As part of the Spring Nationals weekend at the Volunteer Speedway, track owners Joe and Phyllis Loven invited Crate Late Model racers to serve as the support class for Friday night’s action then they scheduled Limited Late Models for Saturday. And although there might not have been very many of the so-called Steelhead Late Models on hand, their race offered one of the most thrilling finishes imaginable.
Greg Estes began the 30-lap feature from the pole position after he posted the fastest time among the eleven Limited Late Models to make an attempt at qualifying. He would be followed by Jason Manley, Josh Henry, Layne Clifton, Heath Alvey and Greg Martin in the first three rows of the starting lineup.
There were no heat races for this class on Saturday night.
At the start of the feature, Manley got the jump on the field and appeared to be on his way to a dominating victory. As the race ran caution free for its first 28 circuits, the #32 machine pulled out to a lead of almost a full straightaway while Estes, Henry and Martin jockeyed for positions within the top-5.
However, a yellow flag waved on lap 28 when Henry and the lapped car of Vic Chandler got tangled together in turns 3 and 4 of the third-mile clay oval. Chandler spun but Henry was able to continue.
Just after the ensuing restart, Henry made an inside move in turns one and two and was able to draw along side Manley as the cars raced through turns three and four. The cars made contact with each other as they roared off turn four toward the checkered flag. At the finish line, Henry nipped Manley by the narrowest of margins for the win and a $1,000 payday.
At the finish, it was Josh Henry winning over Jason Manley, Greg Estes, Greg Martin, Heath Alvey and Layne Clifton.