Leavell’s Natural Bridge success spans seasons

Joe Leavell returned to victory lane Saturday at Natural Bridge Speedway, following the opening night Virginia Sprint Series feature event. (Photo by Jim Haines)

By Jim Haines

NATURAL BRIDGE, Va. (April 15, 2023) – The first Virginia Sprint Series race of the year showed that Joe Leavell had not lost his touch from his winning ways from last year at Natural Bridge Speedway. 

The Waynesboro ace wasted no time going to the front in Friday night’s opener for the IMCA RaceSaver series and was on a rail to take the win. Leavell had been a double winner at Natural Bridge last season, getting the second of those victories in the 2022 tour finale.

Daren Bolac and Caleb Harris paced the field to green this time around and Bolac and Harris stayed glued nose to tail until Harris moved to the front, running the higher line.

Leavell went around Bolac and began working on Harris early on. The laps clicked away in the caution-free feature and nobody was going to prevent Leavell from going to the front. 

The pack stayed in pursuit and kept him in sight but never made a challenge even in traffic as he cruised under the waving checkered flag.

At the line it was Leavell getting the win ahead of Harris and Bolac.

Next it’s off to Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland in a co-sanctioned event with the Laurel Highlands Sprint Series on Saturday, April 22.