DirtNews Digest Your Online News Source for Late Model Dirt Track Racing "Get Some Dirt On Your Computer!" Todd Turner, editor Email address: DirtNews@aol.com Web site: ...
DirtNews Digest Your Online News Source for Late Model Dirt Track Racing "Get Some Dirt On Your Computer!" Todd Turner, editor
Email address: DirtNews@aol.com Web site: http://members.aol.com/dirtnews/digest =================================== CONTENTS: June 26 results (published June 27) UMP: Cook holds off Moyer at Tennessee Motor Speedway =================================== UNITED MIDWESTERN PROMOTERS UMP Summernationals
BAXTER, Tenn. (Thursday) Dogged determination finally paid off for Ray Cook.
The likable driver from Murphy, N.C., made his way to victory lane for the first time since 1994, holding off Billy Moyer for a 47-lap victory worth $5,000 in the second leg of the UMP Summernationals at sparkling new Tennessee Motor Speedway.
"We're really glad to get back in victory lane and hope it won't be as long until the next one," said Cook, who probably could have been voted "Driver Most Deserving A Win" by his competitors. "We knew we had a good car when we unloaded. We'd been fast all night and we hadn't touched nothing."
Moyer, back in a GVS Racing machine after driving an Ed Petroff-owned car in Wednesday's Summernationals opener, finished two car lengths behind Cook in second while Freddy Smith was third. Illinois twentysomethings Billy Drake and Tony Izzo Jr. finished fourth and fifth, while Jay Brinkley, Roger Best, Dennis Erb Jr., Chuck Proctor and Dan Sturgeon finished sixth through 10th. The top 10 finishers were the only cars running at the end of a feature where many cars suffered mechanical woes or got caught up in accidents on the 3/8-mile oval.
Among notable nonfinishers was Wendell Wallace, who finished last among 22 starters, and Scott Bloomquist, who was 21st. Wallace started outside the front row and streaked to a full straightaway lead by the fourth lap, but ignition failure on a lap-6 restart ended his night. Bloomquist was running sixth when he slowed to bring out the lap-6 caution, pitted, returned to the track, and retired a few laps later.
Cook, a regular on the Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Racing Series driving for Brownie and Cheryl Brown, last won at the unsanctioned Bud 50 in 1994 at North Georgia Speedway in Chatsworth. He was one of the few drivers who'd had a sneak preview of the middle Tennessee track before Thursday's race. On his way home after a Hav-A-Tampa event rained out in Little Rock, Ark., Cook dropped in to finish second behind Mark Martin on April 26. It turned out to be a big help against a field of Illinois UMP drivers who rarely race in Tennessee, and Southern drivers unfamiliar with the new track.
After Wallace departed because of ignition trouble, Cook didn't take long to move around Drake, taking the lead on the 10th lap with an outside pass in Turns 3 and 4. Cook immediately built a comfortable 20-length lead as Drake, Smith, Martin and Moyer joined him for a five-car breakaway.
A caution for Gusty Christenberry, who stopped in Turn 4, slowed the action on the 16th lap, and on the restart Martin got sideways in Turn 2, causing a hard collision with Stan Massey (who left the race) and Dan Schlieper. Martin, who'd won three times at TMS this year, restarted from the tail, out of contention.
When the green returned, Cook built a solid lead again as Moyer -- making a rare appearance in a C.J. Rayburn-built car for GVS -- marched toward the front, slipping past Smith on the 20th lap and disposing of Drake two laps later.
A caution on the 25th lap put Moyer right on Cook's tail, and he began hounding Cook all the way around the red-clay track. Moyer motored around the outside of Cook on the backstretch to lead the 31st lap, but a caution for a scary wreck involving Ronnie Johnson and Randy Korte negated the pass as the lineup reverted to the lap-30 order.
Korte had slowed on the front stretch with plans to exit in Turn 1 when Johnson, pinched toward the wall by Martin, bounded into the air after striking the left rear of Korte's car. Johnson's car got the worst of the damage, but neither driver was hurt.
Moyer's non-counting pass provided Cook with a hint about a change in the racing groove.
"We was good on the bottom at the start of the race, and the bottom sort of went away," Cook said. "Moyer got by us and we got a caution and got a break, and he sort of (clued) me in that the top was a little faster there for awhile, so we moved up."
Moving up a notch to protect the high groove, Cook got some breathing room against Moyer, whose challenges appeared less threatening than before. By the 37th lap Cook had a 10-length lead, and his only problem in the final 10 laps was lapping Sturgeon, which caused a few tense moments before Cook slipped underneath the slower car and kept Moyer at bay.
"He's the best in the business, and we're just real tickled to outrun him and everyone else here," Cook said.
CAR COUNT: 30 late models.
FAST QUALIFIER: Wendell Wallace, 15.392 seconds (3/8-mile oval).
FAST DASH (sets first three rows of feature): Mark Martin, Wendell Wallace, Billy Drake, Ray Cook, Freddy Smith, Billy Moyer, Chuck Proctor, Jay Brinkley, Randy Korte.
FIRST HEAT (10 laps; top four advance): Scott Bloomquist, Gusty Christenberry, Chuck Proctor, Dennis Erb Jr., Ronnie Johnson, Ed Dixon, Randle Chupp, Jerry Inmon.
SECOND HEAT: Jay Brinkley, Carnell Parker, Bob Pierce, Roger Best, Mark Miner, Tony Izzo Jr., Gary Frost, Skip Arp.
THIRD HEAT: Stan Massey, Randy Korte, Dan Schlieper, Dan Sturgeon, Larry Cory, James Huff, Rick Aukland.
CONSOLATION (12 laps; top two advance): Ronnie Johnson, Tony Izzo, Rick Aukland, Ed Dixon, Gary Frost, Larry Cory, Mark Miner, Randle Chupp (Jerry Inmon, Skip Arp and James Huff scratched).
FEATURE (47 laps) (Pos., driver, car no., hometown, winnings) 1. Ray Cook (53), Murphy, N.C., $5,000 2. Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark., $2,000 3. Freddy Smith (00), Knoxville, Tenn., $1,200 4. Billy Drake (9), Bloomington, Ill., $1,100 5. Tony Izzo Jr. (16), Bridgeview, Ill., $1,000 6. Jay Brinkley (10), Shelbyville, Tenn., $700 7. Roger Best (84), Maryville, Tenn., $600 8. Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill., $500 9. Chuck Proctor (27), Charlotte, Tenn., $450 10. Dan Sturgeon (26), Bedford, Ind., $400 11. Ronnie Johnson (5), Chattanooga, Tenn., $230 12. Randy Korte (00), Pierrone, Ill., $230 13. Mark Martin (201), Baxter, Tenn., $230 14. Dan Schlieper (s9), Pewaukee, Wis., $230 15. Ed Dixon (50), Washington, Mo., $230 16. Carnell Parker (75), Clarksville, Tenn., $230 17. Bob Pierce (32), Danville, Ill., $230 18. Stan Massey (23), Mableton, Ga., $230 19. Gusty Christenberry (c3), Knoxville, Tenn., $230 20. Rick Aukland (12), Fargo, N.D., $230 21. Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn., $230 22. Mark Miner (7), Stockbridge, Ga., $230
NOTES: Admission was $15 for the grandstand, and $20 for parking on the two-level tier in Turns 3 and 4 .... scattered rain showers plagued Tennessee all day, but a few sprinkles during the night were never enough to stop the racing .... the smooth track was a pleasant change from Wednesday's rough surface in Benton, Mo. .... TMS has a large scoreboard that can list the top eight cars as well as laps and qualifying times .... the primary lighting at the track was from a huge light tower on the backstretch formerly used at the Gator Bowl football stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. .... modifieds and a Chevette class were also in action .... water seeped over the wall on the front stretch, forcing track workers to try and dry a patch of track that caused many cars to over-rev during qualifying .... Billy Moyer's and Scott Bloomquist's haulers were parked side by side .... it was the lowest Summernationals car count since 30 cars raced at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill., last July 3.
CREDIT: Todd Turner <DirtNews@aol.com> of DirtNews Digest. ------------------------------------------------------------- UMP SUMMERNATIONALS SCHEDULE
June 25, Missouri International Racepark, Benton, Mo., $5,000 to win (RANDY SELLARS) June 26, Tennessee Motor Speedway, Baxter, Tenn., $5,000 to win (RAY COOK) June 27, Kentucky Lake Speedway, Calvert City, Ky., $5,000 to win (CANCELED BECAUSE TRACK CONSTRUCTION INCOMPLETE) June 28, Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway, "Jackson 100," $10,000 to win June 29, LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway, $5,000 to win June 30, Vermilion County Speedway, Danville, Ill., $5,000 to win July 1, K&L Raceway, Mount Vernon, Ill., $5,000 to win July 2, I-55 Speedway, Pevely, Mo., $5,000 to win July 3, Paducah (Ky.) International Speedway, $5,000 to win July 4, Central Park Raceway, McHenry, Ky., $5,000 to win July 5, Barren County Speedway, Glasgow, Ky., $5,000 to win July 6, Tri-State Speedway, Haubstadt, Ind., $5,000 to win July 7, Kankakee (Ill.) Speedway, $5,000 to win July 8, 67 Raceway Park, Godfrey, Ill., $5,000 to win July 9, Spoon River Speedway, Banner, Ill., $5,000 to win July 10, Macon (Ill.) Speedway, "Herald & Review 100," $5,000 to win July 11, Farmer City (Ill.) Speedway, $5,000 to win July 12, Fairbury (Ill.) American Legion Speedway, $5,000 to win July 14, Davenport (Iowa) Speedway, $10,000 to win July 15, Cresco (Iowa) Speedway, $10,000 to win July 16, Steele County Fairgrounds, Owatonna, Minn., "Gopher State 50," $10,000 to win ------------------------------------------------------------- CORRECTION: The hometown of driver Joe Morris was incorrect in a previous report. He's from Galatia, Ill. -------------------------------------------------------------