A field of 22 cars gathered for the final race of the 2018 season for the Top Gun Sprints, known as the Don Rehm Classic presented by Boomtrux.com. The 25-lap main event for non-wing Sprints set the stage for some exciting racing in honor of the late founder of the Top Gun series.
Justin Webster, Brandon Grubaugh and AJ Maddox came home victorious in the eight-lap heat races, putting them in position to claim the Top Gun’s Barfield Clean Sweep Award. There would be $300 extra if one of the heat winners also won the feature. The chances got even better when the draw provided a straight up start for the main.
Maddox moved quickly out front, but could not escape the persistent effort of Grubaugh. Maddox went to the high line, but Grubaugh was going even higher in a rim-riding pursuit of the race leader. Grubaugh’s effort ended on lap 19 when the car slowed and ducked into the infield. On the next lap, the first red flag appeared when Bryan Eckley and Billy Bridges made contact in turn four, sending Bridges into a tumble. The driver walked away from the collision, but his night had ended. On the next lap, Eckley made contact with a spinning Keith Butler and this time, it was Eckley who went airborne. He too was able to walk away.
When racing resumed, Maddox had no lapped cars between himself and second place Billy Boyd, but Maddox was able to pull out for the final four laps. Boyd crossed in second, but was disqualified at the tech inspection, handing second to 2017 East Bay Sprint Champion Webster.
Top Gun point leader Hayden Campbell was never a factor in the race, but Campbell had secured enough points to claim the series crown. Campbell was a seven-time winner in the 13 Top Gun races.
First time winners graced Victory Lane in two divisions. Cecil Martin, who had been a steady competitor in Outlaw 4 racing, was able to power past early race leader Brandon Yates to record his only win of the season. In Gladiator action, Thomas Adams started 11th but made the pass on race leader Johnathan Wood on lap six to secure his first win of the year.
Racing action in V8 Warriors brought newly crowned division champion George Handy his fifth victory of 2018. Point leader John Bradley took a big step toward the Street Stock title with another win. Micro Sprint point leader Kevin Strife posted his eighth win of the season in the 15-lap main.
Racing continues Saturday December 8 with Q Auto & Injury Attorneys Sprints, joined by roof optional Gagel’s Modifieds and Late Model Sportsman. The V8 Warriors will return with non-wing Mini Sprints also in competition.
TOP GUN SPRINTS
DON REHM CLASSIC PRESENTED BY BOOMTRUX.COM
AJ Maddox (3A), Justin Webster (21), Keith Butler (19), Garrett Green (82), Johnnie Alexander (8), Kurt Taylor (55), Michael Steinruck (44A), Luke Hill (41), John Kahl (13), Guy Bos (3K), Nikki Voisey (96), Kerry Gilbert (2), Bryan Eckley (12B), Billy Bridges (11B), Sport Allen (88), Brandon Grubaugh (G6), Frank Beck (89), Andrew Griffin (32), Harley Zimmerman (00), Hayden Campbell (5), Dylan Colding (23D). DQ – Billy Boyd (4)
Feature: John Bradley (57), Jim Baker (69X), William Pugh (15), Henry Burnside (31), David Barwick II (89), Robert Tyler (99), Allen Bailey (51), Doug Johnson (09)
Feature: Cecil Martin (15), Nick Hebrank (7), Brandon Yates (53), Eric Knight (7V), Mark Moniz (41e), Robert Schrunk (03), Stephen Hohlbaugh (23s), Alan Weeks (55), Bob Fleming (88), Candice Kealy (D4R), Vernon Hart (48)
Feature: Kevin Strife (46), Jerod Meyers (0), William Brannon Jr. (17), Bruce Comer (8), Wade Evans (27), William Burnside (13), Mike Meyers (7), Chris Diamond (9), Don Quinn (3D)
Feature: George Handy (105), James Warden (5), Jason Burnside (12J), Scott Bane (23B), Gary Lucas (23), Michael Hart (99), Michael Valdes (15), Wayne Kissam (07), Kalen Maynard (2), Jessica Robbins (09x), Bill Whitney (9)
Feature: Thomas Adams (T2), Daniel Bowman (46), Bailey Purcell (14B), Logan Casteel (7), Troy Dittebrand (222), Robert Kissam (911), Kever Raulerson (99R), Johnathan Wood (56B), Jeff Smith (15), Davey Martin (55), Rick Rutledge (4), Kayla Handy (8), Kipp Cooper (2), Rpodney Martin (21), Brittany Hart (81H)