From the pole, 16-year-old, Milford native Joseph Watson won his first ever Crate Modified race at Georgetown Speedway last Friday night. Watson fought off two-time winner Ryan Walls of Laurel, down to an exciting narrow finish. Mark Byram earned the pole and showed the 18-racer field early on. Several laps into it, Watson worked by Byram as they exited turn two heading down the back straight.
By mid-race, Watson owned a half-track lead over the field. Behind him, Walls worked his way through the field to a distant second.
Suddenly, a late-race caution flag erased Watson’s lead, putting Walls on his rear bumper for the restart. When racing resumed, Walls tried to take it in turn three.
“I washed up a little too high in turn three and it was his from there,” Walls described, adding, “He’s a tough competitor.” Watson exited turn four and took the white flag with a small advantage. Walls and Jordan Watson scrapped over second. Joseph Watson rounded the half-mile clay oval one more time and took the checkered flag with Walls trailing.
“I felt the pressure one time going into turn three,” Watson described. “He got into the back of me, and I just maintained my line and drove smooth to get quick lap times. The car was perfect. My uncle set it up tonight. I want to thank him and everybody else that helped me.”
Keith Hoffman was another first-time Georgetown winner. Hoffman, of White Hall, Pa., got an early-race run on Big Block Modified pole winner Jamie Mills and led the 20-racer field through five caution restarts before winning a two-lap shootout with Ryan Godwin, who was on his back bumper most of the race.
“Actually, the cautions helped out a little bit,” Hoffman admitted. “We were running hot. The temperature was starting to get to us. When the yellow came out, it brought the temperature down a little bit. The heat was starting to worry me on the long runs,” he added, “so those cautions helped cool the motor down.
“The car was awesome,” Hoffman enthused. “It was easy to drive and the track had a lot of bite. There really wasn’t much for me to do but just stand on the throttle. It’s our first Delaware win and that’s awesome. It’s also our first win of the season. We’ve been struggling. To get a win here at Georgetown is a pretty awesome deal.”
Harrington driver Bobby Watkins made it two-for-four in the Crate Late Model division, where he’s the current points leader. Travis Justice started on the pole. Watkins took the lead from Justice early on and showed the 15-racer field through a mid-race caution before beating Mike Wharton to the stripe.
“The second win’s better than the first. We earned this one,” Watkins said. “Ross (Robinson) had problems last week, but we earned this one and we deserve it.”
Racing at Georgetown Speedway resumes Friday night. Gates open at 5 p.m. Warm-ups are at 7 p.m., with heats and features to follow. For more information, visit the track’s official Web site at www.georgetownspeedway.com or call the track hotline at (302) 856-7415.