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Author Topic:   Frye Takes Mississippi Winter Classic Victory
jammin
Dirt Administrator

Total posts: 5556
posted February 05, 2002 03:32 PM UIN: 16262997
Frye Takes Mississippi Winter Classic Victory

Columbus, Mississippi-The 2002 season got started the way it ended at
Columbus Speedway with a jam packed pit area with 171 competitors ready to
do battle and a good crowd on hand braving the cool and breezy February
Saturday afternoon conditions. Drivers from nine states were on hand to take
on the popular Columbus Speedway high banks masterminded by track operator
Johnny Stokes.

The main event of the day was the 2nd Annual Mississippi Winter Championship
for the Super Late Models presented by Jay Dickens Racing Engines of
Aberdeen, Mississippi. The 45-lap event was won by Greenbriar, Arkansas
driver Bill Frye in his Kuntz built Ford Spec powered GRT Mustang sponsored
by Petroff Towing and UniFirst Uniforms riding on Hoosier tires. Frye went
flag to flag in taking the win in the event that would be slowed by only one
caution that came on lap ten. Frye would be constantly pressured by Oxford,
Alabama driver James Cline after Cline set fast time of the 58 entries by
nearly breaking the track record with an elapsed time of 13.62 on the 3/10's
mile clay oval. Cline and the top four cars would pressure Frye throughout
the duration of the event as the leaders ran in nose to tail fashion on the
wind and sun baked rubbered over surface, but passing was at a premium and
Frye guarded the low line successfully.

Frye claimed the $5,000 top prize followed by Cline driving the #07 Joe
Minga owned GRT with young upstart driver Keith Hayes of Morris, Alabama in
third. The top five was rounded out by first time visitor Jody Summerville
of Rome, Georgia coming off a big win at the 2002 ICE BOWL and Cuba,
Alabama's Mike Boland came in fifth after running third for the majority of
the event only to slip to fifth in the final laps of the event. The
remainder of the top ten was Kosciusko's Anthony Rushing, Pontotoc's Steve
Russell, Columbus driver Rick Rickman, Georgia's Mike Head, and Ruston,
Louisiana's Kenny Merchant completing the top ten.

Official Super Late Model finish:

1-Bill Frye 2-James Cline 3-Keith Hayes 4-Jody Summerville 5-Mike Boland
6-Anthony Rushing 7-Steve Russell 8-Rick Rickman 9-Mike Head 10-Kenny
Merchant 11-Danny Christian 12-Jason McMahan 13-Scott Dedwylder 14-Keith
Craft 15-Eddie Rickman 16-Chris Ragan 17-Terrance Nowell 18-Mark Stokes
19-Cliff Williams 20-Dennis Duncan 21-Scott Shepherd 22-Mark Mears 23-Mark
Banal 24-Scott Flurry

The Mississippi Modified main event saw a strong field of 22 cars entered
with an outside invader taking a win for the third straight time as Benton,
Arkansas driver Jimmy Dixon held off a furious charge from Pickensville Top
Gun Jason Hollis, but a smoking Dixon would hold Hollis off at the line in
the competitive event. Brian Hollis would show plenty of speed trying
variable lines around the speedway and cross the stripe third. Columbus'
Brian Rickman would come home fourth and Bill Sudduth of Steen's ran a
strong fifth as Sudduth moves back up to the Modified ranks in 2002 after
racing in the Pro Street division. The Modified division is expected to see
solid growth in the 2002 season as many drivers have moved up to compete in
the popular division.

The Pro Street class has undergone a few cost reducing rule changes for 2002
but the action is still fast furious with a fist time visitor to Columbus
Speedway Victory Lane. Chris McElhenney of Decatur, Mississippi took his Pro
Street Truck and showed the dominance many have seen previously as the Queen
City regular took the checkers. Millport driver Jeremy Shaw represented the
home track well with a second place showing and Columbus' Bobby Nickoles
rounded out the podium. Enterprise driver John Chaney was fourth and
Greenwood Springs driver Donnie Isbell completed the top five of the 15
drivers registered to compete.

The Street Stock division continues to be a crowd pleaser and the "Wanted
Man" Lee Ray of Columbus continued his domination of the class as he charged
from fourth starting position to top the 22-car field. Ray also plans to
field a Mississippi Modified as well in 2002 and will be tested as he climbs
the ladder of competition at Columbus Speedway. Joe Culp made the haul from
Darden, Tennessee to take a respectable second with Columbus' Harold Trimm
taking the bronze medal. Sulligent's Levon Frost was fourth with West
Point's Danny Gable continuing his consistent runs with another top five
finish.

The Mini Stock class is another growth class at Columbus Speedway for 2002
as interest continues to peak with a competitive and full field of twenty
four 4-cylinder race cars entered vying for the Winter Classic Championship
trophy and cash awards. The race would see Corinth's Shane Parker "chase the
rabbit" all evening long until the white flag flew and he slowed down and
finished fourth. Post race inspection would see Parker found illegal and
nullifying his efforts for the evening. Vernon's Buddy Glover would take
another win in his Ford Mustang with Berry, Alabama's Joseph Patilla
finishing second and Ralph's Robert Sander coming home third making for an
all Alabama top three. Amory's Tim Ritter would pick up a last minute ride
in the D1 car and bring it home fourth with West Point's Brad Gable rounding
out the top five.

The wild and crazy Cruiser class lived up to its name with its typical 10
lap no-holds-barred main event that saw no less than 30 Two-person Cruiser
teams take to the high banks. The Cruisers known for flag to flag
pandemonium, stood and delivered and when the dust and smoke cleared the
team of Louisville' Josh Edwards and Brady Sanders took the big win and
celebrated with a Polish Victory lap. Meridian teammates Steven Griffith and
Ray Parker fought for a second place finish with Columbus' Bob Atkins and
Travis Phillips in third. Meridian's Whitney Bounds and Kyle Rutledge were
fourth with Columbus' Thad and Jep Cole surviving the war to finish fifth.

The Pro-4 victory went to Carollton's James Blakney as the 2001 Track
Champion started the 2002 season off with a win. Wyman Blakney was second
with Joe Sudduth finishing third. Steve Lowe and Jimmy Beachler rounded out
the top five.

The 2002 Columbus Speedway Weekly Racing Series will get underway with
Valvoline Night on Saturday Night March 2nd. A Full Racing Program is on tap
on the 2nd as racing returns under the lights with the brutal and "three
wide anytime" action that Columbus Speedway fans and drivers have come to
enjoy. All classes will be in action with a start time of 7:30pm. Event
information can be obtained by calling the Columbus Speedway hotline at
662-241-5004 or by calling Johnny Stokes at 662-574-2572. Information also
available online at the Columbus Speedway homepage hosted at www.MidSouthRacing.com.



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