71-year-old revisits victory lane
PDT Sports Report
Saturday night at Portsmouth Raceway Park, a familiar face re-visited winner’s circle, as Delmas Conley fought past his son Rod to take the checker flag. For the 71-year-old Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer and 1993 PRP track champ, it was the 546th win of his career.
Conley wasn’t the only former PRP track champion to re-vist victory lane. Doug Adkins returned to form winning in the Modified Division and John Melvin dominanted the Limited Lates. In the final A-Main of the evening, Conard Newman won the Bomber feature.
The evening began with Delmas Conley setting fast time in the Wesbanco Late Model Time Trials. Rod Conley later won the dash and sat on the pole for the 25-lap feature, which was made up of a 21-car field.
When the A-Main began, Rod Conley jumped out to the early lead. The PRP points leader had his Conley Trucking, Conley River Terminal 71R set up to the run the bottom.
His dad, however, put his car up top and appeared to get faster with every passing lap as he was able to keep his momentum by running the higher groove. Delmas started the feature in fourth place and quickly worked his way to the runner up position. Delmas eventually pulled up alongside Rod and the two battled side-by-side for the better part of two laps. The elder Conley officially made the pass for the lead on lap seven, but he wouldn’t enjoy it long.
Rod battled back on the inside and retook the lead from his father and began pulling away. Both Rod and Delmas made bold moves through lapped traffic as the race wore on.
A caution forced a late restart with just three laps remaining. Rod slammed his machine to the bottom, while Delmas went high. It took Delmas Conley about a half lap or so to build up his momentum, but once he got going there would be no turning him back. Delmas got by Rod and held on to win his first PRP feature of the season.
It was a good night for the Conley family. While Delmas and Rod took the top two positions, J.T. Conley, who is Delmas’ grandson and Rod’s nephew, recorded his best-ever PRP finish placing sixth.
Nick Bocook finished third. Three-time track champion Kenny Christy placed fourth and Travis Brookover finished fifth. Jeremie Bretz, a regular Bomber competitor who ran his first PRP Late Model race of the season Saturday night, battled his way from deep in the field to finish in 10th place and earn The 93.7fm The Dawg Hard Charger Award.
Doug “The Buzzard” Adkins cruised to the win in the Modified Division. For Adkins, it was his second PRP victory of the year. John Burdette, Adam Jordan, Todd Robinson and Steve Clemmons rounded out the Top 5. Points leader Todd Robinson earned The Markwest Hydrocarbon Hard Charger Award as he climbed from 12th to post a top-5 finish.
John Melvin drove a different car, but he looked like his old self. Melvin drove his son Matt’s 81M.
John Melvin won his heat and led every lap of the feature en route to his second PRP victory of the season. Robbie Lewis, Evyian Terry, Duane Pick and Joe Whitt made up the rest of the Top 5. Todd Galloway was the race’s Hard Charger.
The Bomber A-Main was one of the most competitive races of the night. Conard Newman and Jeremie Bretz both won Pendleton Truck Sales Heat Races to earn starting spots in the front row. They ran side-by-side for the first lap before Bretz got in front of Newman heading into turn one. Bretz then went around and had to go to the back of the pack handing the lead over to Newman.
Conard Newman would hold on to lead the rest of the race. Bretz charged all the way back from the rear of the field to finish second. Zach Pendleton, David Dunn and Brian Sammons rounded out the Top 5. Dunn advanced 14 positions to earn Hard Charger honors and win The Bud Newman Memorial Trophy.
PRP will be back in action next week hosting the fifth annual Mod Squad Spectacular which will pay UMP Modifieds $3,000 to win. This race was initially scheduled for July 13th but was washed out. Along with the R.W. Rental & Supply Modifieds will be Giovanni’s Pizza Late Models, O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Lates, as well as M & M Inflatables Bombers.
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