Natural Bridge checkers are second of season for Leavell

Joe Leavell returned to victory lane at Natural Bridge Speedway Saturday, following his second Virginia Sprint Series feature win of the season. (Photo by Jim Haines)

By Jim Haines 

NATURAL BRIDGE, Va. (Sept. 24, 2022) – A clear autumn race night had an unexpected rain delay but it didn’t slow Joe Leavell from jetting to the front to take his second Virginia Sprint Series win of the year Saturday at Natural Bridge Speedway.

Fan Appreciation Night at Natural Bridge had a fan meet and greet, after which a rain delay had the IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars run a feature-only event.

Caleb Harris and Bill Rice paced  the field to green. Rice shot out front up high on the start and had Harris and Mike Leraas chasing. 

The track surface had changed from warmups after the shower and it was lightning fast as Rice continued to fly out front. Leavell, winner of the May 28 feature at Natural Bridge Speedway, found a groove and was closing in getting to second. 

Right before halfway, Leavell was there and not long after into the lead with Rice keeping up with him as they entered traffic in the closing laps.

Lerass made it to third and was trying to close in as the laps were winding down. Rice made a charge but it was to fall short as Leavell stayed up high and fast and streaked under the waving checkered flag first. 

Rice and Leraas were next across the stripe.