Clevenger Slingshots to Sprint Win at Devil's Bowl Mesquite, TX (June 18) -- Matt Clevenger only led the Super Sprint feature about 100 feet Saturday night after an exciting last turn outside pass of Justin Spoerl. It was Matt's first feature...
Clevenger Slingshots to Sprint Win at Devil's Bowl
Mesquite, TX (June 18) -- Matt Clevenger only led the Super Sprint feature about 100 feet Saturday night after an exciting last turn outside pass of Justin Spoerl. It was Matt's first feature win of the season. Danny Zimmerman topped a close street stock main. Bobby Ruffin and Skip O'Neal captured the USA modified and late model features respectively.
Martin Edwards set the early pace for the super sprint feature taking off from the pole as the green flag flew. Behind him cars were charging two and three wide down the track. Charlie Brown got squeezed between Bill Waller and Matt Clevenger entering turn three on the second lap, sending Brown to the pits with a broken front end.
The race continued though with Edwards out front. Justin Spoerl took second from Jeff Shaddock on the fourth lap. On their seventh trip around the track, Spoerl charged hard into turn three and slid past Edwards to take the top spot.
Clevenger took the second position a lap later and started shadowing Spoerl. The track was fast in one line, but difficult in others. The leaders raced hard around the track just a few feet apart. Clevenger closed up a couple times, but could never pull off a slide to take the lead.
With the race winding down, it looked like Spoerl was in control as Clevenger slid through turn two and fell back three car lengths a couple laps from the finish. However, that did not deter the driver of the JTM Materials / JRJ Paving Nr. 31 as he made a final run on the last lap.
Flying around the top of the track through the final turns, Clevenger had the momentum coming out of turn four to pull even with Spoerl and edge ahead about a hundred feet from the finish line. The victory was Clevenger's first of the season at Devil's Bowl. Third a few car lengths behind the leaders was Larry Long in a solid run. Shaddock crossed the line fourth, but an unapproved right rear tire resulted in his disqualification after a great race. That moved Todd Evans up to fourth with Bill Waller being credited with fifth. Clevenger and Long won the heat races.
The caution flag flew early in the street stock feature with Johnny Philpott, Frank Shafer and Derek Eckles all going to the pits before the third lap was complete. The fastest mover early in the race was Danny Zimmerman, who wasted no time putting his Quality Intermodal Delivery Services / Masters Auto Body / Pro Muffler Nr. 11X into the lead.
Right along with him were Jason Trevathan and Trandel White setting up another close battle for the lead. There was close racing through the pack and on the ninth lap slight contact when Wally Beaty clipped Michael Clugston, Jr. quarter panel turned serious.
Beaty's car flipped and landed, upside down, on top of Andy Jones' car which was sliding to a stop. As Beaty's Nr. 75 continued to roll over onto it's wheels, a fire flared in the engine compartment. Clugston was out of his car quickly with his fire extinguisher to douse the flames while Beaty also made a quick exit. No one was injured, with Beaty's car suffering the most damage.
When the race resumed, Zimmerman was able to put a couple car lengths between himself and the battle for second - on his way to his third feature win this year. Trevathan and White were second and third. Mark Ross and Arin Lawrence were fourth and fifth in the final standings after Hollywood Gorbin did not go to the scales after the race. White, Trevathan and Zimmerman won the street stock heat races.
One of the biggest questions about the USA modifieds in recent weeks is which car will Bobby Ruffin be driving. After two weeks behind the wheel of the Nr. 7, Ruffin was back in his Smiley's Racing/ Hoosier Tire Southwest Nr. 121 this week.
When the green flag dropped Ruffin was flying around the outside after starting 12th. A first lap caution sent Johnny Dunn, Jr. to the pits. Nothing however slowed Ruffin to claimed the top spot on the fourth lap.
Ruffin maintained a slight lead over Billy Suggs for much of the race. with Jeff Welborn close behind until the mid-race point. Richard Miller and Clyde Dunn, Jr. moved into third and fourth on the ninth lap.
Ruffin was fast and smooth all the way to the checkered flag. Suggs was second at the line with Miller and Dunn in a great side by side battle for finish third and fourth. Bryan Sugg rounded out the top five. Miller, Dunn and Colby Smith won the heat races and Miller topped the trophy dash.
After last week's carnage, the late model feature this week was relatively tame - just good hard racing with an exciting finish. T.Ray Burkett claimed the lead from the pole after the green flag flew. Woody Weaver was right behind him, with Darren Ellis taking the third position on the second lap. On the fourth circuit, Ellis took second place and Skip O'Neal climbed into the top five.
Ellis made the pass for the lead on the sixth trip around the Devil's Bowl track. Behind him O'Neal took the third spot on the eighth lap, and second on the tenth circuit.
Making a great run was Ray Moore on his first visit to Devil's Bowl this season. After starting 16th, Moore was challenging Burkett for the third position on the 11th lap when they made contact in turn two. That sent Moore into the back straight wall.
When the crash was cleaned up, Ellis got a good jump on the restart, and O'Neal maintained his second place position. They raced close together which let O'Neal get a run coming out of turn two on the 13th lap and take the lead before the cars entered turn three.
O'Neal took the victory in the Urban Fire Protection/ Wes Lockridge and Associates Nr. 8 with Ellis a close second. Tristan Dycus claimed third, driving the Nr. 84X late model of Tom Lorenz, with Burkett fourth and Britt Ables rounding out the top five. Ellis and Woody Weaver won the heat races.