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Kelley Twins 1-2 at Florence after ugly melee

With four laps to go, Cody Kelley was running fourth in the Florence Motor Speedway Late Model Stock Prelude to Darlington 75 and then everyone in front of him crashed.

That included a leading Casey Kelley, his twin brother, who was involved in the incident up front with Matt Cox and Donovan Strauss.

Cox was left very frustrated and confronted Kelley inside his car on the frontstretch under caution.

Once it was all said and done, Cody Kelley inherited the lead from the three that crashed in front of him ahead of Tyler Matthews and Justin Hicks. Kelley outdueled Matthews on a restart with four to go but then a caution for Hicks spinning off the hill in Turn 1 re-stacked the six remaining cars for another shootout.

That allowed Casey Kelley to get back to second and secure a 1-2 finish behind his brother.

Cody stood up for Casey in Victory Lane.

“I don’t have the words,” he said. “I don’t know what to say. That was one of the craziest races I have ever been part of. I’m really really glad Matt is okay. I know he doesn’t want to hear it but Casey did not mean to do that.

“It was a freak accident. I feel so sorry for him and his crew. I’m glad he’s okay. He’s a good racer, a clean racer as we’ve done this over the past three to four years, and I want to keep it that way. I know they’ll bounce back.”

For his part, Casey was contrite too and barely wanted to celebrate a runner-up.

“I was trying to get all the race track I could to get under him,” he said. “I was struggling to get the drive and I got into him harder than I thought I would. I am very sorry to those guys and I didn’t mean it.

“I try to race as clean as possible against him and everyone here. He is mad at me and he deserves to be mad at me and I told him that when he leaned into the car. I did not mean to wreck him like that.”

There was a lot of attrition on the night as only the top-six finished the race and third-place finisher Matthews had a quip for that when asked how he avoided the carnage.

“I just kept my eyes open on a night where I think a lot of guys were racing with their eyes closed,” Matthews said. “This was a good momentum booster. We’ve struggled here this year, new car, new track but we’re making progress.”

All told, Cody says he was lucky on Friday.

“Lucky, because the car started off good, went to crap and then hit it again on those last two restarts,” he said.

Florence Prelude to Darlington 75

  1. Cody Kelley
  2. Casey Kelley
  3. Tyler Matthews
  4. Justin Hicks
  5. Alex Meggs
  6. Chris Throckmorton
  7. Matt Cox
  8. Donovan Strauss
  9. Zack Wells
  10. Zachary Dabbs
  11. Adam McCumbee
  12. Bryant Barnhill
  13. Jamie Weatherford
  14. Drake Williamson

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He also has extensive experience covering NASCAR, IndyCar and Dirt Sprint Cars.

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