By admin | July 27, 2008
Kerr goes flag-to-flag in Volunteer Speedway ‘Southern Nationals’ victory
By Robert Walden
BULLS GAP, Tenn. — Tommy Kerr of Maryville has won many feature races during his career, but none bigger than tonight’s O’Reilly Southern National Series Super Late Model event presented by Rusty Wallace Toyota of Morristown at Volunteer Speedway. Kerr launched into the lead at the drop of the green and never looked back en route to the crowd-pleasing, flag-to-flag romp to victory in the 53-lap main for a payday of $5,300.
“Oh man, you just don’t know what it means to me personally and to this Blount Motorsports race team to be able to pull this big victory off tonight,” said a happy Kerr with a huge smile on his face in victory lane. “I guess winning a race like this is what you dream of, it’s by far the biggest win of my racing career. Just look who finished behind me tonight, I was able to outrun some very good race cars.
“I race with (Rick) Rogers in the Advance Auto Parts Thunder Series full-time, and he’s tough. And to be able to beat Jimmy Owens here at Volunteer Speedway, that’s awesome. He’s hard to handle here at ‘The Gap.’ Then you have ‘Rambo’ Franklin and Vic Hill, those are two hard-nosed competitors. When you beat Vic here, you’ve done something. With his four track titles and numerous wins, he’s someone that you kind of gauge yourself off of when you come to this track.”
Shon Flanary was the Integra Shocks Fast Qualifier from the 43 entries during time trials, running a quick-lap of 12.479-seconds (115.396 mph) to earn the pole position, with Kerr second-quickest at 12.481 to nail down the outside front-row starting berth. Winners of the three B-mains, respectively, were Skip Arp, Billy Ogle Jr. and Chris Madden.
With the green flag waving over the stellar 25-car field, Flanary and Kerr raced door-to-door into the first turn. But riding the cushion up top, Kerr powered into a lead he would never relinquish over Flanary, Rick Rogers, Dennis Franklin and Vic Hill. The event’s first caution waved on the fourth lap when pole-sitter Flanary slowed with mechanical problems exiting turn four and slowly coasted down the front straightaway.
On the restart Kerr was in command out front followed by Rogers, Franklin, Hill and Jeff Maupin. Like he was shot out of a cannon, on lap 5 racing into the third turn Jimmy Owens dropped to the inside to pass Mike Smith for sixth in the running order, and still hard on the gas he passed Maupin racing off the fourth turn to move into fifth place.
Just 10 laps into the race Kerr was encountering cars at the back of the field, but he never missed a beat as he began lapping cars. Up from his eighth-place starting position, Owens passed Hill racing off turn two on lap 16 to move into fourth … and just two circuits later he worked his way around Franklin and into third place.
Meanwhile, charging forward from his 13th starting position was Chris Madden. Madden passed Shane Roberts to move into tenth on lap 19, and on lap 22 he dropped low racing off the fourth turn to overtake Ogle for ninth. Next in his sights was the eighth-running Jones, and Madden “smoked” past Jones for the position on lap 24.
On lap 30 things began to look bleak for Owens, as his machine started billowing smoke from the rear on both ends of the track each time the “Newport Nightmare” would crack the throttle and then get back in the gas. With the engine’s temperature beginning to climb, Owens wasn’t about to pull into the pits.
You could throw a blanket over the front-running quartet of Kerr, Rogers, Owens and Franklin at the 40-lap mark, with Hill just a few car lengths behind Franklin in fifth.
But masterfully negotiating lapped traffic down the homestretch, Kerr, driving the Turner Industrial Supply Inc./Explosive Specialists Inc./Stowers CAT/Insurance Partners/Ohlins Shocks/Storie Manifolds/Bearden Oil Co./Hoosier Racing Tires/Custom Race Engines/Rocket/Blount Motorsports/No. 4T Chevrolet Impala SS, impressively held off Rogers, Owens, Franklin and Hill for the $5,300 victory.
Maupin, Smith, Madden, Jones and Ogle completed the top-10 finishers.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever driven a better race car than what I had tonight,” Kerr said. “In the times we’ve run here at ‘The Gap’ this season we’ve run pretty well, and I really feel we learned some things that we applied to tonight. We were good in practice and then we backed it up with a strong qualifying run that put us on the front row. And then in the race, I could run anywhere I needed on the track … whether it be down on the bottom, through the middle of the corners or up top riding the cushion.
“From what my crew told me after the race, even when we were working lapped traffic, once I’d clear a car I would then put some breathing room between myself and Rogers, Owens, Franklin and Hill. This is definitely a team victory for Blount Motorsports, and I want to thank Larry Garner, Steve Garner, Gary Winger, B.J. Hillman, Will Bobo and Kevin Roulette. We’ve all been waiting to get us a big win like this one, and hopefully now this will just get us over the hump and more wins will follow. But one thing is for certain, and that’s I’ll never forget this win tonight.”
Brad Hall started from the pole in the 25-lap “Courtesy Chevrolet” Crate Late Model feature, but it was outside front-row starter Dale Ball of Johnson City who raced into the lead as the duo sped off turn two on the opening lap, closely followed by Kelly Glass, Josh Henry, with Ty Dillon and Ryan Gifford battling door-to-door for fifth. In a racing incident on the sixth circuit, contact between Dillon and Henry saw Henry loop his mount in turn two.
Back up to speed under green conditions, Ball put a few car lengths between himself and Hall once the leaders began working lapped traffic. Lurking within striking distance behind Ball and Hall was Glass as the race reached halfway, while Dillon was fending off the advances of Jerry Broyles who had passed Gifford to move into fifth.
Broyles tried to stick his nose under Dillon between turns one and two on lap 19, only to momentarily get out of shape and allow Gifford to slide by into fifth. That proved to be short-lived as Broyles roared back the following lap to reclaim the spot.
But out front it was all Ball, driving the Smith Brothers Harley-Davidson of Johnson City/Alan Poyner Enterprises/Mainline Communications/Jim Schweitzer Inc./Charles Byrd and Son (Timmy Byrd) Logging/Broyles Tire/Twin D Auto & Truck Sales/Tri-City Rubber & Gasket Co./Advance Auto Parts/Bilstein Shocks/Steve “The Man” Williams/Warrior Race Cars/No. 2 Pontiac GTO, as he rolled to the flag-to-flag victory, his second consecutive win with Hall chasing him to the checkers to wind up in the runner-up spot. Finishing third through fifth, respectively, were Glass, Dillon and Broyles.
Completing the top 10 finishers were Gifford, John Llewellyn, Tony Trent, Joe “Dirt” Good and Jackie Hughes. Entering the night Glass led Ball by eight points in the battle for Crate Late Model supremacy, and with Ball’s victory he narrows the gap to only four points.
Dustin Shaver of Morristown won the season-opening points event for the “Rusty Wallace Toyota” Hobby Stocks back the first of April, but had been shut out of victory lane ever since, though over the course of the season he had recorded five runner-up finishes. Shaver stormed into the lead at the start over Mike Hodges and withstood several challenges for the point to capture his second victory. In a side-by-side battle to the checkers, Everett Cobb edged Chuck Johnson for third, with Dennis Metcalf finishing in fifth.
Shawn Henry jumped into the lead at the start of the 20-lap “Century 21 Masengill-McCrary Realtors” Mini Stock feature before giving way to Joey Allen on the third circuit. Allen held the point until being overtaken by Kevin Atwell of Rural Retreat, Va., on lap 7. Once out front, Atwell was pressured by a hard-charging Chuck McMahan on several occasions, but Atwell would not be denied his third visit to victory lane this season. With McMahan coming home in the runner-up position, rounding out the top-five were Kurt Owens, Toby Jones and Ernie Stubblefield.
Jerry Broyles grabbed the lead at the drop of the green on the IMCA Open Wheel Modified feature and appeared headed to his fourth victory. But Stanley Donahoo of White Pine got a strong run on Broyles racing off the fourth turn to the white flag to pull alongside entering the first turn on the last lap. Rim-riding up top between turns one and two, Donahoo powered past Broyles as they raced off turn two and held on to capture his third win of the season, with Broyles a close second. Finishing third through fifth, respectively, were Josh Henry, Jesse Bales and Jimmy Dalton.
O’REILLY SOUTHERN NATIONALS SERIES – PRESENTED BY RUSTY WALLACE TOYOTA (53 laps)
Showing Finishing Position, Starting Position In Parentheses, Driver Name, Car Number, Hometown, Money Won
1. (2) Tommy Kerr #4T-Maryville, TN $5,300
2. (4) Rick Rogers #44-Knoxville, TN $2,500
3. (8) Jimmy Owens #20-Newport, TN $1,500
4. (3) Dennis Franklin #2-Gaffney, SC $1,000
5. (5) Vic Hill #1-Morristown, TN $900
6. (7) Jeff Maupin #0-Greeneville, TN $800
7. (6) Mike Smith #4-Rogersville, TN $750
8. (13) Chris Madden #44m-Gray Court, SC $725
9. (10) Kerry Jones #6-Bristol, TN $700
10. (12) Billy Ogle Jr. #201-Knoxville, TN $675
11. (14) Brandon Kinzer #18-Allen, KY $650
12. (17) Mark Vineyard #4v-Powell, TN $625
13. (20) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth #18h-Northport, AL $600
14. (25) Eric Jacobsen #5-Sea Cliffe Beach, CA $590
15. (9) Shane Roberts #32w-Blountville, TN $580
16. (15) D.J. Myers #70-Greencastle, PA $575
17. (23) Tony Knowles #26-Tyrone, GA $570
18. (18) Dale Ball #7-Johnson City, TN $560
19. (24) Brian Booze #2b-Marion, PA $555
20. (16) Roger Best #007-Maryville, TN $550
21. (19) Randy Weaver #116-Crossville, TN $545
22. (21) Ethan Hunter #101-Tiger, GA $540
23. (22) Chris Combs #47-Isom, KY $535
24. (11) Skip Arp #B97-Georgetown, TN $530
25. (1) Shon Flanary #98-Mount Carmel, TN $530
- Car Count: 43 (Cars Representing 10 States)
- Integra Shocks Fast Qualifier ($100): Shon Flanary 12.479
- Lap Leaders: Tommy Kerr (1-53)
- Cautions: 3 (Laps 4, 20, 23)
- PPM Racing Products Hard Charger of the Race ($50): Eric Jacobsen (25th to 14th)
- Barry Wright Race Cars Highest Finisher ($100): Dennis Franklin
- Rocket Chassis Highest Finisher ($100): Tommy Kerr
- GRT Race Cars Highest Finisher ($100): Vic Hill
- Delph Communications Highest Finisher ($50): Jimmy Owens
- Wilwood Tough Brake Award ($50): Steve Smith
- Series Provisionals: Tony Knowles, Brian Booze, Eric Jacobsen
American Racer Tires B-Main (Top Four Advance): Skip Arp, Brandon Kinzer, Mark Vineyard, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Eric Jacobsen, Chris Meadows, Mike Collins, Brian Booze, John King, Chad Ogle, Bobby Giffin
Hoosier Racing Tires B-Main (Top Four Advance): Billy Ogle Jr., D.J. Myers, Dale Ball, Ethan Hunter, Steve Smith, Herman Goddard, Tony Knowles, Junior Brown, Danny Mitchell, Brad Hall, Mark Douglas
MasterSbilt Race Cars B-Main (Top Four Advance): Chris Madden, Roger Best, Randy Weaver, Chris Combs, Eric Wells, Bryan Hendrix, Matthew Langley, Terry Wolfenbarger, Daniel Baggerly, Dempsey Harold
“COURTESY CHEVROLET” CRATE LATE MODEL (25 laps)
1) Dale Ball #2; 2) Brad Hall #47; 3) Kelly Glass #01; 4) Ty Dillon #2; 5) Jerry Broyles #72; 6) Ryan Gifford #29; 7) John Llewellyn #90; Tony Trent #18; 9) Joe “Dirt” Good #911; 10) Jackie Hughes #27; 11) Jacob Grizzle #99g; 12) Hunter Best #007; 13) Todd Brooks #T1; 14) James Cole #5c; 15) Chuck Laney #91; 16) John Henry #B00; 17) Travis Trent #5; 18) Hugh “Wishbone” Scalf #56; 19) Allen Carrier #57; 20) Jeff Maupin #0; 21) Weston Gantte #14; 22) Kenny Peeples Jr. #22 – Did Not Start: John Harrell #H19, Ricky Moore #75; Brent Hensley #70
“RUSTY WALLACE TOYOTA” HOBBY STOCK (20 laps)
1) Dustin Shaver #7; 2) Mike Hodges #m2; 3) Everett Cobb #13; 4) Chuck Johnson #17; 5) Dennis Metcalf #55; 6) Jamie Whitt #1; 7) Bobby Reed #54; Robbie Woods #16; 9) Jesse Wilder #79; 10) Shorty Ledford #41; 11) Ray Jarnigan #31; 12) Shannon Davidson #88; 13) Tony Mullinex #71; 14) Tyler Smith #32; 15) Patrick Flannery #38; 16) Chris Long #75
“CENTURY 21 MASENGILL-MCCRARY REALTORS” MINI STOCK (20 laps)
1) Kevin Atwell #95; 2) Chuck McMahan #99; 3) Kurt Owens #7up; 4) Toby Jones #66; 5) Ernie Stubblefield #21; 6) Shawn Henry #B00; 7) Terry Dean #20; Joey Allen #A00; 9) Trey Travis #T15; 10) Jamie James #23; 11) Brandon Johnson #B01 – Did Not Start: Randy Lane #5
IMCA OPEN WHEEL MODIFIED (15 laps)
1) Stanley Donahoo #00; 2) Jerry Broyles #72; 3) Josh Henry #B00; 4) Jesse Bales #g66; 5) Jimmy Dalton #2; 6) Jerry Fobare #4f; 7) Wayne James #4; Matt Letterman #3T
Topics: ET Racing |