LLOYD HAULS TO VALDOSTA WIN! Valdosta, Ga. - The National Late Model Sportsman Series returned to Thunderbowl Speedway in Valdosta, Ga. for the Road to Daytona 100, the fifth race of the 1999 season and for the fifth time this year, a new...
LLOYD HAULS TO VALDOSTA WIN!
Valdosta, Ga. - The National Late Model Sportsman Series returned to Thunderbowl Speedway in Valdosta, Ga. for the Road to Daytona 100, the fifth race of the 1999 season and for the fifth time this year, a new face was seen in Victory Lane. Michael Lloyd, of Jacksonville, Fla. in the Snow Bros./Wheeler Motorsports/Lumber Unlimited/Lloyd Land Clearing/Toby's Bar-B-Q/Suncoast Fire Protection/SOS Lounge/Howard Johnson Hauling Chevrolet took the lead from namesake, but no relation, Ivedent Lloyd. the 1996 Series Champion, on lap 93, when the race long leader had a right rear tire begin to go down, and then held off the charges of many-time Thunderbowl Track Champion Charles Harris in the Economy Transmission and Garage Chevrolet to take the win. Everett Phillips in the Everett's Custom Services Chevrolet drove to third with 1997 Series Champion Gene Maine in the JS&D Trucking Chevrolet fourth and Billy Godowns in the Henderson Chevrolet/Godowns Farm Chevrolet fifth.
"We could not outrun Ivedent (Lloyd)," Michael commented after the race. "Our car was better on long runs and his was better on short runs. He would get away from us and we just did not have enough to reel him back in because he was just fast enough to maintain the lead. Right there at the end he had a little misfortune and we were lucky enough to be in a position to take advantage of it."
Ivedent Lloyd lead the first 92 laps of the race before his right rear tire began slowly going down, allowing Michael Lloyd to get under him coming off turn four. The two cars ran side by side down the front straight with 1995 Series Champion and the winner of the previous race at Thunderbowl, Skip Pannell of Albany, Ga running right behind. Michael held the inside going into turn one, but Ivedent fought back on the outside, Pannell was also now under the erstwhile leader. There was contact between the three cars, causing Ivedent's left front tire to cut down and sending him high in turn two where he was hit by cars trying to avoid the snarl in front of them. Pannell suffered a broken shock in the incident, and both I. Lloyd and Pannell had to visit the pits to make repairs before continuing.
The front row of the starting grid was an all-Lloyd affair with Michael on the inside on Ivedent on the outside. At the drop of the green, Ivedent was able to get the better start and took the lead as the 26 car field headed into turn one. Michael fell into second with 1997 and Defending Series Champion Cecil Eunice running in third. Harris and Pannell rounded out the top five after the first lap. Johnny Collins, who started fifth wasted little time in making his move towards the front as he dipped inside Randy Ellenberg coming off turn two and Took the position, Ellenberg, who was carrying the left front a foot or more off the ground as he accelerated off both turns, began a race long slide towards the rear of the field. Mark Davis brought out the first of 6 cautions as he coasted to a stop high in turn four. On the restart Ivedent quickly opened up a four car length margin over the field and two laps later it was David Browning's turn to slip past the hapless car of Elleneberg. Wesley Hood and Rookie of the Year points leader Anthony Meadows were battling fiercely for position back in the close confines of the pack and on lap 13 it was Hood who was able to usurp the position with a power move down the back straight.
Pannell went by Harris on lap 14 to change the running order at the front and then on lap 22 Terry Lumley went under Jason Hylton off turn four to gain the spot. Collins was now pressing Phiilips hard looking for a way to get by the wily veteran, and the outcome was not settled until lap 26 when Collins was to make his move down the back stretch. Browning and Maine were also battling hard for 8th spot, which Browning held and Maine wanted. These dogfights were put on hold when Lumley suffered mechanical problems and brought out the second caution. The order now had I. Lloyd leading M. Lloyd with Eunice seemingly content to run third, Pannell fourth, and Harris in fifth. Collins, Phillips, Browning, Maine and Keith Edge rounded out the top ten.
The third, and most serious caution of the event occurred on lap 32 when Carl Black's car had something break and throw him hard into the front straight wall. Despite heavy damage to the car, Black was unhurt.
As the race neared the halfway point the leaders began to encounter lapped traffic and Eunice began to press harder on M. Lloyd's rear bumper. Anthony Meadows, who had spent time in the pits for repairs earlier in the race, now slowed going into turn one on lap 48 was heading for the back pit entrance as the lead trio came barrelling through turns one and two. I. Lloyd was forced to check up to avoid hitting the tail of the Alabama driver's car and this immediately bunched everyone up. Making a quick move to the high side, I. Lloyd was soon able to reopen the lead to 3 car lengths as again, Eunice had a look to the inside of M. Lloyd.
Battles for positions were going on throughout the field, Collins was still trying to find a way around Harris, Eunice kept looking for a way to move into second, Johnny Lieupo was fighting hard to get around the ill-handling Ellenberg, and Billy Godowns, who had to run the Consolation race to make the field after throwing a drive-shaft in his heat race, finally began to make a move through the field. On lap 71 Eunice was finally able to get his nose under M. Lloyd in turn one, but got a little loose as he pinched the car down and was forced to back off. On lap 78, Eunice slowed as he headed into turn one and this time made the turn into the pits with a blown motor. This moved Pannell into third, and at the same time, Collins was able to pass Harris and take over fourth place. Collins quickly moved in on Pannell and by lap 87 Pannell, Collins and Harris were running nose-to-tail as Harris'car, which had been tight for much of the race, began to loosen up as the tires wore down.
On lap 90 Collins tried to get to the inside of Pannell coming off turn four, but at the same time, Pannell lost control of the rear end and he and Collins made contact, which resulted in keeping Pannell from spinning out. Collins was not so fortunate and began to slide towards the inside wall. Collins tried to correct the skid and in doing so turned right and made contact with Harris who was trying to sneak by on the high side. This contact served to straighten Collins out, while Harris only suffered sheet metal damage and continued with no further problems. Collins headed to the pits to make repairs to the nose of his car.
The running order with ten laps left had I. Lloyd still on the point followed by M. Lloyd, Pannell, Harris, Phillips, Browning, Maine, Johnny Lieupo, Godowns and Lonnie Roberts. The field soon returned to green flag racing and this time I.Lloyd did not pull away from the field. M. Lloyd stayed less than a car behind him until making his move of turn four on lap 92. As M. Lloyd and Pannell went inside, I. Lloyd in turns one and two, Browning was right behind Phillips. When I. Lloyd slowed following contact with one of the cars under him, Browning went to the high side to miss the action and slammed hard into the rear of I. Lloyd. Phillips, seeing the developments in front, hit the brakes and was tapped in the rear and spun to the inside of the track.
Once order was restored M. Lloyd had the lead with Harris moving up to second, Phillips back to third, Browning in fourth, and Maine fifth. Back under green the entire field was tightly bunched and on lap 94 Browning got the car sideways in turn two and both Maine and Lieupo were able to make the pass. Pannell and I. Lloyd, both back on the track, were now charging hard from the rear to try and salvage a decent finish and also battling with each other for position. Pannell was able to slip by on lap 97 to take tenth and one lap later Lumley spun in turn four to bring out the final caution of the race. On the restart, M. Lloyd was able to hold the lead and drive on to a one car length win over Harris. Phillips had a good third place finish with Maine fourth and Browning and Godowns both slipping past Lieupo to take fifth and sixth over the final two laps. Lieupo ended up in seventh with Roberts making a fine run from the rear of the field to eighth followed by Henry Carter and Pannell.
Carter set the fast time in qualifying, but blew the motor in his heat and was forced to use a provisional to make the field. Heat races were won by M. Lloyd, I. Lloyd, Harris and Eunice while Steve Lashley and Roberts won the two consolation races. Billy Godowns was the Hard Charger as he came from 24th starting spot to finish in sixth position. 31 Late Models were on hand for the event and 14 cars finished on the lead lap.
The next event for the 1999 Southern Dirt Tour will be at 441 Speedway in Dublin, Ga, as the National Late Model Sportsman Series takes on the new asphalt surface in their dirt Late Models. Qualifying and heat races will take place on Friday evening the 26th of February with the 100 lap event being run at 2:00 PM on Saturday afternoon, the 27th.
Thunderbowl Speedway -NLMS - Provisional results for the National Late Model Sportsman Southern Dirt Tour, Road to Daytona 100:
Ps.Ql.No. Driver , Car Laps Notes -- -- ---- ----------------------------------------------------- ----- -------
1 18 Michael Lloyd, Jacksonville FL Lumber Unlimited Chev 100
2 80 Charlie Harris, Valdosta GA Economy Trans & GaragChev 100
3 46 Everett Phillips, Lake City FL Everetts Cust ServChev 100
4 201 Gene Maine, Quitman GA JS&D Trucking/Russel BrownChev 100
5 7 David Browning, Jacksonville FL Greens Auto Chev 100
6 20 Billy Godowns, Louisville GA Godowns Farms Chev 100
7 12 Johnny Lieupo, Valdosta GA Lieupo Motorsports Chev 100
8 81 Lonnie Roberts 100
9 28 Henry Carter, Swainsboro GA Mimbs Farm Chev 100 10 P1 Skip Pannell, Albany, GA Southway Industrial ServChev 100 11 21 Ivedent Lloyd, Ocala FL Snow Bros/Koury Chev 100 12 51 Tracy Mimbs, Dublin GA Marshall Septic Tank Serv Chev 100 13 74 Terry Lumley, Swainsboro GA Rhino Linings Chev 100 14 11 Randy Ellenberg, Valdosta GA NIJEM/Wildwood SubdvChev 100 15 8 Jason Hylton, Quitman GA JS&D Trucking Chev 97 16 10 Lee Jackson, Brooklet GA Eagle Supply/Jerry's Chev 95 17 0 Johnny Collins, Jacksonville FLSouthern Style EngChev 91 18 22 Cecil Eunice, Blackshear GA Norman Pont/Ace Pole Chev 77 19 18E Keith Edge, Eastman GA Autozone Chev 56 20 57 Wesley Hood, Cowpens SC Clary Hood Inc. Chev 55 21 35 Wayne Bradley, Sylvester GA Bagwell's Framing Chev 34 22 10c Jeff Culpepper, Hamilton GA Bowden Littleton ConsChev 31 23 37 Carl Black, Valdosta, GA Cribbs Racing Chev 31 24 3 Steve Lashley, Americus GA C&J Pallett/WISK 98.7 Chev 30 25 31 Anthony Meadows, Lanett AL H&H Auto and Racing Chev 27 26 41 Mark Davis, Savannah, GA Ford 8
Track Length : 0.5000 Miles
John Kaiser - National Late Model Sportsman