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Author Topic:   R.J. BREAKS FIVE-YEAR DRY SPELL WITH ROME WIN
jammin
Dirt Administrator

Total posts: 5556
posted July 28, 2002 09:21 AM UIN: 16262997
R.J. BREAKS FIVE-YEAR DRY SPELL WITH ROME WIN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

ROME, GA - Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN won his first United Dirt
Track Racing Association Pro DirtCar Series event in over five years on
Friday night in the Coca-Cola 50 at Rome Speedway. Johnson led from
wire-to-wire in the Goddard Performance Warrior/Custom Grand Prix to post
the $10,000 victory, his fifth UDTRA Pro DirtCar Series win at Rome
Speedway.

"I've got to thank Sanford Goddard, Russell Owens, and all of the guys
on
the crew for getting this car ready tonight," Johnson said. "I got stuck
in
traffic getting to the track, missed my hot lap session, and they gave me
a
car good enough to go out cold and set second fast time, win the heat, and
the main event. A driver just can't ask for more than that."

Before Friday night, Johnson's last Pro DirtCar Series win came on March
29, 1997 in Chatham, LA. Friday night's win was Johnson's 19th of his
career, tying him with 1996 UDTRA Champion Freddy Smith of Knoxville, TN
for
fifth on the all-time list.

Randy Korte of Highland, IL took the second spot in the Mid-Continental
Fuel Rocket/Pro Power Grand Prix. Korte was able to take a peek inside
Johnson on the restarts following caution periods, but that's as close as
he
got to R.J., as Johnson was able to pull away after a couple of laps. Korte
moved up to seventh in the point standings with his third top five finish
of
the season.

"Last year was our first full season on the tour and we're taking the
lessons we learned then, putting them to use this year, and it's starting
to
pay off," Korte said. "Dale McDowell knows this place well, and he was
a
big help to us tonight getting dialed in."

Defending UDTRA Champion Rick Eckert of York, PA finished third in the
Raye
Vest Rocket/Cornett Taurus, and extended his point lead over 1999 UDTRA
Champion Dale McDowell of Rossville, GA to 111 points. Jimmy Mars of Elk
Mound, WI was fourth in the Jimmy Mars Racing Mastersbilt/Pro Power Monte
Carlo.

The 1993 UDTRA Champion Clint Smith of Senoia, GA drove the JP Contracting
GRT/Race Tech Monte Carlo to a fifth-place finish, and McDowell finished
sixth in the Larry Shaw Race Cars Rocket/Custom Grand Prix.

Randle Chupp of Mooresville, NC charged up from the 16th starting spot to
finish seventh in the Biscotti's Restaurant and Winery/Park Ohio
Rocket/Draime Grand Prix. Lamar Haygood of Douglasville, GA took the eighth
spot in the ABS Automotive Rocket/Bishop Grand Prix.

Ricky Williams of Fayetteville, GA was ninth in the SAE Auto Parts
Mastersbilt/RED Grand Prix, and Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC rounded out the
top ten in the Youngblood Concrete Mastersbilt/Cornett Taurus.

Johnson grabbed the lead at the start of the race from his outside front
row
starting spot followed by polesitter Korte, Clint Smith, Tim Day of
Alpharetta, GA in the Alpharetta Pine Straw Barry Wright/Hunt Monte Carlo,
and Eckert. On lap 4, Eckert took the outside line around Day for the
fourth spot coming off the second turn.

With 10 laps in the books, Johnson had stretched out to half-straightaway
lead over Korte. Johnson was able to begin the lapping process on lap 15,
working though traffic without losing any ground to Korte. The fifth-place
running Day spun coming off the fourth turn on lap 19 to bring out the first
of four caution flags.

Johnson led Korte, Smith, Eckert, and Mars down for the restart, as Korte
began to look inside of the leader, but could not mount a challenge for
the
point. Scott Sexton of Pigeon Forge, TN, who was running tenth, stalled
his
Quality Heating and Air Mastersbilt/Custom Grand Prix in turn one to bring
out the second caution flag.

Korte again tried the inside move on Johnson for the restart, but again
couldn't make it work. Eckert went to the high side to challenge Smith
for
third, and made the pass at the halfway point.

Debris and the stalled Tender Heart Treasures GRT/Hatfield Grand Prix of
Omaha, NE's John Anderson brought out the third caution flag on lap 28.

The final caution was for a four-car tangle in turn one involving Freddy
Smith, Day, Jason Croft of Woodstock, GA in the Croft Heating and Air
Rocket/Hatfield Monte Carlo, and Jody Summerville of Rome, GA in the Ballard
Motorsports Warrior/Race Tech Monte Carlo.

Korte took one last try to the inside of Johnson on the restart, and Eckert
then began to close on Korte for the second spot. While Eckert challenged
Korte on the inside, Johnson pulled away for the win, and Korte held off
Eckert for the second spot.

Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, TN was the Advance Auto Parts Hard Charger
of
the Race and the Lucas Oil Rookie of the Race. Ogle started his Calhoun's
Restaurant GRT/Clements Monte Carlo shotgun on the field as a UDTRA
provisional in 24th, and finished 14th.

Mars was the quick qualifier among the 52 entrants, turning the 1/2-mile
high-banked deep red clay oval in 14.842 seconds for an average speed of
121.277 miles per hour.

Korte won the Scott Performance Wires $50 Bonus Award with the first 10-lap
heat race win, and Johnson won the second heat. Day won the third heat,
and
Clint Smith won the JE Pistons $100 Bonus Award with the fourth heat race
win. Cook and Summerville won the 12-lap Polaris ATVs Consolation Races.

The next event on the Pro DirtCar Series schedule will be Saturday night
with a 50-lap $10,000-to-win main event at Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway
in
Calvert City, KY. The pit gate opens at 2 p.m., the front gate opens at
3
p.m., and hot laps are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The KLMS Limited Sportsman
and Modified Divisions will also be in action along with the Pro DirtCars.

For race day and ticket information call (270) 395-3600. Kentucky Lake
Motor Speedway is located 1/10-mile south of I-24 at exit 27, then 1.3 miles
west on CR 1360-E.

The next UDTRA Dirty Thursday will air on August 1 at 11 p.m. ET with the
4th Annual Masters 75 from Cedar Lake Speedway. For the complete UDTRA
SPEED Channel schedule and a direct feedback link, visit the UDTRA web site
at www.udtra.com.

OFFICIAL RESULTS OF ROUND 26 AT ROME SPEEDWAY IN ROME, GA ON 7/26/02:

POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CAR LAPS $ WON
1. 2 5 Ronnie Johnson Chattanooga, TN Pont. 50 $10,000
2. 1 00k Randy Korte Highland, IL Pont. 50 $6,650
3. 6 24 Rick Eckert York, PA Ford 50 $3,850
4. 5 28 Jimmy Mars Elk Mound, WI Chev. 50 $3,100
5. 4 44 Clint Smith Senoia, GA Chev. 50 $2,000
6. 12 17m Dale McDowell Rossville, GA Pont. 50 $2,500
7. 16 114 Randle Chupp Mooresville, NC Pont. 50 $1,600
8. 7 17h Lamar Haygood Douglasville, GA Pont. 50 $1,400
9. 14 17w Ricky Williams Fayetteville, GA Pont. 50 $1,200
10. 17 53 Ray Cook Brasstown, NC Ford 50 $1,700
11. 9 89 Marshall Green Dalton, GA Chev. 50 $1,000
12. 20 1 Steve Francis Ashland, KY Dodge 50 $1,550
13. 10 8 David Payne Murphy, NC Pont. 50 $900
14. 24 201 Billy Ogle Jr. (R) Knoxville, TN Chev. 49 $1,025
15. 8 00j Jeff Smith Villanow, GA Pont. 36 $850
16. 23 00 Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN Chev. 36 $1,425
17. 19 9j Jason Croft Woodstock, GA Chev. 36 $800
18. 18 25 Jody Summerville Rome, GA Chev. 36 $750
19. 21 21a Joe Armistead Jr. Sharpsburg, GA Chev. 36 $700
20. 3 77 Tim Day Alpharetta, GA Chev. 36 $700
21. 15 1k John Anderson (R) Omaha, NE Pont. 27 $700
22. 11 52 Scott Sexton Pigeon Forge, TN Pont. 21 $700
23. 22 F9 Frank Ingram Woodstock, GA Pont. 18 $700
24. 13 1p Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL Ford 0 $1,300

ENTRIES: 52
PROVISIONALS: F. Smith (3) and Ogle (4)
LEAD CHANGES: None
LAP LEADERS: Johnson, 1-50
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS HARD CHARGER: Ogle (started 24th and finished 14th)
LUCAS OIL ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Ogle
CAUTIONS: 4
TIME OF THE RACE: 38 Minutes, 16.420 Seconds
HARDEE'S SHOOTOUT INVITEES: C. Smith, Payne, J. Smith, Croft, Summerville,
Day (Promoter's Choice)

QUALIFYING:

POS CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CHASSIS CAR MAKE 1ST LAP 2ND LAP TIME SPEED
1 28m Jimmy Mars Elk Mound, WI Mastersbilt Monte Carlo 14.987 14.842 14.842
121.277
2 5 Ronnie Johnson Chattanooga, TN Warrior Grand Prix 14.918 15.045 14.918
120.660
3 17h Lamar Haygood Douglasville, GA Rocket Grand Prix 15.120 14.959 14.959
120.329
4 00j Jeff Smith Villanow, GA GRT Grand Prix 15.050 14.969 14.969 120.249
5 00k Randy Korte Highland, IL Rocket Grand Prix 14.979 15.024 14.979
120.168
6 8p David Payne Murphy, NC GRT Grand Prix 15.038 15.122 15.038 119.697
7 77t Tim Day Alpharetta, GA Barry Wright Monte Carlo 15.233 15.057 15.057
119.546
8 44 Clint Smith Senoia, GA GRT Monte Carlo 15.423 15.077 15.077 119.387
9 1P Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL Rocket Taurus 15.095 15.423 15.095
119.245
10 21a Joe Armstead Jr. Sharpsburg, GA GRT Monte Carlo 15.391 15.099 15.099
119.213
11 52s Scott Sexton Pigeon Forge, TN Mastersbilt Grand Prix 15.114 15.366
15.114 119.095
12 17m Dale McDowell Rossville, GA Rocket Grand Prix 15.514 15.124 15.124
119.016
13 89 Marshall Green Dalton, GA Rocket Monte Carlo 15.245 15.134 15.134
118.937
14 24 Rick Eckert York, PA Rocket Taurus 15.173 15.190 15.173 118.632
15 1k John Anderson (R) Omaha, NE GRT Grand Prix 15.197 15.216 15.197
118.444
16 24g Buster Goss Rome, GA Larry Shaw Grand Prix 15.198 15.244 15.198
118.437
17 00 Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN Warrior Monte Carlo 15.213 15.424 15.213
118.320
18 42j Don Jenkins Kingston, GA GRT Grand Prix 15.375 15.215 15.215 118.304
19 1 Steve Francis Ashland, KY Rocket Intrepid 15.333 15.216 15.216 118.297
20 25s Jody Summerville Rome, GA Warrior Monte Carlo 15.238 15.463 15.238
118.126
21 9j Jason Croft Woodstock, GA Rocket Monte Carlo 15.240 15.593 15.240
118.110
22 17w Ricky Williams Fayetteville, GA Mastersbilt Grand Prix 15.311 15.241
15.241 118.102
23 31t Bobby Turner Ballground, GA Rocket Monte Carlo 15.402 15.271 15.271
117.870
24 114 Randle Chupp Mooresville, NC Rocket Grand Prix 15.359 15.271 15.271
117.870
25 20k Wade Knowles Tyrone, GA Warrior Monte Carlo 15.760 15.293 15.293
117.701
26 17n Zack Nichols Cedartown, GA GRT Monte Carlo 15.304 15.338 15.304
117.616
27 92m Rodney Martin Cartersville, GA Rocket Grand Prix 15.436 15.332 15.332
117.402
28 F9 Frank Ingram Woodstock, GA Warrior Grand Prix 15.497 15.348 15.348
117.279
29 53 Ray Cook Brasstown, NC Mastersbilt Taurus 15.903 15.384 15.384 117.005
30 19e Wayne Echols Cumming, GA Dominator Monte Carlo 15.958 15.392 15.392
116.944
31 28h Randy Hemphill Toccoa, GA GRT Grand Prix 15.602 15.396 15.396 116.913
32 111s Bo Shirley Gadsden, AL Rayburn Monte Carlo 15.550 15.402 15.402
116.868
33 4r Ken Rupp Hiram, GA Mastersbilt Monte Carlo 15.409 15.440 15.409
116.815
34 11L Rod Lamance Six Mile, SC GRT Monte Carlo 15.758 15.454 15.454 116.475
35 T31 Shane Tankersley (R) Morgonton, GA Stinger Grand Prix 15.481 15.580
15.481 116.272
36 56g David Gentry Lewisburg, TN Warrior Monte Carlo 15.517 15.525 15.517
116.002
37 84s Jason Smith Rome, GA Larry Shaw Grand Prix 15.556 16.494 15.556
115.711
38 87 Derrick Rainey Powder Springs, GA Rocket Grand Prix 15.709 15.557
15.557 115.704
39 18d Rodney Dickson Fayetteville, GA GRT Grand Prix 15.615 15.617 15.615
115.274
40 201 Billy Ogle Jr. (R) Knoxville, TN GRT Monte Carlo 15.747 15.651 15.651
115.009
41 23f Frankie Farmer Newnan, GA Mastersbilt Monte Carlo 16.047 15.672
15.672 114.855
42 393 Darrell Hayes Ider, AL Stinger Mustang 15.695 15.866 15.695 114.686
43 25k David Killian Murphy, NC Mastersbilt Grand Prix 15.832 15.713 15.713
114.555
44 11 David Smith Inman, SC GRT Monte Carlo 15.768 15.859 15.768 114.155
45 22g Robert Gant Flat Rock, AL Stinger Taurus 15.807 15.901 15.807 113.874
46 75r Danny Richards Marietta, GA Homemade Mustang 16.265 16.162 16.162
111.372
47 14d Derrick Laney Fort Payne, AL TnT Taurus 16.425 NT 16.425 109.589
48 4s Vernon Smith Rome, GA GRT Monte Carlo 18.134 NT 18.134 99.261
49 15c Dusty Chitwood Hiram, GA Fast Grand Prix 15.628 16.044 DQ DQ
50 17j Justin Wakefield Woodstock, GA GRT Monte Carlo 15.572 15.408 DQ DQ
51 15d Patrick Duggan Lenoir City, TN GRT Grand Prix 15.200 15.138 DQ DQ
52 27g Glenn Morris Fayetteville, GA Mastersbilt Mustang 15.973 15.903 DQ
DQ

HEAT RACES (10 Laps - Top 4 Finishers Transfer To Main Event):

SCOTT PERFORMANCE WIRES 1ST HEAT: 1. Korte; 2. Mars; 3. Green; 4. Pearson;
5. Cook; 6. Croft; 7. Knowles; 8. Ja. Smith; 9. Gant; 10. Chitwood; 11.
Rupp; 12. Farmer; 13. F. Smith.

2ND HEAT: 1. Johnson; 2. Eckert; 3. Payne; 4. Williams; 5. Armistead;
6.
Echols; 7. Jenkins; 8. Rainey; 9. Nichols; 10. Lamance; 11. Richards; 12.
Hays.

3RD HEAT: 1. Day; 2. Haygood; 3. Sexton; 4. Anderson (R); 5. Francis;
6.
Turner; 7. Martin; 8. Duggan; 9. Tankersley (R); 10. Dickson; 11. Killian;
12. Hemphill; 13. Laney.

JE PISTONS 4TH HEAT: 1. C. Smith; 2. Je. Smith; 3. McDowell; 4. Chupp;
5.
Summerville; 6. Ingram; 7. Shirley; 8. Gentry; 9. Ogle (R); 10. D. Smith;
11. V. Smith; 12. Morris; 13. Goss.

POLARIS ATVs 12 LAP CONSOLATION RACES (Top 3 Finishers Transfer To Main
Event):

1ST CONSY: 1. Cook; 2. Croft; 3. Armistead Jr.; 4. Knowles; 5. Echols;
6.
Jenkins; 7. Rainey; 8. Ja. Smith; 9. Nichols; 10. Gant; 11. Richards; 12.
Rupp; 13. Hays.

2ND CONSY: 1. Summerville; 2. Francis; 3. Ingram; 4. Turner; 5. Shirley;
6. Ogle (R); 7. Martin; 8. Duggan; 9. Gentry; 10. V. Smith; 11. Dickson;
12.
Tankersley (R); 13. Killian.

UDTRA POINT STANDINGS THROUGH 7/26/02:

1. Rick Eckert - 4118
2. Dale McDowell - 4007
3. Steve Francis - 3958
4. Jimmy Mars - 3942
5. Earl Pearson Jr. - 3413
6. Freddy Smith - 3332
7. Randy Korte - 3131
8. Donnie Moran - 3125
9. Ray Cook - 2868
10. Billy Ogle Jr. (R) - 2627
11. Brian Birkhofer - 2522
12. Shane Tankersley (R) - 2480
13. Mark Kraus (R) - 2337
14. Dan Schlieper - 2072
15. Scott Bloomquist - 1918
16. Billy Moyer - 1829
17. Rick Aukland - 1627
18. Randle Chupp - 1608
19. John Anderson (R) - 1594
20. Matt Miller - 1182

R - Denotes Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year Candidate


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