GREENVILLE, SC (March 24, 2001)- If Donnie Bishop wanted to send a message in the Upper State 100 lap Late Model feature event Saturday at the Greenville Pickens Speedway, the Greenville native and six time track champion's words were heard loud...
GREENVILLE, SC (March 24, 2001)- If Donnie Bishop wanted to send a message in the Upper State 100 lap Late Model feature event Saturday at the Greenville Pickens Speedway, the Greenville native and six time track champion's words were heard loud and clear as the checkered flag fell on the 50 mile event. Bishop started the night by turning fast time to secure the poll position, and steered his Chevrolet Monte Carlo to a quick lead over Central's Jay White and last week's opening night winner Pete Silva of Asheville. Bishop continued to widen that lead until a lap 23 turn two spin by Columbia's Dan Shumaker regrouped to field. On the restart, Bishop continued to dominate the field, leaving the contenders to fight it out for second position. By lap 50, Bishop's lead was a full three seconds, and White was struggling to hold on to second position. Silva, Powdersville's Tyler Bob Mangum and defending track champion Gene Morgan of Travelers Rest were taking looks both high and low around White, and Marietta's Marty Ward had fought his way from back of the pack to be in contention. But the struggle for second position would leave Bishop well out front of the pack with nothing but clear sailing ahead. A much hoped for caution flag, which could have regrouped the pack behind Bishop, never came. On lap 91, Mangum made his move past Silva to secure the third position and move behind White, who had been in second for the entire race. With only two laps remaining, Mangum managed to move around White coming out of turn two, but with only 1 1/2 laps left, Bishops 4 1/2 second lead proved to be insurmountable. White fell to third, and Silva placed fourth. Morgan was fifth, and Ward worked his way from back of the field to place sixth. Liberty's Kenneth Headen, Simpsonville's David Roberts, Greenville's Fred Phillips, and Hot Springs, NC's Stephen Gahagan rounded out the seventh through tenth place positions.
The checkered flag came just in time for Bishop, as his right front tire was going flat as he pulled into victory lane. "I knew the car was scooting pretty bad on the final laps as we were going into the corner, I knew something was going on and I can see the right front tire going flat now. I just thank the good Lord, he was looking after me tonight and got me home to victory," Bishop said in victory lane.
In the 15 lap Super Stock race, Robby Robbins of Greenville took his second consecutive checkered flag of the season. Greenville's Ken Guthrie advanced to place second, and Phillip Lynch placed third. Greg Dodgens of Greenville was fourth, and Robin Darnell rounded out the top five.
Liberty's Chris Meinders bested Easley's Rick Cullen and last week's winner Daryl Culbertson of Travelers Rest to get his first season Street victory. Billy Lusk of Easley was fourth, and Mike Hughes was fifth.
Brother duo Bubba and Robert Horton of Greenville won their respective Charger events. Robert Horton was declared winner of the first Charger race, after apparent winner Michael Pittman failed technical inspection. Easley's Bryan Davis was second, and Greenville's Ryan Dombrosky was third.
Younger brother Bubba Horton made it a Horton sweep by taking the second Charger checkered flag of the night. Horton bested last week's winner Ted Somero of Greer and Easley's Scott Mann to claim his first Charger victory of the season.