GPS Week-2 Recap 3/11/2017
March 11th 2017 GPS Week 2 Recap
By Matthew Henson
The second week of action at Greenville-Pickens Speedway was threatened all day by heavy cloud cover and an incoming cold front from the west. Although light rain during the driver’s meeting had many fans and driver worried, the inclement weather quickly subsided and the show went on.
The Pure Stocks kicked off the night of racing with Buck Simmons in the 71 car taking the pole and leading the way to a dominating victory, but the real action was in the rear and mid pack where we saw two groove racing for the first time in any division. Zack Mienders in the 1 made repeated charges on the high side against Ashley Granata and, the previous week’s winner, Drew Moser with mixed results, but it was an impressive sight to see the high groove being worked in for the first time on the new asphalt.
Next, the Four-Cylinders took to the track quickly as race officials worked feverishly all night to beat Mother Nature in a hurry-up tempo that made all the night’s events go off like clockwork. The race was quickly marked by a lead pack of five under a blanket capped off by the top three: the 00 of Hunter Evans, the 44 of Ray Mullinax, and the 32 of Travis Shelton. As the leaders shuffled around, Travis Shelton spun the 00 of Evans and as Evans spun he collected the 44 and brought out the caution. Shelton was sent to the rear by officials, but made an impressive charge back to the front and finished in the top five. However, the race would belong to Tommy Davis Jr. who became our first repeat winner of the year after he took advantage of the resulting log jam on the restart.
The Super Stocks were up next and the field was thinned out, not only because the accidents the previous week with the Josh and Tim Sams, but also because of accidents before the race this week even got the green flag. During practice, the 11 of Travis Cox broke a spindle and only had enough time to complete a single lap during the race before parking his entry, the 30 of Jason McDowell had engine trouble, and Ken Guthrie in the 32 blew an engine just as he finished his qualifying run. Even still, the race went on and came down to a role reversal of last week with Ricky Stevens now chasing down Austin Samero in the 99. Despite another touch and go chase, Samero won his first race in the Super Stocks and looks to be in a good position to challenge Ricky Stevens for the championship in the division.
The Renegade division had a little extra on the line as Ted Cook Heating Service offered a $100 win bonus for the race. Ricky Burnett and Bobby Emory picked up where they left off before, running one-two for the majority of the night, before the 64 of Blake Gregory went low to make it three wide in turn one and the 88 of Alex Breazele spun out, bringing out the caution. Ricky Burnett sped away on the restart to claim two victories in a row and an extra Benjamin courtesy of Ted Cook Heating Service, and Blake Gregory and Bobby Emory rounded out the top three.
Finally, the limited late models and Mulligan Power Trucks headed out on the track and raced concurrently in an effort to beat the incoming weather. The Limiteds would take the green coming out of turn four while the Mulligan Power Trucks would be staggered back in turn two. Tasha Kummer in the 35 car lead early in the limiteds and her brother Randy Porter in the 32 truck lead in his division as well. As Tasha came up on the 44 car of Brad Burns in turn two, Brad popped the inside wall and for a moment it looked like he might collect the leader, but Tasha ran high and stayed out of trouble.
With ten to go in the fifty lap event, Tim Lollis in the 50 truck, the only other driver to hold a candle to former track champion Randy Porter in the trucks, had a malfunction on his truck and dumped fluid all over turn one and slid to a stop in the corner without hitting the wall. After an extensive cleanup, the race restarted, and Tasha Kummer went slightly high in one and two, upsetting the handling of her car. After two laps completed, she spun in three and four, relinquishing the lead to Andrew Cordell in the 33. Cordell had not had Lady Luck on his side all year, but Mother Nature threw in with him, and as the long awaited rain began to fall, he was declared the winner with forty-two of fifty laps completed.
Join us again next week on Saturday March 18th, as the Southeast Limited Late Model, Pro, Challenger, and Jr. Elite divisions take to the track along with Super Stocks, Renegades, and Four-Cylinders.