Story by: Chris Owens ~ [email protected]
Photos by: Chris Owens & Hunter Thomas

Dillon, SC (January 3, 2011) — Rockingham Speedway has had the honor of hosting the Polar Bear 150 on New Years Day for the past couple of years. After a move to Thanksgiving weekend, that I still don’t think was the right move, officials at the Dillon Motor Speedway announced there plans to hold a Crate Motor Street Stock race at the short track in Dillon, SC on New Years Day. Sixteen cars showed up for the two thousand dollar to win race. The winner would also take home a new GM Crate Motor.

Curtis Peoples, who has competed at the Dillon track would claim the lead on the opening lap of the race. Immediately, the first caution of the day was out for the #18 car of Wade Baker. The restart saw Peoples again lead the field to turn one and he quickly looked to move away from the field. Peoples found himself battling for the lead with the #116 car of Jimmy Silvia on lap eighteen. Peoples held off the charge and remand the leader.

Travis Roberson ran a couple of Late Model races at Dillon in 2010, but had tough luck Saturday as he quickly found trouble on lap twenty three when the right front tire let go on his car bring out the second caution of the day. The field restarted on lap twenty six and Peoples was still in the lead. Jimmy Silvia gave Peoples another run for the top spot on lap twenty seven and took the lead. The two would continue to battle for the top spot for several laps until Silvia was able to move away from Peoples.

The scariest accident of the day was the lap fifty four caution when Ricky Locklair’s car caught fire in turn four. Locklair, not knowing the car was on fire continued around the track until he came to a stop in turn three. He quickly climbed from the car and was okay, the rear of the car however wasn’t. Under the caution, the third place machine of Wayne Locklair was on pit road with overheating problems. Locklair would go a lap down, but things would get worse for the Darlington, SC driver.

The field was back under the green flag on lap sixty five and Silva was still your race leader. Peoples looked to take the top spot away and as the field worked the seventy lap, thats just what Peoples did as he claimed the top spot in turn two.

Curtis Peoples would be your leader at the halfway break that saw several teams make adjustments to there ill handling cars. Jimmy Silva was running second with Kevin Benton, Jeff Melton and Doug Williams the top five. The second half of the race was the better half as the action picked up on the seventy seventh lap when Charles Fassen spun in turn four. Charles Hutto and Wayne Locklair were also involved in the accident off turn four. Everybody continued on with little damage to there cars.

Peoples was still the race leader when the field took the green flag on lap eighty two. This time, Peoples had to deal with Kevin Benton for the race lead. Peoples held off that challenge and remained the race leader. Jimmy Silvia who had been running up in the lead in the first half of the race, found himself spinning in turn one on lap ninety. Also collected in the aftermath was Cooper Fassen and Taylor Ransom. All continued on in the race with Silvia eventually finishing in the fourth spot.

Curtis Peoples brought the field back to the green flag on lap ninety two and held the leader when the caution came out on lap ninety eight for the accident involving Charles Fassen and Charles Hutto. Hutto’s car ended up by the turn one cross over gate after the accident started in turn four. Hutto was fine but done for the day. Fassen continued on and ended up eighth. The final caution of the day was brought out on lap one thirteen when Tony Moore slammed the turn two wall and killed the right front of his machine. Moore was done for the day.

Curtis Peoples brought the field back to green for the final time and looked like he had the race in hand until five to go when Kevin Benton closed and gave Peoples a run for the money and the new crate motor. The two would battle side by side for the top spot for numerous laps when Benton finally claimed the top spot off turn two with just two laps to go. Benton would cross the line first and a dejected Peoples who dominated the race was second.

Also racing on New Years Day was the UCar Clash for Cash, Mini Cup, Legends, and the UCar Modifieds. Aaron Miller claimed the first race of the year for the UCar Clash for Cash with Kevin Herndon, Duane Walker, Todd Langdon, and Jeremy Kidd rounding out the top five. Carl Britt claimed the Mini Cup win when he and John Sofield Jr. made contact in turn two which gave Britt the lead. Sofield was DQed for his actions after the race. Brent Irving dominated the twenty five lap Legends event that went caution free. Derrick Humble, Dillon Spain, Chris Davis and John Sofield Jr. rounded out the top five. The newly formed UCar Modified division was also on display Saturday with Jeff Woods taking the victory. Aaron Miller, Dennis Morgan, Justin Terry and Richard Jones rounded out the top five.

John Newsome GM Parts 150
1. #01 Kevin Benton
2. #17 Curtis Peoples
3. #27 Taylor Ransom
4. #116 Jimmy Silvia
5. #7 Doug Williams
6. #28 Jeff Melton
7. #22 Cooper Fassen
8. #11 Charles Fassen
9. #02 Charles Hutto
10. #121 Wayne Locklair
11. #47 Tony Moore
12. #44 Ricky Locklair
13. #18 Wade Baker
14. #3 Travis Roberson
15. #16 Hayes Goodson