In a spirit of family cooperation, Ron Davies lent his brother Dutch an engine to use in Friday night’s Super Late Model 30-lap headliner at Little Valley Speedway. That favor plus a slowly leaking left rear tire almost spelled defeat for Ron from what at one point appeared to be a certain victory.
In the end, despite an early dominating lead that disappeared with a late caution, Ron was able to hold on to prevail in the thrilling late race joust with his brother.
Ron took off from his pole position and soared out to a near straighaway advantage at the dropping of the green flag. Meanwhile, Dutch, who started fourth, dropped back a bit but soon began his march toward the front. About midway through the race, Ron began to develop handling problems especially in the turns. He later revealed that he had a left rear tire that was losing air.
On lap 26, the race’s first caution flag waved when second-place runner Mike Knight slowed with a flat tire. This moved Dutch to second. On the restart, the caution flew immediately once again. When the final green flag unfurled, Dutch raced side-by-side with his brother, gaining the lead for a brief moment out of turn two, but Ron fought back to score the narrow win.
“I knew I had a tire going soft and I just didn’t want to see that caution flag,” said Ron, who was driving with eight stitches in his right hand following a recent work-related injury. “I figured there was no way that I would make it to the end. I changed my line a little bit and Dutch got underneath me and I saw him there and I was struggling there coming off the corners so I changed my line a little bit. I was able to gain a little bit on him with two to go. I thought that if I didn’t go completely flat I could make it and luckily we did.”
In the moments that followed the race, Ron noted the problems that have plagued his brother this racing season and what he thought was a need to help his racing sibling out.
“It’s good to see him run up front,” he said. “He’s had so much trouble this year. He broke a motor and got crashed the first night at Stateline” Speedway “and totaled his car. He’s got one of my motors in now so I’m happy to see us run first and second. He’s going to buy it from me I guess but I gave it to him so that he could get back racing.”
Dutch was wearing a big smile of both relief and happiness following Friday’s Little Valley action. His fortunes are starting to turn around this season.
“We had a good race but I just wish I could of got up there a little bit sooner to race with him,” he said. “The race went green for so long that he got away from me. We had a good race there at the end. I knew without the caution I was done.
“It was real close. I got beside him and I thought I had a shot at it. He drove in a little farther in the next corner and then the next corner I drove in a little farther. It’s fun racing like that no matter who it’s with. Ron is kind of the king here. I wish we could have ended up on top. I gave him a thumbs-up because it’s fun when you race like that with somebody. It really is with no touching each other. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
After three races this season at Little Valley, Ron has been nearly perfect – winning the last two events after finishing second to Bob Close on opening night in May.
As far as the Super Late Model competition goes at Little Valley, Close was a spectator Friday as he is currently out of competition for what he says could be the rest of the season after blowing his only engine July 4 at Little Valley.
Close returned to race driving last year after a brief retirement.
“I grenaded the engine pretty good,” said Close. “The rod came out the side of the pan so I’m definitely done for the year. … I think I’ll be back in retirement for awhile. A new motor is between $35,000 to $42,000 to be competitive. The motor I had was probably 6-to-8 years old but it was a good one. It put out a lot of horsepower. It was still probably 50 horsepower less then what these motors have today.
“My crew’s tired. It’s hard to get help to work on the car. Everybody has wives and kids. I’ve got other things I want to do. I’d much rather ride my motorcycle and spend time with the wife and my family versus racing. I was racing long enough. I should have stayed retired the last time. We’ll see about the future.”
The BRP Can Am 360 Late Model Series also visited Little Valley Friday to run the Brock Young Memorial and for the third time in his career Bruce Miller emerged victorious in this event.
Elsewhere, Don King won his first SST Sportsman Modified race of the season Friday at Wyoming County International Speedway. Ken Camidge took his first career Ransomville Speedway Street Stock race Friday. Ben Russo claimed his third consecutive Hornet class victory at Holland Motorsports Complex.