Jason Welshan adds yet another Crate Late Model feature win in Cleveland

Jason Welshan picked up yet another Crate Late Model win on Friday night in Cleveland.

Jason Welshan picked up yet another Crate Late Model win on Friday night in Cleveland.

Jason Welshan is piecing together one of the most impressive seasons in recent memory on the dirt tracks around east Tennessee. On Friday night at the Cleveland Speedway, the Maryville, Tenn. driver scored his 31st feature win of 2014 as he drove to a $1,200 victory in the Crate Late Model division on that newly re-opened track.

Welshan showed early on that he would be a force to reckon with throughout the night as he posted the fastest time in qualifying with a lap of 13.72 seconds to beat out a field of 19 drivers for the pole position in the feature. Also earning locked-in starting spots for the main event were Tanner Works, Bobby Mayse, Jordon Horton, Riley Hickman and Jerry Coffman.

Jimmy Elliott won the night’s first heat race for this division as he bested Kenny Kizzar and Scott Boyd while Zack Dunsmore beat out Justin Owens and Josh Walker to earn the win in the second heat race.

At the start of the 25-lap feature, Works shot to the early lead from his outside front row starting spot with Welshan all over his back bumper. Horton, Mayse and Coffman kept close watch on the leaders from their top-5 positions.

Finally on lap 8, Welshan’s persistence paid off as he was able to get under Works in turns three and four and pin his opponent behind a slower machine. As the cars raced through turns one and two on the next circuit, Works tangled with that lapped car to bring out the race’s first caution. Works held his place out of that incident but the lapped car went for a spin.

From that point, it looked as if Welshan might drive away to another dominating win. However, Works was not about to give up so easily. He trailed Welshan throughout the course of the event and eventually closed the gap with less than five laps to go. On lap 23, the #T35 got under Welshan’s car and the two made contact briefly, but Welshan was able to hold the lead.

Meanwhile, Coffman, Mayse, Horton and Hickman engaged in a tremendous battle for positions within the top-5. Those four drivers swapped spots over the course of the entire race with Mayse finally emerging with the spot.

At the finish, it was Jason Welshan getting the win ahead of Tanner Works, Bobby Mayse, Jerry Coffman, Riley Hickman, Jordon Horton, Kenny Kizzar and Jimmy Elliott.

In other action, Jimmy Smith beat out a field of 15 A-Hobby machines in a race that was marred by serious crashes at its beginning and its ending.

At the initial waving of the green flag to start the A-Hobby feature, virtually the entire field was caught up in a melee that appeared to have been triggered when front row starters Devin Stewart and Jimmy Smith got together. Most cars would continue on from that incident.

On the 19th of the scheduled 20 laps, Robbie Hixson was involved in a single car crash that saw his racer go flipping wildly multiple times through turn three. The car was destroyed but the driver was able to scamper away once the car was righted onto what was left of its four wheels.

The race was stopped at that point with Smith declared the winner ahead of Devin Stewart, Brandon Stanfield and Charles Devine.

Robbie Hixson's badly damaged A-Hobby car.

Robbie Hixson’s badly damaged A-Hobby car.

Richard Dixon dominated the field of 14 cars in the B-Hobby division as he beat out Ricky Wagner, Adam Earwood and Jason Emahiser in a race that ran caution free for its entire 20 laps.

Michael Courtney added to his already impressive season in Mini-Stocks by scoring the feature win for that class.

*Corrected: Welshan has 31 wins this season, not 32.

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