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posted June 18, 2001 11:26 PM UIN: 16262997

Article by Harvey Simpson June 16, 2001

CORDELE, GA - They went "Topless" in Saturday night's late model feature at
Cordele Motor Speedway. The cars, that is, not the drivers. And there was
nothing obscene at all about the way the competition went in a special 60
lapper won by Valdosta's Randy Ellenberg.
Ellenberg's second victory of the year earned him a $3,000 payday. It
wasn't until lap 12, that Ellenberg moved out front as Valdostan, David
Hodges Jr., had held the lead to that point after earning the pole with a
15.67 qualifying time. Barwick's Tom Jones, who had the second fastest
qualifying time (15.71), tood the runner-up shot from Hodges on lap 31 and
stayed within 4-5 car lengths of Ellenberg the rest of the way. There was
only a 2-3 car length difference between the first and second place cars at
the finish line. Hometown driver Bailey Harris came om 3-4 car lengths
behind Jones and about the same margin in front of Sylvester's Richard
Souter. Hodges rounded out the top five, slipping from third to fifth place
on lap 48.

Rowland repeats in Hobby
En route to his second straight win and fourth overall, Hobby division
triumph of the season, Macon's Allen Rowland ran out front from flag to
flag. He was never seriously challenged in the 15 lapper, having huge leads
at the one-third and two-third marks of the race. A late caution flag wiped
out most of that edge, but Rowland still came in 5-6 car lengths ahead of
runner up Randy Woodard of Perry. Only 2-3 car lengths separated the next
three finishers from each other. They were, in order, Sylvester's Wayne
Bradley, Valdosta's Randy Merwin and Tifton's Bud Wilson.

Talley's victory denied.
Hawkinsville's Troy Talley thought he also had made it tow wins in a row
when he took top honors in the 15 lap super street race he led for all but
the first two laps. How ever, Eastman's Jim Brophy, who ran out front
during the early going, filed a successful post race protest after gradually
falling further and further behind Talley as the laps clicked off. Brophy,
whose deficit grew from 203 car lengths after five laps to 6-8 car lengths
after 10 laps to and eighth lap by the time the checkers waved, was declared
the official winner when the wheelbase on the right side of Talley's car was
found to be too long. Talley's disqualification thus moved Cordele's Wayne
Duckworth up to second, Gray's Todd Griffin to third, Cordele's Gary
Youngblood to fourth and Valdosta's Jimmy Berube to fifth.

Etheridge prevails again
In extending his winning streak to three and prevailing for an 11th time in
14 pure stock features thus far, Doerun's Tal Etheridge quickly worked his
way forward from a fifth place starting spot to the lead. It took him only
five laps to move into second place behind Sylvester's Leon Childs and just
another trip around the three eights mile oval to grab the top spot. The
5-6 car length lead Etheridge held over eventual runner p Pam Bird of Macon
with five laps to go swelled to and eighth lap by the end. One of just tow
drivers other than Etheridge to win a feature in the class this year, Childs
came in tow car lengths behind Bird. Tuffy Johnson of Lizella was fourth
and Travis Williams of Cairo was fifth.

Yarborugh gets first win
An Eight time winner during the 2000 season, Lizella's Stevie Yarborough
made a rare 2001 appearance here a successful one. For half of the 15 lap
enduro race it didn't appear that would be the case, though, as Macon driver
Arty Bird and Sam Odom were running ahead of Yarborough. When Bird and Odom
tangled on lap none, Yarborough inherited the lead and held it until an 11th
lap restart that saw Pavo's Myron Chastain forge ahead. The two staged a
battle royal the rest of the way, with Yarborough making a last second pass
to bring his car in just inches ahead of Chastain's mount. Cordele's Billy
Nipper came in 4-5 car lengths behind those two to place third. Mark Walton
of Ft. Valley and Robert Reetz of Valdosta rounded out the top five.

Icard keeps on winning
The most successful driver at the track this year as far as wins go,
Bonaire's Josh Icard made it four mini stock victories in a row and 12 wins
overall. And, as usual, he won convincingly, building an eighth lap lead in
just five trips around the track and pretty much preserving that margin
until the end. The real battle was for second with Dahlonega's Banks Perdue
narrowly winning second over Vienna's Jason Summers who was on his bumper
when the checkers flew. Steve Rage of Locust Grove wound up fourth and Jody
Sparks of Statesboro came in fifth.

Odell emerges triumphant
On his way to a class leading fourth legends triumph, it too just about all
Lawrenceville's David Odell could do to come out on top of Unadilla's Walt
Brannan. The two were side by side after one lap before Odell forged ahead.
Brannan did take the lead briefly on lap 17 only to see Odell shoot past him
again. Odell eventually beat Brannan by a couple of car lengths. Suwanee's
Dwight Pilgram came in third just 3-4 car lengths behind Brannan an 4-5 car
lengths in front of Tallahassess's Mark Mitchell. Fifth place went to Lake
Park's Randy Howell.

June 23rd and 30th will see a regular racing schedule at the track with
Legends, Mini Stock, Enduro, Pure Stock, Super Street, Hobby and Late Model
Sportsman divisions.

Saturday, July 7th -Cordele Motor Speedway and Cordele-Crisp Chamber of
Commerce present the WATERMELON 300.
Watermelon 300 Champion Legends * $500 To Win * 2-10 Lap Heats * 30 Lap
Watermelon 300 Champion Mini Stock * $500 To Win * 2-8 Lap Heats * 30 Lap
Watermelon 300 Champion Hobby * $750 To Win * 2-8 Lap Heats * 30 Lap Feature
Enduro 2-8 Lap Heats, 25 Lap Feature **** Pure Stock 2-8 Lap Heats, 25 Lap
Super Street 2-8 Lap Heats, 25 Lap Feature **** L.M. Sportsman - Time
Trials, 30 Lap Feature
$100 to the Lucky Person that Draws the Winning Drivers Hat who will also
get to present the Big Check with Photos in the Winner's Circle.
Practice Friday, July 6th 7 to 10pm. Pits $10, stands free.

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