Cox and Williams kick off MB Speedway regular season with Late Model victories

Matt Cox capitalized on the misfortune of pole sitter Tommy Lemons to grab victory in the first of two 40-lap Late Model features at Myrtle Beach Speedway on Sunday.

Lucas Williams rebounded from not finishing in the first race to best Cox at the line and grab the triumph in race number two.

Kevin Barnhill was the first driver under the checkered flag after passing Ed Williams with five laps to go in the Charger division. Tom Hutson returned to the track after a frustrating Ice Breaker to grab the trophy just ahead of Adam Fulford in the Mini-Stock race.

Mother Nature pulled the “okey doke” on Saturday and failed to deliver the anticipated deluge to Myrtle Beach Speedway. She did however delay the start of Sunday's activities with some early morning precipitation. Once qualifying was able to roll off, Tommy Lemons put his No. 27 on the pole for the first of the twin Late Model features with a 20.39-second lap. Cox started to his outside with Craig Stallard inside row two and Justin Milliken on the outside. As the cars pulled onto the track for the first feature, Lemons’ car came to a halt in turn one and the Ice Breaker winner climbed from his vehicle. A broken ball joint prevented him from making even one lap to start the day. Once the race went green Milliken went three-wide into turn three and grabbed the lead from Cox on the first lap.

Williams had a tire issue and had to pit for a new right front. He returned to the track but ran at a reduced speed, conserving his tires for the second race. Milliken led the first 35 laps, but lost pace thanks to his brakes fading. Cox passed for the lead with five to go and drove off for the win.

The second Late Model feature had more excitement at the drop of the green flag as Samie Scarpelli started on the pole thanks to a six-car invert. Coming to the green Scarpelli spun his tires and got out of shape. He eventually spun down the track and t-boned Brian Vause. After the cleanup from that incident the race was started and Bryant Barnhill took the lead at the drop of the green. Williams carved through the field with his fresher tires while Lemons was significantly faster, but was started a lap down due to his failure to put at least 26 laps on his tires in the first feature. Williams chased down Barnhill and wrestled the lead away on lap 16, outlasting race one winner Cox to grab his first win of 2016. Cox is the early track point leader ahead of Stallard and Vause.

The Charger race had a similar fate at the drop of the green that plagued the second Late Model tilt. Joe Armakovitch started on the pole and spun his tires coming to the green flag. He was hit from behind and turned into Justin Allison, heavily damaging Allison's car and ending his own race before completing a single lap. Ed Williams took the lead on the next attempt at a start and led 24 laps before surrendering the lead to Barnhill. Steve Jones was charging hard at the finish but was unable to make up the distance necessary to make a pass for the win.

The Mini-Stock race saw Willie Fulford grab the lead at the drop of the green. He led for eight laps before his brother Adam pried the lead away. Hutson took over the point on lap 12 and dominated the remainder of the event. As the laps wound down Adam Fulford was hot on Hutson's heels and nearly stole the win at the checkered flag, but came up .2 second shy.

The historic Myrtle Beach Speedway will be back in action April 2 for the Autism Awareness race event. Qualifying is set for 2:30 p.m., with racing to begin at 4:15 p.m. There will be a fan meet and greet with the drivers at 3:45 p.m. and a special guest from the Champion Autism Network (CAN).

Results:

Late Model #1

Matt Cox, Craig Stallard, Justin Milliken, Brian Vause, Bryant Barnhill, Sammie Scarpelli, Jackie Ward, Adam Congrove, Lucas Williams and Tommy Lemons Jr. - DNS

Mini-Stock

Tom Hutson, Adam Fulford, Bobby Tumbleston, Willie Fulford, Dub Fulford, Will Bruorton, Randy Hewett, Mark Evans – DNS and Joe York – DNS

Charger

Kevin Barnhill, Steve Jones, Ed Williams, Ben Watford, Eric Joyner, Alex Hicks, Tim Wright, Justin Allison, Chris Lanctot, Lyle Roberts and Joe Armakovitch

Late Model #2

Lucas Williams, Matt Cox, Adam Congrove, Brian Vause, Tommy Lemons Jr., Craig Stallard, Bryant Barnhill, Justin Milliken, Jackie Ward and Sammie Scarpelli.

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