PRP Press Release
Portsmouth Raceway Park hosted its largest Modified race of the season over the weekend as Shape, Ohio’s Chris Stotts captured the $5,000-dollar prize and earned the prestige of becoming a winner of PRP’s Annual Mod Squad Spectacular.
Josh McGuire capped the day by winning a thriller in the Late Models, but Sunday’s event was all about the Mods. Modified racers came from near and far all with hopes of winning PRP’s Fourth Annual Mod Squad Spectacular. Race teams piled into Portsmouth from Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and even as far away as Mooresville, North Carolina.
PRP was initially scheduled to run the race Saturday night, but evening rains forced the event to be re-scheduled for Sunday afternoon. The rare day race entertained 44 Modifieds and 30 Late Models as those two divisions combined to entertain fans with a total of 12 exciting races…counting all heats, B-Mains and the features.
Joey Kramer of Hanover, Ind., was the fastest qualifying Modified driver, but he finished second in his heat and pulled out of the feature with five laps remaining while running 11th.
Stotts won the first heat, which placed him on the pole for the 30-lap Modified A-Main. At the drop of the green, Stotts immediately dropped backwards fading all the way back to sixth.
Lucasville’s Jeremy Rayburn led the first three laps. Chad Kinder of Newton, Ill., led the next four. Devin Gilpin from Columbus, Ind., took over the top spot on lap eight.
While Rayburn, Kinder and Gilpin all took their turns at the point, Stotts began climbing his way back to the front. After running low early, the 14-year Modified veteran altered his line and began running the top side of the track. Even though the distance was further, the speed was greater for Stotts’ machine.
He slowly began picking off the cars in front of him before catching Gilpin on lap 13. Coming off turn four, Stotts had all the momentum on the high side when he pulled up alongside Gilpin and made the pass to take the lead on lap 14.
The pass did not come without consequences as Stotts and Gilpin got together hard as Stotts was going by. The impact was so intense that it knocked Stotts up into the air but as his car landed back onto the track, Stotts was able to maintain control and still make the pass.
From that point on though, smoke billowed from Stotts’ car only as it went through the turns. Evidently, the contact with Gilpin caused some sort of problem for Stotts’ machine. Seemingly, some of his sheet metal was rubbing one of his rear tires as the car rolled through the turns, but that was never fully confirmed.
After Stotts took the lead, he never let it go. He wound up pulling away down the stretch.
With fans holding their breath, anxiously awaiting to see if Stotts’ smoking racecar would hold up until the finish, the 41-year-old crossed the line to become the fourth winner of the Mod Squad Spectacular in the four-year history of the race.
Gilpin placed second and Kinder finished third. Last year’s Mod Squad winner Rick Aukland posted a fourth-place finish while two-time track champ Tim Tribby rounded out the top five.
Doug Adkins, Trent Young, Jermemy Hayes, Anthony Slusher and Ricky Arms made up the rest of the top 10. Jim Barnett, James Williamson, Steve Clemmons, Joey Kramer and former World 100 winner Bart Hartman finished 11th through 15th.
Rounding out the 20-car field were Matt Westfall, Jeremy Rayburn, Phil Bapst, Greg Anderson and Bobby Kitchens.
The Late Model A-Main had every bit as much drama as the Modified feature. Wheelersburg’s R.J. Conley was shooting for his third-straight PRP win and the three-time track champ appeared to be well on his way to getting it. Conley led the first 24 laps of the 25-lap race but blew a tire coming off turn two on the final lap.
Conley’s misfortune handed the lead and the win over to Grayson, Ky.’s Josh McGuire. Jackson’s Greggie Oliver finished second and Conley limped his machine around for a third-place finish. Delmas Conley and Kenny Christy rounded out the top five.
PRP will be back in action this coming Saturday featuring a complete program with Late Models, Modifieds, Limited Lates and Bombers.