GREENVILLE, SC (July 21, 2001)- Former track champion Pete Silva moved one step closer to joining an elite group of multi-titled track champions on Saturday at Greenville Pickens Speedway. The 53 year old veteran driver started on the second row...
GREENVILLE, SC (July 21, 2001)- Former track champion Pete Silva moved one step closer to joining an elite group of multi-titled track champions on Saturday at Greenville Pickens Speedway. The 53 year old veteran driver started on the second row of the 35 lap Late Model feature event, and spent the first half of the race trying to get around polesitter David Roberts of Simpsonville. A determined Roberts managed to hold off the Silva charge on laps 15 and 16, but Silva was not to be denied as he powered his Chevrolet around Roberts between turns one and two on lap 17. Marietta's Marty Ward followed Silva to the front, but never offered a serious challenge to Silva in the final circuits.
Ward settled for second, with polesitter Roberts, who led the first 16 laps, falling to third. Liberty's Kenneth Headen rebounded from several bad outings to place fourth, with Irmo's R.A. Brown rounding out the top five.
"If I wouldn't have gotten by him then I might have been in trouble," Silva said concerning the lap 17 pass of Roberts after the race. "He was covering his bases pretty good and was really running strong down the straight-aways and I think he got to watching me a little bit too much. When he gets a little more experience running in the front he'll be really tough to beat," said Silva.
"Pete's an old, savvy driver," Roberts said after the race. "I knew I had to stay on the bottom to try and keep him at bay and it's hard to do that because he had a fast car tonight."
The win was Silva's third of the season, and pushed his points lead over six time track champion Donnie Bishop to 62 in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series. Bishop, who's problems of the past several week's continued, had been leading the points until Silva's team protested the engine height and weight of Bishop's car on a crucial double points night on July 7, vaulting Silva to the points lead.
"I know Donnie's going to comeback and this will be a hell-bent full of a deal for the next five or six races but maybe this will ease it for us and give us some momentum going after him," Silva said in victory lane.
In the 15 lap Super Stock race, Greenville's Robby Robbins pushed his win total into double digits by recording his tenth win of the season. Ken Guthrie challenged in the closing circuits but fell just short and settled for second. Greg Dodgens of Easley placed third, with Jason McDowell coming home in fourth. Easley's Michael Cain moved from back of the pack to round out the top five.
Easley's Greg Jarrett survived a crash filled 15 lap B.F. Goodrich Street Stock race to record his first win of the 2001 season. Jarrett coasted to victory as six racers where forced out of the race. Easley's Billy Lusk was second, with Stanley Pressley taking third. Bubba Horton, who recently moved up from the Charger ranks, placed fourth, with Greenville's Tim Sams coming home in fifth.
In the Charger events, Jimmy Mann, Jr. was declared the winner of the first Charger race after apparent winner Ryan Dombrosky did not pass post race technical inspection. Early race leader Bryan Davis placed second, and points leader Ted Somero of Greer was third. In the second race, Shane Gentry of Greenville held off James Johnson and Joel Cox to record his first season win.