THORNBURG, VA – Tyler Hughes held off a furious charge from Jeff Oakley in the closing laps of Thursday night’s Virginia Lottery 100 at Dominion Raceway to score his first win of 2018.

Hughes took the lead from Alex Brock on lap 24 in the 100 lap feature.  However, keeping the lead would not be easy.  Hughes had to hold on to the top spot during restart after restart in the caution-filled event.  Hughes held on for one more restart with 13 laps to go and then held back a charge from Jeff Oakley to finally pick up the victory.

“That was wild,” Hughes said.  “We got out front there and seemed to put it on a ride.   Just tried to keep the tires on it.  I heard my spotter telling me when Oakley moved to second, so I got back up on the wheel and started running away.  We were able to keep it even and the last couple laps just came down to holding him off on the outside.  It worked well.”

Tyler Hughes (left) holds off a challenge from Jeff Oakley (right) for the lead. (Dinah Mullins photo)

The win was an emotional one for Hughes.  It was his first victory since his father, Donald, passed away last fall.  Tonight, Hughes’ father was riding with the team en route to victory lane.

“That means a lot to me, that was for him tonight,” Hughes remarked.  “I know he was riding with me.  My mom actually brought his ashes tonight to try to cure up some luck.  I guess it worked so we’ll just have to keep dad riding with us to every race.  You asked me earlier this week about momentum going into Martinsville and this sure is a big confidence booster so we’re ready.”

Jeff Oakley ended up finishing in second, just .068 seconds behind Hughes at the line.  He qualified fastest but started sixth after an invert.  On lap 27, a flat tire sent Oakley spinning in the apex of turns one and two and sending him to the rear, but he made quick work getting back to the top-five and eventually to second.

“It was a tough race at the end,” Oakley said.  “It took us a long time to get back through traffic.  We had a left rear go flat and spin out so we had to come from the back fighting through all that stuff.  It was a long night.  Another 10 laps and we would have had him but I’m happy.  It’s good to see Tyler win, he’s a great guy.  We would have liked to have won.  I tried to beat him without wrecking him and we just came up short.”

Alex Brock survived the mid-race mayhem and managed to come away with a third-place finish.

“We’ve been quick all year,” Brock stated.  “We’ve finished second five times this year so the win’s coming.  To come up here with such a large field and finish third is amazing.  We’ve had a hot streak this year.  We’re so close.  It was an awesome race, a lot of action for sure.”

Grayson Cullather finished fourth while Eddie Johnson came home fifth.  Davey Callihan, who ran in three races at Dominion on Thursday night, finished sixth while Timmy Phipps, Michael Hardin, Logan Jones, and Franklin Caricofe rounded out the top-10.

The race was slowed by cautions seven times.  Despite that, 12 of the 19 starters finished the race on the lead lap in the 100-lap thriller.

Results

  1. Tyler Hughes
  2. Jeff Oakley
  3. Alex Brock
  4. Grayson Cullather
  5. Eddie Johnson
  6. Davey Callihan
  7. Timmy Phipps
  8. Michael Hardin
  9. Logan Jones
  10. Franklin Caricofe
  11. Mark Wertaz
  12. Richard Storm
  13. Michael Mubley
  14. Robert Bruce
  15. Mike Ganoe
  16. Mike Michaelski
  17. Chandler Sherman
  18. Edward Johnson
  19. Barry Moore