Hutchens Holds Off the Charge, Wins at Unity
The Amsoil Nelcar Legends Tour made the trip up to Unity Raceway for the second straight race at the tricky oval this past weekend. It was set to be a great race with a mix of rookies and veterans in the field, with the top three from last weekend starting at the rear of the field, trying to make their way to the front in just 25 laps. The Unity stands were once again packed with eager race fans, the sun was out and it was set to be a great night of racing.
For the first heat race, it was a pair of rookies on the front row. Matt Chagnot in the 8 car started on the pole with the 81 of Dan Winter on the outside. On the start, Chagnot was able to grab the race lead, but the 10 of Ed Getty was not far behind as he moved around the rookie driver for the race lead. Getty was able to open up a bit of a lead, but the 27 of past Unity winner Kevin Hutchens was making his way to the front, and he got the lead just before the halfway point. Hutchens was able to pull away and take the heat win, with the 39 of Canadian driver Darren Sherwood in second and Getty rounding out the top three.
The second heat race quickly followed, with the 2 of rookie Ryan Hammar starting on the pole with the 49 of Pete Cannell, who is one of few drivers who have run Unity as both a dirt and asphalt track, on the outside. At the start, Hammar was able to get the race lead, but it wasn't long before the 38 of Matt Bourgoine to make his presence shown as he took the lead with the 56 of Evan Beaulieu closely behind. In a replay of last weekend, Bourgoine and Beaulieu fought hard for the lead, but Bourgoine was able to get the win with Beaulieu finishing closely behind in second. The 399 of Bob Weymouth was able to round out the top three.
As the sun began to set, the Legend Cars took to the track for their 25 lap feature event. It was set to be an interesting start with the rookies of Winter and Chagnot on the front row. The two rookies fought hard for the lead, but Alan Smith in the 33 was able to make quick work and take the race lead shortly after. As Smith tried to pull away, Hutchens was able to make his way through the traffic and he grabbed the lead on lap five. The next lap, a bolt in the rear end of Smith's car sheared off and sent Smith for a spin off the backstretch, bringing out to the caution flag and ending Smith's strong run early.
For the restart, it was Hutchens leading the field with Sherwood on his outside. Hutchens was able to get the lead as Sherwood tried to hold off Beaulieu, the two would fight for a few laps and Beaulieu got second, a straightaway behind Hutchens. As he began to reel in Hutchens for the lead, Bourgoine grabbed third and was reeling both of them in. The three drivers were in a dead heat for the final five laps as Hutchens worked his way through lapped traffic and tried to hold the two hard chargers off. As Bourgoine made a bid on Beaulieu for second on the final lap, Beaulieu tried one more shot at Hutchens, but it wasn't enough as Hutchens grabbed his second win of the 2011 season. Beaulieu finished second with Bourgoine finishing third. Weymouth and Sherwood rounded out the top five.
After seven races, Weymouth still holds the points lead over Terry Kirk, but there is still plenty of racing to go this season! The next race for the Tour will be on June 16th at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway for the start of the popular Thursday Night Thunder! Gates open at 2PM and pit fee is only $8 with grandstand tickets only $4, racing starts at 7PM! For more news, info and how you can get behind the wheel of a Legends Car, visit Nelcar.net.