Doll wins 3rd in a row at Hilltop
Derek Doll led for only about a one-sixteenth of a mile in Friday night’s AMRA late model feature at the Legendary Hilltop Speedway.
Fortunately for the Greenwood, W.Va., native it was the final one sixteenth of a mile as he forced his way around veteran Butch McGill on the final turn to claim his third straight feature win at the quarter mile dirt track.
Doll chased McGill for most of the 25-lap feature before the final caution waved with just five laps to go setting up what would turn out to be a spectacular finish.
Doll tried twice unsuccessfully to pass McGill on the outside with just three laps to go before diving to the bottom heading into turn one on the final lap with the West Union native.
The two sailed down the back straight away and into the final turn side by side and when the dust settled it would be Doll who crossed the finish line first with McGill slipping to second.
“I kept running the outside in three and four and really gained on him but he kept pinching me off down the front stretch,” said Doll, who drives the Doll Brothers car owned by his family which McGill piloted for many years earlier in his career. “We went into the final turn side by side and I felt a little push and got into Butch a little bit and from there it was just a drag race to the flag.”
McGill started the feature on the pole but it would be Steve Weigle who jumped out into the lead from the outside front row for the early part of the race.
On lap 10, Weigle got his number 75 car sideways coming out of turn two, causing McGill and a lapped car to spin to avoid him as the caution flag waved.
Weigle was sent to the tail of the field as the race official’s charged him with causing the caution.
From that point it was an epic battle between youth and experience with Doll coming out in front in the end.
“These are the first races we have run here and we are three-for-three,” said Doll of his trifecta. “We won by quite a margin two weeks ago and last week took the lead at halfway, and tonight in the final corner so they are getting tougher each week.”
Young Daniel Hill finished third while veteran’s Dan Morrison and Jeremy Misel had strong runs to finish fourth and fifth respectively.
In the AMRA modified feature, 15-year old Tyler Evans passed Kenny Johnson on lap number three to take the lead and never looked back to score his first victory of the 2014 season.
“We had six wins last year but that’s our first one this year so I’m glad to finally get it out of the way,” said Evans, who set fast time and also won his heat race. “I respect Kenny a lot and he always drives me clean but we just hit on the perfect set up tonight.”
Johnson finished second with Roy Roush claiming third place while Evan’s father Robbie and Mark Martin rounded out the top five.
Tom Adkins claimed the four-cylinder feature while John Powell Jr. edged out Chris Thomas to win the Edge Hot Mod race.
Next week at The Top will be a big $1,500 to win late model feature with regular racing in all other classes.