From UARA press release
Drew Hierwarter photos
Coleman Pressley (59) dove into turn 3 on the final lap of the UARA-Stars 150 at Newport Speedway as the race leader. When Pressley’s car finally emerged from turn 4, however, it was hooked to the back of a tow truck. Instead of coming home as the first repeat winner in the 2010 UARA season he will come home as the ARbodies Hard Luck Driver of the race.
After 149 laps of rough-and-tumble racing on Saturday night, something broke under Pressley’s car, sending a machine that seemed destined for victory lane into a tailspin that ended against the outside wall.
That cleared the way for Alex Yontz, who became the UARA’s seventh different winner in the first seven races of the season. Yontz said the moment the No. 59 spun out about five car lengths in front of him, he could hardly believe his eyes. “We were all screaming over the radio,” he said. “I hate that for (Pressley), but we’ll take them any way we can get them.” Pressley had to settle for a disappointing 11th-place finish.
Yontz (98) was the surprise winner when Coleman Pressley crashed on the last lap.
Yontz started fifth and did his best to save his brakes and tires until the end of the race.
He slowly worked his way toward the front, but with the laps winding down, he found himself locked in a fierce battle for second with Kyle Grissom as Pressley set sail.
By the time Yontz finally got around Grissom on lap 141, he thought he’d been a little too patient.
“When they said five to go, I thought we’d waited too long,” he said. Yontz was making up ground on Pressley, but when the No. 59 took the white flag, it seemed that time had run out on Yontz.
Then, in the blink of an eye, there was nothing but clean racetrack standing between Yontz and his first UARA-Stars victory of the season. Yontz’ win gave DP performance engine the honors of being Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race.
Grissom wound up finishing second after leading the first 101 laps of the race from the Sunoco Pole he had gained. Setting the pace in front of such an aggressive field, however, seemed to take a toll on Grissom’s No. 32 car as the race wore on. “When you’re out front here you just have to run so hard to keep people behind you,” Grissom said. “There at the end, it got loose and we were just trying to hang on.”
Pressley finally took the lead on lap 102 by making a daring pass on Grissom’s high side. Although the bottom groove was the preferred path around the track, Pressley blazed his own trail and made it work.
“Coleman just kind of came out of nowhere there,” Grissom said. “Nobody could run the line he was running.”
Stephen Gahagan finished third in his first race of the season, which was an amazing feat after he started 15th. Gahagan said he saw his share of aggressive driving as he picked his way toward the front. “They just started racing real hard in front of me, bouncing off each other, and I just kept easing by them,” he said. Gahagan would bring home the G Force Shift of the Race award for his gain of 12 positions.
Scottie Hicks came across the line fourth behind Gahagan but after post race inspection Hicks was DQ’d. Brennan Poole and Scott Turlington would eventually round out the top five. Robert Johnson, son of NASCAR legend Junior Johnson, locked up an eighth-place finish awarding him his second Rookie of the Race Award of the season.
The UARA was extremely proud to have special guests on hand for the Memorial Weekend event. The 3rd Battalion 160th Special Operation Aviation Regiment “Airborne” Color Guard was on hand to present the nations colors prior to the singing of the national anthem. This extremely special group of young men just recently returned from Afghanistan and is nicknamed “The Night Stalkers”. They were just an awesome sight to watch and be comrades with throughout the day. When the UARA-STARS segment of the nights racing activities began they gave a very robust command for the drivers to start their engines.