posted April 23, 2001 09:29 AM
Bird Wins Enduro Championship
Article by Harvey Simpson April 21, 2001
CORDELE, GA - Macon's Arty Bird may or may not have felt "grand" during
Saturday night's special 50-lap Enduro feature at Cordele Motor Speedway,
but he definitely felt that way after it. That's because he took home a
grand - $1,000 - for winning the special race sponsored by Southwestern
Chevrolet of Americus.
Bird and fellow Maconite Sam Odum were the only leaders in the duel that saw
the latter actually lead the majority of the evening. Odom ran out front
from laps 1-5 and 11-39. Bird set the pace on laps 6-10 and 40-50, but
could never really feel secure that victory was his until the checkers
finally waved. Odom stayed within a car length or so of him until
momentarily sliding off the track on lap 43 trying to regain the lead, a
move that cost him a couple of positions. Lizella's Frank Johnson, who had
run with the two leaders for most of the night, eventually finished second
just a car length behind Bird and 6-8 car lengths in front of third place
finisher Stanley Moye of Ft. Valley. Odom wound up fourth. Jason Price of
Andersonville completed the top five.
Ellenberg rolls in late models
En route to his first victory here since July 3, 1999, Valdosta's Randy
Ellenberg, the No. 2 qualifier at 16.12, led the 30-lap late model duel from
flag to flag in a car that he had raced only once before this season. Also
driving a new car in which he turned in the top qualifying time of 15.92,
another Valdostan, David Hodges Jr., gave Ellenberg a stiff challenge for
the first half of the race before beginning to fall by the wayside in the
second half. After trailing the eventual winner by just 3-4 car lengths at
the midway mark, Hodges was a good eighth-lap behind him when the checkers
waved. Tom Jones of Barwick, Slyder Guthrie of Adel and Scottie Ellis of
Juliette finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
A special treat for fans was an appearance by the legendary Harvey Jones, a
Tallahassee, Fla., resident and longtime fan favorite who at age 77 took
part in a race for the seventh decade. Honored in pre-race ceremonies with
a plaque hailing his contributions to a sport he began to pursue in 1949,
Jones was never in contention, however, as he was lapped in the late going.
Bradley steers hobby winner
On his way to a fifth hobby class win this campaign, Sylvester's Wayne
Bradley had to be content with second place for the first nine laps. Once
he passed Perry's Randy Woodard for the lead, though, he kept it as he wound
up 6-8 car lengths in front of Woodard, the runner-up. Vienna's Shan Akin,
who owns the only two wins that Bradley hasn't claimed in the class thus far
this season, came in third about the same distance behind Woodard. Ray
Shipes of Macon and Chuck Williams of Eastman rounded out the top five.
Talley sizzles in street
In posting back-to-back wins in the super street division, Fitzgerald's Troy
Talley wrested first place from Hawkinsville's Daniel Mullis on lap seven
and gradually pulled away from the rest of the field. The 2-3 car length
lead he owned over Mullis after 10 laps grew to 8-10 car lengths by race's
end. Macon's Jay Poss came in a car length behind Mullis in third. Lenox's
Neal McBrayer placed fourth and Macon's Buddy Churchwell wound up fifth.
Etheridge takes stock again
One week after his old five-race winning streak in the pure stock ranks was
snapped by Sylvester's Leon Childs, Doerun's Tal Etheridge started a new
one. What started out as a battle royale between those two ended when
Childs lost a wheel on lap nine while running side by side with Etheridge.
Childs had owned a slim lead from laps 1-4 and on lap seven, Etheridge had
led lap five. The two were dead even after laps six and eight as their
thrilling duel had the crowd buzzing before misfortune struck the Childs
camp. Etheridge went on to beat Macon's Pam Bird, the wife of the enduro
feature victor, by about an eighth-lap. Completing the top five were, in
order, Warwick's Craig Shiver, Thomasville's Alfred Weeks and Americus'
Icard's domination continues
The current track leader in 2001 victories with six, Bonaire's Josh Icard
took the lead in the 15-lap mini-stock affair from Leesburg's Tom Heldenburg
on lap four and from that point on blitzed the field. Icard's advantage
over runner-up Justin Edwards of Ft. Valley grew from 5-6 car lengths after
five laps to more than three times that margin after 10 trips around the
three-eighths mile paved oval to over an eight-lap by race's end. The
son-father duo of Jimmy Self of Leslie and Gene Self of Americus ran third
and fourth. Nick Nicholson of Bonaire took the No. 5 spot.
Cordele Motor Speedway will host a regular racing schedule this next
Saturday with Legends, Mini Stock, Enduro, Pure Stock, Super Street, Hobby
and Late Model Sportsman divisions.