posted August 03, 2002 09:05 AM
O'REILLY AUTO PARTS MID-AMERICA RACING SERIES
Friday, August 2, 2002
By Larry Olson; Mountain Home, AR
MUSKOGEE OK. Bill Frye won for the sixth time on the 2002 O'Reilly Auto Parts Mid-America Racing Series. Frye overcame home standing Charlie Randolph Jr., then went on to put away the field by close to a full straightaway on the ½ mile Muskogee Speedway. Frye picked up another $3,000 for his win.
Raymond Merrill notched his first pole of the 2002 season, and had Randolph to his outside to start the 40 Lap main event. Randolph powered to the lead as the green flag was displayed, with Merrill, Frye, Jeff Taylor, and Terry Phillips falling in behind. Taylor moved by Frye, taking over third in turn four on the opening lap. Randolph moved out to a 10 carlength lead quickly, but a caution for Donny Hicks on lap four slowed Randolph's pace.
Taylor drove by Merrill on the restart, taking second. Terry Phillips got around Frye for fourth in turn four on lap four. Phillips used the high side of the track to bypass Merrill for the third spot in turn two on the next lap.
Frye began his assault on the front on lap seven, getting by Merrill. Frye and Phillips dueled side by side for third on the next go round, then Frye moved to the third position in turn four.
Out front, Randolph and Taylor were nose to tail by lap 10. Wendell Wallace took over fifth on lap 11, getting by Merrill. Frye joined Randolph and Taylor, as the top three were close. Frye and Taylor were side by side on lap 12, then Frye and Randolph were side by side on the next circuit. The pair were close, side by side several times over the next two laps, with Taylor right on their heels.
Finally, the front-runners started moving into traffic, and Frye used that to his advantage. Frye was able to pick Randolph behind a slower car in turn two, and moved to the lead heading down the backstretch. Frye was pacing the field by 10 carlengths by lap 20, and had moved out to half a straightaway margin by lap 25.
Jeff Taylor improved past Randolph for the second spot on the backstretch on lap 26. Phillips bypassed Randolph for third on the backstretch on lap 30. Leslie Essary took the fifth spot from Wallace on lap 35.
Bill Frye came home with O'Reilly M.A.R.S. win number six on the season, with Jeff Taylor, Terry Phillips, Charlie Randolph Jr., and Leslie Essary making up the top five. Wendell Wallace, Raymond Merrill, Gary Stolba, Jeff Floyd, and Joey Mack rounded out the top ten.
Top Qualifier: Raymond Merrill
Hard Charger: Dewaine Hottinger
Provisional: Steve Rushin (4)
Lap Leaders: Charlie Randolph Jr. 1-18, Bill Frye 19-40
A Feature (40 Laps)
1) Bill Frye, GRT/Kuntz/Mustang; $3,000
2) Jeff Taylor, Shaw-Rocket/Kuntz/Taurus; $2,000
3) Terry Phillips, GRT/Hatfield/Monte Carlo; $1,250
4) Charlie Randolph Jr., GRT/BMS/Monte Carlo; $1,100
5) Leslie Essary, GRT/Mike's/Grand Prix; $1,000
6) Wendell Wallace, GRT/Gaerte/Grand Prix; $750
7) Raymond Merrill, GRT/Kuntz/Grand Prix; $700
8) Gary Stolba, GRT/Hatfield/Monte Carlo; $675
9) Jeff Floyd, GRT/Kuntz/Grand Prix;$650
10) Joey Mack, GRT/Kuntz/Mustang; $625
11) Jerry Buck, GRT/Hatfield/Monte Carlo; $600
12) Dewaine Hottinger, GRT/Kuntz/Grand Prix; $575
13) Justin Fulton, Rocket/Baker/Grand Prix; $550
14) Steve Rushin, GRT/Hatfield/Monte Carlo; $525
15) Rob Mayea, Rocket/Gray's/Grand Prix; $500
16) David Gibson, GRT/Hatfield/Monte Carlo; $500
17) Stacy Taylor, GRT/****ens/Monte Carlo; $500
18) Larry Leatherman, GRT/Baker/Monte Carlo; $500
19) Klint Pursley, American Made/BMS/Grand Prix; $500
20) Dan Leatherman, GRT/Baker/Monte Carlo; $500
21) Donny Hicks, GRT/Baker/Monte Carlo; $500
1st Heat (12 Laps) 1) Raymond Merrill, Sallisaw OK 2) Donny Hicks, Tallaquah OK 3) Terry Phillips, Springfield MO 4) Leslie Essary, Crane MO 5) Jerry Buck, Paragould AR 6) Jeff Floyd, Walnut Ridge AR 7) Joey Mack, Benton MO 8) Dewaine Hottinger, Russellville AR
2nd Heat 1) Charlie Randolph Jr., Muskogee OK 2) Jeff Taylor, Batesville AR 3) Wendell Wallace, Batesville AR 4) Gary Stolba, Willow Springs MO 5) Stacy Taylor, Jacksonville AR 6) Klint Pursley, Locust Grove OK 7) Steve Rushin, Poplar Bluff MO 8) James Carpenter, Porter OK
3rd Heat 1) Bill Frye, Greenbriar AR 2) David Gibson, Ash Flat AR 3) Larry Leatherman, Muskogee OK 4) Dan Leatherman, Muskogee OK 5) Rob Mayea, Bend OR 6) Justin Fulton, Muskogee OK (scratch: Mike Berkenbile)
Last Chance Qualifier (12 Laps, four transfer) 1) Justin Fulton 2) Joey Mack 3) Klint Pursley 4) Dewaine Hottinger 5) Steve Rushin 6) James Carpenter (scratch: Mike Berkenbile)