posted May 28, 2002 10:57 PM
Duck River Speedway, "Clayton Homes Top Gun Shoot Outs", May 26 Results
"Sweet Home Alabama" was the theme last night at Duck River Speedway or at least it seemed that way as several Alabama racers rolled into Duck River and when the "Tide" rolled out a lot of moneys went south with the winners and front runners.
Danny "The Dominator" Peoples along with young hot shoe, Les Howell took home the money and the "Clayton Homes "Top Gun titles from two action packed and exciting Late Model features.
Thirty six super late models signed from six states and when time trials were over Peoples sat atop the totem pole with fellow Alabama "shoes’ Dale Ledlow, Mark Mears and Byron Michael. Last minute arrival, Ronnie Johnson was the first non Alabama qualifier. Sixteen late models were locked in with two 10 car consolation races set to determine the starting field. Defending track champion Shannon Davis topped former track champion Jerry Owens with Georgia’s Shane Clanton and Keith Hayes grabbing the final transfer spots in consy number one. Consy two saw Les Howell bested trio of Brandon King, Danny Christian and James Cline.
At the start of the 50 lap main, Peoples jumped out front with Ledlow and Mears in tow. Ronnie Johnson quickly made his presence known as the Chattanoogan slid by Jon Miller then Michael, Ledlow and Mears to challenge Peoples. The first dozen laps were a real tussle with drivers trying to find their line around the track. Johnson was running the top trying to get by Peoples on the bottom when David Gentry split the two and grabbed second from Ronnie. Gentry kept the pressure on Peoples when on lap 15 Danny went up high and Gentry grabbed the lead from Danny. Gentry was in front and trying to get away but could not pull out a comfortable margin over Peoples, Johnson, Michael and Miller. Just past the halfway point Gentry came up on lapped traffic but found the going tough. With Gentry leading and trying to get by lapped racers Peoples and Johnson were all over the local star. This trio were bumper to bumper and side by side going three wide on several occasions before Peoples retook the point with eight laps remaining. Peoples was now the hunted as Gentry and Johnson were all over the Margerette, Alabama native. With five to go the battle up front became a six car tussle as first time visitor David Smith of InMon, South Carolina had quietly climbed through the field and was fourth and pushing under Johnson and all over the back bumper of Gentry. Mears and Michael were also flexing their muscle. When the checkered flag fell it was Danny Peoples crossing the line first with Gentry just in front of Johnson. David Smith may have been the fastest car on the track in the final twenty laps but settled for fourth just in front of Mark Mears and Byron Michael.
Shane Clanton (-1 lap)
Keith Hayes (-1 lap)
James Cline (-1 lap)
Robert Gant (-1 lap)
Brandon King (-1 lap)
Danny Christian (DNF)
David Seibers (DNF)
Casey Roberts (DNF)
Carnell Parker (DNF)
Jerry Owens (DNF)
Stan Amacher (DNF)
In the 362 Steel Head Shoot Out, it was fast qualifier Dwayne Oakley who jumped out front early with Les Howell, Cory Posey ,Jon Miller and David Gentry in pursuit. Early spins by Gentry and Posey sent those two to the rear as Howell took the point from Oakley on lap seven. From that point on the entire field would chase the Muscle Shoals invader but to no avail. First Miller then Jerry Owens challenged Howell but could only keep the youngster in site. No one ever seriously challenged Les but several charges were being made from the back. Posey and Gentry were flying from the rear and it appeared that if Cory get back to the front he might be a factor. Posey had worked his way all the way back from the rear and was running eighth and still climbing when John David Todd spun and collected the Fayetteville charger. Gentry also made a fine run to climb back into a Top 10 finish. Les Howell completed the thirty five laps clearly the Steel Head Top Gun on this night with fellow Shoals native Jerry Owens in second. Eva, Alabama’s Jon Miller finished third.
In perhaps one of the finest efforts of the night in any class, Nashville Speedway competitor Allen Carter made his first start on clay in 2002 and showed that clay or asphalt it makes no difference to the Nashville Speedway ace. Carter came from sixteenth to finish fourth and was pushing the lead trio when the checkered flag was unfurled. Byron Michael was fifth and consolation race winner Jerry Jackson came from seventeenth to take a well deserved sixth place finish.
Consy runner-up Danny McInnes was not able to start the feature because the McMinnville native was involved in a viscous crash in the final hot lap session. Danny climbed the front stretch wall then just as he came off the wall he collected the pit exit barrier head on. Danny was severely shaken but was otherwise all right. His late model however was nearly destroyed.
362 Steel Head Late Model
John David Todd
In the Open Wheel feature it was heat race winner Shannon Davis that held off first time visitor Chad Winkles to garner the win. Tommy Davis, Mark Haddon and David Brannon were third through fifth. Henry Hanger also won his heat race.
The Super Stock main was typical Duck River super stock racing as several different drivers led the race with problems befalling several front runners while Dwayne Whitman passed Donald Davis with three laps remaining to grab his first win of 2002 at Duck River. Chris Prosser was second while June Bug Pomeroy held off the charging James Freeman for third. Prosser and Davis were the heat race winners.
June Bug Pomeroy
Rookie Pony racer Joe Burns made a rare trip to Duck River Speedway but won his heat race then drove to a convincing win over two time winner Scott Kolinski and Edwin Taylor. Kolinski won the other heat race.
Tom Russell became a four time winner in the Outlaw Pony division by besting Keith Layne and Brandon Scott. Four time Pure Pony winner Michael Chumbley finished fourth. Layne and Russell won their respective heats.
Pure Pony pilot, Anthony Dodson won his heat race then captured his third pure pony feature in a row by holding off defending class champion Michael Chumbley and Jeff Maxwell. Chumbley and Dodson were the heat race winners.
Racing continues this Saturday night with the next "Clayton Homes Big 6 Series" race scheduled for June 15.
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