NLMS "Dirt Meets Asphalt 100", 441 Speedway

PANNELL PRODUCES PERFECT PAVEMENT PERFORMANCE Dublin, Ga. - The National Late Model Sportsman Series forsook their normal dirt tracks for the paved surface of the beautiful 441 Speedway in Dublin, Ga. for the sixth event of the 1999 season and...

PANNELL PRODUCES PERFECT PAVEMENT PERFORMANCE

Dublin, Ga. - The National Late Model Sportsman Series forsook their normal dirt tracks for the paved surface of the beautiful 441 Speedway in Dublin, Ga. for the sixth event of the 1999 season and the dirt Late Models put on quite a show for the large crowd on hand. When the 100 lap "Dirt Meets Asphalt 100" was completed, Skip Pannell of Albany, Ga. stood in Victory Lane with his second $5,000 win of the season. Pannell, driving the Hollywood GRT/Beaver/Southway Industrial Service/Piping Services/Budweiser Chevrolet, led all 100 laps of the fast paced event to continue his early drive towards his second NLMS Championship. Pannell was the first Series Champion in 1995.

"We unloaded and I didn't really do anything to the car," Pannell commented afterwards. "I made one change before we went out as we were going to run after dark, instead of daylight. I had been wanting to make it all weekend, but sitting on the pole made me wait. It was the right move and the car was real good all night. This is a tough track on brakes, and I was not sure just how far I could go on them. I was very concerned about the brakes, but everything worked out. Budweiser had some marketing reps here and I wanted to put on a good show for them. They have been with us for three weeks and we have two wins. Southway Industrial Services, Piping Services, Hollywood GRT and John Beaver who builds the motors have been great and we hope we can win a few more during the year."

Ivedent Lloyd of Ocala, Fla., the 1996 Series Champion, finished the race in second place in the Snow Brothers/Koury Chevrolet and Everett Phillips of Lake City Fla. came home third in the Barry Wright/Koury/Everette's Custom Services Chevrolet. Michael Lloyd of Jacksonville, Fla. finished in fourth with Tuck Trentham of Deland, Fla. fifth.

"On the long runs my brakes would begin to fade," Lloyd stated. "But even if we had had brakes, there was nothing we could do with Skip (Pannell), he was fast all weekend and we will take second and be happy. Congratulations to them, they deserved it."

"It was a whale of a race," a very pleased Phillips said after the race. " I got on the wall one time, got on two wheels and boy, we had a wild ride then. But I am really proud of what we accomplished, the crew worked hard and we got a good finish to build on for the future. "

There were 29 cars on hand for the event with Pannell setting the fast time in qualifying with a lap of 16.54 seconds around the semi-banked 3/8ths mile oval. Pannell's average speed on his fast lap was a track record for Late Models at 81.620 mph..

The green flag flew over 25 dirt Late Models for the first time ever at 441 Speedway and Pannell used the inside line into turn one to take the lead from Billy Godowns, who held the high side through the entire first lap before falling into second at the completion of the circuit. I. Lloyd was in third with 1998 Series Champion Cecil Eunice fourth and Phillips fifth. The biggest move of the opening laps was made by M. Lloyd who moved to the high side and passed seven cars before settling into ninth place.

David Browning began his move to the front with a lap 11 pass of Richard Noda in turn 3 while on lap 14 Lee Jackson moved past Brian Turner in the same corner. By this time the leaders were beginning to encounter lapped traffic and their pace was slowed somewhat as they worked their way around the slower cars. I. Lloyd slipped inside Godowns in turn 3 on lap 18 to take over second, but Godowns was able to fend of Eunice who tried to follow Lloyd through.

The first caution of the race came out on lap 20 when Terry Lumley and Lee Jackson got together on the back straight with Jackson spinning into the infield. During the caution, Eunice headed to the pits with an overheated engine which moved Merle Diem Jr. into the fifth spot. When the field returned to green flag racing Phillips was right on the back bumper of Godowns and on lap 27 he was able to move past in turn three to take third place.

Dublin resident and two-time winner at this track when it was a high-banked dirt oval, Tracy Mimbs saw his hopes of victory disappear on lap 29 when the rotor button broke and he coasted to a stop on the front straight. On the restart, Turner was able to move past Lawton Minchew in turn one with Wayne Shugart also making the pass.

Browning had now worked his way into eleventh and was challenging Trentham for tenth. On lap 43 he went to the high side and after over a lap of side-by-side racing was able to take the position. The order at the front had Pannell in the lead over I. Lloyd, Phillips, Godowns, Diem, Henry Carter, Brian Weeks, M. Lloyd and Browning as the crossed flags were given the cars to signify the halfway point.

The second half of the event saw M.Lloyd working hard to pass Weeks while Carter was also working over Diem in an attempt to get by. Trentham and Browning were again involved in a spirited battle for position with the two cars again going side by side as the dueled. Trentham was able to take the spot, and now closed up on Carter.

Following the caution, Diem ran through some dirt on the track in turn one on the restart and slid high allowing five cars to get by while he struggled to regain control. By lap 75 Pannell was holding a four car length lead over I. Lloyd who had Phillips all over his rear bumper. There was then a gap of six car-lengths to Godowns in fourth and Diem in fifth.

On lap 81 as the cars roared off turn 2, Trentham tapped Carter in the rear and Carter spun into the infield, but was able to continue with only the loss of three positions. Browning was again able to pass Trentham while Weeks was fighting a positional battle with Godowns. On lap 83 Weeks moved inside Godowns in turn three and there was contact between the two cars that resulted in Weeks hitting the turn four wall, damaging the right front suspension and forcing his retirement. On the ensuing restart it was M. Lloyd who took over the battle with Godowns and in just a few laps was able to make the pass.

Godowns, with very little pavement experience would lose two more spots in the last ten laps of the event as both Browning and Trentham were able to get by, and afterwards could not wait to return to the more familiar dirt surfaces. Pannell crossed the finish with a 3 car length lead over I. Lloyd with Phillips third, M. Lloyd up from 16th to fourth, and Trentham fifth. Browning, Godowns, Diem, Bobby Oglesby and Carter rounded out the top ten.

There were 10 cars on the lead lap at the finish with Browning taking Hard Charger honors with his climb to sixth place after starting 20th. Merle Diem was the Rookie of the Race and the event took 47 minutes to complete with only five caution flags. Pannell, Phillips, Eunice and I. Lloyd won heat races with Lawton Minchew and M. Lloyd winning the two consolation races. The 29 cars on hand were a Series record for an asphalt race. 24 cars qualified within 1 second of the fast time.

The next event on the Southern Dirt Tour will be March 12-13 when the cars and stars of the National Late Model Sportsman Series heads to Lake City Speedway for the Spring 100. Qualifying and Heat races will take place on Friday evening with Consolation and the feature event taking place Saturday. For more information contact Lake City Speedway at (904) 754-8800

441 Speedway -NLMS - Provisional results for the National Late Model Sportsman Series, Dirt Meets Asphalt 100:

Ps.Ql.No.  Driver , Car                                          Laps
-- -- ---- ----------------------------------------------------- ----- 
 1  1  P1  Skip Pannell, Albany, GA Southway Industrial ServChev 100          
 2  4  21  Ivedent Lloyd, Ocala FL Snow Bros/Koury          Chev 100          
 3  2  46  Everett Phillips, Lake City FL Everetts Cust ServChev 100          
 4 14  18  Michael Lloyd, Jacksonville FL Lumber Unlimited  Chev 100          
 5 10  54  Tuck Trentham, Deland FL Deland Truck Center     Chev 100          
 6 16   7  David Browning, Jacksonville FL Greens Auto      Chev 100          
 7  6  20  Billy Godowns, Louisville GA Godowns Farms       Chev 100          
 8 12 112  Merle Diem Jr.                                   Chev 100          
 9  8  37  Bobby Oglesby, Bloomingdale GA TE Highes/Tuten   Chev 100          
10  5  28  Henry Carter, Swainsboro GA Mimbs Farm           Chev 100          
11 21  10  Lee Jackson, Brooklet GA Eagle Supply/Jerry's    Chev  99          
12 13  23  Mitchell Meeks, Soperton, Ga Bumper to Bumper    Chev  99          
13 23   1  Wayne Shugart, St Augustine FL Shugart Oysters   Chev  98          
14 25  T1  Brian Turner                                     Chev  98          
15 19   2  Lawton Minchew, Deland FL Chewcrete Concrete     Chev  98          
16 24  31  Anthony Meadows, Lanett AL H&H Auto and Racing   Chev  98          
17 28 145  Dewayne Johnson, Columbus GA W.J. Plemons Ins.   Chev  97          
18 22 114  Jeff Gordon, Albany GA RV Specialties            Chev  97          
19  7  45  Brian Weeks, Augusta GA Paschal Wood Products    Chev  82          
20 20  44  Ricky Brant, Pooler GA M Blue/Lakeside Water     Chev  44          
21 18   4  Terry Lumley, Swainsboro GA Rhino Linings        Chev  38          
22  3  22  Cecil Eunice, Blackshear GA Norman Pont/Ace Pole Chev  29          
23 17  51  Tracy Mimbs, Dublin GA Marshall Septic Tank Comp Chev  28          
24 26   5  Richard Noda, St Augustine FL W.J. Plemons Ins.  Chev  25          
25 11  35  Charles Sealy, Moultrie GA Scruggs/BTS Construc  Chev  15          

Track Length : 0.3750 Miles

John Kaiser

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Series Stock car
Drivers Jeff Gordon , John Beaver , David Brown , Lee Jackson