Tops at the ’Top
By Mike Morrison
The Marietta Times
Parkersburg’s K.C. Burdette fought off challenger after challenger to claim the AMRA Modified Topless 30 Friday evening at the Legendary Hilltop Speedway, while Derek Doll made it two in a row by scoring a victory in the AMRA Super Late Model feature.
Burdette qualified fastest of the more than 20-modified cars and claimed first place in his heat race to secure the poll position for the feature event.
Roy Roush Jr., Tyler Evans, and Travis Dickson each claimed victories in their respective heat races to set the field for the second annual running of the race that saw the cars run with out the tops on their cars, giving the large crowd on hand a much better view of the drivers.
When the green flag dropped in the modified feature, Roush jumped out to the early lead from his front row starting position, only to relinquish the lead back to Burdette on the fourth lap of the race.
Roush was overtaken for the runner-up spot by the third generation racer and Gallipolis native Dickson, who immediately began to pressure Burdette for the top spot.
Time and time again, Dickson would look to make a run at the leader, but each time Burdette was strong enough to hold him off and maintain the lead. While Burdette and Dickson were doing battle for the top spot, Tanner Wilson, who started the race in eighth place, was quietly moving himself into position to make it a three car race.
With just five laps to go, Wilson got around Dickson for second and then set his sights on Burdette, only to come up short by less than a car length as the checkered flag waved. Kenny Johnson finished fourth and Andy Bond scored a strong top-five finish after starting the race in the 17th position.
In the late model feature, Doll started the race from the outside front row next to Steve Lucas and for awhile it looked like last week’s feature winner may be in for a struggle as both Lucas and veteran racer Butch McGill grabbed the first two spots early in the race.
Doll ran third for much of the first half of the 25-lap feature before apparently finding the same groove that he found a week ago when he completely dominated the field.
With 12 laps to go Doll put McGill away for second and one lap later he rocketed around Lucas for the top spot.
Doll got a little too high going into turn one and made contact with the guardrail with ten laps to go but quickly regained his composure to hang onto the top spot.
A crash right in front of the leader with a handful of laps to go set up one more dash to the finish, but Doll easily held off Lucas to claim his second win in as many weeks.
A great night for the Burdette family continued in the late model race as K.C.’s brother Colten placed third while Chris Garnes and McGill rounded out the top five.
Other feature winners were John Powell Jr. in the Edge Hot-Mod division, Dennis Adkins in the four-cylinder race and Zack Carr, who won for the 11th time this season in the WRA Mini-Wedge’s.