posted June 03, 2002 08:57 PM
Terry Gray Takes “Outlaw Thunder” Thriller!
Columbus, Mississippi-The annual appearance by the United Sprint Car Series (USCS) for “Outlaw Thunder” brought a talented field of USCS Sprint Car and local Stock Car pilots to the Columbus Speedway Highbanks for the fans entertainment. A standing room only, sprint car race record crowd was in the packed stands to see a classic win by Terry Gray in the USCS feature race. The pits were swelled with fans and racecars with 144 entrants filling the pits to wage war in front of the behemoth crowd at the popular oval as summer time is upon us and racing season is at full throttle.
The USCS Sprint Car Championship event saw one of the Top Guns in the Mid-South strut his stuff at “The Bartlett Bullett” Terry Gray of Bartlett, Tennessee would have to earn the big win. Gray’s evening would get off to an auspicious start as he would end on the wrecker after taking a roll during his heat race and start the main event from the tail of the field. Gray would charge through the field of winged warriors on the racy track and after battling with Marshall Skinner take the lead in the latter stages of the race to the delight of the packed house. Following Gray across the stripe was Marshall Skinner of West Memphis along with a strong effort from Biloxi’s Shane Morgan. Bartlett’s Mike McElya was fourth with Winston, Georgia’s Chris Rogers rounding out the top five.
The Super Late Model division would see “The Pontotoc Pirate” Steve Russell become the first three time winner in the CSWRS in 2002 along with his fourth win overall at Columbus Speedway in 2002 in his Jeff Cooley Trucking and Rick’s Furniture sponsored Brown Engineering powered GRT Monte Carlo. Russell would set fast time during MidSouthRacing.com Pole Qualifying with a lap of 14.75-seconds, draw a “0” for the field inversion and then set sail in the 30-lap main event that was hampered by only one caution and the final 29 laps were without incident. David ”The Ragin’ Rebel” Breazeale would give chase only to have to fend off “The Prowler” Shawn Edwards, who has been lurking at the front of the pack since the delivery of a new GRT in the last six weeks. Edwards would finish third behind Breazeale yet take over the top spot in the Columbus Speedway Weekly Racing Series (CSWRS) point standings for the first time in 2002. Josh Fuller of Marion continues to knock down top five finishes and claimed the fourth spot with Berry, Alabama’s Scott Shepherd taking the fifth position.
The Mini Stock class ran early in the evening and put on a show for the fans. The event would see a three way battle for the lead with an exciting finish as points leader Scott Gable of Cedar Bluff moved up from fourth starting position and took the entertaining win in his Mustang closely followed by Greg Glover and Jena, Alabama’s Mike Minor completing the podium. Last week’s winner Buddy Glover was fourth with Caledonia’s Tommy Dove finishing fifth in the four cylinder division’s 12-lap main event of the evening.
The Mississippi Modified class saw “Flying” Brian Rickman make his return to Victory Lane over a strong field of nineteen of the area’s top open wheel drivers. Rickman of Columbus in his Rickman Truckling sponsored Shaw Chassis racecar would be the man getting pictures taken after the race with “The Midnight Rider” Matt Price taking his Sulligent based pony to a second place run with Brian Hollis taking the third place honors along with moving in to a tie for the lead in the points battle for the highly competitive division with Lee Ray where the top five drivers are separated by less than 100 points. Caleb Myers followed up last week strong run with a fourth place finish and Randall Reedwood claimed fifth.
The Pro Street class would see Thomas McReynolds take two in a row in his Holley Spec engine powered Camaro racecar. McReynolds would tame a strong 16-car field with ever present front runner Frank Cox of Detroit, Alabama second and Chris McElhenney bringing his Pro Street truck home in an uncustomary third place position. Randol Harlow has made his presence known in the last couple of weeks with another good effort in fourth with Columbus’ Bobby Nickoles rounding out the top five. Paul Ware continues to lead the Pro Street points with Frank Cox closing fast and trailing by only six points.
The Street Stock division continues to maintain the highest level of parity of any class at Columbus Speedway with a different winner week after week along with another strong field of 25 entries on hand. A new face to visit Victory Lane in 2002 was that of Columbus’ Harold Trimm. Scott Stripling, who has been fast all season, managed to keep away bad luck and finish second after starting mid pack in the popular class. Lee Ray continues to run up front yet has not been able to recapture the dominance he once had over the class and finished third with last week’s winner David Honeycutt in fourth with Chad Nickoles in fifth for an all Columbus based top five. Stripling maintains the lead in the fiercely competitive class.
The Two Person Cruiser class offered up their usual brand of chaos that is brought with the fury of a F5 level tornado and the head honchos for the evening were the tag team duo of Eugene Barton and Alan Jaynes of Ethelsville who charged from tenth starting position to the front. They were awarded the win after the apparent winners of husband and wife team of Joe and Rose Weeks failed post race inspection with a non conforming right rear tire. Craig Murray and Kenneth Roach took the runner up spot and also sit atop the Cruiser heap for the division’s title chase after moving past the Bob Phillips team, with Jeremy Robertson and Alan Hall taking third place honors in the 10-lap scuffle. Randal and Sarah Barton finished fourth while the tandem of Chase and Matt Christian survived to finish fifth in the 22-car field.
The Pro 4 division saw the continued strong effort from David Goins as he took the checkers and top back again to Northport, Alabama this week. Blake Prescott and Joe Sudduth battled their way for top three finishes. Rounding out the top five were Lynn Walker and points leader James Blakney of Carrollton.
Columbus Speedway will host a Full Racing Program on June 8th as part of the Columbus Speedway Weekly Racing Series. Event information for June 8th is grandstand gates open at 5pm with the driver’s meeting at 6:30; practice at 7:30pm; and racing at 8:00pm. Adult admission is $10 with children under 11 admitted free. Additional Columbus Speedway information can be found on the Columbus Speedway Internet home at www.midsouthracing.com or by calling the Columbus Speedway event hotline at 662-241-5004.