By admin | April 26, 2009
Ford, Ogle capture Fastrak Racing Series ‘Late Model Showdown at The Gap’ victories
By Robert Walden
BULLS GAP, Tenn. (April 25) — Volunteer Speedway began its 36th season of exciting dirt-track racing Saturday night by hosting twin $3,000-to-win “Late Model Showdown at The Gap” features for the Fastrak Racing Series Pro Late Models Southern/Smoky Mountain/Mideast Touring Series and Super Late Models.
Stealing the spotlight on center stage were young hard-chargers Jensen Ford of Piney Flats, Tenn., as he led flag-to-flag in capturing the biggest win of his racing career in the Fastrak Racing Series Pro Late Model feature for a $3,000 payday. Chad Ogle of Sevierville, Tenn., also outran a stellar field of Super Late Model competitors en route to recording his most significant career feature win, also banking $3,000 for his effort.
Shanon Buckingham of Morristown, Tenn., set fast-time (13.789) in qualifying over the 30 Fastrak Racing Series competitors present representing six states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee). Winning the three respective heat races were Royce Bray of Hull, Ga., the defending Fastrak Racing Series “Grand Nationals” champion; Jensen Ford of Piney Flats, Tenn., and Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga.
With Bray and Ford leading the 24-car Pro Late Model field to the green, the first attempt in getting the 50-lap feature started resulted in the caution flag waving before one lap could be completed. On the second try, Bray and Ford raced door-to-door off into the first turn, and as the duo came back around to the start/finish line Ford was barely ahead which proved to be a huge advantage, as the caution waved once again for a big pileup on the front straightaway. Several cars were collected in the melee including Ron Parker, Travis Pennington, Chuck Laney, Ross Bailes, Chris Cantrell, Brian Ligon, Anthony Meadows and Donald Bradsher. Some suffered sheet-metal damage and were able to continue while others were parked in the pits for the night.
Going back green Ford was out front trailed by Bray, Davenport, Vic Chandler and Lee Cooper. Chandler got out of shape in turn two allowing Cooper to slip past into fourth and with the door open Anthony White moved around Chandler into the fifth spot.
Cooper dropped low between turns one and two on the third circuit to overtake both Davenport and Bray, advancing into the runner-up position. Davenport got around Bray for third and Bray eventually wound up falling back to sixth in the running order, as White and Shanon Buckingham moved into fourth and fifth, respectively.
With race leader Ford getting to the back of the field to begin lapping cars on lap 12, he masterfully worked his way around the slower cars like a seasoned-veteran and never lost ground to Cooper and Davenport. As the race reached halfway, Ford was in command out front driving the Byrd’s Radiator/Metcalf Tree Service/AFCO Shocks/Bert Transmission/Sweet Mfg./Hy-Tec Specialty Coatings/Wilwood Racing Products/Quickcar/Simpson/Primetime Designs Get Wrapped! Race Car Body Wraps/TNT Race Cars & Parts/No. 83 Mercedes, as he held a 10-car advantage over Cooper and Davenport, then it was eight car lengths back to White and Buckingham. Ford’s big lead was erased on lap 34 when Bradsher slowed at the end of the backstretch high in turn three with a flat tire to bring the caution out.
Back under green Ford quickly flexed his muscle in putting some distance between himself and Cooper and Davenport. With Buckingham pressuring White for the fourth spot and White not wanting to give the position up, the two battled for a couple of circuits before contact between the two triggered a wreck on the front straightaway on lap 39 that collected not only themselves but Owen Osteen, who was visibly upset after climbing from his damaged car in the first turn.
Primed for a run to the finish, Ford was riding in style out front followed by Cooper, Davenport, Bray and Arthur Walker. Bray momentarily got around Davenport for third racing off turn two on lap 40, but Davenport battled back the next circuit to reclaim the position. Bray got high between turns three and four and lost spots to Chandler and Arthur Walker, with Bray falling back to sixth.
But out front it was all “Kid Dynamite” Ford, who is a co-owner along with his parents Tony and Teresa Ford of TNT Race Cars & Parts … as the 21-year-old captured the $3,000 victory over Cooper, Davenport, Chandler and Walker.
Completing the top-10 at the finish were Bray, David Watts, Kenny Peeples Jr., Dale Ball and Ron Parker.
“Man, this is awesome … it’s a dream come true to win one of these Fastrak Racing Series touring events,” said a smiling Ford after emerging from his car in victory lane. “It’s very tough to outrun all these traveling racers, but my car was really good tonight. I could drive the car anywhere I needed on the track and that really helped when I encountered slower cars to lap them. I don’t really know what my lap times were at the finish, but I believe my car was just as fast at the end as it was at the beginning.
“We’ve really worked hard during the off-season at TNT Race Cars & Parts on the cars we build, we’ve tried new things on the cars attempting to make what was already a good car even better. And I believe we’ve accomplished that. This makes my third win already in 2009, and our cars are winning races in several other states. TNT Race Cars & Parts is a family-owned business and this is our 25th year building race cars. My mom and dad, my uncle (Mick Ford) and I, along with others who help us at the shop, we work hard because we want to turn out good race cars. And that’s what we’ve got, a good piece that’s a proven race winning car. I know it’s early in the season, but I’m so pumped-up I wish we could race every night of the week.”
Ogle toured the high banks at 13.005-seconds, the quickest of 23 Super Late Model competitors in qualifying for the 50-lap feature. Joe Armes grabbed the lead over Ogle, Vic Hill, Tommy Kerr and Shon Flanary at the drop of the green. The event’s first caution waved on the second lap when Mark Douglas slowed high in the banking with mechanical problems.
The top five remained the same on the restart, and back up to speed Armes, Ogle, Hill and Kerr were setting a blistering pace. Just behind them, Flanary and Jeff Maupin, Kerry Jones, Anthony White, David Crabtree and Mark Vineyard were racing hard for position.
With Armes showing the way out front over the first 20 circuits, Ogle, Hill and Kerr were riding in the race leader’s rearview mirror close behind. With the lead-quartet beginning to work lapped traffic, you could throw a blanket over all four cars as they battled for positions. First it was Hill who got under Ogle for the runner-up spot on lap 21, and two circuits later Hill trapped Armes behind a couple of slow cars and “The Thrill” roared into the lead. Working lap 24, Ogle passed Armes to take over second. Riding right on Hill’s rear bumper, Ogle looked high and low looking for a route around the leader.
Getting a strong run off the top-side of turn two and launching down the backstretch, Ogle was side-by-side with Hill racing into the third turn. Riding the high-line around turns three and four, Ogle powered into a lead he would never relinquish on lap 32. Just one lap later the caution would wave when the fourth-running Kerr slowed with a flat tire.
Going back green the top five were Ogle, Hill, Armes, Maupin and Vineyard. Ogle quickly checked out over his closest challengers, pulling out to almost a full-straightaway advantage with 10 laps remaining. Vineyard dropped low to pass Maupin for fourth on lap 41 racing off the fourth turn, and on lap 46 he got around Armes for third.
But out front it was a comfortable cruise to the $3,000 victory for Ogle, driving the Sammy’s Hardware Store/J.T. Kerr Racing Equipment/AFCO Racing Products/ProBuilt Performance Racing Engines/Team GRT Race Cars/No. 10 Chevrolet Impala. Rounding out the top five at the checkers were Hill, Vineyard, Armes and Maupin.
Completing the top-10 at the finish were White, Jones, Kerr, Michael Smith and Flanary.
“I knew from the time we hit the track for hotlaps earlier tonight we had a very good car,” said Ogle following his victory in the pits. “We backed our good practice run up by setting fast-time, but this was a really strong field of cars present tonight. Joe (Armes) really got a good start to grab the early lead, but he really couldn’t separate himself from me and Vic (Hill) and Tommy (Kerr).
“I’ve been fortunate enough to win quite a few races over the years, but none compares to this win. Without a doubt this was the best driving race car I’ve ever sat in tonight. I could really sail the car off down into the first turn and rim-ride around the top of turns one and two. That really enabled me to carry a lot of momentum off the second turn down the backstretch. With another $3,000-to-win event here next Saturday, hopefully we’ll be able to come back and win us another one.”
Dennis Metcalf earned his first-ever “McDonald’s” Hobby Stock pole award, but it was fellow front-row starter Jamie Whitt jumping into the early lead in the 20-lap feature. With Whitt holding down the point through the first half of the event, Dale Reed of Whitesburg began closing in on Whitt’s rear bumper to challenge for the lead. Number 13 proved to be unlucky for Whitt as racing into the first turn on lap 13, Reed slammed to the inside of Whitt, which in turn caused Whitt’s mount to spin between turns one and two bringing the caution out. With Whitt relegated to the rear of the field for the restart, it was clear sailing out front for Reed over the remaining distance as he outran Metcalf, Everett Cobb, Bobby Reed and Mark Sturgill for the victory.
“LATE MODEL SHOWDOWN AT THE GAP” OFFICIAL RESULTS: 4/25/09
FASTRAK RACING SERIES PRO LATE MODELS (50 laps … $3,000-to-win)
1. Jensen Ford #83-Piney Flats, TN
2. Lee Cooper #57-Greer, SC
3. Jonathan Davenport-Blairsville, GA
4. Vic Chandler #88-Weaverville, NC
5. Arthur Walker #87-Forest, VA
6. Royce Bray #21-Hull, GA
7. David Watts #6-Buchanan, VA
8. Kenny Peeples Jr. #k22-Rural Retreat, VA
9. Dale Ball #2-Johnson City, TN
10. Ron Parker #8-Lawndale, NC
11. Gene Nasworthy #71-Gray, GA
12. Colt Smith #44-Woodrfuff, SC
13. Brian Connor #c21-Martinez, GA
14. Anthony White #2-Clinton, TN
15. Shanon Buckingham #50-Morristown, TN
16. Owen Osteen #20-Woodruff, SC
17. Donald Bradsher #93-Alamance, NC
18. Anthony Meadows #31-Lanett, AL
19. Brian Ligon #444-Athens, GA
20. Chris Cantrell #114-Chester, SC
21. Ross Bailes #87- Blacksburg, SC
22. Chuck Laney #91-Sevierville, TN
23. Travis Pennington #95-Winston, GA
24. David Smith #116-Inman, SC
Did Not Make Field: Bobby Mays #19-Jonesborough, TN; Tim Byrd #24-Jonesborough, TN; Justin White-#02-Marion, VA; Zach Weathers #z12-Appling, GA; Ken Wilkerson #21w-Kingsport, TN; Mike Garrett #09-Murrayville, GA
SUPER LATE MODEL (50 laps … $3,000-to-win)
1. Chad Ogle #10-Sevierville, TN
2. Vic Hill #1-Morristown, TN
3. Mark Vineyard #4v-Powell, TN
4. Joe Armes #77-Petros, TN
5. Jeff Maupin #0-Greeneville, TN
6. Anthony White #2-Clinton, TN
7. Kerry Jones #6-Bristol, TN
8. Tommy Kerr #4T-Maryville, TN
9. Michael Smith #4-Rogersville, TN
10. Shon Flanary #98-Mount Carmel, TN
11. Rodney Kiker #25-Greeneville, TN
12. John Tweed #5-Greeneville, TN
13. Ricky Arms #4a-Moss, TN
14. April Farmer #14-Livingston, TN
15. Chris Chandler #8-Weaverville, NC
16. Raymond Pennington #6-Morganton, NC
17. David Crabtree #41-Maryville, TN
18. Dale Ball #2-Johnson City, TN
19. Kip Pearson #7-Rogersville, TN
20. Herman Goddard #22-Knoxville, TN
21. Chuck Laney #91-Sevierville, TN
22. Mark Douglas #52-Knoxville, TN
Did Not Start: Shanon Buckingham #50-Morristown, TN
“MCDONALD’S” HOBBY STOCK (20 laps)
1. Dale Reed #52
2. Dennis Metcalf #55
3. Everett Cobb #13
4. Bobby Reed #54
5. Mark Sturgill #4
6. Ray Jarnigan #31
7. Mike Kelley #8
8. Craig Schmalzried #6
9. Jesse Wilder #79
10. Jon Cook #0z
11. Tony Reed #71
12. Charlie Bates #27
13. Eddie Adams #9
14. Jamie Whitt #j1
15. Roger Hunter #711
16. Jay Davidson #88
Did Not Pass Post Race Inspection: Dwayne Sumner #16
Did Not Start: Patrick Flannery #38; Devon Helton #h17; Ralph Mills #88
Fastrak Racing Series Corporate Office: (678) 935-7304 www.FastrakRacing.com
Stan Lester-Fastrak Racing Series Founder/CEO: (706) 244-2732
Michael Hurley-Fastrak Race Promotions: (706) 599-6023
Volunteer Speedway: (423) 235-5020 www.VolunteerSpeedway.com
Track Office - Weekdays Only 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.: (423) 378-5942
Phyllis Loven: (423) 676-9081
Robert Walden-Media/Public Relations Director: (423) 928-9644 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jimmy Meade-Marketing and Sales: (423) 817-0925
Topics: ET Racing |