Cleveland, TN - On a cold night where temperatures kept most race fans at home away from the track, Cleveland Speedway didn't have any trouble heating up some fantastic racing action, presenting the annual "Late Model Spring Fling". Twenty-one Crate Late Models took to the track for the first of two, twin $1,500 to-WIN features.
Second-fastest overall qualifier and heat #2 winner Jason Deal of Copperhill, Tn., jumped into the lead over Fast Qualifier Jerry Coffman at the start and seemed to be in firm control of the 35-lap feature. Coffman, piloting Mike Simmons "A-1 Towing, AAA Service, Chip Vineyard Racing" CVR machine, played the patient waiting game and the race came to him when Deal began struggling in the turns with 10 to go. Coffman made the winning pass on Deal who waffled back to fourth on lap 28, strolling easily and unchallenged to the checkers. Andy Pickelsimer of Ooltewah got by Jamie Perry late in the race too, earning the runner up nod to Coffman. Behind Deal at the checkers was 2015 Track Champion Ethan Hunter.
In "Spring Fling" race #2 the Super Late Models, "the Tarheel Tiger" Ray Cook of Brasstown, N.C., showed why and how he knows the way around Cleveland Speedway. Cook in his # 53 "A1 Moving & Storage Co, Pope Construction Co, PRC" Jay Dickens Capital Racecar dominated with strength over Jamie Perry for the entire 35-lapper.
Despite being only eight cars, Cook, Perry and Booger Brooks put on a stout performance. Jordon Horton and "the Lawman" Mike Tinker rounded out the Top 5 respectfully.
In the Topless Sportsman division Jordan Rodabaugh of Soddy Daisy and Justin Winters battled the entire 20 laps. Rodabaugh and Winters would exchange pleasantries after the hard-fought, side-by-side close quarters race. Matt Stewart was third behind Winters.
Jimmy Smith of Red Bank won the shortened B-Hobby feature. Patrick Henry took his second consecutive Pony/FWD feature race and Jason Lewis won the opposite-directed Road Warrior feature.
Next race at Cleveland Speedway is Saturday for all classes.