DirtNews Digest Your Online News Source for Late Model Dirt Track Racing "Get Some Dirt On Your Computer!" Todd Turner, editor Email address: DirtNews@aol.com Web site: ...
DirtNews Digest Your Online News Source for Late Model Dirt Track Racing "Get Some Dirt On Your Computer!" Todd Turner, editor
Email address: DirtNews@aol.com Web site: http://members.aol.com/dirtnews/digest =================================== CONTENTS: May 2-3 results (published May 4) HAV-A-TAMPA: Moran gets first series win of '97 =================================== HAV-A-TAMPA DIRT RACING SERIES Confederate 100
MERIDIAN, Miss. (Friday and Saturday) Donnie Moran's Hav-A-Tampa Confederate 100 weekend at Whynot Speedway was just perfect.
Moran set fast qualifying time, won his heat race then led flag-to-flag in the feature for a $15,400 victory at the quarter-mile Mississippi oval, becoming the first series driver to make such a clean sweep in nine 1997 events on the $2 million tour. Moran, who won two STARS-sanctioned events last weekend, also halted Hav-A-Tampa points leader Billy Moyer's two-race winning streak while winning his third race in a row overall.
Moyer survived a late-race tussle with Clint Smith, Steve Russell, Skip Arp, Wendell Wallace and James Dean to finish second and maintain his points lead. Russell ended up third with Arp and Wallace rounding out the top five. Dean, Bob Pierce, Bill Frye, Jim McDuffie and David Gibson finished sixth through 10th. Smith, who was in second when a caution flag flew on the 96th lap, was sent to the tail during the yellow and finished 15th as the last driver on the lead lap.
"We really gambled out there with the tires and it paid off," said Moran, who upped his series winnings to nearly $40,000 with his second career series victory. The driver from Dresden, Ohio, won March 12, 1995 at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C. Moran's win moved the three-time STARS champion up to fourth in the Hav-A-Tampa points race in his first season of extensive racing with the Georgia-based series.
Saturday night's race reversed the finishing order of the previous Hav-A-Tampa event, when Moyer took the lead from Moran on the 77th lap for a 100-lap victory at Brownstown, Ind., on April 19.
"It was a solid run for us," said Moyer, who stretched his points lead over defending series champion Freddy Smith (Smith was 20th after pitting several times during the race) to 81 points. "Donnie had a strong car and a guy like that gives you maybe one shot at getting by him. It just wasn't our turn to win tonight, but we're happy with the consistency."
Russell picked up third place during a late-race blitz over the final laps. When the third-place car of Moyer moved to the outside of second-place Clint Smith on the 96th lap, Russell darted to the bottom of the track.
Smith's car broke loose in the scramble, spinning in Turn 2 and bringing out the caution with just four laps left. Moyer and Russell each moved up a spot as Smith -- who was visibly upset about the officials' decision -- was sent to the rear.
CAR COUNT: 54 late models.
FAST QUALIFIER: Donnie Moran, 13.87 seconds (86.52 mph).
FIRST HEAT (top four advance): Donnie Moran, Randle Chupp, Steve Russell, Skip Arp, Scott Slay, Ronnie Poche, Randy Boyd, Jerry Inmon, Wiley Williams, Billy Hassle, Brach Singleton, Trey Beene, Jimmy Cliburn, Bubba Weeks.
SECOND HEAT: Clint Smith, Mike Boland, David Gibson, Robbie Starnes, Eddie Rickman, Keith Flurry, Bub McCool, Jason Cliburn, Bob Pierce, Rusty Cooper, James Dean, Jason Smith (Willy Kraft scratched).
THIRD HEAT: Ray Cook, Jim McDuffie, Johnny Stokes, Marshall Green, Randy Cummings, Brian Rickman, Don Cliburn, Sidney Triche, Mike Gibson, Dale McDowell, Dennis Duncan, Cale Ainsworth.
FOURTH HEAT: Billy Moyer, Earl Pearson Jr., Wendell Wallace, Bill Frye, Buzz Miles, Kenny Merchant, Johnny Virden, Gar Dickson, Lonnie Covington, Ricky Idom, Larry Ritter, Freddy Smith, John L. Cliett.
FIRST CONSOLATION (top three advance): Scott Slay, Randy Cummings, Randy Boyd, Brian Hickman, Brach Singleton, Don Cliburn, Billy Hassle, Randy Little, Dale McDowell, Mike Gibson, Jimmy Cliburn, Jerry Inmon, Wiley Williams, Ronnie Poche, Trey Beene, Sidney Triche (Willy Kraft, Dennis Duncan, Cale Ainsworth and Randy Blanchard scratched).
SECOND CONSOLATION: Freddy Smith, Kenny Merchant, Eddie Rickman, Bub McCool, Bob Pierce, James Dean, Jason Cliburn, Larry Ritter, Ricky Idom, Buzz Miles, Bubba Weeks, Keith Flurry, Rusty Cooper (Johnny Virden, Gar Dickson, Lonnie Covington and Jason Smith scratched).
FEATURE (Pos., driver, car no., hometown, chassis, laps, purse) 1. Donnie Moran (99), Dresden, Ohio, MasterSbilt, 100, $15,400 2. Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., Larry Shaw, 100, $8,900 3. Steve Russell (G1), Pontotoc, Miss., Rayburn, 100, $5,450 4. Skip Arp (31), Georgetown, Tenn., GRT, 100, $3,700 5. Wendell Wallace (6m), Batesville, Ark., GRT, 100, $3600 6. James Dean (16), Chunky, Miss., Warrior, 100, $2,750 7. Bob Pierce (23), Danville, Ill., Warrior, 100, $2,500 8. Bill Frye (66), Greenbrier, Ark., GRT, 100, $2,650 9. Jim McDuffie (K3), Meridian, Miss., GRT, 100, $2,000 10. David Gibson (G2), Ash Flat, Ark., GRT, 100, $1,750 11. Scott Slay (6), Jackson, Miss., Warrior, 100, $1,500 12. Johnny Stokes (1), Columbus, Miss., GRT, 100, $1,300 13. Ray Cook (53), Murphy, N.C., GRT, 100, $1,200 14. Earl Pearson Jr. (7), Jacksonville, Fla., GRT, 100, $1,250 15. Clint Smith (1), Griffin, Ga., GRT, 100, $1,300 16. Kenny Merchant (c28), Ruston, La., Barry Wright, 99, $975 17. Ronnie Poche (1x), Natchitoches, La., GRT, 99, $950 18. Eddie Rickman (68), Columbus, Miss., Bullitt, 99, $925 19. Randy Cummings (ss1), Stewart, Miss., GRT, 95, $900 20. Freddy Smith (00), Knoxville, Tenn., GRT, 82, $1,450, mechanical 21. Dale McDowell (17m), Rossville, Ga., GRT, 77, $1,200 22. Marshall Green (89), Dalton, Ga., Warrior, 71, $1,200, crash 23. Robbie Starnes (77), Houston, Texas, Larry Shaw, 45, $900, mechanical 24. Randle Chupp (114), Knoxville, Tenn., GRT, 34, $900, overheating 25. Mike Boland (222), Cuba, Ala., Warrior, 26, $900, handling 26. Randy Boyd (00B), Meridian, Miss., 23, $900, broken shock
NOTES: The race, carrying a $69,050 purse, was slowed nine times by caution .... 20 of 26 starters were still running after 100 laps .... track provisional starters in the last row, James Dean and Bob Pierce, weaved through traffic to finish sixth and seventh .... Bub McCool entered his first Hav-A-Tampa event since breaking his hip in an automobile accident in January, but he failed to make the feature .... Johnny Virden returned to Arkansas after his car suffered mechanical problems in his heat race .... the cars of Wendell Wallace and Skip Arp checked out OK after being impounded by Hav-A-Tampa officials for postrace inspection .... Jason Smith started on the pole in the second heat, but his car was practically destroyed in a wreck involving James Dean, Bob Pierce and teammate Robbie Starnes .... Dale McDowell's car was heavily damaged in the third heat in a wreck with Dennis Duncan and Brian Rickman .... Duncan's car got sideways on the backstretch and he barrel-rolled three times when he was hit by Rickman and then McDowell (no one was injured) .... Freddy Smith came from far back in the field to win his consolation race.
HAV-A-TAMPA POINT STANDINGS (through nine of 32 events): Billy Moyer 1,429; Freddy Smith 1,348; Wendell Wallace 1,329; Donnie Moran 1,234; Clint Smith 1,218; Dale McDowell 1,197; Steve Russell 1,158; Bill Frye 1,107; Skip Arp 1,098; Johnny Virden 1,090.
NEXT HAV-A-TAMPA RACE: May 9-10, Fayetteville (N.C.) Motor Speedway, $15,000 to win. ------------------------------------------------------------- IN THE NEXT ISSUE: West Virginia's Tim Hitt wins STARS Spring Fling at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C. -------------------------------------------------------------