Local Auto Racing: Mills makes impressive comeback at Delmar

DELMAR — On Saturday night, Jamie Mills made his first appearance at Delaware International Speedway since being injured in a crash early in the season at Bridgeport Speedway.

It ended up being a pretty memorable return for Mills.

Mills started only 14th in the NAPA Big Block Modified feature. But, by halfway, he was up to third and challenging Brad Trice for the second spot.

Mills made the pass with 10 laps to go and set out to catch leader H.J. Bunting.

With two laps to go, Mills caught the leader and, going into the third turn, pulled alongside him in the low groove. The pair slid up the track in the fourth turn and make contact.

Mills crossed under the white flag first and crossed under the checkered 1.44 seconds ahead of Bunting for his first win of the season. He was the 10th different winner in the division this year.

In victory lane, Carol Droney presented Mills with a $1,250 bonus check in the memory of her stepfather, local businessman and racing enthusiast Buddy Messick, who passed away earlier this year. That brought Mills’ winnings to $3,000 for the 25-lap main.

The United Racing Club sprint cars made their second appearance at DIS this season,

Davie Franek, who started fourth, took the lead on a mid-race restart and pulled away from the field. By lap 21 he had over a six-second lead but two cautions on lap 22 erased that.

Franek, though, had no problems leading the final three circuits to post his sixth win of the season and increasing his point lead.

In the Late Model 20-lap feature, Donald Lingo started to thread his way through the top five from ninth, taking fourth on lap four then third two laps later. By the next lap he had worked to second.

With six to go, Lingo got by leader Nick Davis for the lead in the one-two turns only to have Davis take it back in three and four.

Lingo then pulled out all the stops on the high groove and shot by Davis, going into the first turn with five to go and never looked back. It was Lingo’s third win of the season.

“I’ll tell you, there isn’t more fun than that right there,” said Lingo. “I know that Charlie (Cathell) has been battling with this track. Tonight was like the old Delmar ten years ago. You had a cushion and if you had a fast car you could get to the front. You can’t ask for anything more than that. That was the most fun I have had driving in the last eight years.”

Prior to Saturday, Nick Alberti had never led a feature lap in the AC Delco 602 Sportsman. It took five attempts to get the first lap in but, on the fifth try, Alberti made a nice pass of pole-sitter Garrie Bostwick and headed to the high groove.

With one to go, the yellow flew, putting the field on Alberti’s bumper. Alberti remained flawless as he took his first career checkered just .281 seconds ahead of Jason Rush.

Jamie Eichholz took full advantage of his pole starting spot in the 15-lap Crate Model feature as he quickly jumped out front. Eichholz crossed under the checkered 3.89 seconds ahead of Tyler Reed for the win.

In the 15-lap Mod Lite feature, James Hill, who started ninth, shot from fourth to the front to lead lap three. Cautions kept the field tightly bunched before Hill drove to his 11th win of the season by almost 3.5 seconds.

Lilley shines at U.S. 13

Laurel’s Rex Lilley made the large contingent of Ford fans on hand proud when he started his day at U.S. 13 Dragway by winning the Bad 8 Full Body final in his ‘88 small block Mustang.

He then continued on to win his first final in Top ET.

Other winners on the day included: Robert Brummell of Rockville, Md. in Pro Bike; John Warehime of Parkville, Md. in the 422 All-Stars Super Stocks; Kody Mariner of Salisbury in Street; Joe Serio of Millsboro in Hot Rod; Nyck Shirkey of Ridgely, Md. in Jr. Dragster 1 and Morgan Larkin of Salisbury in Jr. Dragster 2.

It was also the final race in the IHRA Summit Point Series. Mike Jones of Salisbury won the Top ET championship by just 11 points over Frank Lecates. Tim Foskey, Jr. of Rhodesdale, Md. successfully defended his Mod ET title and Harvey Powell of Felton unseated James Farmer to win the Pro Bike title.

Kody Mariner of Salisbury was a first-time champion in Street Eliminator.

Keith Riddle of Millsboro took the Jr. Dragster 1 championship and Alexis Truitt of Parsonsburg, Md. tied with defending champion Jacob Bowie of Greensboro, Md. in Jr. Dragster 2.

The Junior 1 and Jr. 2 champions had a runoff to see who would represent U.S. 13 at the IHRA Bracket Finals at the Maryland International Raceway in October. Truitt had the better start and took the win with a 7.968/82.71 on a 7.93 dial. Riddle had a 7.965/79.64 on a 7.94 dial.


NAPA Big Block Modified: 1. Jamie Mills; 2. H.J. Bunting; 3. Brad Trice; 4. Matt Hawkins; 5. Kevin Sockriter; 6. Kyle Fuller; 7. Dale Hawkins; 8. Scott VanGorder; 9. Shawn Ward; 10. Brandon Watkins; 11. Dave Dissinger; 12. Carson Wright; 13. Robert Dutton; 14. Scott Ambruster; 15. Westley Smith; 16. Clay Tatman; 17. Michael White.
URC Sprint: 1. Davie Franek; 2. Curt Michael; 3. Chris Coyle; 4. Troy Betts; 5. Brett Michalski; 6. Keith Prutzman; 7. Will Eggiman; 8. Ryan Stillwaggon; 9. Jake Eldreth; 10. Cody Jordan; 11. Mark Sasso; 12. Jason Cherry; 13. Justin Whittall; 14. Davey Sammons; 15. Adam Carberry; 16. J.R. Berry; DNS: Jason Clauss.
Late Model: 1. Donald Lingo, Jr.; 2. Nick Davis; 3. Amanda Whaley; 4. Dylan Evans; 5. Herb Tunis; 6. Ricky Elliott; 7. Kevin Scott, Jr.; 8. Rob Schirmer; 9. C.J. Faison; 10. Joe Warren; 11. Kelly Lewis; 12. Bob Geiger.
AC Delco 602 Sportsman: 1. Nick Alberti; 2. Jason Rush; 3. Jordn Justice; 4. Devin Dodson; 5. Dwayne Crockett; 6. Eric Kormann; 7. Joe Tracy; 8. Brian Hitz; 9. Ryan Mortimer; 10. Garrie Bostwick; 11. Freddy Massey; 12. Ryan Riddle; 13. Adam White; 14. Jeff Marker; 15. Matt Smith; 16. Robert Riley, III; DNS; Ted Reynolds.
Crate Model: 1. Jamie Eichholz; 2. Tyler Reed; 3. Charles Shawver; 4. Mike Wharton; 5. Wes Clifton; 6. Sparky White; 7. Robbie Walls, Jr.; 8. Billy Thompson; 9. Chip Disharoon; 10. Anthony Guinta; 11. Zac Weller; 12. Mike Wilson.
Mod Lite: 1. James Hill; 2. Nick Nash; 3. Tim White; 4. Jake Nelson; 5. Ryan Dryden; 6. James Wood; 7. Kirk Miles, Sr.; 8. Harry Mears; 9. Brandon Dennis; 10. Curt Miles, Jr.; 11. Brian Short; 12. Calvin Musser; 13. Aaron VanGorder.

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