(June 21, 2008) After six second-place finishes this season
at Deep South Speedway, Satsuma’s Ryan Little, driving his blue #97 Little’s
Auto Sales sponsored Camaro, captured the checkers Saturday night in a hard
fought battle from his 5th-place starting spot. Little took the lead
from last week’s winner Monte Skinner after several laps of side-by-side racing
and cruise to the victory in the GM Performance Crate Late Model event.
Skinner used his outside pole starting position to grab the
lead from pole-sitter Nathan Ingersall and led the first several circuits
around the big 4/10 mile clay oval. The track offered definitely two
grooves this night as the middle groove was riddled with some rutting that
hampered many of the racers. Skinner chose the high side and powered around the
facility in command until the #97 of Little, who had relentlessly pursued the
inside line lap after lap, eventually took advantage of a slip by Skinner and
never looked back. Little then drove a flawless race as he opened up a
straight-a-way lead over hard-charging Larry Cifra in his #11 Warrior by Todd
Morrow machine., Cifra, who had started in the rear of the field, worked his
way to the front by lap 20 and was trying to run down Little but the checkers
for this night belonged to the young gun Ryan Little. Ingersall would salvage a
3rd place finish while early leader Skinner slipped to 4th.
The Stinger division saw 13 cars show up to put on a show
for the crowd as the #48G of Gary Watson shifted his way to the checkers. The
Spanish Fort driver has a couple of wins and quite a few seconds to Jamie
Mozingo, the second place finisher, but Watson proved he had what it takes to
beat Mozingo from the drop of the green flag. Watson made a power move down the
front stretch at the drop of the green as he never lifted through the turns 1
and 2, taking the high side and leaving the field wondering what happened. He
stayed on the top side and showed the fans why he is so good at this speedway
leading every lap of the feature. Mozingo tried to make ground up off turn 2
but Watson was strong off 2 and the momentum carried him to the checkers. John
Germanski, Sr. finished a respectable 3rd while the #21 of Ken
Osborne finished 4th and Brian McCreary in his #31 coming to the
stripe in 5th.
Hobby Stock driver Steven Allday fought his way to another
victory and it was not an easy one as he had to contend with the powerful Monte
Carlos of Derick Johnson, Josh Howell, Joseph Adams, Shannon Hodges and John
Boyd as they all were in contention to lead or win the spectacular race.
Allday, driving his #27 Boothe Septic Service sponsored Monte Carlo, had to drive almost perfect laps
every circuit as the field was close every lap. Allday prevailed for the win followed
by the #55 of Josh Howell in second and Johnson in 3rd. John Boyd
and Joseph Adams both had mechanical issues during the race which eliminated
them from a threat to win, Shannon Hodges pulled of a 4th place
finish with the #15 of Charles Jones rounding out the top 5.
The modified feature saw Greg Hopkins power his Shaw car out
to the lead through turns 1 & 2 while Don Livingston and Randy Booker were in tow and
seemed to almost have his rocket-ship up on one wheel through turn 1 as he
fought to maintain the lead from the hard-charging Livingston and Booker. Then
on lap 6, Hopkins
slowed through turns 1 and 2 and seemingly not knowing how close his pursuers
were to him, he chose to stay in the groove and coast through turn 2 down the
back straight. He was off the back straight wall about a car width when Randy
Booker and Don Livingston, who were engaged in a ferocious, side-by-side battle
for second, ran into the rear-end of Hopkins who sat helplessly in the back
stretch. Booker went high and hit the rear of Hopkins
as he started up the back wall; eventually landing in the front of the Hi-Rev
sponsored #25 of Hopkins.
The race was red-flagged until the cars could be removed and amazingly, the #31
of Livingston was able to resume in the lead,
often scraping the outside retaining wall with showers of sparks flying.
Livingston then lost control off turn three after a restart the race, allowing
the #777 of Buster Foley to take the lead for a couple of turns until he seemed
to slip and let Livingston back into the lead. The #25B of Michael Booker and
the #1 of Brandon Dortch were also in the fray as either of these guys could
have won. Livingston, driving his modified
from Mary Ester, FL, took his first win in 12 years as he powered his mount to
the checkers ahead of the #25B of Michael Booker, Dortch and Foley followed
with Ronnie Jordan, Jr. finishing 5th. Randy Booker, after several
laps down for repairs, got his modified back together and was able to manage a
10th place finish.
The Super Hobby cars brought the crowd to their feet as the
T69 of Alan Taylor and the #35 of Bradley Rhodes, driven by his father Michael
Rhodes, put on a spectacular race from lap one until the checkered flag finally
fell for Taylor.
Taylor started inside pole as the elder Rhodes started outside pole. Taylor
had the lead driving into turn one and Rhodes
took the lead off turn 2, and it would go that way for several laps. Taylor finally made a daring flat-footed pass on the
outside retaining wall through turns 1 & 2 to pass Rhodes
for the win. Rhodes settled for second as Greg Tuberville, last weeks feature
winner, brought the Derick Johnson sponsored machine to the stripe in 3rd.
The 57 of Aubrey Morris was 4th and the #04 of Travis Bonner was 5th.
The Vintage feature was exciting from the drop of the green
flag as the legends on steroids swapped the lead several times each lap. Chris
Bahai, driving the #12 car and the T69 of Mark Taylor, driven by Alan Taylor,
were door handle to door handle and swapped the lead several time the opening
laps until Taylor drifted too high in turn 3 and smacked the wall. Bahai led
many laps after that and seemed to be cruising to a victory when mechanical
woes dropped him back to a 6th place finish. It would be the blue
and yellow Citronelle warrior Billy Boothe who would emerge as the strongest
competitor of the night, leading only the final 4 laps for the win. Boothe made
a power move after a restart to zoom past Bahai with Ansel Reed in tow. Reed
would finish 2nd with Tom Lohr finishing 3rd in his #97
mount. The red #25 of Jay Coleman would cross in 4th and Jody Beech
in the green #21 was 5th.
The Limited Sportsman feature saw Sean Goodwin in his #36
machine take advantage of a late race caution to beat Bret Henderson to the checkers
for the win. Henderson,
driving the Jerry Schoen owned K7 Camaro, lead most of the feature but slipped
on the restart allowing the Camaro of Goodwin to slip by for the win. Chuck
Moore in his Chuck’s Transmission #88 was third followed to the stripe by
Ronnie Jordan, Sr. in his #22X and Jim Click in his #45.