The weekend at Motor Mile Speedway near Radford involved more than just racing. Remembering Daniel Williamson was also a part of it.
Williamson was a former crew chief, mechanic, spotter, driver and all-around racing local legend in the world of local and regional racing who died in November from complications due to COVID-19. He was only 35.
Over the years, Williamson established a reputation as a man who was everyone’s friend, who would help anyone out who asked whether that person was a racer, a crew member of his own team, or even a competitor.
Cory Dunn, Derrick Lancaster, Dennis Holdren, and Stacy Puryear were among those to whom Williamson lent his time and his talents.
Motor Mile Speedway remembered Williamson over the weekend and dedicated the “Ice Out Opener” to his memory. His wife and sons were given the honor of shouting out those most famous words in motorsports: “Drivers, start your engines.” Willamson’s sons also got to wave the green flag before the start of the races.
Long-time late model stock car driver and fan favorite Mike Looney lost his father this week; however, Mike Looney did what he says his father would have wanted. He strapped himself into his race car, took the pole, and won both twin 60-lap events for the Late Model Division.
“I know dad would be mad if I didn’t come here and race. It’s what we do,” said Looney after the first win. After an eight-car invert moved him back to eighth for the start of the second race, Looney retook the lead in twenty laps. When Looney got to the microphone, he thanked his dad, saying he, “didn’t want to cry in front of all of these kids as they might think he is a wimp or something.”
Pit reporter Caroline Cook wiped away her own tears and told Looney, “Real men cry, Mike. We are all with you.” With the two wins in the twin 60-lap events, Looney is now two races in towards the Six Pack Challenge.
If the same Late Model driver wins all six races in the challenge,he wins $10,000. The remaining races in the challenge are in July and August.
Kyle Dudley finished second in both twin Late Model Division events, Cory Dunn finished third in race one, and Kres Vandyke finished third in the second.
The Sportsman Division also had twin 30-lap races. Karl Budzevski won the first, Daryn Cockram won the second, and they both finished third in the race they didn’t win. Kyle Barnes finished second in both events.
In the Super Streets Division, Joshua Gobble was the winner with longtime Motor Mile racers Hank Turman and Ray Sowers finishing second and third.
In the Mod-4’s Division, Brittany Cockram, daughter of the aforementioned Daryn Cockram, came home the winner, followed by Johnathan Hall and Drew Holdren.
In the UCAR & Pure 4’s Division, Ben Barker got the checker first, followed by Jamie Lafon and Kirby Shipman.