By admin | May 17, 2009
Hill throws knockout punch for Volunteer Speedway ‘Friday Night Fights’ victory
By Robert Walden
BULLS GAP, Tenn. (May 15) — Fans and competitors alike are calling Friday Night Fights at Volunteer Speedway the “Greatest Show On Dirt!” With the racing programs paying $3,000-to-win every Friday night for Super Late Models, “The Gap” is awarding the most lucrative weekly purse to racers in the United States.
For the second consecutive week threatening weather was all around the East Tennessee region, with severe thunderstorms producing downpours within a few miles of the racetrack. But rain bypassed the high-banked speedplant and fans were treated to a great night of racing as McDonald’s (located beside the track on Speedway Lane) presented the evening’s racing program.
If anyone knows how to find the way to victory lane at Volunteer Speedway it’s Vic “The Thrill” Hill of Morristown. Hill, a four-time (1997, 1998, 2000 and 2005) track champion, threw a knockout punch to pocket $3,000 for his Friday Night Fights “TSC Cars” Super Late Model feature win, leading the 50-lap main event from green-to-checkered.
Hill paced the strong 23-car field of Super Late Models in qualifying with a fast-lap of 12.455-seconds (115.624 mph) to earn the pole position for the main event, with Chad Ogle timing-in second quickest at 12.603 to nail down the outside front row starting berth.
At the drop of the green flag Hill won the drag race over Ogle down the front straightaway into the first turn to take the lead, with Brandon Kinzer, Randy Weaver and David Crabtree trailing Ogle. Setting a blistering pace out front, Hill had stretched his advantage over Ogle to a half straightaway by the fifth lap. Just one circuit later the caution waved when Shon Flanary got out of shape up against the outside guardrail in turn two and came to a stop.
Back under green Hill wasted no time in beginning to distance himself from Ogle, Kinzer, Weaver and Crabtree. Just outside the top-five, on lap 7 Kerry Jones dropped low to pass Dale Ball for sixth in the running order. Joe Armes passed Rodney Kiker for eighth-place racing off turn two on lap 18.
On lap 12, Hill had closed to the back of the field to begin lapping traffic. While Ogle hoped to be able to close in on Hill while the race leader worked his way around the slower cars, Hill masterfully maneuvered his way past cars and never lost any of his advantage over Ogle, Kinzer and Weaver. Weaver was working on Kinzer trying to take over third, and he finally secured the position on lap 18 racing off turn two.
Just past halfway in the 50-lapper on lap 27, caution waved when Mike Hill slowed at the end of the backstretch and coasted to a stop high between turns three and four, thus erasing an almost full-straightaway lead Vic Hill held over Ogle, Weaver and Kinzer. Race leader Hill had lapped up to the rear bumper of the 12th running car, Michael Smith.
With the green flag waving, Hill was shot out of a cannon as he exploded away from Ogle and Weaver. Steve Smith, who started 15th on the grid, passed Derek Ellis on lap 33 to move into tenth. With Kiker holding down ninth in the running order, Smith rode the outside around turns three and four on lap 37 to take the position from Kiker, a former three-time (1999, 2002 and 2004) track UMP Open-Wheel Modified champion.
With ten laps remaining, Hill, driving the Landair Transport Inc./Pilot Travel Centers/Miller Brothers Coal/Qualcomm/Beamer’s Flooring Outlet/The Hightower Advertising Agency/VP Racing Fuel/Dan Estes Construction/Ohlins/Peterson Fluid Systems/Klushman Racing Components/Comp Cams/Edelbrock/CP Pistons/Brodix/Lunati Cranks/CV Racing Products/Joe Gibbs Driven Performance Synthetic Racing Oil/Jesel/Manley/Vic Hill Racing Engines/Fastlane Signs & Graphics/Real Wheels/American Racing Tire South/Team GRT Race Cars/No. 1 Chevrolet Impala SS, held a commanding lead which he would not see shrink as he easily cruised to the Friday Night Fights $3,000 Super Late Model victory over Ogle, Weaver, Kinzer and Crabtree.
Completing the top-10 finishers were Jones, Ball, Armes, Smith and Kiker.
“This is what it’s all about, winning races and getting to drive into victory lane,” said the race winner Hill after emerging from his car with a smile to the cheers from the crowd. “It’s really hard to express just how good of a car we had tonight. I’m telling you, we were good from the time we first hit the track tonight for hotlaps, and it carried over to qualifying and then we just had an awesome race car for the 50-lap main event. I could basically drive the car anywhere I needed on the track. It (car) ran well down low or in the middle, and I could really let it sail around the high-side between turns one and two. This track is really beginning to come back around and be like it used to, where you can run up high in the banking.
“I really want to thank track owner Joe Loven for putting these ‘Friday Night Fights’ racing programs on. He’s paying very good money and really strong fields of Super Late Models are showing up. We’ll be back next Friday and I’d love to be able to win another round of ‘Friday Night Fights.’ If you’re a race fan, then by all means you need to show up for an exciting night of racing here at Volunteer Speedway. Let everybody know about how good the racing is. I also want to thank all of my guys who are big factors in how well the car runs on race night, they work hard back at the shop during the week and here at the track on race night. They’re my crew chief Shawn Gage, Bud Orr, Joey Orr and Jess Tweed.”
Jensen Ford of Piney Flats sped into the lead over Jerry Broyles at the start of the “Courtesy Chevrolet” Pro Late Model feature. While Broyles was riding on Ford’s rear bumper in the early stages, Josh Henry was feeling pressure from Bobby Mays for the third sport. On the fifth circuit racing off turn two, Mays passed Henry for the position.
The last thing Ford wanted to see with the checkered flag within sight was a caution. Just two laps from the finish, Brian Westmoreland got into the outside front straightaway wall to bring out the yellow, setting up a two-lap sprint to the checkers.
But Ford would not be denied his second visit to victory lane this season, as he held off Broyles, Mays, Henry and Jackie Hughes for the feature win.
Two important events have occurred in the life of young Ross White, from Karns, over the last couple of days. First he graduated from Knox Karns High School on Thursday night, then Friday night he recorded his first-ever career victory, winning the 20-lap Steel-Head Late Model feature at Volunteer Speedway.
Travis Fultz grabbed the lead over Shane Bales at the start. With Bales pressuring Fultz for the point, racing door-to-door off the fourth turn on lap 6 the duo tangled at the flag-stand which resulted in Bales spinning down the front straightaway – coming to a stop in the first turn bringing out the caution.
Fultz had a rearview mirror full of White as the race went back green. The hard-charging White kept applying pressure on Fultz for the lead, and the door opened on lap 13 when Fultz slid up the banking in the fourth turn allowing White to motor past into a lead he would never relinquish en route to his monumental victory. At the checkers White was trailed by Fultz, Danny Yoder, Phillip Nichols and Bales.
Duke Bare of Meadowview, Va., took advantage of early race leader Ray Jarnigan spinning and then he passed Chuck Johnson for the lead with the laps winding down to win the “McDonald’s” Hobby Stock feature. Finishing behind Bare were Johnson, Dennis Metcalf, Devin Helton and Mike Kelley.
Friday Night Fights at Volunteer Speedway paying $3,000-to-win in Super Late Models continues on Friday, May 22 … along with racing in Pro Late Model, Steel-Head Late Model and Hobby Stock. For more information, visit the track Web site at www.VolunteerSpeedway.com
“TSC CARS” SUPER LATE MODEL (50 laps)
(Starting Position In Parentheses)
1. (1) Vic Hill #1-Morristown, TN
2. (2) Chad Ogle #10-Sevierville, TN
3. (4) Randy Weaver #116-Crossville, TN
4. (3) Brandon Kinzer #18-Allen, KY
5. (5) David Crabtree #41-Maryville, TN
6. (7) Kerry Jones #6-Bristol, TN
7. (6) Dale Ball #7-Johnson City, TN
8. (9) Joe Armes #77-Petros, TN
9. (15) Steve Smith #3-Powell, TN
10. (8) Rodney Kiker #25-Greeneville, TN
11. (12) Derek Ellis #99-Chatsworth, GA
12. (14) Shon Flanary #98-Mount Carmel, TN
13. (17) Michael Smith #4-Rogersville, TN
14. (16) Shannon Thornsberry #17-Martin, KY
15. (19) John Tweed #5-Greeneville, TN
16. (21) Mike Hill #11-Rockwood, TN
17. (13) Bryan Hendrix #5-Knoxville, TN
18. (11) Jeff Maupin #0-Greeneville, TN
19. (18) Mark Vineyard #4v-Powell, TN
20. (10) Chris Chandler #8-Weaverville, NC
21. (20) Chris Combs #47-Isom, KY
22. (22) Travis Greer #11g-Marion, VA
Did Not Start: Daniel Baggerly #16-Rural Retreat, VA
“COURTESY CHEVROLET” PRO LATE MODEL (25 laps)
1) Jensen Ford #83; 2) Jerry Broyles #72; 3) Bobby Mays #19; 4) Josh Henry #B00; 5) Jackie Hughes #27; 6) Tony Trent #18; 7) Dale Ball #2; Ricky Moore #75; 9) Todd Brooks #T1; 10) Joe “Dirt” Good #911; 11) Heath Alvey #7; 12) Tim Byrd #24; 13) Brian Westmoreland #8; 14) James Goosie #44; 15) Brent Hensley #70
STEEL-HEAD LATE MODEL (20 laps)
1) Ross White #0; 2) Travis Fultz #T0; 3) Danny Yoder #2; 4) Phillip Nichols #33; 5) Shane Bales #12 – Did Not Start: Donnie Cameron #2
“MCDONALD’S” HOBBY STOCK (20 laps)
1) Duke Bare #B4; 2) Chuck Johnson #17; 3) Dennis Metcalf #55; 4) Devin Helton #17H; 5) Mike Kelley #8; 6) Roger Hunter #7-11; 7) Jason Long #15; Tracey Wolfe #11; 9) Bobby Reed #54; 10) Ray Jarnigan #73; 11) Charlie Bates #27; 12) Jamie Whitt #j1; 13) Jesse Wilder #79; 14) Dale Reed #52 – Did Not Start: Everett Cobb #13; Patrick Flannery #38; Rick Fillers #21
Topics: ET Racing |