Southern winners 97-10-06

DirtNews Digest Your Online News Source for Late Model Dirt Track Racing "Get Some Dirt On Your Computer!" Todd Turner, editor Email address: DirtNews@aol.com Web site: ...

DirtNews Digest Your Online News Source for Late Model Dirt Track Racing "Get Some Dirt On Your Computer!" Todd Turner, editor

Email address: DirtNews@aol.com Web site: http://members.aol.com/dirtnews/digest =================================== CONTENTS: Oct. 3-5 results (published Oct. 6) MISSISSIPPI: Virden holds off Frye, wins Magnolia 100 GEORGIA: Arp rallies from back of pack to win at Rome ARKANSAS: Alan Vaughn gets MLRA win in Fayetteville TENNESSEE: Ronnie Johnson captures Volunteer 100 CAPSULES: Other weekend races in the South =================================== UNSANCTIONED Magnolia State 100

By Tim Lee

JACKSON, Miss. (Friday and Saturday) Johnny Virden claimed the largest purse of his racing career with his victory in Saturday night's Magnolia State 100 at Jackson Motor Speedway. The Russellville, Ark., driver won $12,500 for the flag-to-flag victory over his GRT teammate, Bill Frye of Greenbrier, Ark.

Virden and Frye were followed to the checkers by three-time Mississippi State Late Model champion Mike Boland, Robbie Starnes, and Scott Bloomquist.

"We changed panhard bars today," Virden said in victory lane. "I ran a different one last night than Bill did and I told him that I was struggling right in the middle of the corner. He said he was good right in the middle so I said, 'I'm going to try your panhard bar!' And it helped."

At the drop of the green flag, Virden, who started from outside the front row raced polesitter Billy Moyer into the first turn then grabbed the advantage as the pair drag-raced down the back straightaway. Behind Virden and Moyer, second-row starters Bloomquist and Frye battled side-by-side through the first lap, making a sandwich out of Moyer as they dove into the first turn of lap two and bypassing the No. 21.

Bloomquist and Frye raced door-to-door through the second lap before Frye used the topside to claim the second-place spot going into Turn 1 on lap 3.

On lap 8, Ronnie Poche moved underneath Moyer in Turn 1 to take over the fourth position behind Bloomquist. Five laps later, Poche used the same move to take over Bloomquist's spot. Moyer took advantage of Bloomquist's momentary slippage from the bottom groove to follow suit coming out of Turn 2. Boland stuck his nose under Bloomquist's ill-handling mount in Turn 3 and moved up into the top-five coming out of four while Starnes followed into sixth.

The first yellow flag of the race came on lap 45 when Moyer slowed to the top of the track in Turn 4 with mechanical problems. During the caution period, third-running Poche brought his car to a stop with a broken magneto, allowing Boland, Starnes, and Bloomquist to move up to third, fourth and fifth.

After the 50-lap fuel break, the race was slowed by only a pair of cautions as Virden continued to hold off the determined charge of Frye, who in turn had his hands full with Boland's repeated attempts on the runner-up position.

On lap 69, David Gibson and Scott Slay tangled in Turn 2 to bring out a brief caution, while a Larry Ritter-Jim Watson spin slowed the action on lap 87.

As the laps wound down, Frye did his best to take over the lead from his teammate but came up short and chased Virden to the checkers, finishing second ahead of Boland, Starnes, and Bloomquist. Donnie Barnhart, who started 16th, muscled his way up to a sixth-place finish while Mississippi veteran Eddie Rickman was seventh. Louisiana's Ronny Adams and Kenny Merchant took eighth and ninth, and long-hauler Al Atkinson of Wisconsin completed the top 10.

CAR COUNT: 61 late models.

FAST QUALIFIER: Billy Moyer 16.26 seconds (quarter-mile oval).

HEAT WINNERS: Billy Moyer, Johnny Virden, Scott Bloomquist, Bill Frye, Ronnie Poche, Larry Ritter.

FEATURE (100 laps): (1) Johnny Virden, (2) Bill Frye, (3) Mike Boland, (4) Robbie Starnes, (5) Scott Bloomquist, (6) Donnie Barnhart, (7) Eddie Rickman, (8) Ronny Adams, (9) Kenny Merchant, (10) Al Atkinson, (11) Howard Willis, (12) Johnny Stokes, (13) Scott Slay, (14) John L. Cliett, (15) David Gibson, (16) Jimmy Watson, (17) Larry Ritter, (18) George Paul, (19) Dennis Duncan, (20) Ronnie Poche, (21) Billy Moyer, (22) Mark Mears.

NOTES: Larry Ritter and Dennis Duncan set the tone for the one-two teammate finishes on Friday night when the local aces took the top-two positions in the sixth heat races in their identical Majestic Metals-sponsored GRTs .... Wisconsin driver Jimmy "Wild Man" Watson, who debuted in a Rayburn chassis as teammate to Al Atkinson this weekend, put on the drive of the weekend in the first of Saturday's two consolations. Watson started 12th and rode the quickly-disappearing berm around all contenders to take the win over Mark Mears, who nipped local driver Buzz Miles at the checkers to make the field .... The race was Scott Bloomquist's first at the central Mississippi oval .... Don Cliburn of Star, Miss., attempted to make the field despite a recent bout with pneumonia that landed the patriarch of the Cliburn racing team in the hospital .... Johnny Virden's win broke Billy Moyer's streak of three consecutive victories in the nine-year history of the event .... Moyer has five wins overall in the Magnolia 100 while Wendell Wallace, Rex Richey, and Ronnie Johnson all have one apiece.

CREDIT: Tim Lee <leemedia@watervalley.net> of Late Model America. ------------------------------------------------------------- UNSANCTIONED Quickdraw 100

ROME, Ga. (Friday and Saturday) Skip Arp, forced to the pits with a flat tire after leading the first seven laps, rallied from the tail to win $10,000 and the inaugural Quickdraw 100 title at Rome Speedway. Arp thundered back to the front and took the lead from Marshall Green on the 80th lap for a late-season victory in north Georgia.

Green finished second ahead of Jeff Smith, Mark Miner and Wade Knowles. Dale McDowell, Jody Summerville, John Jones, Stan Massey and Jody Coltrane finished sixth through 10th.

"It takes a track like this to pull off a win like we had tonight," Arp said. "We raced hard and could use the car good anywhere we wanted to run. I couldn't let the flat get us down .... We didn't give up. We felt like we were still in the race if we stayed on the lead lap."

Green took over the lead when Arp pitted early, but after the halfway point Arp was pulling back into contention. Arp broke back into the top five on the 60th lap, and began challenging Green for the lead by lap 65.

On at least three occasions the leaders made contact as Arp tried to squeeze between Green and the wall when they flashed underneath the flagstand. Finally, on the 80th lap, Arp made the move work and went on to weave his way through traffic to the checkered flag.

CAR COUNT: 34 late models.

FAST QUALIFIER: Wendell Wallace, 13.48 seconds (133.531 mph).

FEATURE (100 laps): (1) Skip Arp, (2) Marshall Green, (3) Jeff Smith, (4) Mark Miner, (5) Wade Knowles, (6) Dale McDowell, (7) Jody Summerville, (8) John Jones, (9) Stan Massey, (10) Jody Coltrane, (11) Granger Howell, (12) Buster Goss, (13) Vernon Smith, (14) Jimmy Sharpe, (15) Tim Day, (16) Wendell Wallace, (17) K.C. Carpenter, (18) Ricky Williams, (19) Gar Dickson, (20) Gary McPherson, (21) Greg Knight, (22) Jack Pennington, (23) Clint Smith, (24) Rodney Martin.

NOTES: Clint Smith was eliminated when he slammed into the backstretch wall as he and Jack Pennington broke loose exiting Turn 2 on the 22nd lap .... Wendell Wallace brought out a caution when his car overheated, nearly causing him to spin in fluids emitted from his engine .... Wallace had broken the track record Friday night with a 13.48-second lap on the half-mile oval, better than 133 mph .... a total of 12 drivers broke the old record of 14.10 seconds.

CREDIT: Ozzie Altman <victory.lane@mcione.com>. ------------------------------------------------------------- MIDWEST LATEMODEL RACING ASSOCIATION (MLRA) Thunder Valley Fall Classic

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Friday and Saturday) Alan Vaughn of Belton, Mo., passed Al Purkey on the 26th lap then held off Terry Phillips to win the sixth annual Fall Classic at Thunder Valley Speedway. The victory, worth $5,000, marked Vaughn's biggest career payday and gave him his third MLRA victory of the year.

Jeff Floyd finished second in a photo finish ahead of Phillips, who lost a cylinder during the feature, while Mike Bowers and Purkey rounded out the top five finishers. Leslie Essary, Scott Drake, Jack Simmons, David Turner and Brandon Ball finished sixth through 10th at the 3/8-mile oval in northwestern Arkansas.

Essary's sixth-place finish was good enough to clinch the 1997 MLRA Championship with one event remaining on the series schedule. It's Essary's second series championship.

CAR COUNT: 37 late models.

FAST QUALIFIER: Steve Hennies, 15.753 seconds (3/8-mile oval).

FIRST HEAT (12 laps): Alan Vaughn, Steve Hennies, Jack Simmons, Steve Johnson, Gary Gorby, Robert Dunn, Kenny Shelton, Brandon Ball, Billy Hunter Jr.

SECOND HEAT: Al Purkey, Terry Phillips, Randy Floyd, Joe Conway, Mike Brown, John Kirby, Rick Lebow, Terry Muskrat, Tim Witcher.

THIRD HEAT: Leslie Essary, David Turner, Ken Essary, Rob Hough, Al Adams, Rob Lewis, Dewaine Hottinger (Brian Holliway and Jim Vanzant scratched).

FOURTH HEAT: Jeff Floyd, Scott Drake, Mike Bowers, Jason Snodgrass, Dale Harris, Bill Street, Aubrey Swan, Justin Wells (Matthew Hayes scratched).

FIRST CONSOLATION: Gary Gorby, Brandon Ball, Rob Lewis, Robert Dunn, Dewaine Hottinger, Justin Wells, Tim Witcher, Kenny Shelton, Al Adams (Jim Vanzant scratched).

SECOND CONSOLATION: Dale Harris, Mike Brown, Terry Muskrat, Aubrey Swan, John Kirby, Bill Street, Rick Lebow, Eddie Martin (Brian Holliway, Billy Hunter Jr. and Matthew Hayes scratched).

FEATURE (50 laps) 1. Alan Vaughn, Belton, Mo., $7,500 2. Jeff Floyd, Walnut Ridge, Ark. 3. Terry Phillips, Springfield, Mo. 4. Mike Bowers, North Little Rock, Ark. 5. Al Purkey, Coffeyville, Kan. 6. Leslie Essary, Crane, Mo. 7. Scott Drake, Joplin, Mo. 8. Jack Simmons, Erie, Kan. 9. David Turner, Creighton, Mo. 10. Brandon Ball, West Plains, Mo. 11. Ken Essary, Galena, Mo. 12. Randy Floyd, Walnut Ridge, Ark. 13. Gary Gorby, Caney, Kan. 14. Dale Harris, Decatur, Ark. 15. Jason Snodgrass, Mountain Home, Ark. 16. Steve Hennies, Donnellson, Iowa 17. Steve Johnson, Joplin, Mo. 18. Kenny Shelton Jr., Galena, Kan. 19. Joe Conway, Lawton, Okla. 20. Terry Muskrat, Stillwell, Okla. 21. Rob Hough, South Coffeyville, Okla. 22. Mike Brown, Fort Gibson, Okla.

NOTES: Leslie Essary debuted a brand new C.J. Rayburn race car, while Rick Lebow drove his old car .... Kenny Shelton Jr. clinched the MLRA Rookie of the Year title .... no driver has repeated a Fall Classic title with Vaughn adding his name to a victor's list of Bill Frye (1992), Wendell Wallace (1993), Bob Pierce (1994), Robbie Starnes (1995) and Terry Phillips (1996).

MLRA POINTS (after 19 of 20 races): Leslie Essary 1,422, Alan Vaughn 1,302, Al Purkey 1,284, David Turner 1,137, Terry Muskrat 1,087, Terry Phillips 1,076, Kenny Shelton Jr. 936, Robert Dunn 860, Dale Harris 860, Jack Simmons 747.

NEXT MLRA RACE: Oct. 9-11, Muskogee (Okla.) Speedway, "Octoberfest," $10,000 to win.

CREDIT: Larry Olson <lwolson@mtnhome.com> of MLRA. ------------------------------------------------------------- UNSANCTIONED Volunteer 100

BULLS GAP, Tenn. (Friday and Saturday) Ronnie Johnson, making sure he wasn't denied a big-purse victory at one of his favorite tracks, held on 100 laps for a flag-to-flag victory in the season-ending Volunteer 100 at the high-banked Volunteer Speedway.

Johnson pocketed $10,000 for the victory over Rex Richey, Freddy Smith, Steve Smith (who started 20th) and Dave Burks. Randle Chupp, H.E. Vineyard, Vic Hill, Roger Best and David Gentry finished sixth through 10th at the eastern Tennessee speedplant.

"I have always loved to race here at Bulls Gaps," Johnson said. "I thought I was going to win the (STARS) race here back in July, but lapped cars got me messed up near the end, letting (Scott) Bloomquist get around me. Tonight I had to be aggressive on lapped traffic. I knew (Rex) and (Freddy) were right on me."

CAR COUNT: 43 late models.

FAST QUALIFIER: Billy Ogle Jr., 13.16 seconds (4/10-mile oval).

HEAT WINNERS: Ronnie Johnson, Freddy Smith, Rex Richey, Herman Goddard.

FEATURE 1. Ronnie Johnson (5), Chattanooga, Tenn., $10,000 2. Rex Richey (23) Ringgold, Ga., $6,000 3. Freddy Smith (00), Knoxville, Tenn., $3,000 4. Steve Smith (201), Powell, Tenn., $2,500 5. Dave Burks (B1), Abingdon, Va., $2,000 6. Randle Chupp (114), Knoxville, Tenn., $1,800 7. H.E. Vineyard (24), Powell, Tenn., $1,600 8. Vic Hill (1), Knoxville, Tenn., $1,400 9. Roger Best (84), Maryville, Tenn., $1,200 10. David Gentry (56), Shelbyville, Tenn., $1,100 11. Rick Norris (25), Kingsport, Tenn., $900 12. Jeff Treece (6), Knoxville, Tenn., $700 13. Bill Reed (28), Knoxville, Tenn., $700 14. Patrick Duggan (15), Lenoir City, Tenn., $700 15. Kerry Jones (6), Bristol, Tenn., $700 16. Scott Sexton (52), Pigeon Forge, Tenn., $700 17. Herman Goddard (22), Knoxville, Tenn., $700 18. Clayton Christenberry (cv3), Knoxville, Tenn., $700 19. Billy Ogle Jr. (201), Knoxville, Tenn., $700 20. John A. Utsman (26), Bluff City, Tenn., $700 21. Tommy Kerr (4T), Rockford, Tenn., $700 22. David Crabtree (5c), Maryville, Tenn., $700 23. Tommy Devaney (20), Oliver Springs, Tenn., $700 24. Charles Hurst (1), Knoxville, Tenn., $700

NOTES: Driver Harold Simpson suffered a severely broken leg when debris from his car came through the floorboard when he crashed hard into the outside frontstretch wall in the consolation after contact with Steve Smith. Simpson was taken to the University of Tennessee hospital in Knoxville .... Rex Richey drove the Calvin Cheek-owned No. 23 Warrior chassis, replacing Rodney Combs .... at the 50-lap fuel stop, 13 cars were on the lead lap .... Patrick Duggan's night ended when his right-rear wheel broke off with 16 laps left, sending him hard into the wall .... Dave Burks and Randle Chupp finished fifth and sixth despite spinning while battling for position on lap 38 .... Volunteer plans to open next March with a big-purse two-day event.

CREDIT: Robert Walden of Volunteer Speedway. ------------------------------------------------------------- SATURDAY'S SOUTHERN RACE CAPSULES

RANDY SELLARS DIPS INTO TENNESSEE FOR $3,000: Randy Sellars of Mayfield, Ky., working the low groove at Clarksville (Tenn.) Speedway, started 11th and came to the front to take the lead from outside polesitter Gary Frost and win the third and final of three UMP-sanctioned features for a $3,000 payday. The first two features pitted the odd-numbered qualifiers (Bryan Dunaway won) against each other and the second feature pitted the even-numbered qualifiers (Gary Frost won) against each other. Dunaway and Frost started on the front row of the third feature. FIRST FEATURE: (1) Bryan Dunaway, (2) Chuck Proctor, (3) Tony Albright, (4) Jimmy Nowlin, (5) Terry English. SECOND FEATURE: (1) Gary Frost, (2) Shawn Toczek, (3) Billy Drake, (4) Ed Dixon, (5) Eddie Pace. THIRD FEATURE ($3,000 to win): (1) Randy Sellars, (2) Gary Frost, (3) Chuck Proctor, (4) Tony Albright, (5) Ed Dixon, (6) Billy Drake, (7) Jimmy Nowlin, (8) Terry English, (9) Eddie Pace, (10) Todd Rust.

MILLIANS WINS TENNESSEE FALL CLASSIC: David Millians of Rossville, Ga., driving a brand new GRT race car, won his second race of the year at Cleveland (Tenn.) Speedway when he captured the 75-lap Tennessee Fall Classic. "We put this deal together this week, with GVS Racing, with help of Dale (McDowell) and a bunch of other friends. And I'm just glad we could come here and run so well," Millians said. Paul Tims pressured Millians but settled for second place. There were 29 cars on hand at the 1/3-mile oval in eastern Tennessee. FEATURE (75 laps): (1) David Millians, (2) Paul Tims, (3) Greg Skinner, (4) Rodney Dickson, (5) Jake Lowry, (6) Dewayne Smith, (7) Jamie Perry, (8) Dewayne Wilson, (9) Tim Daniels, (10) Tim Roszell, (11) Phillip Davis, (12) Kevin Gibson, (13) Andy Dill, (14) Shawn Chastain, (15) Johnny Chastain, (16) Lamar Scoggins, (17) Craig Reece, (18) Kenny LeCroy, (19) Eddie Benefield, (20) Spencer Singleton, (21) Mike Tinker, (22) David Payne, (23) David Killian, (24) Jackie Knighten. ------------------------------------------------------------- SUNDAY'S SOUTHERN RACE CAPSULE

BREWER WINS ALABAMA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP: Glenn Brewer of Columbus, Ga., a regular on the ARCA circuit in the 1990s, captured the Alabama State Championship at East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City. Brewer's 50-lap victory was worth $3,000 as he defeated defending race champion and polesitter Bobby Thomas of Seale, Ala. "I haven't won a race of any kind since I quit racing here in 1989,'' said Brewer, who returned to his dirt roots for a few races last year and started running at EAMS halfway through this year's season. "I was afraid I'd forgotten how to win." Brewer, the brother of Winston Cup crew chief Tim Brewer, passed a post-race engine inspection requested by Thomas, who was the fast qualifier among 41 entrants. FEATURE (50 laps): (1) Glenn Brewer, (2) Bobby Thomas, (3) Jimmy Sharpe, (4) Terrance Nowell, (5) Kevin Tallant, (6) Joe Armistead Sr., (7) James Klien, (8) Kip Cochran, (9) Joe Armistead Jr., (10) Dewayne Johnson, (11) Dana Eiland, (12) Tim Busha, (13) Keith Edge, (14) Mike Head, (15) Mike Nasworthy, (16) Chris Madden, (17) Frank Ingram, (18) Randy Little, (19) Greg Brown, (20) Mickey Rose, (21) Bo Shirley, (22) Frank Williams, (23) Chris Ausburn, (24) Randall Jordan. ------------------------------------------------------------- CAPSULE CREDITS: Steve Hixson <BILLHIXSON@classic.msn.com> of Cleveland (Tenn.) Speedway and Laura Kruezer <LKRZ@aol.com> in Phenix City, Ala. -------------------------------------------------------------

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Series Stock car
Drivers Steve Smith , Scott Bloomquist , Bill Frye , Freddy Smith , Tim Brewer , Mike Brown , Frank Williams , Steve Johnson , Eddie M , Jeff Smith
Teams Williams