McGuire wins fourth Harvest 50, earns $5,000
By Scott WolfeSkyline Speedway
STEWART, Ohio (Sept. 15) — Josh McGuire of Grayson, Ky., dominated Saturday night’s Harvest 50 at Skyline Speedway, earning a $5,000 payday for his fourth victory in the 29th running of AMRA-sanctioned special event.
McGuire, who earned ninth overall victory of the season, crossed the finish line well ahead of runner-up Rod Conley of Wheelersburg, Ohio, and defending race winner Eddie Carrier, Jr., Salt Rock, W.Va. Chris Garnes of Evans, W.Va., was fourth in the 50-lap race with Tyler Carpenter of Parkersburg, W.Va., rounding out the top five.
"We hooked up good just about anywhere, but the car was fastest on the bottom. All I had to do was drive," said McGuire, whose crew diagnosed and repaired a ignition problem just before the start of the feature. "The key tonight was what we did before the feature, and us thrashing around in the pits.”
McGuire and Conley paced the field for the initial start of the race with the lead duo battling side-by-side for nearly five laps before Conley faded in the high groove and McGuire began his march to victory.
Carrier quickly jumped up the ladder from the night starting spot, moving to fourth behind Carpenter, who blitzed from seventh to third.
Garnes had dropped back to eighth at one point before the first caution waved for a tangle between one of the night's top qualifiers Ricky Williams of Beckley, W.Va., and Dan Morrison of Newport, Ohio.
As Conley settled in behind McGuire the pair of No. 28s of Carpenter and Carrier battled fiercely behind him while Garnes moved high and picked off two spots to make it a three-car battle for third.
Just as the action was heating up, Anthony Huber caught an inside tire and briefly went airborne to bring out the second caution of the race on lap 14.
The following 36 laps went green-to-checkered with McGuire half-tracking second-place Conley and lapping every car up to eighth place.
The dominant performance by McGuire just left Conley disappointed.
"Josh was just better than me tonight," Conley said. "I thought I had something for him early, moved up beside him and gave him a run for a few laps, then he checked out. I just went to the bottom and tried to stay there to pick up second.”
Carrier settled for third after using the low groove to advance forward early in the race.
“The first few laps everyone was trying to find a groove and I was able to get under them,” Carrier said. “I had a good run on the bottom, but then everyone found that the bottom was fast. The only way I was going to get around Rod (Conley) was to spin him and I wasn't going to do that."
Notes: McGuire's MasterSbilt is powered by a GCP Racing Engines and sponsored by DJs Kitchen Corner, U.S. Steel, Mar-Kel Enterprises, HCI, K&E Trucking, Tri-State Floor Covering, Budda and PRC. … Despite a pair of cautions, the race was completed in 20 minutes and thirty seconds. … McGuire’s previous Harvest 50 victories came in 2006, 2008 and 2009.
Harvest 50: (1) Josh McGuire, (2) Rod Conley, (3) Eddie Carrier, Jr., (4) Chris Garnes, (5) Tyler Carpenter, (6) Zach Dohm, (7) Andy Bond, (8) Ralph Withem, (9) Chris Carpenter, (10) K.C. Burdette, (11) Travis Brookover, (12) Delmas Conley, (13) Dan Morrison, (14) Kenney Newhouse, (15) Jeff Burdette, (16) Freddie Carpenter, (17) Anthony Huber, (18) Rick Williams. Fast qualifier (among 31 cars): Dohm, 12.56 seconds. Dash winner: McGuire. Heat race winners: Carpenter, Carrier, McGuire. Consolation race winner: Carpenter.