WHEELERSBURG, OH-The 2013 season for the Late Model division saw lots of parity and lots of exciting races. A total of 8 different drivers visited SOS victory lane last season in the Late Model division. Let’s take a look at the 2013 season for the Late Model division by looking at the seasons for the top five finishers in points and by looking at the top three races of the season.
5th, Delmas Conley
Seven time SOS Late Model track champion and SOS Hall of Famer Delmas Conley had a strong 2013 season. Conley did not reach victory lane at SOS in 2013 but came close on several occassions. Conley finished second in two of the final three races of the season. The highlight of the season for Conley had to be on July 26th when he finished second to son R. J. Conley and his grandson J. T. Conley finished fifth. Conley ended the season with three top five finishes and four top ten finishes.
4th, Jason Montgomery
Jason Montgomery was extremely fast at the Southern Ohio Speedway all season long. The veteran driver nearly won on Opening Night before suffering a flat tire and then came out on April 26th to make a last lap pass on Josh McGuire to take the win. He was one of only a few locals to place a top ten finish in the Southern 100 Qualifier on May 3rd and was strong in the tracks $3,000 to win shows. He finished second in the Southern Showdown and fourth in the Hall of Fame Classic. Montgomery ended the season with one win, three top fives, and five top tens.
3rd, Josh McGuire
There wasn’t hardly a race in 2013 at the Southern Ohio Speedway that Josh McGuire was not contending for the win. On April 20th and 26th, McGuire led 48 of the 50 feature laps but was forced to come home with two second place finishes. During the Southern 50 on July 12th, McGuire was the fastest car in the closing laps but came up with yet another second place finish. On August 2nd during the Hall of Fame Classic, McGuire was finally able to get his #41 to victory lane as he had fast time, won the dash, and led all 30 laps of the feature to take the $3,000 win. McGuire nearly won the Black Jack & Farley Boggs Memorial in October as he came up with a strong second place finish after another late race charge. McGuire ended the season with one win, six top fives, and six top tens.
2nd, Joe Ramey
2013 was Joe Ramey’s first season back racing since the spring of 2009. The driver nicknamed “The Flyin Deuce” was fast in 2013 with several strong finishes. Ramey was in contention for the track championship all the way up to the next to last points race of the season when R. J. Conley clinched the track championship with a win. Ramey ended up with two top fives and six top ten finishes on the season.
Track Champion, R. J. Conley
R. J. Conley no doubt had his best season in the new-era of SOS in 2013 as the Wheelersburg, Ohio clinched an impressive third SOS Late Model track championship. Conley was strong from the get-go and remained strong throughout the season. The first race that Conley competed in on April 20th resulted in an impressive, last lap pass for the win. He came back the following week to finish third and then posted an impressive second place finish in the Southern 100 Championship. Conley sealed the deal on the 2013 track championship by claiming the $3,000 win in the “Buckeye 30″ on July 26th. Conley ended up with two wins, five top fives, and six top tens on the season.
Top Three Races from 2013
3. April 20th, Regular Show
There’s nothing more exciting in racing than a last lap pass for the win. That is what happened on April 20th. Josh McGuire dominated the race until the very late stages when R. J. Conley began to reel him in. By the three to go mark, Conley and McGuire were in a duel for the win. On the last lap as the leaders went into turn one, Conley dove low on McGuire and finished off a slide job out of turn two to come to the checkers and take the feature win on a last lap pass.
2. April 26th, Regular Show
As rare as it is to have a last lap pass for the win, it’s even rarer to have it happen two weeks in a row. The 25 lap Late Model feature on April 26th played out just like it did the week before. Josh McGuire was dominating the race until the late stages when Jason Montgomery began to close in on him. Montgomery had made it to the rear bumper of McGuire when the leaders hit lap traffic off of turn four heading to the white flag. This caused McGuire to slow up and allowed Montgomery to dive low on him coming off of turn four. As the two went into turn one, Montgomery slid by McGuire on the high side to come across the checkers and take the feature win on yet another last lap pass.
1. May 4th, Southern 100 Championship
It’s hard to find a race as intense as this year’s Southern 100 Championship was. With $12,000 on the line to the race winner, it was the richest race in the history of the Southern Ohio Speedway. The race was intense from the get-go as Jackie Boggs, Donnie Moran and Steve Francis battled hard for the lead. Boggs broke while leading on lap 5, giving the lead to Moran who was then passed by Francis. Francis appeared destined for victory until he broke on lap 25. This left the lead to Doug Drown who then had an incredible battle for the lead with Tim McCreadie until McCreadie suffered a flat tire. Drown then had to hold off R. J. Conley down the stretch to be able to take the big victory.