posted April 08, 2001 08:10 AM
Crabtree captures season-opening Late Model victory at Volunteer
By Robert Walden
BULLS GAP, Tenn. (April 7) – Volunteer Speedway opened the 2001 racing season Saturday night before a huge crowd, and celebrating his second career Late Model win at the conclusion of the 35-lap feature was Maryville, Tenn.’s David Crabtree. Crabtree passed Steve Smith for the lead on lap 30, and never looked back in capturing the victory worth $1,000.
Newport’s Duayne Hommel paced the 17-car Late Model field in qualifying by posting a fast-time of 13:102-seconds (109.910 mph) to earn the pole position for the feature, with Powell’s Smith second quickest at 13:108 to grab the outside front row starting berth. Lining up third through fifth on the grid was Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Crabtree and Knoxville’s Bryan Hendrix.
As flagman Robbie Williams waved the green to get the 35-lap feature underway, Hommel rocketed into the first turn in the lead over Smith, and at the stripe to complete lap 1, running third through fifth behind the lead duo was Ogle, Crabtree and Kerr.
Smith was glued to Hommel’s rear bumper in the battle for the lead and, on lap 2 racing into turn one Smith dove to the inside to take the spot exiting the second corner. While Smith was dropping Hommel from the point, between turns three and four Crabtree was making his move to relegate Ogle back to fourth place. The event’s first caution waved on lap 3 for a spin in turn 3 by Ed Smith, while Ogle parked his mount in the pits with a broken front A-frame to end his night.
The top five on the restart were Smith, Hommel, Crabtree, Kerr and Gary Blanken. Smith began to put some distance between himself, Hommel and Crabtree, while Hommel had his hands full with Crabtree in the battle for the runner-up spot. Getting a good run on the bottom of the track racing off (turn) four on lap 4, Crabtree pulled alongside Hommel racing into the first turn and completed the pass for position racing off turn two. The second caution appeared on lap 9 when Steve Jones slowed on the high-side between turns three and four, thus closing the field for another restart.
With Smith still pacing the field back under green, it was only two laps later when the yellow waved once again when Hommel lost the nose-piece of his car after plowing through the rough stuff high between turns one and two. With extensive front suspension damage Hommel limped to the pits ending his race.
As the race reached halfway, Smith and Crabtree had pulled out to a 10 car-length advantage over Kerr, Blanken and Hendrix. The final caution waved on lap 29 when Dale Ball looped his mount in turn two, thus setting up a six-lap "shootout" to the finish.
Smith appeared poised to hold his lead to the finish, but Crabtree would not go down without a fight. Bringing the crowd to their feet, on lap 30 at the start/finish line Crabtree pulled alongside Smith in the battle for the point. Running door-to-door into turn one, Crabtree, driving the Hitch Repair & Machine/American Fidelity Bank/Hurst Tool & Die/Goddard Performance Parts/Warrior Race Cars No. 5 Monte Carlo, powered into the lead racing off the second turn and never looked back.
Crabtree was chased to the checkers by Kerr, Hendrix, Blanken and Bill Reed. Completing the top-10 finishers were Ball, Vic Chandler, Kerry Jones, Ed Smith and S. Smith, who dropped back on the final lap with a flat right-rear tire.
"Oh, man, I kind of thought we were going to have to settle for running second to Steve (Smith) there at the end," said a happy Crabtree after climbing from his car in Victory Lane. "I got a good run on him there on that last restart that enabled us to take the lead. I’ve really got to thank my car owner, David Hitch, and my crew chief, David Bivens, for giving me a good racecar tonight. And Sanford Goddard, from Warrior Race Cars, he was here tonight and helped us too.
"Early on I was having a ball racing against Smith, Hommel and Ogle, because those guys are strong runners. This is our second career victory here at Volunteer, and I have to say I really love running here at this track. We’ll take this win tonight and hopefully come back and have a good run next week in the Southern All-Stars race."
Qualifying on the pole with a fast-lap of 14:830-seconds (97.104 mph), Allen Perry of Bluff City, Tenn., led flag-to-flag in holding off Randall Keaton, Bobby Mays, Kip Pearson and Ricky Moore in winning the 30-lap Super Stock feature.
Chad Ogle of Sevierville, Tenn., started from the pole position and led wire-to-wire in capturing the UMP Modified 30-lap feature win. Ogle was trailed at the finish by Clint Solomon, Wayne Rader, Rusty Bryant and Mike Hutson.
Shannon Emery of Morristown, Tenn., captured the 25-lap Sportsman feature victory over Stanley Donahoo, Tony Trent, Eddie Morris and Steve Mays.
Mike Hutson of Church Hill, Tenn., passed Lee Sauceman for the lead in the 20-lap 4-Cylinders feature on the final circuit coming off the fourth turn for the checkered flag to record the victory. Finishing third through fifth were Richard Hicks, Rick Shelton and Shawn Henry.
A big racing weekend is scheduled next Friday and Saturday, April 13-14 at Volunteer Speedway, when the Huntsville, Ala.-based Southern All-Star Dirt Racing Series invades the track for the $10,000 to win Spring Thaw 100 for the Super Late Models.
LATE MODEL (35-laps)
David Crabtree #5-Maryville, TN
Tommy Kerr #4T-Maryville, TN
Bryan Hendrix #5-Knoxville, TN
Gary Blanken #56-Whitesburg, TN
Bill Reed #28-Knoxville, TN
Dale Ball #25-Johnson City, TN
Vic Chandler #88-Weaverville, NC
Kerry Jones #6-Bristol, TN
Ed Smith #32-Kingsport, TN
Steve Smith #3-Powell, TN
Sandy Goddard #21-Knoxville, TN
Lloyd Osborne #11-Johnson City, TN
Patrick Duggan #15-Lenoir City, TN
Duayne Hommel #H2-Newport, TN
Steve Jones #1-Maryville, TN
Billy Ogle Jr. #201-Knoxville, TN
Greg Burchett #17-Church Hill, TN
SUPER STOCK (30-laps)
1) Allen Perry #99; 2) Randall Keaton #22; 3) Bobby Mays #19; 4) Kip Pearson #00; 5) Ricky Moore #89; 6) Mike Mellons #18; 7) Danny Holt #5; 8) Ray Ivey #555; 9) Terry Costner #91w; 10) Jason Dalton #555; 11) Tim Grindstaff #03; 12) Randall Self #91; 13) James Gulley #34
UMP MODIFIED (30-laps)
1) Chad Ogle #10; 2) Clint Solomon #30; 3) Wayne Rader #R8; 4) Rusty Bryant #1; 5) Mike Hutson #3; 6) Rodney Kiker #10k; 7) Duane Ward #29; 8) Tim Pittenturf #52; 9) Stanley Donahoo #00; 10) Sammy Fugate #2; 11) Dean Lewis #L2; 12) Chris Pendleton #15; 13) Wayne James #4; 14) Rodney Clonce #8; 15) Jerry Broyles #72; 16) Jeff Estes #17; 17) Kurt Owens #14; 18) Jeff Maupin #11; 19) Rick Coffman #30; 20) Ray Wilmoth #24; 21) Paul Bales #211; 22) Red Ledford #97
1) Shannon Emery #95; 2) Stanley Donahoo #44; 3) Tony Trent #18; 4) Eddie Morris #2x; 5) Steve Mays #0; 6) Allen Carrier #51; 7) Jeff Carter #99; 8) Eric Hux #27; 9) Jimmy Dean #78; 10) Anthony Morgan #26; 11) Jon Cook #17; 12) Jason Long #15; 13) Lynn Sauceman #8; 14) Tony Strickland #7; 15) Jeff Mays #j99; 16) Mike Jarnigan #91; 17) Doug Evans #28; 18) Jeff Fox #19; 19) Jason Smelcer #J8; 20) Monk Ledford #41; 21) Sammy Roark #25; 22) Bobby Mays #5
1) Mike Hutson #6; 2) Lee Sauceman #04; 3) Richard Hicks #64; 4) Rick Shelton #22; 5) Shawn Henry #25; 6) Tom Trivett #5; 7) Rickie Shelton #2; 8) Les Cox #6; 9) Scottie Hicks #14; 10) Randy Lane #7; 11) Scott McMurray #20
Volunteer Speedway (423) 235-5020 www.volunteerspeedway.com
David Bright – Race Director (423) 367-3418
Robert Walden – Media Contact (423) 928-9644