Harrell Holds Off Emory For Friendship Victory
(Elkin, NC) Fending off multiple and often relentless challenges from Robbie Emory, Shaun Harrell held his pursuers at bay Saturday night at Friendship Speedway to earn his first win of the season and the second of his FUEL Racing Series career.
23 FUEL Late Models made the call for the 3rd race of the 2018 campaign. In Renegade Race Fuels Time Trials, Steve Banal would set the tone with a 15.747 second lap breaking the old FUEL qualifying record of 15.800. Harrell, Robbie Emory, Derrick Ramey and Adam Yarbrough would round out the Top 5 overall qualifiers.
In Hoosier Racing Tire Heat Race #1, Steve Banal would grab the early lead as Ben Watkins made a charge from the tail of the field after experiencing mechanical problems in qualifying. Banal would fend off a charge from 2016 Series Champion Jonathan Edwards Jr for the win with Watkins, Yarbrough and Daniel Tucker rounding out the Top 5.
In FK Rod Ends Heat Race #2, Shaun Harrell would overcome a penalty on the initial start to charge to the lead after battling with Christian Thomas. Harrell would eventually pull away for the win with Matt Long finishing just behind him. Brandon Haley would finish third followed by Thomas and Michael Alderman.
In City Chevrolet Performance Heat Race #3, Robbie Emory and Derrick Ramey would initiate an intense battle for the lead early on. On a restart with Ramey out front, contact between Ramey and Brandon White would open the door for Emory to take the lead and never look back. Ramey and White would regroup to follow Emory to the finish line with Matthew Nance and Tommy Jones rounding out the Top 5.
In The Direct Racing Industry Virtual Expo Main Event, Banal and Harrell would bring the field to the initial green flag with Harrell grabbing the early lead. Emory would work his way up to the runner-up position and to mount a challenge at Harrell for the race lead. While the battle for the race lead developed, series championship leader Ben Watkins was on the move coming from his 7th starting position and worked his way to 4th in the early stages of the race. Ramey and Edwards would also contend inside the Top 5 for position as Emory and Harrell battled tooth and nail for the lead throughout the majority of the event. A caution with 6 Laps to go would bring the field together one final time and bring some late race intensity into the equation. On the final restart, Harrell finally pulled just far enough away to earn the $3000 victory win while Emory settled for 2nd. Ramey finished 3rd as Edwards Jr and Thomas rounded out the Top 5.
With their 1-2 finish at Friendship, Harrell and Emory have unofficially tightened up the series championship battle. Ben Watkins (286) leads the way through 3 events followed by Emory (282), Harrell (280), Ramey (270), and Mark Dysart (244).
Up next for FUEL is a trip to Elm City, NC for Round 4 at County Line Raceway on Saturday June 2nd. For more information on the FUEL Racing Series, visit our website www.fuelracingseries.com
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Partners of the FUEL Racing Series include: City Chevrolet Performance, FK Rod Ends, Renegade Race Fuels, Hoosier Racing Tire, The DRIVE Racing Expo, Ntense Graphics, and Flag to Flag.
Friendship Motor Speedway 5/5/2018
The DRIVE Main Event Results
(Pending Tire Test Results)
1) Shaun Harrell #3
2) Robbie Emory #9E
3) Derrick Ramey #12
4) Jonathan Edwards #32
5) Christian Thomas #11
6) Matt Long #55
7) Ben Watkins #16
8) Daniel Tucker #0
9) Lance Moss #71
10) Tommy Jones #31
11) Chuck Smith #33
12) Mark Dysart #66
13) Travis Stoner #99
14) Brandon ONeil #65
15) Brandon White #26
16) Brandon Haley #51
17) Michael Alderman #08
18) Gary Wood #35
19) Adam Yarbrough #57
20) Steve Banal #8B
21) Coty Tanquary #26T
22) Matthew Nance #4
Renegade Race Fuels Fast Time Award: Steve Banal 15.747
Hoosier Racing Tire Heat Race 1 Winner: Steve Banal
FK Rod Ends Heat Race 2 Winner: Shaun Harrell
City Chevrolet Performance Heat Race 3 Winner: Robbie Emory
FK Rod Ends Rookie of the Race: Derrick Ramey