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Thunder from above gives way to thunder on the track at Sonny Greer Memorial Race

Posted: June 14, 2011 3:56 p.m.
Updated: June 15, 2011 5:00 a.m.
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DRAG RACING TEAMS line their cars up for inspection before hitting the track for the Sonny Greer Memorial Race.

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Sponsored by the Palmetto Drag Racer Association (PDRA) and the Darlington track, the event was held to honor the memory of the late Kershaw County resident, businessman and friend, Sonny Greer. A founding member of the organization, Greer is widely remembered for his honest character, fun nature and talent with high-performance cars, engines and custom restorations.

A large contingent of racers from Kershaw County turned out, joined by other hard-core racers from across the state and southeastern region to compete for a portion of the more than $4,000 purse in what is touted as one of the largest races held each year at the Hartsville facility.

Darlington’s Bill Wilson and his reliable crew deserved an overall "Win" light on this great day of racing for creating a hard-hooking track despite storms which dropped four to six inches of rain the night before and repairing the staging beams which were struck by lightning in the pre-dawn hours.

Past PDRA president Steve Turner, along with treasurer Mike Peake, exchanged their racing helmets for two-way earphones and clipboards as they kept the racers organized and staging lanes flowing. The Army isn’t the only troop that moves on its belly, as Vicky Peake can attest; she headed up the effort with other members to keep the buffet tent well-stocked with food and refreshments for the hungry PDRA racers and members.

Kershaw County racers went deep into the final rounds with Elgin’s Ronnie Howell in his altered rail the close runner-up to Top Eliminator Winner Scotty Ray, out of Barnwell. The Junior Dragster series was full of PDRA young and eager talent, with Lugoff’s Darlene Lundy winning the top spot, and PDRA’s Ross Freeman reaching the semis.

Adding to the fast track of event’s was the Quick-8 Outlaw "World’s Fastest" automatic Pro-mod season opener, boasting speeds close to 200 mph. The PDRA was well represented in this thunderous display which left spectators thrilled for more as the cars streaked down the track in ear-numbing, gear whining fury. PDRA’s Troy Jordan in Blade Runner turned in the lowest ET at 3.912 but a broken rear end took him out following round one of competition. Steve Bray finished first, barely edging by PDRA’s Robbie Matthews in the flashy black and chrome ’57 which broke a plug in the final round.

The Sonny Greer Memorial race came to a close amid a spectacle of popping lights and relaxed banter as winning drivers, cars and crews took their turn in Victory Lane for pictures, trophies and their portion of the purse.

PDRA President Andy Jeffers, Greer’s wife, Becky, and daughter, Rebecca, were on hand to present trophies, congratulate the winners and express appreciation to track owner Bill Wilson for hosting the annual event with the PDRA.

Sonny Greer Memorial Race Results

Top Eliminator Winner – Scotty Ray (Barnwell)

Top Eliminator Runner-up – Ronnie Howell (Elgin)

Modified Winner – Dell Britt (Pembroke, N.C.)

Modified Runner-Up – Don Seymour (Florence)

Junior Dragster Winner - Darlene Lundy (Lugoff)

Junior Dragster Runner-Up – Kadi Brant (Florence/Darlington)

Quick 8 Outlaw Results

Pro Mod Winner – Steve Bray (Camden – Team Bray Motorsports)

Pro Mod Runner-up – Robbie Matthews (Lugoff – Team Punisher)

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