David Roberts Rockets to Victory at GPS
By Reese Fant
Former track champion David Roberts, who returned to GPS late-model stock racing this season after an extended absence, made a major impact in last Friday night's 100-lap main event. Roberts showed his stout Ford power throughout the race, running in second place during the early laps then moving up to take over the top position near the midpoint of the event. Toward the closing laps, Roberts’ #18 was overtaken and another racecar ended up in Victory Lane.
But Roberts wasn’t quite ready to settle for second just yet. After the Victory Lane celebration had concluded, the unofficial winning car was pushed down to the scales where he joined the second, third, and fourth place finishers who were already undergoing the post-race inspection. In the tech shed, officials discovered a problem with the winner’s crate motor. According to a statement released by race officials, there was an “unapproved modification of a crate engine lifter” which is in violation of NASCAR 2015 Rulebook Section 20F-4.1 which states: “The GM #88958604 or #19318604 crate-type engine will be permitted and must be used as supplied by the manufacturer and/or per the specifications manual provided by the manufacturer.”
As a result, David “Rocket” Roberts was awarded the win, even though any chance at the Bryan Ramey 'Double Aught' Victory Lane had to be done after the fans had left the track. Roberts is not only a former track champion at GPS in 2007, but he also owns several other championships at both paved and dirt tracks in the area. Easley's Bob Root has shown lots of power recently in his #28 racer and was awarded a second-place finish. A pair of teammates out of the JR Motorsports stables in NC, William Byron and Josh Berry finished third and fifth respectively, while Scott Heckert came home fourth in an HScott Motorsports prepared ride. Dylan Hall, Kenneth Headen, Cody Haskins, Brandon Fox, and Joe Wilder rounded out the top ten. Andrew Cordell was eleventh, with Rodney Howard, Joey Brown, Tasha Kummer, Camden Francis, Shane Lee and Tim Crowe completing the field.
In the Pure Street Stock ranks, Buck Simmons went into the race with a two-race winning streak. So Jimbo Mann took matters into his own hands to stop that streak. Mann fought hard for the win, with Spencer Darnell in a close second, and Jason McGrew third. Simmons had to settle for fourth place, while Charlie Meinders was fifth. A.J. Davis, Hank Hutto, Freddy Hale, Jr., and Chris Meinders completed the field.
The Four Cylinder class, quickly becoming the best race of the evening, had a huge surprise in store for the fans. When the cars came down the front stretch to take the green flag, amid banging and shuffling for position, one driver, new to those ranks, suddenly found himself pinched in to the point where he practically crawled up the side of another car. It was Shane 'The Big Show' Gentry, who was making his first start in this division. Instead of backing off, taking stock of things, and working his way back towards the front, Gentry lived up to his nickname. He stayed in the throttle and eventually took command of the race. "It was a lot of fun," Gentry said in Victory Lane. "These cars drive different than rear-wheel drive cars, but they are really fun to drive and this is a good, inexpensive way to get into racing." Don Tavernia was second and Chad Tavernia was third. Brian King took fourth in his first 2015 outing at GPS, and Michael Cross was fifth. Travis Shelton, Michael Webster, Jack Hooper, Justin Houston, and Sandra Tavenia were sixth through tenth. Danny Esco finished eleventh, while Manual Molleda, Dannon Esco, and Scott Walker completed the field.
In the Super Renegade main event, Tim Sams scored another win, his third straight win this season. Veteran Stanley Pressley finished second, and Josh Sams had to settle for third. Ricky Stephens was fourth and Tim Crowe finished fifth. Joe Satterfield was the sixth place finisher.
Last year’s champ, Brad Burns was the winner of the 20-lap Renegade feature. Greg Darnell claimed second, Blake Gregory third, Bobby Emory fourth and Shane Hill fifth. Parker Jameson was sixth and Daniel Jameson was seventh. Joe Allen, Ben Carper and Roger Ellison completed the top ten. Scotty Tyner, Terry Thurston, Greg Manley, Connie Cepek and Eddie Ray were tenth through the final position.
The next event at GPS while be Saturday, March 28, at 7pm. The full 2015 season schedule and latest updates can be found online at the track website - http://www.greenvillepickens.com/races/schedule-2015.