McGill survives to win at Legendary Hilltop Speedway
Veteran racer Butch McGill led wire to wire to claim a caution filled 25-lap feature Friday evening at the Legendary Hilltop Speedway.
McGill held off Chris Garnes and Andy Bond in a race that saw the caution flag wave some eight times with only eight of the 18 cars that started the race running when it ended.
Garnes was the fast qualifier of the evening but placed second to McGill in the first heat race putting McGill on the pole for the main event.
Dan Morrison, Andy Bond and Jeremy Misel also placed first in their respective heat races, securing the first four starting spots in the main race.
What started as a promising night for Morrison quickly turned the opposite as the Newport racer made contact with the wall in turn one on the opening lap forcing him to the tail of the 18-car field.
Two laps later, Morrison’s night got even worse when he was swept up in a four-car crash involving Eric Francis and William Robinson that also collected Corey Delancey.
When the race restarted McGill jumped out to the early lead with Garnes quickly working his way into the runner-up position by passing Bond and Misel.
Slower cars would play a major role in the race and McGill masterfully weaved his way in and out of lapped traffic keeping the hard charging Garnes at bay.
With just six laps to go, the leaders came up on several lapped cars at once and while McGill and Garnes were forced to the high side of the track, Bond dove to the bottom, momentarily making it a three car race for the lead.
Fortunately for McGill, the caution flag would wave for the final time, resetting the field for a five lap shootout, clear of the slower cars.
Garnes gave it a valiant effort in the final laps but he proved no match for McGill as the West Union , West Virginia native claimed his second feature win at “The Top” this season.
Garnes placed second followed by Bond in third Misel in fourth and young Jason Gillian in fifth.
In the AMRA modified feature, Parkersburg’s K.C. Burdette claimed the feature victory over Jeremy Blake and Tyler Evans.
Robin Ours and Nick Corbitt rounded out the top five.
The Speedway will welcome for the very first time next Friday night the “Renegades of Dirt” as they host the first leg of the first ever Ohio River Shootout.
Some of the regions best modified drivers figure to be on hand as they compete for the 1500.00 first place prize before moving to Ohio Valley Speedway on Saturday and Tyler County Speedway on Sunday.