COEBURN — Mitch Gibson came from the back to the front twice in Saturday’s running of the 25-lap Pure 4 Division race at Lonesome Pine Raceway.
In the end, however, Gibson was disqualified and Dan Hall picked up the win the race.
Gibson, who was visibly upset after the race following the decision of LPR Race Director Bobby Helton, was disqualified because of aggressive driving.
The Coeburn-based driver was involved in incidents with two drivers in the race after he started the event at the end of the 12-car pack.
Gibson had the fastest qualifying time in the division, but was started at the back of the field.
“The car is legal on everything, but they still wanted me to start in the back,” Gibson said. “They didn’t give me a reason why they wanted me to start in the back, they just said they wanted me to start in the back.”
Helton said Gibson was put in the back because of a competition rule at LPR.
According to track rules, Helton said that if you win a race in a support division race — such as the Pure 4 Division — then you are required to start at the back of the pack in the next race.
Gibson won the Pure 4 race on June 1, but did not run on June 8. Saturday was Gibson’s first time back at LPR since he won on June 1. So, Helton said he was required to start at the back of the field.
In the first nine laps of the race, Gibson worked his way through the field and took the top spot away from Jackie Jackson on lap 10 after the two battled side by side for a couple of laps.
On lap 11, the two cars touched going into turn one and Gibson went spinning between one and two, while Jackson ran into the driver side door of Gibson.
Jackson drove Gibson up into the outside banking of turn two as the caution flag fell.
Both Jackson and Gibson were sent to the back of the pack and Gibson rammed his vehicle into the back of Jackson during the caution-flag period.
On the restart, Dan Hall took the lead, while Gibson again worked his way through the field.
Gibson tapped Hall from behind several times in the late laps of the race.
On the final lap Gibson and Hall touched coming out of turn four and down the frontstretch. Hall went up on the track and tagged the outside wall, while Gibson went across the finish line.
“We were running wheel to wheel and I came across the finish line and then they disqualify me,” Gibson said. “You can’t race down here.”
Hall had a different view of the final lap, stating the Gibson came up on him.
“I thank God that nobody was hurt, especially me,” said Hall. “I just cant figure a race is worth that much win. It’s not to me anyway.”
Helton said his decision to disqualify Gibson was because of Gibson’s aggressive driving throughout the race.
“I’ve got zero tolerance for rough driving,” said Helton. “That was my ruling. I saw (the finish) and that was my ruling.”
Billy Presley finished second in the race, while Jason Yates placed third and Marty Strouse and Tim Presley rounded out the top five.
In the feature event of the night, Ryan Stiltner ran away from the field to take a win in the Late Model Division.
Adam Gray, Hayden Woods, Kevin Wolfe and Derek Woodward rounded out the top five.
Rob Austin, of Castlewood, won the Super Street Division, followed by Freddie Taylor, Joey Sykes, Roger Neece and James Meadows.
In the Mod 4 division, Kirby Gobble finished ahead of Duke Bare, while Brad Ball finished third.
John Ward and Dennis Arnold rounded out the top five.
Roby Orr was the winner in the Pure Street division, while Bare took his second, runnerup finish of the night. Rusty Ratliff, Iggy Greer and Scotty Hurley followed.
In the Iron Warriors division, Emory Ratliff took top honors, edging out Rannie Breeding for the win.
Michael Husted finished third with Mike Boyd and Jamie Meadows completing the top five.