Weeks Defends Home Turf at Harris Speedway

Devon Holder                                                                            July 2010

Ricky Weeks made the short drive from his home to Harris Speedway Thursday night for the 35 lap Carolina Clash South Super Late Model Series event that was rescheduled from Memorial Day. The ‘Rutherfordton Rocket’ set fast time in qualifying and led flag to flag to pocket $3,500 for his efforts as he was able to hold off Gaffney’s Mike Gault who finished second. Weeks, who lives only three miles from the speedway, was fast off the trailer and proved to be dominant throughout the event at his home track.
Weeks set a new track record for the Clash South Series in qualifying by turning a 15.267 second lap. Clover’s Johnny Pursley timed in second at 15.440 seconds. As the field staged on the front stretch, Weeks opted to start on the outside of the front row believing the high side would help him take the lead early. However, before the field completed the first lap, North Carolina’s Jamie Oliver had a suspension failure on the left rear of his machine. This forced Oliver to be the first car out of the event.
When the field restarted double file, Weeks and Pursley battled side by side for the lead, bringing the fans to their feet. Weeks held his line around the top of the speedway as Pursley was in hot pursuit around the bottom. The second caution of the night flew on lap eight when Spartanburg’s Jeff Cooke had a battery explode, the second time that problem has bit ‘Mr. Saturday Night’ this season. The unfortunate incident sent Cooke to the garage and ended his night prematurely.
At the restart on lap eight, Dennis ‘Rambo’ Franklin and Mike Gault raced their way past Pursley for second and third respectively. Franklin’s time battling for the second spot would be short lived however as he spun after contact with Gault while battling for second in turn one. Rambo would rejoin the fray, but had to go to the tail end of the field. Rambo was running lap times that were competitive with Weeks on the stop watch, but the track position lost did not allow Rambo to compete for the win, as he was forced to settle for a fifth place finish.
Virginia native Randy Harmon spun his entry at the exit of turn four on lap 17 to bring out the third yellow flag of the evening. Under this yellow flag, Furman Parton brought his machine into the pits and the crew went under the hood of his car. The night came to an early close for ‘The Lumberjack’, who was forced to watch the remainder of the race as a spectator from the pits.

When the field went back to green at the halfway point of the race, Johnny Pursley slowed from his third position on the track. Pursley came to a halt at the exit of turn four and had to be towed back into the pits. This ended what had started as a promising night and forced the third generation standout to exit the race with a broken rear end.
On the restart after Purlsey’s problem, Ricky Weeks drove away at the front of the field and was not challenged to the checkered flag. Mike Gault came home in second, Ross Bailes third, and Jay Sessoms fourth. The victory will pad Weeks’ point lead in the Clash South as he seeks to claim the championship in both the Carolina Clash and Clash South divisions.
“Well it’s lovely to come out and win at our home track,” said Weeks in victory lane. “This is where I cut my teeth and it’s always fun to come home and race in front of the home town crowd. A lot of people came to the race tonight that have not been to a race in years. This couldn’t be any better!”
In other racing action at Harris Speedway Thursday night, Bubba Smith claimed the $1,000 to win Stock 8 feature for his seventh victory of the season. Josh Ayers claimed the checkers in Pure Stock, while Brandon Lambert picked up the victory in Street Stock 4. Scott Morgan was victorious in Super Stock 4, and Dustin Morris won the Renegade feature.