The Late Model race series out at Dominion Raceway has been as good one to say the least. In a story of two tales with one being the race winning performances of Nick Smith and the other being the consistency of Doug Barnes Jr. Sooner or later in this sport, someone always takes a hit in they’re season hopes for a track championship.
Last week, Nick Smith took that hit having to surrender the series points lead after a eighteenth place finish and a torn up race car. That same race, Doug Barnes Jr was victorious and able to take full advantage of Smith’s misfortune’s and back on top of the series points. But in the story of two tales the story remains the same, Smith needs to win and Barnes needs to stay consistent.

On a very hot afternoon in Thornburg Virginia just off exit 118 on Interstate 95 sits the 4/10s mile oval of owner Steve Britt’s Dominion Raceway. Mentioned earlier was the battle between Nick Smith and Doug Barnes Jr. But in no way can the likes of the surging Michael Hardin, Trent Barnes who was also a race winner just last week and the always stout Jeff Oakley cannot be ignored.

Afternoon qualifying was settled with Jeff Oakley posting the fastest lap at 15.309 sec or 94.062 which was just one thousandth of a second better then Nick Smith’s lap and just six thousandths better then the lap set by Michael Hardin. Doug Barnes Jr and Connor Hall concluded the five best in the grid. Other notables in the field was Robert Bruce in sixth, Trent Barnes was seventh and Chandler Sherman was posted and starting tenth.

Green flag waved for the first event as Nick Smith established the early race lead. Oakley and Hardin would battle for the two spot before Hardin got position to secure the spot. But soon after, Oakley was able to regain second forcing Hardin to settle for third. Meanwhile, Smith was getting away and surmounting a sizable lead on the field before the race experienced its first caution. On the ensuing restart just as the green flag waved the caution waved once again as Doug Liberman and Macy Causey shows heavy damage.

Just shy of the halfway, were back at it once again and Smith wins another restart to the race. Best racing on the track was found for the fifth spot as Trent Barnes and Connor Hall were dueling it out for position. Back up front, Nick Smith was in full control of the race as the laps clicked away. Hardin at best could only match the race pace set by the leader as Oakley was the same. With the checkers waving at the stripe on lap fifty, Nick Smith crossed first in a much needed win. Hardin, Oakley, Doug Barnes and Trent Barnes rounded out the five best.

In the nightcap, Smith avoided the invert by allowing a crew member to pull a one pill to keep his spot on the grid to start the second fifty lap feature. Green flag was in the air and wasting no time was Smith for the race lead. Clearly on a mission was Smith looking to sweep the night as he mounted a sizable lead with just a handful of laps into the race. On back, Hardin was able to dispose the charge of Oakley for second as the Barnes brothers briefly battled for fourth and fifth. Wasn’t long before Connor Hall wanted back in on the top five group but to do it, he had to deal with Trent Barnes once again.

Lap fourteen brought out the races first caution as Owen Smith hit hard on the outside retaining wall ending his evening. Green flag waves once again and so did the yellow as Cameron Burke’s night ends with hard damage to the front of his ride. Once clean up concluded, we were back under the green as Nick Smith gets another text book restart for the race lead.

Halfway point in the race and Nick Smith continued his march in the race lead. Hardin tried to pace the leader but Smith was in a class of his own building up a fourteen car length lead as twenty laps remained in the race. Soon after, the race leader had to negotiate slower race traffic which has been quite the challenge at times in the division at Dominion Raceway. Meanwhile, after a disastrous race one finish with a torn up race car, Macy Causey from the fifteen starting spot was making moves and was a solid seventh at the time. Like the others in front of her, all were in desperate need of a caution that never came.

Nick Smith would go on to dominate the race and pick up wins eight and nine of the season at Dominion Raceway. Michael Hardin, Jeff Oakley, Doug Barnes Jr and Connor Hall was the races top five. Unofficially at the time of this recap, Smith may have regained the series points lead as a August 27th race date is set for more Late Model action from Dominion Raceway.

Race Results race #1
1 #12 Nick Smith (winner)
2 #7 Michael Hardin
3 #11 Jeff Oakley
4 #88 Doug Barnes
5 #1 Trent Barnes
6 #77 Connor Hall
7 #29 Robert Bruce
8 #82b Cameron Burke
9 #82 Mike Ganoe
10 #36 Eddie Johnson
11 #07 Richard Storm
12 #41 Teddy Brown
13 #36 Owen Smith
14 #56 Doug Liberman
15 #33 Macy Causey
16 #17 Patrick Szabo
17 #66 Zack Wells
18 #16 Dustin Storm
19 #27 Kevin Sims
20 #18 Chandler Sherman

Race Results #2
1 #12 Nick Smith
2 #7 Michael Hardin
3 #11 Jeff Oakley
4 #88 Doug Barnes Jr
5 #77 Connor Hall
6 #1 Trent Barnes
7 #33 Macy Causey
8 #36 Eddie Johnson
9 #17 Patrick Szabo
10 #56 Doug Liberman
11 #07 Richard Storm
12 #41 Teddy Brown
13 #27 Kevin Sims
14 #29 Robert Bruce
15 #82 Mike Ganoe
16 #82b Cameron Burke
17 #36 Owen Smith