KANSAS CITY, KAN. Tom Charles, Bonner Springs, and his home-built Modified ended a 2-year Lakeside Speedway dry spell with a victory Friday night in the JR Motorsports AERO Wheels NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Presented by Dodge. The excitement in the Charles camp was every bit as enthusiastic as it was on May 5th, 2000, when he picked up his last win at Lakeside - his 300th career trophy.
Winning his heat Friday put him outside row 4 in the 30-car feature with Bobby Layne, Gene Claxton and last week's winner, Kerry Davis, starting immediately in front of him.
Pole-sitter Tim Powell took command early and would lead the first 10 laps, but lap traffic would be his undoing. Claxton would make better use of the field. With Lakeside again having two distinct lines, Claxton took the high road on his way to leading laps 11 and 12. It would be the low road out of four that was the fastest for Charles, who would not again be challenged.
The high-flying action was not only contained to the top 5, however, as defending champion Clint Bowyer, who registered a DNF in the first of four Heats, started 28th. Managing to avoid all seven cautions, Bowyer, running high and low grooves, could do no wrong. Lap after lap he continued to pick off the field. On the last lap he slid hard down low in turn four for third - without contact - around Tim Karrick and Mark Dotson.
In the NASCAR Shortrack Series Grand National Limited Late Models, it looked at first as if Dennis Melvin was going to end his 7-year dry spell with a win. However, with half of the 20-lap event in the books, it was obvious his car was starting to fade. Melvin would hold on to second.
On lap 13 Kerry Davis stuck a slide job in turn two and would not look back on his way to a three-peat. While Davis was not challenged for the lead, the top 10 never did seperate, which made for exciting fender-bending action.
Terry Bruner would have his hands full to finish third as hard chargers Mark Shafman and Allan Lawrence had been meticulously working their ways into the top 5. The duo started 14th and 11th, respectively.
Three weeks and three different winners is the big story for the Factory Stocks, which made up 37 of the 101 cars in attendance. Early leader Kenny Larson was not able to hold back Wade Sherman, who took the lead on lap 7 of 15. Darin Christy was able to mount a late race charge but would end up settling for second.