posted July 15, 2001 11:10 PM
Fowler is Double Feature Winner
July 13, 2001
David & Sara Darnell
For the third time this season, Gene Fowler picked up both the Pure and Super Street features at Malden. Fowler led all 15 laps of both races to pick up his fourth win in each division. Larry Hull dominated a stellar field in the Modified division. Greg King won his seventh Late Model feature. Kenny Doublin and John Stevenson won the Cruiser A-Main.
The Pure Street feature opened with Fowler grabbing the lead from the pole. Steven Cunningham moved up from the third row and was quickly challenging Jared Wagster for second. The lead trio pulled away from the field by lap three. Cunningham outran Wagster down the back straight to take second and was soon battling Fowler for the lead. The only caution of the race came on lap 9 and on the restart Fowler and Cunningham pulled away a bit. Wagster rejoined the leaders by lap 11 and the fight to the finish was on. Wagster and Cunningham touched in a duel down the back straight of lap 12 with Cunningham holding the position. On lap 14 Wagster was able to complete the pass as he overtook Cunningham coming out of turn two. Fowler soon had two formidable challengers to hold off for the last lap. As the trio came out of turn four, Wagster was up to mid car on Fowler with Cunningham right on his bumper as they crossed the finish line. Ronnie Tilley, Red Rice and Tim Gage had a good battle for the 4th to 6th positions as they swapped back and forth before the final positions were settled as above. Fowler, Wagster, and Tilley won the heat races. Greg Perkins won the B-Main. Wagster increased his season lead to 72 over Mark Williams.
The Super Street field waited while Fowler moved from the 84 car to the 82, but this was the only waiting anyone had to do for Fowler this week. Just as in the Pure Street race, Fowler jumped into the lead from the pole position. Fowler’s biggest challenge came from point’s leader Doug Moore. Following a lap four caution for debris on the track, Fowler once again pulled away, while Moore and Steve Martin battled for the second spot. Moore overtook Martin on the back straight of lap 6 and set to closing the 2-second gap Fowler had built. Moore had closed to Fowler’s bumper by lap 10, but mechanical failure struck Moore a lap later and he was never able to mount a passing challenge to Fowler. While Fowler went on to the victory, Johnny Stephens found a fast groove high on the track the final two laps and was challenging Martin for second. The pair got together as they come out of turn four with both cars receiving some damage. Stephens nosed ahead at the wire to grab second. Jerry Jackson and Jeff Greene rounded out the top five. Fowler and Greene won the heat races. In the season standings, Doug Moore maintains a 36-point lead over Johnny Stephens despite his DNF this week. Steve Santie fell from second to fourth as he could not make the feature call and both Stephens and Jerry Jackson moved ahead of him.
Larry Hull jumped out from the outside front row and led all 20 laps of the Modified feature. That Hull won is not a surprise, this was his third feature win of the season, but the way he dominated an excellent field was amazing. Hull built a four and a half second lead by lap 15 before a pair of cautions kept resetting the field. The battle for the positions behind Hull was heated the full 20 laps. Eric Hickerson made his third fine show at Malden, as he grabbed second. Mark Stephens and Ronnie Vernon each battled with Hickerson for the second spot throughout the race before settling on third and fourth respectfully. Track newcomer Rich Sutton of Dyersburg outlasted Robert Powers to grab fifth. Heat winners were Vernon, Hull, and Hickerson. Hull’s win helped close the point’s lead of Claudie Cook to 18 after 13-point races. Cook suffered mechanical problems early in the race and settled for a 21st place finish with his DNF. Robert Powers is third.
Greg King picked up his 7th Late Model feature of the year and third in a row excluding the MARS race of last week. Track newcomer Andy May challenged King early before May had to retire with a broken tie rod. King jumped into the lead from the outside front row and built a five-car length early lead while May settled into second. May was driving right on the bottom of the track through the turns and started whittling into King’s lead. May closed to King’s bumper on the back straight of lap six but slid out of control into the infield coming out of turn four with the tie rod problem. Keith Getson took over the second spot and kept the pressure on King. Following a lap 16 caution, Getson got an excellent start and was looking for the lead down low on the back straight, but King held on to take the checkered flag. Terrill Sentell ran a solid third. Scott Gibbs won a late duel with Larry Hillis to take fourth. May and King won the heat races. King’s victory coupled with Scott Tracer’s sixth place finish in his back up car vaulted King into the point’s lead by 6. Getson is 16 back in third.
Kenny Doublin and John Stevenson held off a late challenge from Scott Austin and Darrell Ham to win their second Cruiser feature in the 545 car. Jason Pennington and Eric Allison picked up third. Chris Mathis and Woolard drove the 13 car to victory in the B-Main in their first trip to the Malden track.
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