Skinner Makes it Two-in-a-Row at North Alabama in USCS Action TUSCUMBIA, AL - Marshall Skinner of West Memphis, AR drove the Parts Plus Maxim/Ott to his second straight United Sprint Car Series win on Friday night in front of a packed house at...
Skinner Makes it Two-in-a-Row at North Alabama in USCS Action
TUSCUMBIA, AL - Marshall Skinner of West Memphis, AR drove the Parts Plus Maxim/Ott to his second straight United Sprint Car Series win on Friday night in front of a packed house at North Alabama Speedway. In victory lane, Skinner dedicated the win to his friend Sonny Sayre, who lost his life in a racing accident in March of this year.
With the win on Friday night, the 1999 USCS Outlaw Thunder Champion backed up his USCS win on May 29 at Garnertown Speedway in Jackson, TN. The back-to-back wins were the first for Skinner in USCS action since September of 2000, and he'll try to sweep the USCS Mid-South Tour on Saturday night at Columbus Speedway in Columbus, MS
After starting sixth, Skinner hurried through the field at the drop of the green flag for the 30-lap feature and chased down early race leader Ernie Ainsworth of Bartlett, TN. Skinner took the lead on lap six, and then never looked back to take a half-straightaway over the defending and three-time USCS National Champion Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN in the Goodson Farms/Wendy's Maxim/Wesmar.
Skinner made it a clean sweep by also winning the six-lap Air Flow Research Power Dash, and the first eight-lap heat race.
Ainsworth finished third driving the Mr. Cash Pro Lite/Vaughn, and Paul Sides of Memphis, TN took the fourth spot in the AMC Plumbing and Utilities Maxim/Gaerte. Scott Bolden of West Memphis, AR was fifth in the Damer Propane Pro Lite/Marion Performance.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. of Olive Branch, MS came back from a lap 22 spin in turn two while running third to finish sixth in the Country Ford/South Tire J&J/Dynotech. The 16-year-old was the recipient of the Weld Racing Hard Luck Award.
Brice Wrenn of Lexington, SC finished seventh in the Stainless Fabricators Hench/Gaerte, and Ronnie Howard of South Haven, MS started 16th in the Pyramid Racing Avenger/Vaughn and finished eighth to earn the Huggins Cams Hard Charger of the Race Award. Kenny Coke of Olive Branch, MS took the ninth spot in the Bost Auto Sales J&J/Dynotech.
Danny Martin Jr. of Sarasota, FL took the checkered flag in the fourth spot, but failed to present his Martin Structures, Inc. Schnee/ZRE at the scales for the post-race weigh-in. Martin was penalized to the tail of the lead lap at the finish for the tenth spot. The miscue spoiled a brilliant drive for the 18-year-old, who started 13th and worked his way up to the third spot.
Ainsworth took the lead from the pole position at the start of the race followed by Gray, Stenhouse, Skinner, and outside front row starter Tom Winegardner Jr. of Pierson, FL in the Snap-On Tools J&J/WRP. Skinner passed Stenhouse for the third spot in turn two on lap three, and used the same move on Gray on the next lap to take over the second spot.
Skinner moved up to challenge Ainsworth for the lead and made a daring move on lap six to take the lead. Skinner was able to thread the needle down the front straightaway to drive under Ainsworth and just cleared the Five Points Plumbing Gambler/Swankye driven by Skip Andrews of Huntsville, AL that was to Skinner's inside.
R.J. Johnson of Wesley Chapel, FL stalled the Race Wear/Pin Rings J&J/CRE in turn three on lap 11 to bring out the first of four caution flags. Skinner led Ainsworth, Gray, Stenhouse and Sides down for the restart. Stenhouse drove under Gray in turn four on lap 12 to take over the third position.
The caution flag was unfurled on lap 14 when Mike McElya of Bartlett, TN stalled the Pyles Paving Maxim/Sykes in turn two. While Skinner checked out to a full straightaway lead after the restart, a pair of battles broke out behind him for position. Stenhouse went wheel-to-wheel with Ainsworth to challenge for second, while Sides went side-by-side with Gray for the fourth spot.
Stenhouse spun in turn two on lap 22 to loose his top five spot. Skinner lost his big lead, as Ainsworth, Gray, and Sides lined up behind him. Martin had also raced his way into the top five. Before the battles could heat up, a three-car spin in turn one on lap 23 slowed the field for the final time.
Those involved in the turn one tangle were Howard, Winegardner, and Greg Merritt of Horn Lake, MS in the Rose Integrated Services J&J/Howard. All three cars were able to continue.
When the yellow caution flag gave way to the green flag for the eight-lap dash to the checkered flag, Skinner once again left the field in his wake, but the battles for second through fourth continued with different dancing partners. Gray was cheek-to-cheek with Ainsworth for second, while Sides and Martin were bumping and grinding for the fourth spot.
Skinner waltzed home for the win, while Gray dipped his way by Ainsworth for second, and Martin twisted by Sides for fourth, only to stumble past the scales in the pit area after the race.
<pre> OFFICIAL RESULTS OF ROUND 12 AT NORTH ALABAMA SPEEDWAY IN TUSCUMBIA, AL ON 6/4/04:
POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN LAPS 1. 6 26 Marshall Skinner West Memphis, AR 30 2. 4 10 Terry Gray Bartlett, TN 30 3. 1 8 Ernie Ainsworth Bartlett, TN 30 4. 7 11j Paul Sides Memphis, TN 30 5. 8 18 Scott Bolden West Memphis, AR 30 6. 3 40m Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Olive Branch, MS 30 7. 12 1w Brice Wrenn Lexington, SC 30 8. 16 44 Ronnie Howard South Haven, MS 30 9. 10 20w Kenny Coke Olive Branch, MS 30 10. 13 00 Danny Martin Jr. Sarasota, FL 30 11. 2 11t Tom Winegardner Jr. Pierson, FL 29 12. 14 25 Ray Bugg Iuka, MS 29 13. 11 12w Tony Wilson Paris, TN 28 14. 15 12m Greg Merritt Horn Lake, MS 28 15. 19 4 Roland Johnson Wesley Chapel, FL 28 16. 18 5p Skip Andrews Huntsville, AL 27 17. 9 1 Scott Christian Valliant, OK 18 18. 5 58 Mike McElya Bartlett, TN 12 19. 17 71 R.J. Johnson (R) Wesley Chapel, FL 7
ENTRIES: 19 LEAD CHANGES: 1 LAP LEADERS: Ainsworth, 1-5; Skinner, 6-30 LAPS LED: Skinner, 25; Ainsworth, 5 HUGGINS CAMS HARD CHARGER: Howard (started 16th and finished 8th) WELD RACING HARD LUCK AWARD: Stenhouse CAUTIONS: 4
AIR FLOW RESEARCH POWER DASH (6 LAPS): 1. Skinner; 2. Stenhouse; 3. Gray; 4. Ainsworth; 5. Wrenn; 6. Martin.
1ST HEAT (8 Laps): 1. Skinner; 2. Stenhouse; 3. Sides; 4. Coke; 5. Martin; 6. Howard; 7. Ro. Johnson.
2ND HEAT (8 Laps): 1. McElya; 2. Winegardner; 3. Bolden; 4. Wilson; 5. Bugg; 6. R.J. Johnson (R).
3RD HEAT (8 Laps): 1. Gray; 2. Ainsworth; 3. Christian; 4. Wrenn; 5. Merrill; 6. Andrews.
USCS NATIONAL POINT STANDINGS THROUGH 6/4/04:
1 Terry Gray 1854 2 Danny Martin Jr. 1644 3 Kenny Adams 1556 4 R.J. Johnson (R) 1416 5 Brice Wrenn 1196 6 Tom Winegardner Jr. 1018 7 Bill Moore 898 8 Butch Pendergrass 894 9 Chad Allum 754 10 Red Stauffer 750 11 Brian Thomas 668 12 Jim Raptis 648 13 Ben Basinger 624 14 Jimmy Thomas 620 15 Doug Gold 580 16 Doug Berryman 566 17 Joe Rebman 558 18 Marshall Skinner 546 19 Curt Michael 542 20 Will Ragsdale 526
R - Denotes Rookie of the Year Candidate