SAS Gainsville, GA report

SERIES, SAS GAINESVILLE, GA - RIS - The Southern All Star Asphalt Series made its first ever appearance at Lanier National Speedway this weekend for the AllStar 125. The race had to be postponed to Sunday when rain washed out proceeding ...


GAINESVILLE, GA - RIS - The Southern All Star Asphalt Series made its first ever appearance at Lanier National Speedway this weekend for the AllStar 125. The race had to be postponed to Sunday when rain washed out proceeding Saturday evening just as qualifying time trials were wrapping up.

Lanier National Speedway is a superb facility with all the amenities found at larger tracks and is located right across the road from Road Atlanta. The 3/8 mile High-banked oval has been newly resurfaced and is a fast racing surface. Lee Hansard proved just how fast the Southern All Star Late Models can get around the track as he captured his first ever SUNOCO Race Fuels Fast Time Award with a clocking of 1`3.640 seconds for an average speed of 98.974 mph in his Chastain Engine Center/Pro Shocks Chevrolet.

Hansard, however, made one vital mistake; he rolled the invert dice to put Russell Bearden on the pole. Bearden, who led every lap at Huntsville in the last SAS race, decided that he would do it again to prove it was no fluke.

Taking the lead at the green flag, Bearden put his E&T Converters Chevrolet on the point and was never headed the rest of the way. Larry Speakman, who started outside the front row gave chase but was unable to challenge "Blazin'" Bearden.

Before the race was rained out Saturday, I talked with Bearden about the Huntsville win and his future on the series.

"That win was a long time coming, we have worked hard to get one and it finally happened," Bearden said. "I am not sure we are going to be able to make it through the entire season unless we find a sponsor, but we are going to make every one we can before the budget says stop."

Bearden has now led all 275 laps of racing in the last two events, and he has the lead in the season points chase.

Tim Fryar of Chattanooga, TN was not about to let Bearden go unchallenged and worked his way up from the fourth spot to run Bearden down and make a serious challenge for the front. The Fryar Trucking Chevrolet effort came to naught as the tires went away and he fell back to an eventual fifth place finish.

Late in the race Speakman made an attempt to run Bearden down, but by the time he was in a position to make a serious challenge, there were too few laps left and his tires were too worn. Speakman hung onto the second spot at the checkered flag, the best finish this year for the 1995 SAS Champion and his Bestway Services Chevrolet. Running in third at the finish was Ray Brooks of Gainesville, GA who was making his first ever appearance on the SAS touring series in his Dave Gordon Auto Chevrolet. Fourth went veteran Georgia driver Jody Ridley in the Rome Door/Shearwood Ford and Fryar finished fifth.

The sixth finishing position went to Johnny Henderson in his best career finish on the SAS trail, seventh was Randy Holt who battled with Ridley until the late stages of the race. eighth was local favorite Debris Brown, while another local driver making his SAS debut, Brain Smith, took the ninth spot. Rounding out the top ten was Chris Johnson who was the highest finishing Rookie in the race.

The next Southern All Stars Asphalt event will be this Saturday, April 26 at Birmingham, AL's Fairgrounds Speedway. The Neil Bonnett Memorial 100 is set to roll for 100 laps around the 5/8 mile semi-banked asphalt oval at 7:30 pm (CST).

Lanier National Speedway - RIS - Provisional results for the Southern All Stars Asphalt Series, AllStar 125 Ps. No. Driver , Car Laps -- ---- ----------------------------------------------------- ----- 1. 15 Russell Bearden E & T Converters CHEV 125 2. 8 Larry Speakman Bestway Services/NES CHEV 125 3. 19 Ray Brooks Dave Gordon Auto CHEV 125 4. 98 Jody Ridley Rome Door Co/Shearwood FORD 125 5. 61 Tim Fryar Fryar Trucking/Southern Racing CHEV 125 6. 26 Johnny Henderson Kendall Oil CHEV 125 7. 21h Randy Holt Ski Nautique/Valvoline/Gene EvansCHEV 125 8. 29 Debris Brown Hogan Lumber CHEV 125 9. 51 Brian Smith Masterpiece Paint and Body CHEV 125 10. 81j Chris Johnson Marty Robbins Roofing/Bat's Body CHEV 125 11. 41 Ronnie Sanders Kettle Construction CHEV 125 12. 15b Dewayne Buggay Buggay Motorsports CHEV 125 13. 5 Shannon Berry Honey Comb Campground CHRY 125 14. 71 Johnny Brazier Frogg Toggs/Moody Monday's FORD 124 15. 22 Michael Britt Catalina Carpentry CHEV 124 16.131 Curtis Gattis Turbo Blue/Gattis Racing (R) FORD 123 17. 43 Scott Sutherland Statewide Wrecker Serv/B&W BoatsCHEV 123 18. 39 Gary Sullivan GLS Enterprises/Jammer Chassis CHEV 122 19. 17w Brian Weeks National Uniform Serv/Kendall OilFORD 120 20. 5a Jerry Awbrey Statewide Car Audio/Quikcar CHEV 118 21. 83 Joey Clanton Pennzoil/Performance Coatings CHEV 100 22. 3 Chris Mullinax Serra Chevrolet CHEV 55 23. 88 Bobby Fain Cherokee Construction CHEV 48 24. 89 Lee Hansard Chastain Engine Ctr/Pro Shocks CHEV 45 25. 20 Kevin Gillun Bullseye Plumbing CHEV 21 26. 17s Roger Scott Panhead City Motorcycles CHEV 2 Track Length : 0.3750 Miles John Kaiser, Racing Information Systems

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Series Stock car
Drivers Joey Clanton , Brian Smith