randy Sterling, 5th Jim Wagner, 6th Jim Kennedy, 7th Scott Lutz.
For the 20-lap feature the top four from each heat redrew for starting positions putting Tylor Cochran and Brad Mellott on the front row and at the waive of the green Mellott from Needmore, Pa. and making his first ever start at Clinton County jumped into the lead and withstood several yellows and many challenges to run his best feature ever leading all 20 laps and taking his first ever sprint car main event. Brad has been a loyal supporter of the LHSS and always runs strong and has won several heat races but it was his night, he held his line and was never rattled with many challenges by Cochran early in the run and later by Ken Duke, Jr. who was right there the latter part of the feature. There was plenty of action and position swapping and tough luck for Randy Sterling who was running a good race only to spin in turn four bringing out a yellow, also John Walp had a strong run going but on a restart heading into turn one he went low challenging Ken Duke, Jr. and his left front tire jumped the inside wall and he rode on top for a few feet causing damage and ending his night. More tough luck for seasoned veteran Jim Kennedy who was plagued with an ill running engine in his heat and decided to load up and never made the main event.
The finishing order was as follows: 1st 6x Brad Mellott, 2nd 67 Ken Duke, Jr., 3rd 19 Tylor Cochran, 4th 0 Kyle Ganoe, 5th 78s Dakota Schweikart, 6th 107 Colton Hoover, 7th 78 Dale Schweikart, 8th 99 Ray Sheetz, 9th 86 Ron Aurand, 10th 33 Scott Lutz, 11th R6 Reed Thompson, 12th 54m Ryan Lynn, 13th 3G Jeff Weaver, 14th 6 Tyler Denochick, 15th 72 Dave Guss, Jr., 16th 11x Bob Garvey, Jr., 17th 00s Randy Sterling, 18th 7J Jim Wagner, 19th 12H Eric Husick, 20th 5 John Walp, 21st 7 Jim Kennedy (DNS).