Wade Knowles of Tyrone, GA took the lead at the drop of the green flag, beating pole sitter Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH into the first turn. Knowles led the first 27 laps, but on lap 28, he tried to go to the inside to lap Clayton ...
Wade Knowles of Tyrone, GA took the lead at the drop of the green flag, beating pole sitter Donnie Moran of Dresden, OH into the first turn. Knowles led the first 27 laps, but on lap 28, he tried to go to the inside to lap Clayton Christenberry of Knoxville, TN in turn one. Christenberry went to the inside to get out of the leaders way, but Knowles was already there.
Knowles spun backwards across the high banking and collected the third place car of Jeff Treece of Knoxville, TN, and the fourth place car of Skip Arp of Georgetown, TN. STARS officials put the three front-runners to the rear for the restart that saw Moran in the lead, followed by R. J. Conley of Wheelersburg, OH, Dale McDowell of Rossville, GA, Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, TN and Johnson.
Rick Aukland of Fargo, ND brought out the caution flag on lap 36 when he shredded his right rear tire. After the restart, Moran pulled out to a five second lead over Conley, who lost the handle on his car and dropped back to eighth by lap 38. With 30 laps to go, it appeared no one could get close to Moran, but on lap 75, the leader slowed suddenly and mechanical woes finished Moran's day.
McDowell then took command and appeared to have the race in his grasp, while Bloomquist and Johnson tucked in behind. On lap 95 McDowell encountered heavy traffic which enabled Bloomquist and Johnson to close in. Rod Conley of Wheelersburg, OH was in front of McDowell, as the leader tried to work his way around feeling the pressure in the closing laps from Bloomquist and Johnson.
When Conley failed to let the leader by on lap 96, McDowell tried to move Conley's car by pushing him down the backstretch. Conley would have none of that, and McDowell spun head on into the third turn wall. After starting tenth and ninth respectively, Bloomquist and Johnson now found themselves running one two with just four laps to go.
On the restart, Bloomquist quickly opened up a five car length advantage over Johnson, but with two laps to go, Bloomquist's car slowed off the pace. Johnson took over the point, and then held off Billy Moyer of Batesville, AR and Rex Richey of Ringgold, GA for the $12,000 victory.
Fourth went to Wendell Wallace of Batesville, AR, who charged from 19th starting spot, and defending STARS champion Steve Francis of Ashland, KY rounded out the top five. Freddy Smith of Knoxville, TN took the sixth spot after losing two spots in the final 50 feet of the race when he blew a right rear tire. Billy Ogle of Knoxville, TN finished seventh, with Charlie Swartz of Grayson, KY, Tim Hitt of Weston, WV and Ron Conley rounding out the top ten.
Arp outqualified the 52 entries on Friday night with a lap around the 1/3 mile high banked clay oval in 11.35 seconds. Friday night's four ten-lap heat races were won by Earl Pearson Jr of Jacksonville, FL, Aukland, Johnson and Bloomquist. Moran won the 6 alp Fast Car Dash to earn the pole position for the Dogwood 100, which was postponed until Sunday afternoon after Saturday night's program was rained out. Wallace won the 20 lap B Main.
In other action, Steve Mullinax of Crossville, TN won the 25-lap Open Wheel Modified Feature, and the 20-lap Super Stock feature was won by Lynn Selby of Crossville, TN. Kim Crabtree of Midway, TN won the 20-lap Pure Mini feature, and Walter Sims of Knoxville, TN won the 15-lap Pure Street Bomber feature. The next event at Atomic Speedway will be on Friday night as the 1997 points season gets underway with twin 35-lap, $1,200-to-win Late Model features with double points on the line. The Open Wheel Modifieds, Super Stocks, Pure Minis, and Pure Street Bombers will also be on hand. Gates open at 5p.m. with racing scheduled for 7:30p.m..
RACE SUMMARIES STARS LATE MODEL DOGWOOD 100. 1. Ronnie Johnson 2. Billy Moyer Jr 3. Rex Richey 4. Wendell Wallace 5. Steve Francis 6. Freddy Smith 7. Billy Ogle Jr 8. Charlie Swartz 9. Tim Hitt 10. Rod Conley 11. Bart Hartman 12. Dale McDowell 13. Earl Pearson JR 14. Steve Smith 15. Scott Bloomquist 16. R.J. Conley 17. Donnie Moran 18. Mike Balzano 19. Wade Knowles 20. Rick Aukland 21. Jeff Treece 22. Skip Arp 23. Clayton Christenberry 24. C.S. Fitzgerald
OPEN WHEEL MODIFIEDS 1. Steve Mullinax 2. Kurt Owens 3. Rodney Kiker 4. Chad Ogle 5. Chris Rickett 6. Duke Lowe 7. Jimmy Owens 8. Junior Waters 9. Mike Lewis 10. Richie Standridge
SUPER STOCK 1. Lynn Selby 2. Marty Seney 3. Mike Lewelling 4. Steve Fraker 5. Chris Manis
PURE MINI 1. Kim Crabtree 2. Randy Craig 3. Derrick Duggan 4. John Stoudt 5. Scott Smith
PURE STREET BOMBERS 1. Walter Sims 2. Chris Brown 3. David Hackworth 4. Billy Asberry 5. Jason Capps
John Kaiser, Racing Information Systems