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 Claborn Takes Two Mt. Lawn Feature Races, Mefford Grabs Second

August 6, 2008 - Cambridge City’s Kevin Claborn picked up two feature wins Saturday night at the Mt. Lawn Speedway.

Neither win was easy for Claborn, as he started 14th in both the Motion Motor Late Models and the Dependable Drywall Thunder Cars.

Veteran racing announcer Pat Sullivan of Carmel was the track announcer Saturday night and described the Late Model feature as one of the most exciting races he has ever seen. Nineteen cars started the feature, with Greenfield’s Eric Evans accepting the Tail Gunner Challenge to start at the rear of the field and attempt to win an extra $550 by winning the feature event.

Tom Nixon took the lead at the drop of the green flag from his pole starting position. Nixon outgunned Ralph Lane of Greensburg into turn one on the first lap, and held on to the lead until Lane managed to get in front on lap five.

By lap six, Evans was running in 10th position, having already disposed of Greensboro’s Scott Knepley, and looked to be on his way to the Tail Gunner Jackpot. On lap seven, however, both Knepley and Claborn got back around, Evans who had been force to go wide to pass his next victim and had to slow down. On lap eight, Knightstown’s William Mefford moved around his son, Brandon Mefford, also of Knightstown, to get second place. William Mefford then moved into the lead on lap 10, with Claborn, Knepley and Evans running seventh, eighth and ninth respectively.

At the half way point the Meffords were running in the top two spots, with Morristown’s Jeff Marcum third, Lane fourth, Claborn fifth, Miles Sexton sixth, followed by Knepley and Evans.

Claborn moved into second on lap 19, several car lengths behind the elder Mefford and on lap 20, Evans disposed of Marcum to take over third place. On a single-file restart on lap 27, a chain reaction occurred while the cars were entering the short turn, sending Knepley and Keith Morris of Mt. Summit out of the race.

On the second attempt to restart on lap 27, Mefford, Claborn and Evans entered turn one three wide a move that hardly ever works. As a result, Evans cut a tire down and was force to pit under yellow. Evans’ crew made the tire change but Evans had to start at the rear of the now 14-car field, losing a shot at the Tail Gunner Jackpot.

On the third restart, Claborn motored past Mefford to take the lead. Mefford did finish second, followed by Marcum, Terry Cater of New Castle, David Fox II of Markleville, Sexton, Evans, Chad White of Greenfield, Johnny Fugate of Cambridge City and Mark Fesmire of Markleville.

Cater set fast time is time trials at 16.597, less than a tenth of a second off his track record of 16.506 set May 24. Knepley took the Razzle’s Cash in the Dash, with Brandon Mefford and Fugate winning the heats.

In the Dependable Drywall Thunder Car feature, Greenfield’s Michael Starks led the first three laps until Chris Bolyard took the lead on lap four. Starks regained the lead on lap five, but he gave it back to Bolyard on lap 11.

Kyle Evans moved into the lead on lap 13 and held the top spot until Claborn finally made his way through the traffic. Claborn passed Evans on lap 22. Claborn held on for the win, followed by Bill Clark of Rushville, Evans, point leader Pam McConnell of Shirley, Mike Vaccaro of Middletown, Jameson Owens of Greenfield, David McConnell of Shirley, Matt Nelson of Greenwood and Ray Evans of Greenfield.

Pam McConnell set fast time at 18.568, with her husband, David, winning the Dependable Drywall Cash in the Dash and Owens and Fortville’s Paul Starks winning the heats.

Collins Auto Service Hornet feature went to point leader Chris Jennings. Jennings took over the lead of the race on lap 10 from teammate Keith Morris. The two stayed in the top two spots until the completion of the race. They were followed by Joyce Dyer of Greenfield, Jerry Small of Arcadia, Donnie Mathews of Indianapolis, Courtney Hanna of Cincinnati, Josh White of New Castle, Emily Henderson of New Castle, Kim Lawrence of Greenfield and Josh Petry of Greenfield. Jennings set fast time, Lawrence won the Collins Cash in the Dash, and Morris and Small won the heats.

Courtney Hannah won the Mini Cup heat and feature event.

Rushville’s Tate Martz won the UMRA midget feature, beating Fortville’s Terry Goff to the line by three car lengths. Goff was followed by Kenny Byrge of Bloomington, Scott Petry of Greenfield, Brent Turner of Fortville, Patrick Wolf of Arlington, Brandon Gray of Indianapolis, Robbie Roland of Greenfield and Oogie Goff of Fortville. Midget heat winners were Byrge, Terry Goff and Petry.

The UMRA midgets return Saturday September for a 50 lap season finale.


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