Rayburn top winner at PRP races

·10 min read

Jun. 7—By Chuck Greenslate

Portsmouth Raceway Park welcomed Modifieds, Late Models, Limited Lates, and Sport Mods Saturday evening for the second race of the 2022 season. Jeremy Rayburn scored the win in the Modified Division's Annual Cletus Classic, while Kenny Christy, Billy Staker, and Derek Richmond all grabbed victories in their respective classes.

The 8th Annual Cletus Classic presented by Whitley, Gahm, and Rayburn CPAs, Crabtree's Carpet, and Grooms Trucking paid the Modified Feature Winner $1,231. Whitley, Gahm, and Rayburn CPAs along with Stealth Race Cars teamed up to supply the night's Modified fast qualifer with $312.

With big money on the line for The Local Happenings App Modifieds, the racing was fierce, and for Jeremy Rayburn, the win was very meaningful. Rayburn's family puts on the Cletus Classic as a way to honor the late Cletus Vowell, who was a crew member for the Rayburn Race Team. In addition to honoring Vowell, this year's race also paid tribute Rayburn's father-in-law Rodney Harmon, a longtime race fan who passed away in March.

With a lot of family and friends in attendance, two-time PRP Track Champ Jeremy Rayburn managed to score his second Cletus Classic victory with the first occurring in 2019. Saturday's finish gave Rayburn his second top-three finish in the first two events this year at PRP and put him atop the point standings.

While Rayburn led every circuit of Saturday's 20-lap A-Main, veteran Kenny Johnson made it interesting in the end. Johnson started on the pole but faded back to third. Just a little beyond the halfway mark, he discovered that the top groove was fast for him. Johnson began riding the rim and managed to pull up beside Rayburn coming off turn four on the final lap. However, Rayburn was able to hold him off at the stripe.

Defending PRP Track Champion Brian Skaggs placed third. The 2020 Dirt Track World Championship Winner, Jackson's Seth Daniels was fourth. Hihat, KY's Brandon Hutchinson rounded out the top five. Making up the rest of the top 10 were Adam Colley, Cole Cooper, Jody Puckett, Anthony Slusher, and Miles Cook Jr.

Claiming the Dynamic Shock Service/Mountain Holler Fast Time in Memory of Rodney Harmon was Ervin Vance. Unfortunately his luck would go south following time trials, as he had issues in his heat and did not participate in the feature.

Saturday's heat race winners were Kenny Johnson, Jeremy Rayburn, and Brian Skaggs. They all pocketed $50 courtesy of Grooms Trucking and T-Two Pay Lakes. Brandon Smith was the Hard Charger. He climbed six positions and received $50 from Jacobs Excavating.

The feature event in The Giovanni's Wholesale Pizza Late Models presented by Impact Race Gear certainly provided a lot of entertainment, as 62-year-old Kenny Christy brought his machine to the front. The three-time track champ started seventh, went upstairs, found that the high groove was the fast groove, and rode the top line to the checkers. Christy got past Ashland, KY's Kirk Phillips on lap 13 of the 25-lap A-Main and never looked back.

Fast Qualifier Nick Bocook of Wheelersburg placed second with his brother Josh finishing third. Loveland, OH's Mike Hildebrand was fourth. Reigning track champion Brandon Fouts finished fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Joe Brewer, Andy Bond, Chuck Simons, Corey Lewis, and Lucas Crooks. The heat race winners were Nick Bocook and Andy Bond.

The O'Reilly Auto Parts Limited Late Model A-Main provided a rather unexpected, exciting finish. Early on it appeared that Vanceburg's Robbie Lewis was going to run away with it. However, one little bobble on a Lap 7 restart handed the lead over to Billy Staker, who would never relinquish it. Staker would distance himself from the field until the last few laps when Mike Meyers and Robbie Lewis began tracking him down.

As was the case with Johnson in the Modifieds and Christy in the Late Models, Meyers and Lewis began utilizing the top groove, and their higher rate of speed was evident. When the checkered flag flew, Meyers was right on the rear bumper of Staker with Lewis glued to the back of Meyers.

Finishing behind that trio were Evyian Terry, Jesse Lyons Jr, Rick Stringer, Raymond Alley, and Brayden Dillow. Meyers won the Limited Late Model Heat.

The scariest accident of the night occurred during Limited Late Model Hot Laps, when 17-year-old Xavier McClaskey hit the wall and barrel rolled down the frontstretch landing on his top. It was his first night in a race car. He walked away unharmed.

The Express Oil & Tire Engineers Sport Mod A-Main was dominated by Stout's Derek Richmond. The former PRP Track Champion led all 15 laps and was never seriously challenged. Branden Colley, Luke Jordan, Joe McClain, Cody Gifford, Cody Price, Miles Cook Jr, Jeffrey Gillman, Kasey Black, and Jeromy Brady rounded out the top 10.

PRP will be off this coming weekend for maintenance updates. The next race is slated for June 18th. That will be the night of the 5th Annual Dean Knittel Memorial & 2nd Annual Charlie Swartz Classic. The Dean Knittel Memorial will serve as The Tezos All-Star Circuit of Champions Ohio Speedweek Finale paying 410 Winged Sprints $20,554 to win. The Charlie Swartz Classic will be sanctioned by The Valvoline Iron-Man Late Model Series and will pay $5,000 to win.

Late Models 16 Entries

A Feature 1 25 Laps — 00:17:31.085

1. C7-Kenny Christy[7]; 2. 1B-Nick Bocook[1]; 3. B1-Josh Bocook[4]; 4. 39-Mike Hildebrand[6]; 5. 81-Brandon Fouts[5]; 6. 33B-Joe Brewer[11]; 7. 53C-Andy Bond[3]; 8. 24S-Chuck Simons[10]; 9. 1-Corey Lewis[9]; 10. W4-Lucas Crooks[13]; 11. CJ1-Charlie Jude[14]; 12. 27-Shawn Martin[8]; 13. 21K-Kirk Phillips[2]; 14. 03-Matt Isaac[12]; 15. 93-Davey Dunn[15]

Heat 1 8 Laps — 00:02:53.402

1. 1B-Nick Bocook[1]; 2. 53C-Andy Bond[2]; 3. 81-Brandon Fouts[8]; 4. C7-Kenny Christy[4]; 5. 1-Corey Lewis[7]; 6. 33B-Joe Brewer[5]; 7. W4-Lucas Crooks[3]; 8. 93-Davey Dunn[6]

Heat 2 8 Laps — 00:03:56.435

1. 21K-Kirk Phillips[1]; 2. B1-Josh Bocook[2]; 3. 39-Mike Hildebrand[3]; 4. 27-Shawn Martin[5]; 5. 24S-Chuck Simons[4]; 6. 03-Matt Isaac[6]; 7. (DNS) CJ1-Charlie Jude

Qualifying 1 — 00:02:09.765

1. 1B-Nick Bocook, 00:15.402[2]; 2. 21K-Kirk Phillips, 00:15.584[4]; 3. 53C-Andy Bond, 00:15.600[15]; 4. B1-Josh Bocook, 00:15.814[9]; 5. W4-Lucas Crooks, 00:15.834[1]; 6. 39-Mike Hildebrand, 00:15.945[6]; 7. C7-Kenny Christy, 00:15.945[13]; 8. 24S-Chuck Simons, 00:16.188[14]; 9. 33B-Joe Brewer, 00:16.522[12]; 10. 27-Shawn Martin, 00:16.974[8]; 11. 93-Davey Dunn, 00:17.095[7]; 12. 03-Matt Isaac, 00:17.490[3]; 13. 1-Corey Lewis, 00:17.945[11]; 14. 93S-Audie Swartz, 00:17.945[5]; 15. 81-Brandon Fouts, 00:17.945[10]; 16. CJ1-Charlie Jude, 00:17.945[16]

Modifieds 25 Entries

A Feature 1 20 Laps — 00:23:39.159

1. 11-Jeremy Rayburn[2]; 2. 1J-Kenny Johnson[1]; 3. 20S-Brian Skaggs[3]; 4. S21-Seth Daniels[5]; 5. A85-Brandon Hutchinson[7]; 6. 11C-Adam Colley[9]; 7. 51-Cole Cooper[4]; 8. J3-Jody Puckett[12]; 9. 2-Anthony Slusher[6]; 10. 18C-Miles Cook Jr[14]; 11. 244-Brandon Smith[17]; 12. 52-Brian Whiteman[11]; 13. 75C-Steve Clemmons[13]; 14. CR12-Danny Ferguson[20]; 15. 21-Levi Ellswick[19]; 16. 7-Ben Adkins[15]; 17. 35C-Craig Christian[10]; 18. 35-Tony DeHart[16]; 19. 1W-Brian Wilburn[21]; 20. 4B-Mitchell Berry[18]; 21. 25S-Derek Spencer[8]

B Feature 1 10 Laps

1. 35-Tony DeHart[1]; 2. 244-Brandon Smith[2]; 3. 4B-Mitchell Berry[3]; 4. 21-Levi Ellswick[5]; 5. CR12-Danny Ferguson[8]; 6. 1W-Brian Wilburn[9]

Heat 1 8 Laps — 00:02:55.475

1. 1J-Kenny Johnson[4]; 2. 51-Cole Cooper[2]; 3. A85-Brandon Hutchinson[3]; 4. 35C-Craig Christian[5]; 5. 75C-Steve Clemmons[6]; 6. 35-Tony DeHart[7]; 7. 83-Briana Robinson[8]; 8. P20-Ervin Vance[1]; 9. (DNS) 22-Dustin Mosley

Heat 2 8 Laps — 00:04:57.185

1. 11-Jeremy Rayburn[1]; 2. S21-Seth Daniels[2]; 3. 25S-Derek Spencer[5]; 4. 52-Brian Whiteman[4]; 5. 18C-Miles Cook Jr[3]; 6. 244-Brandon Smith[6]; 7. 21-Levi Ellswick[8]; 8. (DNS) CR12-Danny Ferguson

Heat 3 8 Laps — 00:06:48.278

1. 20S-Brian Skaggs[1]; 2. 2-Anthony Slusher[4]; 3. 11C-Adam Colley[6]; 4. J3-Jody Puckett[2]; 5. 7-Ben Adkins[8]; 6. 4B-Mitchell Berry[7]; 7. RC10-Reed Bishop[5]; 8. 1W-Brian Wilburn[3]

Qualifying 1 — 00:06:45.308

1. P20-Ervin Vance, 00:16.883[22]; 2. 11-Jeremy Rayburn, 00:16.898[9]; 3. 20S-Brian Skaggs, 00:16.909[16]; 4. 51-Cole Cooper, 00:16.987[17]; 5. S21-Seth Daniels, 00:16.996[1]; 6. J3-Jody Puckett, 00:17.042[10]; 7. A85-Brandon Hutchinson, 00:17.088[8]; 8. 18C-Miles Cook Jr, 00:17.118[20]; 9. 1W-Brian Wilburn, 00:17.127[25]; 10. 1J-Kenny Johnson, 00:17.221[24]; 11. 52-Brian Whiteman, 00:17.256[19]; 12. 2-Anthony Slusher, 00:17.312[5]; 13. 35C-Craig Christian, 00:17.321[7]; 14. 25S-Derek Spencer, 00:17.370[21]; 15. RC10-Reed Bishop, 00:17.622[14]; 16. 75C-Steve Clemmons, 00:17.682[2]; 17. 244-Brandon Smith, 00:17.722[23]; 18. 11C-Adam Colley, 00:17.733[18]; 19. 35-Tony DeHart, 00:17.941[6]; 20. CR12-Danny Ferguson, 00:17.979[4]; 21. 4B-Mitchell Berry, 00:18.146[13]; 22. 83-Briana Robinson, 00:18.317[15]; 23. 21-Levi Ellswick, 00:18.611[3]; 24. 7-Ben Adkins, 00:18.611[11]; 25. 22-Dustin Mosley, 00:18.611[12]

Limited Late Models 9 Entries

A Feature 1 15 Laps — 00:11:33.069

1. 7S-Billy Staker[3]; 2. 10M-Mike Meyers[1]; 3. 48-Robbie Lewis[2]; 4. 58-Evyian Terry[5]; 5. 17R-Jesse Lyons Jr[8]; 6. 26-Rick Stringer[6]; 7. 14-Raymond Alley[4]; 8. 83-Brayden Dillow[7]

Heat 1 8 Laps — 00:03:04.393

1. 10M-Mike Meyers[1]; 2. 48-Robbie Lewis[7]; 3. 7S-Billy Staker[4]; 4. 14-Raymond Alley[3]; 5. 58-Evyian Terry[2]; 6. 26-Rick Stringer[6]; 7. 83-Brayden Dillow[5]

Sport Mods 16 Entries

A Feature 1 15 Laps — 00:15:56.157

1. 34-Derek Richmond[2]; 2. 11B-Branden Colley[1]; 3. 13J-Luke Jordan[6]; 4. 14-Joe McClain[5]; 5. 88M-Cody Gifford[4]; 6. 10P-Cody Price[8]; 7. 18C-Miles Cook Jr[7]; 8. 60G-Jeffrey Gillman[12]; 9. 55-Kasey Black[13]; 10. B9-Jeromy Brady[10]; 11. 8D-Stevie Thornsberry[9]; 12. 22R-Jason Ruby[16]; 13. 19-Andrew Bender[11]; 14. 13E-Emily Jordan[3]; 15. (DNS) 1-CHRIS TRUESDELL; 16. (DNS) 11-Jason Thayer

Heat 1 8 Laps — 00:12:43.377

1. 11B-Branden Colley[2]; 2. 13E-Emily Jordan[4]; 3. 14-Joe McClain[5]; 4. 18C-Miles Cook Jr[7]; 5. 8D-Stevie Thornsberry[8]; 6. 19-Andrew Bender[3]; 7. 55-Kasey Black[1]; 8. 11-Jason Thayer[6]

Heat 2 8 Laps — 00:06:44.942

1. 34-Derek Richmond[1]; 2. 88M-Cody Gifford[4]; 3. 13J-Luke Jordan[8]; 4. 10P-Cody Price[7]; 5. B9-Jeromy Brady[6]; 6. 60G-Jeffrey Gillman[5]; 7. 1-Chris Truesdell[3]; 8. 22R-Jason Ruby[2]