posted March 19, 2001 12:24 AM
Bill Frye Claims Inaugural Mississippi State Championship Challenge Event at Columbus
Columbus, MS- Bill Frye made a bold statement by virtue of his actions as he won the “Slamrock 40” Friday night at Columbus Speedway in round #1 of the Mississippi State Championship Challenge Series. Bill Frye of Greenbriar, AR started fifth to take his Unifirst Uniforms/Night Moves Racing/Keith Craft SUPR Spec Powered/GRT Monte Carlo into a well earned trip to Victory Lane. The evening began as 52 Super Late Models checked into Johnny Stokes new Columbus Speedway to do battle on the new high-banked 3/10’s mile banked clay oval. The Series format calls drawing and running heats and using passing points to determine the Main Event line up. A total of six heat races, two B-Mains, and a 40-lap main event would be on the card.
Heat races began the evening and the results were as follows. Action in heat race number one would see Lucky Keaton come from the outside front row to take the win. Ronny Hollingsworth was second and Jay Brinkley was third. Heat race number two had Bill Frye come from third to the point in a hurry followed by Ricky Idom and Robbie Harvey. Heat race number three had the Pontotoc Pirate Steve Russell making the high side assault to front to claim the win from fourth starting position followed by Ronald Dunn and Jeff White.
Heat race number four was exciting as Fast Eddie Rickman simply put his GRT on The Zone and would charge from seventh starting position to the front of the pack to claim the heat race win and pole for the main event. Following the Columbus veteran was Johnny Hughes and Randy Walters. The fifth heat race would another charge from the rear as Texarkana’s Duke Whiseant came from seventh starting position to the point to claim his heat and the outside from row for the main event. Following Whiseant were Larry Murphy and Tombo Callahan. The sixth and final heat race of the night would see “The Wild Child” James Dean put the “Chunky Express” to the front from his sixth place starting position.
The top sixteen in passing points were locked in to the 40 lap A-Main and two B-Mains would determine the remainder of the starting field. The first B-Main was won by new Columbus Speedway track record holder Anthony Rushing with defending Columbus Speedway Track Champion Mark Stokes claiming the second transfer spot. The second B-Main had the “Weir Wildman” Tombo Callahan take the victory with a flag to flag run followed by Cliff Williams who earned the final transfer spot. Provisionals were given to Rick Rickman and Jerry Inmon to complete the 22 car starting field.
The 40 lap main event would see pole sitter Eddie Rickman lead the first lap but young Duke Whiseant assumed the lead for the next six laps as absolute mayhem was unfolding on the multi-groove racetrack as drivers were venturing high, low, anywhere they wanted to go. The racing was extreme, as Steve Russell would assume the lead on lap 8 and go toe to toe with Bill Frye and Whiseant for the next thirteen laps until Frye after starting fifth, would take the lead from Russell on lap 21. Frye would continue to hold off constant charges from the rim riding Russell and the persistent Whiseant for the remainder of the action packed 40 lap event. Frye would claim the wild win followed by Whiseant, Steve Russell, a steady James Dean, and strong running Jeff White.
Completing the top ten finishing order were Lucky Keeton, Anthony Rushing who was a show as he charged form the rear only to slip back after running off the top of turn two late in the race, North Mississippi’s Ronald Dunn claimed eighth, Quitman’s Johnny Hughes in ninth, and the Living Legend Jerry Inmon up to tenth after starting shotgun on the field.
52 SLMs on hand.
The Columbus Speedway Heavy Metal Divisions were also in action. The WILD Pro Street event saw Billy Franklin survive followed by Randy Bush, Paul Robinson, Bill Sudduth, and Steve Smith. The always competitive Street Stockers event was won by Andy Simmons, followed by Lee Ray, Tommy Reed, Joey Weeks and Joe Brown.
The Mini Stock winner was Amory, MS’s Tim Ritter who picked up his victory ever and after a long hiatus from the sport. Following Ritter was Hugh Shaffer, Glen Glover, Sybil Busbin, and Joseph Pattilla rounding out the top five. The Pro 4’s Main event was won by James Blakeney followed by Ray Taylor, Wyman Blakeney, Darrell Goins, and Jimmy Beachler. Mississippi Modified winner was once again Jason Hollis followed by Scottie Gowers, and Randall Reedwood.