Defending champion smokes Virginia Sprint Series foes

Mike Leraas was fastest just long enough to win the April 17 Virginia Sprint Series feature at Natural Bridge Speedway. (Photo by Jim Haines)

By Jim Haines 

NATURAL BRIDGE, Va. (April 17) – The first dirt race of the year for the Virginia Sprint Series was an exciting one as defending champion Mike Leraas made his way to the front and fought off race-long chal­lengers and a failure at the last lap but held on for the Saturday win at Natural Bridge Speedway. 

Matt Mullins and Chris Ware paced  the IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car field to green. Ware was out first with Leraas, Bill Rice and Jerald Harris giving chase.

Leraas got by, leaving Rice and Harris to fight with Ware for second. Ware got high in turn two with Harris getting by Rice to go after Leraas and Rice in a solid third. 

A quick spinner tightened up the field after they had caught the back of the field. Leraas was off again and Harris was right on him with Rice staying tough in third. 

The top two went after it lap after lap until coming down for the white flag Leraas started to smoke badly. But even with Harris right on him it held together for the last lap for the win. Harris and Rice were next across the stripe. 

Next week it’s a return to Hagerstown Speedway on Saturday, April 24 along with the Laurel Highlands Sprint Series in a co-sanctioned event.