Columbus Motor Speedway
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Conley, Lindsay, Litchfield and Watkins Prevail at Columbus
by Jeff Nuckles
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Cale Conley celebrated a return to his 'home' track with his first NASCAR victory Saturday night at Columbus Motor Speedway.
The 20-year-old from Vienna, W.V. -- a two-hour drive from the track -- started second and led all 150 laps to win the Jegs 150.
Points leader Brett Moffitt edged Darrell Wallace Jr. in the closing laps to finish second.
Sergio Pena and Daniel Suarez finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
It was the 14th career start in the series for Conley, who got his start racing on the 1/20th-mile quarter-midget track behind Turn 2 at Columbus. In his previous two starts this season, Conley finished third at Iowa Speedway and second at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga.
With the win, Conley locked in a starting spot at the UNOH Battle At The Beach on the .400-mile oval on the backstrech of Daytona International Speedway. The showcase event is scheduled for Speedweeks next February.
Conley qualified second Saturday on the .333-mile oval behind Ben Kennedy, but immediately jumped to the lead and fended off challenges from Kennedy, Moffitt, and Corey LaJoie throughout the evening.
It was a big points night for Moffitt as top championship contenders LaJoie, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott all suffered misfortune.
LaJoie and Larson were forced into the pits in the final 10 laps with flat tires while running second and sixth, respectively. LaJoie finished 17th and Larson 21st. Elliott suffered a flat tire in the opening laps, never got a chance to get back on the lead lap and finished 15th.
After nine of 14 races, Moffitt leads Elliott by 22 points, Larson by 23 and LaJoie by 33.
The Jegs 150 will air on SPEED on Thursday, Aug. 2 at 3 p.m. ET.
In addition to the K&N action, the NASCAR Whelen Al American Series Columbus modifieds, sport stocks and crazy compacts placed a trio of drivers into victory lane following their respective triumphs. George Lindsay made a late race pass of Jerry Williams to secure his sixth modified victory of 2012 while Mike Litchfield (sport stock) and Jeff Watkins (crazy compact) prevailed.
Jerry Williams surged into the lead of the Columbus modified feature from the drop of the green flag with Dave Disinger and Paul Baker Jr in hot pursuit. Looking for his first career feature victory, Williams continued to show the way while the eventual winner made his presence felt. Up to third, from his eighth starting spot quickly he next swept around the outside of Disinger near the mid-point of the 30-lap affair. With just Williams between himself and the victory Lindsay went to work on. Looking high and low, he finally took advantage slipping past the race long leader with two laps remaining. Lindsay went on to the win from there as Kyle Purvis claimed second ahead of Williams, Disinger and Buddy Townsend.
Mike Litchfield claimed victory in the 25-lap sport stock event. Coming from tenth starting spot, the defending track champion bypassed early leader Kenny Simpson with ten laps left and was never headed. Joe Hensel eventually finished second followed by Steve Karnes, Simpson and Ralph Vinson.
Jeff Watkins was victorious in yet another caution-free crazy compact event; the fifth such event this season. Danielle Brown was second at the conclusion of the 20-lap contest followed by Jim McElfresh, Christian Bullock and Michael Robison.
· K&N Pro Series East
Race: NKNPS East Columbus 7/21/12
Network W. VA/Health Bridge Toyota
Darrell Wallace Jr.
Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Telcel/Finsa/Roca Acero Toyota
Toyota Racing Development Toyota
Integrated Metal Products Toyota
Aquis Communicatons/ComServe Toyota
Grimm Construction Chevrolet
OakleyTank Lines/Bruster's Toyota
Mountain Dew/Spraker Racing Chevrolet
Universal Technical Institute/NTI Toyota
Celtic Waste Dodge
Make Direct Chevrolet
Sims Metal Management Ford
MacDonald Motorsports Toyota
Troy Williams Racing Chevrolet
Rev Racing Toyota
Rev Racing Toyota
Fast Time: Buddy Townsend
Feature: 1) George Lindsay 2) Kyle Purvis 3) Jerry Williams 4) Buddy Townsend 5) Sean MacNealy
6) Dave Disinger 7) Daryl McKay 8) Paul Baker Jr 9) David Stein 10) Bob Eaton 11) Ethan Mullett
12) Ralph Humphrey 13) Brian Whetnall
Fast Time: Mike Litchfield
Feature: 1) Mike Litchfield 2) Joe Hensel 3) Steve Karnes 4) Kenny Simpson 5) Ralph Vinson
6) Phil Gusler Jr 7) David James 8) Bruce Snider 9) John Haney 10) Bill Ramey
11) Dennis Middleton 12) Phil Gussler Sr
Fast Time: Michael Robison
Feature: 1) Jeff Watkns 2) Danielle Brown 3) Jim McElfresh 4) Christian Bullock 5) Michael Robison
6) Rob Smith 7) Charlie Hoepker 8) Josh Mecum 9) Mike Smith 10) David Shull 11) Randy Rogers
12) Corey Kyer 13) Mike Anthony 14) Dan Kalminer 15) Ryan Tamburro 16) Darrell James
17) Dan Disinger 18) Ed Smith 19) Lonnie Brown 20) Ryan Barrett 21) Cecil Collins 22) Frank Hreha
23) Ryan Smith 24) Jeremy Menninger 25) Donnie Nash 26) Dan Cook 27) Gwen Walsh