GPS Week 3 Recap 3/18/2017
March 18th 2017 GPS Week 3 Race Recap
By Matthew Henson
For the first time this year, mild weather graced Greenville-Pickens Speedway and the sun was shining all the way up until nightfall. With the sun still poking out over turn one, The Southeast Limited Late Jr. Elite division took to the track for their thirty lap race and the top two qualifiers, Jacob Borst in the 25 and Gage Painter in the 12, putting on a clinic all night, racing nose to tail for the majority of the event. On lap 15, Ansley Mason in the 1 car, trying to stay on the lead lap, spun directly in front of the top two as Gage Painter was attempting a pass on the leader, Borst. No one was collected and the race went on, but that triggered another spin by Hunter Kohn in the 48 in turn four on the ensuing restart. The young gun complained of a hurt arm, but walked away from the crash and was cleared by Bowers EMS. With less than ten laps to go, Gage Painter finally put the pass on Borst he had been setting up all day and secured his trip to Bryan Ramey victory lane.
The super stocks were up next and Travis Cox came back from a broken spindle the previous week to put his number 11 machine on the pole. Ken Guthrie in the 32 also repaired his machine after an apparent engine failure last week during qualifying. Travis Cox did well in the beginning but was spun by the 57 of Chris Meinders and was forced to retire. On the restart our last two winners, Ricky Stephens and Austin Samero were out front and as Samero looked to make the pass coming out of turn four for the lead he locked bumpers with Ricky Stephens and the two tangled collecting Tyler Stephens in the 6. Tyler spun from the pit entrance all the way to turn one and both he and Ricky Stephens were unable to finish the race. Austin Samero had a deep gash in the right side of his vehicle but was still the leader on the restart. Chris Meinders made banzai move on the last lap into turn one to get underneath Samero, but bounced off the inside wall and Samero slipped away with his second victory in a row.
The Southeast Limited Late Model Challenger division began their forty lap feature with the 88 of Carson Kvapil on the pole, having the only sub-twenty second lap of the group. Kvapil took off with an early lead, but on lap eight, the 22 of Brandon Lemke cut a tire and sparks shot out from under the car as he ran on the tire for two laps before it completely failed and he slowed in turn three, bringing out the caution. The 33 of Andrew Cordell chose the outside line on the restart and jumped out to take the lead; restarts would be the only mark against the 88 all night. Kvapil would collect himself, however, and made the pass on Cordell with twenty laps remaining and built up a huge lead as he cruised to victory lane.
In the renegade division, Bobby Emory in the 56 won the pole as Ricky Burnett had to start mid-pack due to his win the previous week. Burnett had won from deep in the field in that race so he hoped to repeat that performance this week. Bobby Emory commanded the lead early as his friendly rival Burnett in his now very familiar red and black 15 picked his way through the field. With less than ten laps left, Burnett had Emory in his sights, but despite a few late charges, Emory held him off and won his first race of the season.
The main event of the night was the 100 lap feature for the Southeast Limited Late Model Pro division, but after a handful of botched starts, including a four car pileup involving the leaders, the event was rescheduled on the fly to a 50 lap race. The 25 of Kevin Leicht emerged as the leader, but all eyes were still on the 88 of Carson Kvapil who was one of three drivers pulling double duty in both events. Kvapil had won pole for this event as well, but the crash on the start forced him to the rear. The 2 car of Devin Dodson made a pass on Leicht that sent the 25 sailing to the rear as a five car freight train barreled past with the 88 of Kvapil now in second. Local driver Tasha Kummer was spun by Kevin Leicht which caused a caution and, on the ensuing restart, the 88 of Kvapil got under the 2 of Dodson and pushed him to the high side of one and two. By the time the 2 got around to turns three and four, he had lost control on the outside and spun hard into the turn four wall. Angry at his treatment at the hands of the now leader, Carson Kvapil, he slung the bumper panel of his car onto the track in front of Kvapil and stormed back to his pit.
The race restarted, but quickly the 25 of Leicht erupted into a shower of sparks and ran without trouble for two laps before a piece of exhaust pipe fell out from under the car and skidded to a halt on the front stretch. After that, the only three who remained in the war of attrition were the 88 of Kvapil, the 99 of Sawyer Frady, and the 35 of Tasha Kummer. Although Frady would try to sneak to the inside on the last restart, Kvapil held him off and won his second race of the night.
Finally, the four-cylinders put a close to the night’s events. Travis Shelton in the Porter RV Sales sponsored 32 car had the pole position, but the ever-dominate Tommy Davis Jr. in the 69 car started mid pack and methodically picked his way through the packed field. He was helped when the second place car of Dannon Esco had a problem with his black and green 23 car and faded to the rear and eventually retired. With just three to go in the short fifteen lap race, Tommy Davis Jr. put the pass on Shelton and walked away as the only remaining undefeated driver at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.
UPDATE: Due to illegal parts, 88 Karson Kvapil & 99 Sawyer Frady were both disqualified from SELLM Pro & Challenger races. 35 Tasha Kummer was declared the winner of the SELLM Pro race. 33 Andrew Cordell was declared the winner of the SELLM Challenger race.