During the week, Joel Hubbard II keeps customers of his Lancaster, S.C., heating and air conditioning business cool and comfortable. On the weekends, though, the 38-year-old likes to figuratively turn up the heat as driver of a 150 mile-an-hour dragster.
Nevertheless, few bracket racers ever have been as scalding hot as Hubbard was during the Yuengling Brewery Powerfest 5 at Rockingham Dragway. Winning one big money bracket race is one thing; winning two in a single weekend is something else again. Cool!
Hubbard beat Ken McArthur of Mt. Olive in the Saturday Super Pro final and then got a free ride into the winners’ circle on Sunday when Salisbury’s Ron Phipps was guilty of a foul start. Over the weekend, he won 17 racing rounds and headed home Sunday night with $10,000 in purse money.
The third $5,000 share of the Super Pro purse was snatched up on Friday by Michael Paschal of Pleasant Garden.
In the Footbrake class, it was evident that South Carolina is home to an awful lot of fast Chevy trucks. On Friday, Pageland’s Aaron Brock drove his 1985 Chevy S-10 to victory and on Sunday, Bill Clardy of Loris, S.C., to the $2,000 top money at the wheel of his 1974 Chevy LUV truck.
Friday's Footbrake winner Aaron Brock
Saturday's Footbrake winner Bill Clardy
In between the two, Shannon’s Troy Brewer got a Footbrake win on Saturday in something other than a truck and prevented a South Carolina sweep of the category by besting Jim Wood of Laurens for the big money.
The Jr. Dragster category was dominated by Rowland’s Hayden Dial who won on Friday and Saturday and lost in the Sunday final when he missed his target time by .004 of a second, handing the win to Conner Caulder of St. Paul’s.
“It was a great race,” track owner Steve Earwood said. “The weather cooperated and we had almost 350 cars. That’s a big turnout. Not only was the racing exciting, but Tony and Angela Saraceni, my partners in this event, put on their usual lavish display of off-track entertainment for our racers with free t-shirts, free barbeque, tri-cycle races, practice tree competition and the popular “blue light special” where racers were awarded over 200 bonus gifts including tools, coolers, grills, Yuengling apparel and trailer accessories.
The racing was typically tight, with several races determined by less than .001 of a second.
“That was the rule more than the exception,” Earwood said. “Lots of perfect lights. Lots of .001 and .002 breakouts, and a perfect run on Saturday by Tucker Creech who had an incredible three perfect lights during Saturday’s race”.