NLMS: Valdosta Hangover Preview

HANGOVER HOLDOVER IS OVER Valdosta, Ga. - The wait is over! This coming Saturday night, January 16, it will be 100 laps of fender banging, tire rubbing and door to door racing action as the National Late Model Sportsman Series returns to...


Valdosta, Ga. - The wait is over! This coming Saturday night, January 16, it will be 100 laps of fender banging, tire rubbing and door to door racing action as the National Late Model Sportsman Series returns to Thunderbowl Speedway to complete the rain delayed Hangover 100. The Late Models of the Southern Dirt Tour have been been cooped up since the Thanksgiving weekend and now they will be set loose for 100 green flag laps of racing excitement with $5,000 going to the driver who has the skill, the nerve and the luck to finish in first place. "THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN!"

Before the rains came and delayed the running of the Hangover 100, 1995 NLMS Series Champion Skip Pannell, of Albany, Ga. in the Southway Industrial Services Chevrolet set fast time in qualifying and won his heat race to earn the pole for the coming event. Pannell will need all his experience from NASCAR All-PRO and the Hav-A-Tampa wars to hold off the charge of outside pole sitter and 1997 Series Champion Gene Maine of nearby Quitman, Ga.. Maine and the JS&D Trucking Chevrolet have visited Victory Lane at Thunderbowl many times, the most recent being in the Turkey Shootout last November. If either of these experienced driver falter at any time two young lions of the tour, Wesley Hood from Cowpens, SC, and Tracy Mimbs of Dublin, Ga. make up the second row of the 16 cars that have already been locked into the field for this Saturday's race.

With 20 cars within one second of the fast time in qualifying, the race promises to be an exciting event, especially when drivers like 1996 Series Champion Ivedent Lloyd of Ocala, Fl. is starting outside row 5 and current points leader David Browning from Jacksonville, Fl. will start in 15th position after having problems with the setup on this tricky half- mile oval. The final starting position in the top 16 went to Steve Jones of Milan, Ga. who made a super last corner pass of veteran Wayne Shugart in the final heat race to lock himself into the field.

While there are 16 drivers who are sitting pretty with starting positions already guaranteed, there are 24 more who have yet to make the highly competitive field including 1998 and defending Series Champion Cecil Eunice of Blackshear, Ga. who tagged the turn one wall in an incident with Chris Newsome in practice and now has had the chance to make repairs and try and make the field through the Consolation Races. 1998 Thunderbowl Track Champion Randy Ellenberg is another top-notch driver who will be forced to make the field through the Consi's as will 1998 Showdown in the Swamp winner Michael Lloyd of Jacksonville, Fl.. Lark Haskins of Macon, Ga. in the Israel Farm Supply Ford had a top five qualifying run, but a slight bobble in his heat race means that he will have to also run the Consolation Race to grab a spot in the Hangover 100.

With only 8 starting positions up for grabs from the two Consolation Races, the action will be hot and heavy when these events lead of the program. Other top drivers forced to run the Consi's are Gene Ross of Lake Park, Ga. who has set fast time and won a number of Southern Dirt Tour events, Billy Godowns Jr. of Louisville, Ga. who missed the first attempt to run the race due to family business and leading Rookie of the Year contender Anthony Meadows of Lanett, Ala..

The gates at Thunderbowl Speedway will open at 2:00 PM Saturday afternoon with practice getting underway at 5:00PM and racing beginning at 6:00PM. There will also be action in Hobby Stock where David Hodges Jr., Track Champion at Cordele Speedway as well as Thunderbowl has the pole for the feature event. There will also be feature races for the Pure Stock and Mini Stock cars as a full evening of thunderous entertainment is in store at Thunderbowl Speedway Saturday Night, January 16.


Skip Pannell            Gene Maine
Wesley Hood             Tracy Mimbs
Johnny Collins          Mike Carter
Henry Carter            Lee Jackson
Robbie Metts            Chuck Chitty
Everett Phillips        Ivedent Lloyd
Lee Newsome             Charles Sealy
David Browning          Steve Jones

Consi # 1(4 transfer) Consi #2 (4 Transfer)

Lineup Lineup

Terry Lumley    Michael Lloyd   Randy Ellenberg Wayne Shugart
Bobby Padgett   Anthony Meadows Carl Black      Vel Lowdenslager
Lark Haskins    Jeff Gordon     Dusty Cone      Jason Hylton
Tony Bullard    Earl Boyett     Gene Ross       Allan Barrett
Toby Justice    Mark Davis      Cecil Eunice    Steve Lashley
Chris Newsome   Wayne Bradley   Kit Chappell    Billy Godowns Jr.

John Kiaser, NLMS

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Series Stock car
Drivers Jeff Gordon , David Brown , Lee Jackson , Steve J