Natural Bridge Speedway Fall Classic set for this weekend
Those attending the features at Natural Bridge Speedway Saturday got a small taste of the speedway’s biggest event of the year, the Fall Classic, which will be run Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct 1 on the 3/8-mile banked clay oval.
Many regional late model drivers are expected to bring their performance proven-machines to Natural Bridge. The gates will open both Friday and Saturday at 4 p.m. The driver’s meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. with the first green flag slated to fall at 7:45 p.m.
Friday night’s line-up includes a $2,500-to-win and $150-to-start late model feature, along with a $400-to-win sportsman feature and $300-to-win features in street stock and mini mod, respectively.
Saturday’s main event will be a $4,000-to-win and $200-to-start late model shootout, along with a $600-to-win sportsman event. Other Saturday events are $200-to-win pure stock and All-American features, respectively.
After starting sixth in the 13-car grid Lexington’s Larry Ramsey set a blazing pace Saturday and shot to the lead on lap 5 of the 30-lap feature. Quick qualifier Carder Miller battled back from a tough-luck draw of pill number 7, but turned his seventh-place start in to a runner-up finish. Tim Stalnaker finished third, leaving Stalnaker and Miller in a virtual tie for the division points lead.
Bobby Thompson wheeled to the lead on lap 1 of the 25-lap sportsman feature and maintained that position to take the checkers. Samuel Bryant ran second, and Ronnie Martin Jr. rolled home third.
Ben Hamilton, who started on the front row of the eight-car street stock grid, jumped to a lead as the green dropped and maintained the point, though Troy Fitzgerald, who started fourth, quickly maneuvered himself right on Hamilton’s rear deck. Fitzgerald took the lead by a nose as lap 5 ticked off and then survived two restarts and held on to claim the street stock win. Hamilton finished second, and Frankie Drewry ran third.
The pure stock feature saw Brandon Link, James Newton and Matt Whitten run a close 1-2-3 throughout. Link started on the pole and maintained that slot throughout the face, through lap 21 when Newton took the lead by a nose and held off Link to grab the checkers.
Jonathan Burnette continued to be a powerful force on the All-American as he grabbed yet another victory in the 20-lap All-American feature.
Regular-season points will be awarded in the Fall Classic in the street stock, pure stock and All-American divisions. General admission tickets are $15 for Friday night and $18 for Saturday night. Children between 7 and 12 will be admitted for $5 a night. Children 6-and-under are free.