July 3, 2012 - Tazewell Speedway exhibited several new features on a cloudy July night, featuring a couple of new drivers at the speedway, several 1st time fans, and even a pet monkey in the grandstands! However, things also got heated up with two new track record qualifying laps for the speedway. Overcast skies and a hard-working track crew can be credited for the amazing speeds sported by Steve Smith and Gary Blanken tonight claiming the track record laps. Brad Hall, the CEO of the Tazewell Speedway track preparation crew, made a statement about the track condition.

"We worked hard as usual to prepare things just right for the drivers; however, the overcast skies certainly helped us tonight. Plus, with almost two weeks off, that allowed us some extra time to work on the speedway that we usually don't have."

Qualifying saw Steve Smith break the Tazewell Late Model track record on both of his laps, with the better of the two laps being set at 11.511 seconds. Gary Blanken claimed the new Modified Street track record with a lap of 13.058 seconds. Robbie Sands and Jonathan Miracle claimed pole times for the Classic and Pure Street features.

The 4 Cylinders kicked the night's action off with a 15 lap feature. Joey Allen and Bubby Braden battled through turns one and two, and down the back stretch before Allen finally took the lead. Allen continued to pull away from Braden, and drove the #A00 machine to his 1st feature win of the 2012 season. Braden made it home in 2nd, while Mark Wallace took 3rd.

Four Cylinder Results
1. A00 - Joey Allen
2. B7 - Bubby Braden
3. 1 - Mark Wallace
4. 72 - Rufus Collett
5. 13 - John Collett

Modified Street competitors brought their machines to life to battle in their 20 lap feature. Blanken took the lead going into turn one to claim the lead, while Clyde Overholt settled into 2nd, and Jordan Horton took over 3rd. Blanken led until the 6th circuit, when things changed drastically up front. As the top three began to tighten things up, Blanken slid high coming off of turn 2, and lost momentum heading down the back stretch. This allowed Overholt to capitalize and take the lead, but he and Blanken made contact, sending both cars into the wall. Both cars came to the pits to repair flat tires from the accident. This gave the lead over to 3rd place Jordan Horton, who's already had a very successful 2012 season. Horton would lead the remainder of the event to claim the win over his father Tony, who finished 2nd. Blanken drove his #5 machine back up to finish 3rd, while Larry Burke held on for 4th. Mike Kelly, a visitor from neighboring dirt track Volunteer Speedway, made his visit worthwhile by claiming a 5th place finish.

Modified Street Results
1. 56H - Jordan Horton
2. 56 - Tony Horton
3. 5 - Gary Blanken
4. 54 - Larry Burke
5. 8 - Mike Kelly
6. 4 - Clyde Overholt
21K - Rick Welch

Tazewell Late Model drivers roared to life for a 30 lap feature, with Steve Smith and Jason Trammell on row one. On the start, Trammell led at the flag stand, but a power move by Smith rocketed him into the lead on the high line in turns one and two. Trammell settled into 2nd. Several minor incident cautions slowed the event. After a caution on lap 15, Trammell began to grind on Smith, challenging several times for the lead, before a lap 25 caution slowed the event for the final time. On the restart, Smith rocketed away from Trammell and drove the #3 machine to the win over Trammell. Andy Wilder, Steve Rouse, and Daryl Gordon all capitalized by claiming their 1st top 5 runs of the season.

Tazewell Late Models Results
1. 3 - Steve Smith
2. 90J - Jason Trammell
3. 24 - Andy Wilder
4. 19 - Steve Rouse
5. G7 - Daryl Gordon
6. G71 - Billy Gordon
7. 56J - Jody Horton
8. 22 - Matthew Holt
9. 1 - Matt Melton
10. 2 - Donnie Cameron
111 - J. Allan

Classics lined up next for their 20 lap feature. An incident in turn 1 slowed things on the initial start, and relined the field for a complete restart. Sands grabbed the lead, and ran away from the field, claiming yet another victory in 2012. Charlie Tharp and Eli Keck rounded out the top three.

Classic Car Results
1. 17 - Robbie Sands
2. 20 - Charlie Tharp
3. 18 - Eli Keck
4. 1 - Shane Lockhart
5. 59 - Shawn Walton
6. 8 - Joe Keck

Pure Street action wrapped the night up with a 20 lap feature. Fast qualifier Johnathan Miracle took the lead over Buster Cupp on the start by using the high side. Cupp made several attempts to capture the lead from Miracle but was unsuccessful. Miracle took the win, leading flag-to-flag. Cupp settled for 2nd, with Eldridge claiming 3rd on a blown right rear tire.

Pure Street Results
1. 41 - Johnathan Miracle
2. 28 - Buster Cupp
3. 94 - Dustin Eldridge
4. 12 - J.J. Green
5. 18 - Junior Cody
6. 97 - Bo Hall
69 - Paul Tarver

Gary Hall and company would like to thank each and every driver and fan for their continued support of Tazewell Speedway. Tazewell Speedway will return to action next Saturday night, July 21st, for yet another edition of weekly racing on the high banks. Grandstand admission will be $10, with pit admission being $25. Classes in action will be Tazewell Late Models, Modified Street, Pure Street, Classics, and 4 Cylinders.


Victory lane photos by Scott Miller of NitroFotos