In what has been one of the best NWAAS Late Model track series championships in the Mid Atlantic. Dominion Raceway couldn’t be more excited about its inaugural season at its new home in Thornburg Virginia. Providing much of that excitement has been Late Model veteran Nick Smith and Young Gun standout Doug Barnes Jr.

Both racers have spent time at the top of the series points and both drivers have now had there misfortunes as well. Difference between the two racers has been Smith’s trips to Victory Lane and Barnes consistent top three finishes who also has had two trips to Victory Lane Dominion Raceway. With the 2016 race season nearing its schedueled end, winning, staying consistent and avoiding trouble will be the obvious keys to becoming the track champion.

On this night of NWAAS Late Model action was a seventy five lap feature in what was some of the coolest temps yet this summer. Race teams spent the afternoon anticipating the track to tighten up a bit more then usual and were curious how the newer, softer compounds of the McCreary race tire was going to perform. For starters, Jeff Oakley wasn’t complaining as once again and dominate all season long won yet another race pole clocking in a fast lap at 15.270 sec or 94.303 mph.

Doug Barnes Jr, Nick Smith, Michael Hardin, Trent Barnes and Doug Liberman were qualifying’s best making up the first three rows. Oakley would then draw a four pill after qualifying to invert the top four cars giving Hardin the honors of showing the field to the green.

Green flag racing began with Michael Hardin showing the field of seventeen hot rods strong into turn one and in a battle with Smith for the race lead. Coming out of turn, Hardin had position and lead lap one of the hundred lap feature. Doug Barnes Jr worked Smith hard in the early stages for second but Smith denied the charge of Barnes who settled back in third. One back, Oakley and Liberman held tight to their spots on the track racing fourth and fifth before the race experienced its first race caution on lap eight.

Veteran wheelman Richard Storm with high hopes of a great run had his engine come apart at the bottom end bringing his night to a abrupt halt. Back to the green, Hardin gets the great jump and secures the point. Smith and Doug Barnes Jr battle once again but this time a huge bloom of tire smoke from the contact ends up with Smith taking second leaving Barnes looking for a spot back in line loosing several spots in the field.

Making her way into the top five at this point was Macy Causey who then disposed of Liberman for fourth. Back up front was a battle for the lead and on lap twelve, Nick Smith was the races new leader. Several green flag laps later, caution was on the track as Teddy Brown cuts a tire and found on pit road was Doug Barnes Jr with a down left rear likely from the contact earlier with race leader Smith. As Barnes exited pit road and still under caution, back to pit road Barnes did return. This time to replace the right rear that was severely blistered and would have to restart at the tail end of the field but…on the lead lap.Coming up was a lap thirty four restart but on the next restart the caution returns to the track as Scott Turlington and Eddie Johnson tangle. At this point, caution laps began to count and the green flag waved on lap forty five.

Another great start for Nick Smith who just a few laps later was the halfway leader and just a few laps later more, debris caution brought things down to a crawl on lap fifty two. After two more brief cautions and surviving the charges of Jeff Oakley, leader Nick Smith saw green flag racing back on the track on lap sixty six. Oakley once again would challenge Smith for the race lead but soon had his hands full with Hardin. Oakley held off Hardin but soon found himself dealing with Doug Barnes Jr who from the rear of the field was able to get by Hardin for third.

But for the leader, all the hard racing allowed Smith to mount up a lead and go on to win the seventy five lap race feature at Dominion Raceway. Jeff Oakley was second, Doug Barnes Jr in a season saving third place finish, Michael Hardin fourth and fifth best was Trent Barnes.

Great night for Nick Smith as he’ll extend his series points lead collecting his tenth win in the 2016 race season. For Doug Barnes Jr who refuses to go away from this series points battle with Smith. What a recovery after loosing two tires and forced to start at the rear to a third place finish. The battle and race for the championship continues next Saturday night as twin 50’s are on the line at Dominion Raceway.

Race Results:
1 #12 Nick Smith (winner)
2 #11 Jeff Oakley
3 #88 Doug Barnes Jr
4 #7 Michael Hardin
5 #1 Trent Barnes
6 #33 Macy Causey
7 #56 Doug Liberman
8 #82 Mike Ganoe
9 #29 Robert Bruce
10 #57 Eddie Johnson
11 #4 Randy Roberts
12 #27 Kevin Sims
13 #64 Bill Leutz
14 #58 Scott Turlington
15 #41 Teddy Brown
16 #82b Cameron Burke
17 #07 Richard Storm