Hartensveld and Roderick Top Meltdown Legends Features
Familiar Names Best Star-Studded Fields in Wild Events

CONCORD, NC (November 28, 2006) – The moon was shining down brightly on South Boston Speedway (VA) for the Friday night feature races of the Mason-Dixon Meltdown.  It wasn’t quite a full moon (the lunar phase is still two weeks away from that), but judging from the wild race that the INEX Legends cars put on, many people would have guessed that the moon was in full glow.

The night got started off with the Legends Semi-Pro Feature.  Paddy Rodenbeck started on the front row and led for much of the event but wasn’t able to hold onto the top spot as a competitive field kept him on his toes.  Two of those drivers were John Stancill and Thomas Hartensveld, who both had to work their way up through the field to get up to the front. 


In the end, only one driver could be forever known as the first-ever feature winner during the Mason-Dixon Meltdown weekend.  That driver wound up being Thomas Hartensveld, who had to hold off Stancill late in the race to capture the victory in an action-packed main event.


“A lot of people went for some spins throughout the race, but I didn’t crash, I didn’t want to,” said Hartsenveld.  “I just tried to stay up front the whole time and hold off John (Stancill).  He was pretty strong the whole night.  We were just a tick better.”


“It was a great event.  The promoters put on a really good show.  It was definitely worth coming up here, and I will definitely be back next year.”


As the Semi-Pro Meltdown champion, Hartensveld knew that he will always go down as the first feature winner of the Mason-Dixon Meltdown, which is a special title he will carry forever.


“It is pretty cool that we are the first-ever winner of the Mason-Dixon Meltdown,” added Hartsenveld.  “It was definitely an experience.”


Another young driver found his way into victory lane in the Pro/Masters race as well.  Casey Roderick, out of Lawrenceville, Georgia, added another win to his record by taking the 50-lap Meltdown victory.  The Meltdown win came just a few weeks after his thrilling triumph in the Legends Car Asphalt Nationals at Lanier National Speedway (GA).  That win at the Legends Nationals made him a guaranteed starter for the Mason-Dixon Meltdown, but he didn’t need to even worry about the guaranteed spot.


Instead, Roderick started mid-pack via his heat race and immediately began charging through the field.  He worked his way to the lead late in the race and never looked back, completing the sweep of major post-season Legends races.


“It feels pretty awesome to bring home another win,” said Roderick.  “I would just like to thank (SPEED network commentator and Meltdown co-promoter) Bob Dillner for putting on this race.  He mentioned my name on the Internet (at short track racing website Speed51.com), and I really appreciate that.


“It was an awesome race out there with (Nick) Pistone and the rest of the drivers.  There for a little while I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to be able to get up there, but after about five laps the car really came alive.  Once it started turning really good and it felt stable, I just moved up through the field.  It was pretty awesome.”


Rather than be intimidated by the 4/10-mile size and speed of South Boston Speedway early in practice on Friday, Roderick instead chose to take the first part of the event to familiarize himself with his surroundings.  That strategy paid off in victory.


“This is the first time I have ever raced at this track,” said Roderick.  “Actually, today’s first round of practice was the first time that I had ever even seen the track.  The first round I was slow, but I was just getting used to the track, and the second round I picked it up a lot.


“I like the speed at this track.  “There are some bumps on the track, but I got used to them.  Man I just felt good out there.  It just felt really good.  And we were able to bring home our second major win of the year, which is awesome.”