Highside Hustle Pays Off For Batten At County Line
(Elm City, NC) Using the outside line to surge to the lead on Lap 5, Michael Batten led the final 35 Laps en route to his second career FUEL Racing Series win and his first of the 2018 season.
In Renegade Race Fuel Time Trials, Robbie Emory prevailed over 28 other drivers and took Fast Time honors with a lap of 14.305 seconds around the 3/8 mile oval. It was Emory’s first pole of the 2018 season and it also broke the previous FUEL qualifying record at County Line Raceway.
In Hoosier Racing Tire Heat Race 1, Emory battled early with Christian Joyner for control of the lead. Emory would hold off Joyner’s challenge to grab the win and pole position for the feature over Joyner and Steve Banal who finished 3rd. FK Rod Ends Heat Race 2 featured Ben Watkins and Austin Holcombe dueling early before Watkins would eventually take the lead. Mark Dysart, 5th in FUEL points entering the event, slowed near the end of the heat race with a mechanical problem that would unfortunately end his evening prematurely. Watkins led the rest of the way as was followed to the line by Holcombe and Shaun Harrell. In City Chevrolet Performance Heat Race 3, Michael Batten seized control while a war for the 3rd position developed between Christian Thomas, Justin Williams and Dustin Mitchell. Batten would capture the heat race victory as Michael Rouse and Thomas rounded out the Top 3.
In The Direct Racing Industry Virtual Expo Main Event, Robbie Emory and Ben Watkins would lead the field to the green flag. Emory would grab the early lead over Watkins and Batten. When racing restarted after 2 early cautions, 3rd place Michael Batten began to make his move. While Emory favored the inside groove, Batten slid past Watkins and began utilizing the high side to reel in the race leader. Batten’s momentum vaulted him by Emory and into the lead on Lap 5 via the outside lane on the multi-groove surface. While Emory regrouped in hopes of regaining the lead, Dustin Mitchell was clawing his way to the front from his 15th place starting spot. Ben Watkins maintained 3rd and Christian Joyner controlled 4th as the FUEL drivers rewarded the CLR fan base with 38 caution free laps after the Lap 2 caution.
At the end of 40 laps Batten would navigate lap traffic and hold off the field to grab his first victory of the 2018 FUEL season. Emory would earn a runner up finish for the second consecutive event while Watkins, Joyner and Mitchell rounded out the Top 5. The $3000 win gave Batten his 2nd career FUEL Racing Series victory at County Line.
Up next is our June 23rd event at Fayetteville Motor Speedway in Fayetteville, NC. 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.
County Line Raceway 6/2/2018
The DRIVE Main Event Results
(Pending Tire Test Results)
1) Michael Batten #D8
2) Robbie Emory #9E
3) Ben Watkins #16
4) Christian Joyner #C9
5) Dustin Mitchell #32
6) Steve Banal #8B
7) Michael Rouse #23R
8) Justin Williams #89
9) Ethan Wilson #18E
10) Shaun Harrell #3
11) Brandon White #26
12) Christian Thomas #11X
13) Matthew Bissette #23B
14) Austin Holcombe #8A
15) Cy Nelms Sr #37
16) Chuck Smith #33
17) Gary Dillon #82
18) Travis Stoner #99
19) Bobby Bottoms #47B
20) Damon Kotke #91
21) Daniel Tucker #0
22) John Eller #5
Renegade Race Fuels Fast Time Award: Robbie Emory 14.305.
Hoosier Racing Tire Heat Race 1 Winner: Robbie Emory
FK Rod Ends Heat Race 2 Winner: Ben Watkins
City Chevrolet Performance Heat Race 3 Winner: Michael Batten
FK Rod Ends Rookie of the Race: Brandon White