Saturday night’s racing at Laurens County Speedway got off to a hot-under-the-collar start when a multitude of crashes during hot laps for the Enduro Division led to a kerfuffle on the track, in the pits, and eventually led to at least two drivers being led away in handcuffs.
A.J. Tollison and Bruce Barnett were both taken off the track by Laurens County Sheriffs following the incident, which took place on the track just before 8 p.m. Barnett, driving the No. 36 car, attempted to take out Shane Roberts, who was driving the No. 42 car, during hot laps – at one point trying to back into Roberts’ car as it went by in turn 3. Barnett missed, but the drivers were all later collected in what eventually turned into a demolition derby-style incident on the front stretch, with the No. 3 car of Eric Caughorn getting hit by Shane Roberts.
LCS Track Promoter Danny Hurley II said it was brought to his attention before the race started that there were people at the track to retaliate from an incident at the track prior to Saturday night.
“One of the drivers brought a demolition derby car down just for that reason,” Hurley said, referencing Barnett’s No. 36 vehicle. “When he came out on the race track we obviously black-flagged him before it even started. He decided not to pull in the pit, that he wanted to show out.”
County sheriffs and other officials were able to keep the incident from getting any worse before both Tollison and Barnett were escorted out.
Because of the incident, Barnett was docked all his points in the Enduro Division standings and was barred for the remainder of the season at the speedway. Barnett had been in second place entering Saturday night’s racing, with 391 points in the Enduro Division. Caughorn was leading the division entering Saturday night’s racing.
“Barnett, he’s here on a weekly basis, and he will lose all his points and he will not be racing the rest of the year for that,” Hurley said. “The other driver (Tollison) is running Barnett’s car and I hadn’t decided on him yet because it’s his first time driving, but I think he won’t be driving either.”