posted August 05, 2002 11:11 AM
Honeycutt Takes “Summer Slam” Championship Victory!
COLUMBUS, MISSISSIPPI-The second Annual Summer Slam Championship for the Street Stock division drew a Weekly Racing Series event record crowd at Columbus Speedway Saturday night along with 131 racecars sitting pitside. The large crowd of fans on hand witnessed the biggest Street Stock field of competitors ever to battle for the biggest Street Stock purse in Columbus Speedway history. Needless to say it was big night of racing action as the “August Assault” at Columbus Speedway is well underway.
The main event of the evening was the Columbus Nissan “Summer Slam 20” presented by Roy’s Kitchen and Catering. Columbus Speedway promoter Johnny Stokes put up a $1,000 to win record purse for the Street Stocks and the region’s top drivers showed up in force as 43 Street Stock pilots entered the event vying to make the esteemed 24-car field in the premier Street Stock race of the year. Action would get underway with Midsouthracing.com single lap Pole Qualifying locking in the top eighteen qualifiers with Ethelsville’s Scott Stripling tripping the timing lights with the lowest elapsed time of 17.83-second son the 3/10’s mile high banked clay oval. Stripling claimed the Rick’s Furniture Pole Award and would draw for the field inversion and drew the lucky “0” for a straight up start. David Honeycutt shared the front row with setting second fastest time. Two B-Mains were required to set the remainder of the 24-car field and after driver introductions concluded the field rolled off as the anxious field of drivers prepared to wage war.
The storming field would take the green with Honeycutt quickly jumping to an early lead with Stripling in tow and Danny Gable on the outside looking in with newcomer Wayne Morris fourth and Johnny Smith in fifth. Early race cautions would keep the field bunched up but as the top three remained unchanged Jimmy Rogers was on the move up to fourth but the shuffle would soon began. The field rolled to the halfway point on lap 10 with Stripling looking high and low behind Honeycutt while Lee Ray was rising with a bullet as he moved from ninth starting position up to 3rd. The second half of the 20-lap main event would see Stripling continue to challenge Honeycutt as by lap15 the two leaders were battling as they maneuvered lapped traffic with Ray riding the high side of the track ever so slowly making up ground on the two front runners. The final two circuits would have Honeycutt began to stretch his lead with Stripling now engaged in a fierce battle for position with Ray.
The checkers would fly with Columbus’ David Honeycutt taking home the $1,000 first place prize in his Fitzner Automotive and Nickoles Catfish Farms sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Ray would use the high side to take second place just edging Stripling at the stripe. Chad Nickoles would continue his recent strong effort with a fourth place finish and Theodore, Alabama’s Wayne Morris had a long trip from the Mobile area and a great first visit venture as he rounded out the top five in the best field of Street Stockers to have ever graced the fabled speed plant. Completing the top ten were Jimmy Anderson of Columbus while New Hope’s TK King was one of the hard chargers of the evening after having to win a B-Main to make the show and took the seventh position in a good run for the 14 year old racer. Keith Jones made the trip from Meridian pay off with an eighth place run while Chip Chism of Aberdeen and member of the Chip’s Muffler Shop racing team was ninth and Scott Fulgham from Maben completed the top ten.
Official Street “Stock Summer Slam 20” Finish:
1-David Honeycutt 2-Lee Ray 3-Scott Stripling 4-Chad Nickoles 5-Wayne Morris 6-Jimmy Anderson 7-TK King 8-Keith Jones 9-Chip Chism 10-Scott Fulgham 11-Marvin Beard 12-Harold Trimm 13-Wallace Richardson 14-Gene Ballenger 15-Josh Chism 16-Freddie Cooper 17-Jimmy Rogers 18-Gene Thomas 19-Terry Kelley 20-Danny Gable 21-David McGary 22-Jonathan Edwards 23-Danny Ray Jr. 24-Johnny Smith
The Super Late Model division would see Steve Russell take a win at the “home track” after mid week racing adventures in Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee. Russell set fast time with a 14.33-second lap during Midsouthracing.com and drew a “0” for the field inversion and the rest was history. Russell jumped out front and never looked back. Tombo Callahan made a strong run during the 30-lap event and would continuously close on Russell during long green flag runs but Pontotoc’s Russell was not to be denied in his new Aberdeen Machine and Welding and Victory Lane Race Parts sponsored Brown powered Rayburn Monte Carlo. Callahan of Weir was second while Mark Stokes had his Ford Taurus in the hunt as he challenged Callahan during the first third of the race and would later be involved in a three way dance for third position as he, Shawn Edwards, and Rick Rickman would get after it as the three competitors would complete the top five with Edwards fourth and “Ravishing” Rick Rickman fifth.
The Mississippi Modified class had a new 2002 winner but the man is no stranger to Columbus Speedway Victory Lane as Steens’ “Wild” Bill Sudduth went flag to flag to in his Steen’s Superette sponsored GRT Open Wheel Modified to take the popular win. There were plenty of battles for position with Brian Rickman and Brian Hollis racing hard, along with William Wells working the bottom side of the track with great success while Lee Ray made one of his patented late race charges. Brian Hollis would lose a motor on lap 13 and be sidelined for the evening leaving Rickman to fend off Ray for second while Wells claimed fourth place and Blake Koenigsburger rounding out the top five.
The Pro Street division saw Jason Brock get out the broom for the sweep as he won the heat and the main event as the Sulligent driver took the win. Jeremy Shaw continued his recent tear and took the runner up position while “The Grave Digger” Thomas McReynolds took the final podium position. Mike Shaw of Millport was fourth with Bobby Nickoles taking the fifth spot.
The Mini Stock class has seen a recent surge in the Japanese manufactured cars as they have batted tooth and nail with the Ford Mustang clan and have been taking home the spoils of victory late. The Mini Stock action would have Jena, Alabama’s Robert Sanders out front once again in his “bad fast” ride and earn the coveted trip to Victory Lane. Sanders, Buddy Glover, and Keith McCool would put on a show for the packed house as the top three would battle much of the evening with Glover leading the first five laps until Sanders would take over the point on lap 6 and McCool would move into third on lap 7 as the would remain that way until the finish. Following Sanders as the finish were Northport’s McCool and Glover. Scott Gable of West Point had a fourth place finish as he continues to search for the set up that took home to six wins this year and Greg Glover completed the top five in the eighteen car field.
The Cruiser teams were back at full strength with a hungry field of 24-cars on hand to take the green flag for the 10-lap main event. The Steens’ tandem of Jimmy Brasfield and Joe Fondren jumped to an early lead in their big cubic inch powered Cruiser and never looked back. Joe and Rose Weeks made the charge for second place and successfully dodged the carcasses and wreckage to finish second with Craig Murray and Kenneth Roach earning the final podium spot. Bryan Brock and Jake Huff survived to finish fourth and Millport’s Jeremy Robertson and Alan Hall rounded out the top five in the no holds barred fan favorite class.
The Pro 4 division had David Goins set sail taking the win with Jimmy Beachler of Reform taking second place. Blake Prescott of Columbus completed the top three.
Columbus Speedway will host a Full Racing Program on August 10th featuring all divisions in action as part of the Columbus Speedway Weekly Racing Series. Event information for the August 10th event includes pit gates opening at 4pm and grandstand gates at 5pm. Practice will be at 7:30pm with racing at 8pm. Adult grandstand admission is $10 with children 10 and under admitted free. Upcoming specials in the Columbus Speedway “August Assault” include the “BASHMasters Classic” on August 17th which will feature Summer Championship races for the Cruisers and Pro Street classes. The James Nickoles Memorial is coming August 24th as the Mississippi Super Late Model State Championship Series will be on hand for another big Super Late Model spectacular. Information may be obtained by calling the Columbus Speedway event hotline at 662-241-5004