By Dan Stillwell
Register-Herald Sports Writer
Since the early days of auto racing, one question has been argued up the straightaways and down the backstretches.
Ford or Chevrolet?
Aficionados of both makes have argued — and even fought — over which was best, whether on the asphalt of NASCAR or on small dirt tracks around the country.
Fans can have their say, as loudly as they’d like, tonight at Beckley Motorsports Park during the Ford vs. Chevy Street Stocks feature race.
“We’re putting some extra money toward those guys,” track manager Joe Jackson said. “We’ve had some big shows with the other cars. Now it’s their turn.”
The other classes — Late Models, AMRA Modifieds, Crates, Outlaw Streets and Hornets — will also run tonight. The spotlight, however, is on Street Stocks.
“We’ve got a decent field, and we’re hoping to entice some guys who haven’t raced here to come out,” Jackson said. “Maybe get some guys from Gilbert and Princeton.”
The class has a good points battle going on. Rainelle’s Matt Schoolcraft is the leader with 456 points. Bradley and Robert Richardson , both from Alderson, follow at 426 and 424 points, respectively.
Last Friday, Tyler Blankenship from Hanover took the checkered flag at BMP. He’s currently in sixth place with 318 points. Robert Richardson was runner-up, followed by Schoolcraft, Greg Pierce from Sullivan and Bradley Richardson.
It was questionable whether any races would be held, due to thunderstorms surrounding the area.
Little rain fell, fortunately, and all the races, including the visiting Winged Sprints, were completed.
“A lot of the crowd and drivers waited in the parking lot,” Jackson said. “We started at 8:30 p.m. instead of the normal 7. It didn’t look like we would get it in, but through the work of my staff, they got the track ready.
“We stuck it out, and everybody got to see a great show.”
The sole in-state competitor to finish in the Top 10, Wayne McPeek from Mineral Wells, was the Sprints winner. Josh Davis, from Chillicothe, Ohio, and Eric Riggins, from Charlotte, N.C., were second and third.
Jackson said the Sprint drivers enjoyed running on the 3/8th-mile, high-banked oval.
“They loved the track and the fans that were there. Everyone I spoke to was very happy,” he said. “I think they would be excited to come back, and we would love to get them. I’ve spoken to their promoter and he’s trying to wiggle me in, but nothing is rock solid yet.”
Wayne Hughes of Beaver (Late Models), Kenny Compton from Bland, Va., (AMRA Modifieds) and Oak Hill’s Eddie Hambrick (Crates) were the other winners Friday.
The AMRA Modifieds points battle is the track’s closest, with Keith Bills of Kincade holding a 10-point lead over Beckley’s Michael Moore, 428 to 418. Mike Duncan of Beckley isn’t far behind at 410.
Jackson expects the track to be in excellent shape tonight.
“We graded and watered it Monday, and we put some dirt back we had to skim off to make it driveable last week,” he said. “It should be a really fast track.
Gates will open at 4 p.m., with racing to begin at 7 p.m. General admission is $12. Kids ages 6-10 will pay $6, while those 5 and under get in free. Pit passes are $25.
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Last week’s winners included
Winged Sprints — 1. Wayne McPeek, Mineral Wells; 2. Josh Davis, Chillicothe, Ohio; 3. Eric Riggins, Charlotte, N.C.; 4. Dave Dickson, Marietta, Ohio; 5. Chris Myers, Caldwell, Ohio; 6. Mark Imler, Chillicothe, Ohio; 7. Lance Webb, Washington Courthouse, Ohio; 8. Bob Tucker, Circleville, Ohio; 9. Jamie Myers, Caldwell, Ohio; 10. Jeff Conrad, Chillicothe, Ohio.
Street Stocks — 1. Tyler Blankenship, Hanover; 2 Robert Richardson Alderson; 3. Matt Schoolcraft, Rainelle; 4. Greg Pierce, Sullivan; 5. Bradley Richardson, Alderson.
Late Models — 1. Wayne Hughes, Beaver; 2. Brad Jarrell, Fayetteville; 3. Rick Williams, Beckley; 4. Brock Morris, Charleston; 5. Frankie Johnston, Bud.
AMRA Modifieds — 1. Kenny Compton, Bland, Va.; 2. Joe Meadows, Crab Orchard; 3. Keith Bills, Kincade; 4. Jake Keaton, Barboursville; 5. Michael Moore, Beckley.
Crates — 1. Eddie Hambrick, Oak Hill; 2. T.J. Salango, Glen Daniel; 3. Shane Greco, Midway; 4. Joe Cox, Stanaford; 5. Tyler Cox, Beckley.
Point leaders are:
Street Stocks — 1. Matt Schoolcraft, Rainelle, 456; 2. Bradley Richardson, Alderson, 426; 3. Robert Richardson, Alderson, 424; 4. Hank Stover, Beaver, 406; 5. Travis Mills, Sophia, 338.
Late Models — 1. Rick Williams, Beckley 386; 2. Wayne Hughes, Beaver, 326; 3. Brock Morris, Charleston, 290; 4. Adam Lilly, Rhodell, 244; 5. Brad Jarrell, Fayetteville, 207.
AMRA Modifieds — 1. Keith Bills, Kincade, 428; 2. Michael Moore, Beckley, 418; 3. Mike Duncan, Beckley, 410; 4. Jason Cochran, Flat Top, 330; 5. Tate Hughes, Daniels, 512.
Crates — 1. Eddie Hambrick, Oak Hill, 440; 2. Tyler Cox, Beckley, 396; 3. Shane Greco, Midway, 382; 4. Henry Hornsby III, Bradley, 310; 5. Andrew Smith, Beckley, 306.
Outlaw Streets — 1. Robert Walker, Charleston, 416; 2. Hope Lusher, Robson, 330; 3. Rodney Cole, Amma, 270; 4. Lenny Stafford, Beckley, 256; 5. David Ferreira, Beckley, 218.
Hornets — 1. D.J. Critchley, Danese, 446; 2. Brandon Adkins, Hinton, 412; 3. Jesse Raynes, Dorothy, 382; 4. Patrick Raynes, Dorothy, 380; 5. Bryce Ryan, Kincade, 374.