By admin | August 3, 2008
Maupin cruises to second Volunteer Speedway Super Late Model victory
By Robert Walden
BULLS GAP, Tenn. (Aug. 2) — Pizza Plus presented the “Summer Sizzler” Saturday night at Volunteer Speedway and no driver was hotter than Jeff Maupin of Greeneville. Maupin powered into the lead at the drop of the green flag and never looked back en route to capturing his second “Gateway Ford” Super Late Model victory of the season.
With a tacky, hooked-up surface greeting the competitors during pole qualifying, Mike Smith ran a fast-lap of 12.092-seconds (119.092 mph) to get close to the Super Late Model track record of 12.004, with Maupin timing-in second fastest at 12.159.
Maupin beat Smith into the first turn on the opening lap to jump into the lead, with Vic Hill, Shanon Buckingham and Austin Dillon rounding out the top-five. Hill passed Smith racing off turn two on the eighth lap to move in second, but his night ended just one circuit later when rear-end suspension broke on his car and he slowed to a stop at the end of the front straightaway to bring out the event’s first caution.
Maupin was all alone out front for the Delaware double-file restart, with Smith and Buckingham side-by-side behind him, followed by Dillon and Dale Ball. With Maupin hard on the gas (pedal) going back green he launched like a rocket down the front straightaway, with Buckingham getting past Smith to move into second place.
Dillon and Ball tangled between the third and fourth turns, with both almost spinning, allowing Mike Jackson to slip by and into fourth place. With Dillon and Ball reeling their mounts back in, Dillon got around Jackson on lap 10 to move into fourth, and Ball also got past Jackson for fifth in the running order. Jackson spun on lap 12 to bring out the caution, which would be the last yellow during the 35-lap feature.
Going back green using the Delaware double-file restart Maupin was riding in style out front, with Buckingham and Smith in the row behind, followed by Dillon and Ball. Maupin quickly put some distance between his Landair Transport Inc./TEG Enterprises/ G&W Hauling and Rigging/Jerry’s Auto Salvage/Tolliver Heating & Cooling/Greenlee Farm/Allstar Performance/O’Reilly Auto Parts/Performance Rod & Custom/GRT Race Cars/Vic Hill Racing Engines/American Race Tires/No. 0 Chevrolet Impala SS, and both Buckingham and Dillon, who passed Smith for third place as the field accelerated back up to speed.
With the race running clean-and-green through the mid-stages headed towards the finish, Maupin was setting a blistering pace out front and pulling away to a comfortable margin over Buckingham and Dillon, while Smith and Ball were battling for the fourth spot.
Maupin completed his green-to-checkers romp to victory in impressive fashion as he won by a little over a full-straightaway over Buckingham and Dillon, with Smith and Ball rounding out the top-five.
Completing the top 10 at the finish were Bobby Mays, Bryan Hendrix, Jackson, Terry Wolfenbarger and Gary Blanken.
“Man, what an awesome track we had to race on tonight,” said a smiling Maupin in victory lane. “I don’t know that I’ve ever had this much fun in a race car. I’m telling you, this place was just wicked-fast tonight and you could about run wide-open. Between the first and second turns, all you did was just barely burp the (accelerator) and then you were back on the floor with the gas pedal. I want to commend track owner Joe Loven for having the surface in such good shape. I just hope whatever he did to get it this good, it will be like this in a couple of weeks for the big World of Outlaws Late Model Series double-header nights of the ‘Scorcher.’
“To be able to outrun (Shanon) Buckingham, Austin (Dillon), Mike (Smith), Dale (Ball), and early in the race Vic (Hill), that was an unreal feeling. I knew I had a very good car, and it seemed the longer we ran (especially that last long green-flag run) the faster we got. Ever since I switched over to the American Racer tires a few weeks back it’s really just picked my racing program up big-time. With the strong Vic Hill Racing Engine under the hood and the tires (American Racer), that’s a potent combination. That is as long as the driver does his job and doesn’t make any dumb mistakes driving the car.
“I want to thank all the guys who help work on the car during the week and on race-night at the track – Rodney Justice, Josh Bible, Tony Price and Casey Greenlee. They get just as pumped-up when we run well and win races as I do. With as good as the car is running right now, I’d love to be able to come back at the ‘Scorcher’ and run well against all of those World of Outlaws traveling guys. And I believe we can do it, too.”
In qualifying for the “Courtesy Chevrolet” Crate Late Model feature, Ty Dillon, the 16-year-old grandson of NASCAR championship-winning team owner Richard Childress, toured the high banks at 13.426-seconds (107.254 mph) to establish a new Crate Late Model track record, lowering the previous standard of 13.455 held by Shanon Buckingham. Ryan Gifford of Winchester, Tenn., now living in Lewisville, N.C., and Dillon’s teammate at Team Dillon Racing, a developmental driver program for Richard Childress Racing, was second-quickest during time trials to nail down the outside front-row starting berth for the 25-lap feature.
With first Dillon and then Gifford jumping the initial start of the race, they were relegated back to the second row and third and fourth-fastest qualifiers Jerry Broyles and Dale Ball moved up to the front row. Ball grabbed the lead over Broyles racing off turn two on the opening lap, with Gifford, Dillon and Joe “Dirt” Good in tow. Gifford dropped under Broyles racing off the fourth turn on the second lap to move into the runner-up position, while also opening the door for Dillon to pass Broyles and take over the third spot.
After working on Good for a couple of laps, Kelly Glass passed Good on lap 5 to move into fifth. Once Gifford got around Broyles for second his sights were set on Ball, who had won two consecutive features. Closing right on the rear bumper of Ball on the ninth circuit, Gifford began to knock on the door. Pulling alongside of Ball racing off turn two on lap 11, Gifford and Ball raced side-by-side for two laps before the 19-year-old Gifford assumed a lead he would never relinquish.
With Gifford, driving the Shell/Pennzoil/Snap-On/Allstar Performance/Integra Racing Shocks/Simpson/GRT Race Cars/No. 29 Chevrolet Impala SS checking out up front in the lead, Ball held off Dillon at the checkers to finish in second, moving him into a tie for the points lead with Glass who finished fourth, followed in fifth by Broyles.
Completing the top 10 finishers were Allen Champ, Good, Josh Henry, Travis Trent and James Cole.
“Man, to be able to finally get a win here at Volunteer Speedway is awesome,” said Gifford after climbing from his car and standing on the roof with his arms raised in victory. “I really like racing here on these high banks, this place is fast. I’ve had some good runs each time we’ve been here, but I’ve just not been able to get a win. I hated that deal on the start when Ty (Dillon) and I got put back a row, but I knew if I was patient I had a good enough car to where I could still challenge for the win. This track was in great shape tonight and my car was really dialed-in and handled very well. With the banking and overall width of this track, you’ve got multiple grooves you can run.
“Racing side-by-side there for the lead with Dale (Ball) was intense, but we drove each other cleanly and I was able to get by for the lead. I always look forward to each time we (Team Dillon Racing) get to come here and race, and I’m anxious to get back here in a couple of weeks when the crate-cars will run during the ‘Scorcher.’ I want to thank Richard Childress and Mike and Tina Dillon for believing in me, and also I want to thank my crew chief Shane McDowell and his wife Sara, along with Jeff Carter and Dustin Keith for all they do.”
If any competitor at Volunteer Speedway in 2008 deserved a trip to victory lane it was hard-luck driver Jamie Whitt of Wise, Va. Whitt has been upside down flipping his ride, plus gotten collected in several accidents where he just happened to be in the “wrong place at the right time.” But never one to back down from a challenge, the personable Whitt set fast-time in qualifying for the 20-lap “Rusty Wallace Toyota” Hobby Stock feature and jumped into the lead at the drop of the green flag. Staying out front the entire distance, Whitt held off a hard-charging Eddie Morris down the stretch to capture his first victory of the season. Finishing third through fifth, respectively, were Dustin Shaver, Jon Cook and James Davidson.
Entering the night of racing, Mike Hodges led Shaver by 18 points in the chase for the Hobby Stock track championship. But disaster struck while Hodges was running in second when he broke (lost) a rear wheel early in the race, forcing him into the pits and out of the race with rear-end damage. With Hodges finishing dead-last and Shaver coming home third, Shaver now moves into a 24 point lead in the standings over Hodges.
Coming off his third consecutive victory meant Kevin Atwell of Rural Retreat, Va., would have to start the 20-lap“Century 21 Masengill-McCrary Realtors” Mini Stock feature from sixth-place. Joey Allen grabbed the lead over Shawn Henry at the start of the race and appeared headed to victory, but when his car began dropping fluid on the (track) surface and smoking just six laps from the finish he was forced into the pits, thus moving Atwell to the point. In the lead and with a clear track ahead, Atwell sped to his fourth-straight feature win, with Henry, Randy Lane, Toby Jones and Ernie Stubblefield rounding out the top five finishers.
Stanley Donahoo of White Pine jumped into the lead at the drop of the green flag in the 15-lap IMCA Open Wheel Modified feature and rolled to his third-straight victory, with Wayne James, Jerry Broyles, Jimmy Dalton and Josh Henry chasing him to the checkers.
“GATEWAY FORD” SUPER LATE MODEL (35 laps)
1) Jeff Maupin #0; 2) Shanon Buckingham #50; 3) Austin Dillon #29; 4) Mike Smith #4; 5) Dale Ball #7; 6) Bobby Mays #25; 7) Bryan Hendrix #25; Mike Jackson #Q; 9) Terry Wolfenbarger #14; 10) Gary Blanken #05; 11) Jamie Brogan #28; 12) Vic Hill #1 – Did Not Start: Dempsey Harold Jr. #09
“COURTESY CHEVROLET” CRATE LATE MODEL (25 laps)
1) Ryan Gifford #29; 2) Dale Ball #2; 3) Ty Dillon #2d; 4) Kelly Glass #01; 5) Jerry Broyles #72; 6) Allen Champ #11c; 7) Joe “Dirt” Good #911; Josh Henry #B00; 9) Travis Trent #5; 10) James Cole #5c; 11) Jackie Hughes #27; 12) Todd Brooks #T1; 13) Hugh “Wishbone” Scalf #56; 14) Jesse Helton #28; 15) Tommy Eastridge #37; 16) John Harrell #H19
“RUSTY WALLACE TOYOTA” HOBBY STOCK (20 laps)
1) Jamie Whitt #1; 2) Eddie Morris #14m; 3) Dustin Shaver #7; 4) Jon Cook #0z; 5) James Davidson #4; 6) Dale Reed #52; 7) Bobby Reed #54; Jim Canning Jr. #31; 9) Tracy Wolfe #11; 10) Shorty Ledford #41; 11) Mike Kelley #8; 12) Ray Jarnigan #31j; 13) Jesse Wilder #79; 14) Shannon Davidson #88; 15) Patrick Flannery #38; 16) Jeff Rife #05; 17) Chuck Johnson #17; 18) Everett Cobb #13; 19) Charlie Bates #27; 20) Terry Dean #20r; 21) Dennis Metcalf #55; 22) Scotty McMurray #37; 23) Roger Hunter #7-11; 24) Mike Hodges #m2 – Did Not Start: Chris Long #75, Robbie Woods #16
“CENTURY 21 MASENGILL-MCCRARY REALTORS” MINI STOCK (20 laps)
1) Kevin Atwell #95; 2) Shawn Henry #B00; 3) Randy Lane #5; 4) Toby Jones #66; 5) Ernie Stubblefield #21; 6) Scottie Frazier #13; 7) Terry Dean #20r; Joey Allen #A00
IMCA OPEN WHEEL MODIFIED (15 laps)
1) Stanley Donahoo #00; 2) Wayne James #4; 3) Jerry Broyles #72; 4) Jimmy Dalton #2; 5) Josh Henry #B00; 6) Jerry Fobare #4f; 7) Matt Letterman #3T
Topics: ET Racing |