Riley Opens 2023 Season With a Victory

Middletown’s Cody Riley opened the 2023 season for the Marcum’s Welding Front Wheel Drive division by setting fast time and winning the feature. Riley started sixth following the invert which gave the lead to JD Blankenship Jr. at the start chased by Tim Dovel, Riley and Chris Gray. Dovel and Riley were both able to pass Blankenship on the back straight after three circuits. Dovel, coming from Ohio, didn’t remain on the point long pitting on lap six right before James Allender and Axel Sullivan tangled on the front straight.

The driver to watch was late arrival Nicholas Meade from the Buckeye State. Meade started on the tail of the field and cracked the top ten after 12 laps. He climbed to fifth when the caution flag waved when Gray stopped on the track. Meade had to go to the pits to remove a loose rear bumper and rejoined at the tail of the field. Riley won by 2.5-seconds over Blankenship with Josh Sage, Nick Warner and Meade rounding out the top five.