BRASELTON – The Lanier Speedway INEX Racing Series kicked off its four-race season Thursday with a night featuring eight races featuring bandolero cars and US Legends Cars. Caleb Heady won the professional division race to take an early lead in the points standings.
Other Legends Car race winners Thursday night included:
•Masters: Bill Plemons Jr.
•Semi-Pro: Cameron Bolin
•Young Lions: Isaac Bevin
•Chargers: Jesus Andrade
•Outlaws: Kaleb Bradley
•Bandits: Neal Dunn
•Rookies: Carson Cauble
Being the first legends races at Lanier in two years, and the first race in a legends series at the 3/8-mile oval, the victories were momentous for everyone. Especially for Heady, winner of the night’s main event race.
Heady is no stranger to winning; he won 26 races across multiple disciplines in 2020 alone and he captured the Thursday Thunder Pro Championship at Atlanta Motor Speedway in June. Yet, he fully understands the significance of his win Thursday night.
“That’s awesome. I know this place has a lot of history,” he said. “Talking to all of the older guys about them racing here back in the day really makes it special to come here and win. Even the heritage of this place being a dirt track makes it cool. Everyone knows Lanier across the nation, everyone knows this place.
To be able to come here, for the first time in a long time to race a series, to be able to win is huge.”
Heady started the feature in third place, but by the end of the first lap he was in second place. He spent most of the early part of the race defending his position from Caleb Hall, but on lap 12, he found a great run off of turn two and zoomed past William Sawalich in turns three and four to take the lead.
He led the rest of the race and won by over half-a-second, but he was not cruising around the short track.
“I got out to a pretty good gap,” he said. “I just rode there running my own race acting like someone was out there pushing me around the track and I was scared for my life running from them.”
Plemons cruises to victory
Plemons lucked out when the pole-sitter had to drop out before the race began because of a mechanical failure. He inherited a spot on the front row and made quick work of the leader Bill Weimer. No one could challenge Plemons as he went on to win by 3.4 seconds.
Jefferson native Russell Shore finished sixth place.
Bolin wins semi-pro race marred by multi-car wreck
The largest race of the night was the semi-pro feature which had 16 cars. Bolin started on the pole and he had a firm grasp on the lead until a spin out by Stewart Wilkerson in turn one brought out a caution.
On the restart, Nathan Jackson and Braselton native Graham Campbell jumped in front of Bolin. Campbell took the lead when Jackson couldn’t stay on the low line, but his car got loose passing the start-finish line with nine laps to go opening the door for Bolin and Jarrett Wagman.
Before any pass could be completed, Wagman got loose underneath Campbell, sending both into the outside wall on the backstretch, collecting Jackson in the process. Wagman’s car hit the wall hard enough to slip over on its side, though it bounced back onto its wheels. Three more cars spun out behind the main wreck, but every driver involved was OK.
After a lengthy red flag, the race resumed on lap nine . With his closest competitors out of the race, Bolin checked out to a big lead, but he wasn’t out of the woods yet. A spin out on the last lap led to a three-lap shoot-out finish. Bolin responded with a flawless restart to put another gap between him and the rest of the field.
In other action
In other legends and bandolero car action:
•Bevin held a multi-car-length lead in ever lap of the young lions feature
•Bradley won a hotly contested outlaw race.
•Dulin fell back to third at the start of the race, but eventually gained the lead and won by half of a lap.
•Andrade benefited from a close five-car battle for second place to win the charger feature by over a second.
•Cauble ran uncontested in the 10-lap rookie feature, winning by over a second.
Round two of the Lanier Speedway INEX Racing Series is Wednesday, July 21. Qualifying is at 5 pm and feature races begin at 6 pm.