BUFORD AVOIDS 11-CAR CRASH, GETS FOURTH WIN By Glen Harness Copyright 1995, all rights reserved NASHVILLE, TN. - After two weekends off due to Fan Fair, Winston Racing Series action returned Saturday night to Nashville Speedway USA with ...
BUFORD AVOIDS 11-CAR CRASH, GETS FOURTH WIN
By Glen Harness Copyright 1995, all rights reserved
NASHVILLE, TN. - After two weekends off due to Fan Fair, Winston Racing Series action returned Saturday night to Nashville Speedway USA with the Kellogg's 125 lap Late Model Stock Car race and a 30-lap Limited Sportsman race on the .596 mile high-banked oval, plus action in three divisions on the 1/4 mile oval. Joe Buford captured his fourth win of the season in the Budweiser Late Model Stock Car division, with Tandy Marlin getting his second win in the Limited Sportsman division.
In the 30-lap Limited Sportsman race, points-leader Tommy Climer started from the ninth position after the pre-race inversion draw. Climer got a good start and had moved up quickly through the field, but on the second lap, Climer and Frank Bauer, who started third, got together coming off of turn two, with Bauer spinning on the back stretch.
Marlin moved into the lead on the seventh lap and started pulling away from the field. Climer, who had to start at the rear of the field on the lap 3 restart, had moved his way to seventh by lap 19 when caution came out again due to debris on the track. At that point the top five were Marlin, Jeff Higdon, Craig Wilson, Cecil Chunn and Bobby Ray Baucom. Wilson quickly moved into second after the restart as Higdon dropped back. Chunn passed Higdon for fourth, and by the last lap, Tommy Climer had made his way up to fifth. That's the way they crossed the finish line, but the officials ordered a teardown on Climer's car. Later that night, officials certified the race, stating that Climer's car was in fact legal.
A season-high 31 cars made up the field in the Kellogg's 125-lap race for the Budweiser Late Models. Fast qualifier Mike Reynolds (20.228 for 106.07 mph) drew an eleven for the inversion. Mark Blasingim had the pole, but was slow on the start and was quickly passed by outside pole-sitter Jim France. Coming out of turn three on the first lap, Jerry Underwood got sideways, resulting in an eleven-car pileup in turn four. The race was red-flagged on the third lap while the cleanup crew removed the damaged cars. Fortunately, none of the drivers were hurt.
The race went back to green on lap nine, with Jim France leading, followed by John Burns, Jerry Coble, Andy Kirby, and Billy James. Caution flew again on lap 10 for debris in turn 3, but by that time, Joe Buford, who started 10th, had passed the ill-handling car of James for fifth place.
France led the way when the green flew again on lap 14, but on lap 20 after side-by-side raceing with Burns, his car suddenly got loose on the front stretch. He was off the pace and being passed by the leaders when the right front tire came off the car of Reynolds at the exit of turn 2, which brought out the third caution of the night.
Burns took the green again on lap 25 followed by Buford, Coble, Kirby, and James. Buford took the lead on lap 27 with Coble following him for second. By lap 33, ninth-place starter Chad Chaffin had made his way into second place and he and Buford started pulling away from the rest of the field.
Chaffin got around Buford on lap 46, but 10 laps later, the lapped car of Dwayne Hudson spun directly in front of Chaffin. Caution flew again as Chaffin was unable to avoid running into Hudson's car. Chaffin pitted and changed all four tires, which resulted in a 2-lap penalty due to the two-tires-per-caution tire rule in effect. Buford, Coble, Kirby, and James (who had just pitted under green on lap 53) all pitted under the caution and took on right side tires.
Burns, who was still running on the tires he started with, led the field to the green on lap 63. Chaffin left the race on lap 68 when his car started smoking heavily. Kirby and Buford passed Burns for first and second, and they ran that way until lap 97, when Buford passed Kirby for the lead.
Buford slowly pulled away from Kirby and had built up a 20-car-length lead by lap 117 when Brian Hall spun on the front stretch bringing out the final caution of the night. Kirby and Burns elected to pit for tires, thinking that the last five laps of the race had to be run under green. Buford took the green on lap 125, then the white, and finally the checkered flag to get the win. Coble, Alan Carter, Kirby, and France followed, with Michael Green capturing sixth, Burns seventh, and Blasingim eighth.
In earlier action on the 1/4 mile track, Amy Whitehurst took the win in the Women's Streen Modified division, with points-leader Connie Cain finishing second. Mike Ritter got another win in the Mini Modified divsion, beating Andy Johnson to the line. In the Street Modified A Main, David Matheny took the checkers.
In the Street Modified B Main, pole-sitter Mark Montgomery had to get a substitute driver, Steve Addington, to drive after getting a call from his expectant wife who had just gone into labor. Addington had to start at the rear of the field, but incredibly managed to work his way to the front for the win.
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