#FBF- THE FIRST TO FOUR: JEFF AGNEW’S RECORD-SETTING ’95 TITLE

 

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Pulaski Southwest Times – September 11th, 1995

 

Buttke gives veterans driving lesson at NRVS
Agnew wraps up second straight LMSC crown

 

FAIRLAWN – Nathan Buttke, a 20-year-old youngster from Richard Petty’s hometown gave a bunch of veterans a driving lesson as he won the 100-lap Late Model Stock Car feature of the Heritage Olds, Buick, Pontiac, GMC Sunday afternoon at New River Valley Speedway.

 

Buttke, who has two years limited experience on the Bush Grand National circuit, nosed past Tony McGuire on the 96th lap to take the point.

 

He then had to survive a two-lap shoot-out after a caution flag flew on lap 98. When the race returned to green on the 103rd lap, the young driver watched as three cars battled it out for the runner-up spot.

 

McGuire held on for second, while Jeff Agnew nosed out [Ronnie] Thomas to wrap up his second straight Late Model track championship. Thomas was fourth ahead of Oakwood’s Randy Ratliff.

 

Agnew, who had a 10-point lead over Bassett’s Ray Young going into the race, gained 72 points on his closest rival. Young ended up 21st after experiencing mechanical problems. With only one race remaining, it is impossible for anyone to surpass the Floyd driver, who has four LMSC championships in the past five years, and has taken half of the titles since the track opened. Only veteran Paul Radford’s name appears in the middle of Agnew’s unbelievable run.

 

Thomas, the veteran from Christiansburg who has announced this will be his last full campaign in the LMSC ranks, earned the pole, fell behind McGuire on the first lap and then charged back to the front on lap five. He held the point until lap 81 when McGuire again took command.

 

But the race was far from over. In one of the most exciting finishes of the season, Buttke suddenly entered the picture from his third place spot. As McGuire and Thomas were battling, Buttke slipped to the inside of Thomas on the 92nd lap. After three laps running side-by-side with Thomas, Buttke made the pass. He then nosed under McGuire on the 96th circle and made what turned out to be the winning move. Agnew got under Thomas on the 97th lap before the caution came out on lap 98. It set the stage for extra laps as track rules call for two laps of green flag racing before the checkers can appear.

 

Rookie Philip Morris of Ruckersville wrapped up the rookie title with a sixth place finish. He was followed to the line by Rodney “Six Pack” Cundiff, Mike Porter, Steve Grimes, and rookie Tim Zock. Twenty-four cars started the event.

Ronnie Thomas won the season finale on September 30th; his tenth victory of the 1995 season. Agnew, who started on the pole, placed second. According to reports, Ray Young (3rd) was disqualified from the race after a protest from Tony McGuire. Young forfeited 26 championship points in the aftermath; as a result, McGuire supplanted Young for second place in the LMSC division standings.