West Memphis, AR – Racing veteran, Johnny Virden from Russellville, Arkansas is no stranger to Super Late Model racing and is definitely no stranger to winning. However, on Saturday night he notched his first career win with the COMP Cams Super Dirt Series (CCSDS) Super Late Models by topping the Bartlett Hardwood Floor Service Spring Fling 35 presented by O.H. Hendricks at Riverside International Speedway (West Memphis, Arkansas).
After setting fast time in his group earlier in the night and then winning the first heat race Keith Lawson earned the New Vision Graphics Pole Award for the feature event, with Johnny Virden, who set fast time in his group, fast time overall, and won the third heat race joining him on the front row. As the 35 lap, $2,000-to-win feature went green it was Virden, who bolted to the lead atop the 1/4 mile oval with Lawson, Nathan Brown, Jamie Elam, and Jon Kirby in tow.
The event’s first caution would fly on lap five for a multi-car incident in turn four that began as Jamie Elam slowed from his top five spot. The ensuing pile-up included Jon Stinson, Terry Kerbough, TJ Hughes, and Dale Armstrong. At the time of the caution the top five in the running order included Virden, Lawson, Brown, Cook, Robert Baker, and Kirby.
On the restart Virden again motored away from the field as business began to pick up behind him for the second spot as Lawson looked to hold off a host of challengers. On lap 9 the event would be slowed again as Jamie Dacus spun off turn two. Following the lap 9 caution the event would maintain a long, green-flag run until lap 19, when top ten runner Dillon Knight saw his evening end in a puff of smoke.
The ensuing restart found Cook shooting past his teammate, Lawson, for the second spot, but would be unable to make up any ground on the leader, Virden, until the caution flew on lap 22 as series’ point leader, Robert Baker slowed after contact with the turn two wall. The next attempt to get the race underway would see the red flag displayed as TJ Hughes was involved in a hard wreck and flip down the front stretch. He would be sore, but uninjured.
As the field lined up for their final restart of the night it was Virden, who led Cook, Lawson, Kirby, and thirteenth starting, Chandler Petty. Virden would go on to lead the last thirteen laps to claim the win over Cook, Lawson, Kirby, and Tommy Surrett.
GRT Race Cars Heat Race #1 was won by Keith Lawson with Nathan Brown winning NEA Super Gas/Killer Coatings Heat Race #2 ,RiceTec Heat Race #3 being claimed by Johnny Virden, and Jamie Elam winning Racing Head Service Heat Race #4.
The Boston’s Restaurant and Sports Bar b-mains were won by Chandler Petty and Dale Armstrong
Tommy Surrett earned the Larry Shaw Race Cars Hard Charger Award for passing twelve cars in the feature event. The Quarter Master Hard Luck Award went to Kyle Beard, who saw his night come to an early end, while leading his heat race, when his engine expired.
The COMP Cams Super Dirt Series returns to action next weekend, June 8th-9th, with a doubleheader in Missouri and Arkansas with a pair of events that will serve as the first two rounds of the RiceTec Summer Series. On Friday night a $2,000-to-win/$300-to-start event will be held at Malden Speedway (Malden, Missouri) before the action shifts to Northeast Arkansas Speedway (Harrisburg, Arkansas) on Saturday night for a $2,000-to-win/$400-to-start program. For more information on the events please visit www.MaldenSpeedway.com and www.NEASpeedway.com .
The COMP Cams Super Dirt Series is sponsored by and would like to thank all of their sponsors including- COMP Cams, Hoosier Racing Tires, Kuntz & Company, Larry Shaw Race Cars, Quarter Master, GRT Race Cars, Rocket Chassis, Woodco, Inc., New Vision Graphics Graphics, Allen Manufacturing, RiceTec, ROCKHARD Powdercoat, Inc., Mark Martin Auto Group , NEA Supergas, Killer Coatings, MSR Mafia.com Marketing Services, Tobacco Town Inc., Racing Head Service, BSB Manufacturing, Five Star Bodies, Boston’s Restaurant and Sports Bar Pizza, speedliquidators.com, Schoenfeld Headers, Surrett Contracting, Lawson Farms, Powerhouse Products, ASI Race Wear, and FSR Racing Products.
For the latest information on the COMP Cams Super Dirt Series, please visit www.COMPDirt.com .