Riddle Wins ‘Mason-Dixon Shootout’ At Tyler Speedway
The Bullring hosted its traditional Memorial Day weekend program, again exceeding car count records as 190 competitors from seven area states bulged the pit area and provided the near-capacity crowd an action packed night to remember.
Despite a rain delay of nearly two hours, BDS Promotions honored the responsibility to the many traveling teams to see the program through in its entirety. And the patience both racers and the fans displayed proved the decision was justified.
Forty-nine open-wheel modifieds representing five states and the cream of their respective areas attacked the quarter mile high banks, all with the intention of taking home the $3,000 winner’s share of the record purse offered in the TSMA/UEMS co-sanctioned Sistersville Center Genesis Healthcare’ feature event. Six qualifying heat races, all of which ran caution free, and three B-main events, each advanced the top two finishers to the 40 lap Mason-Dixon Shootout.
An opening lap caution for front row starter Larry Holbrook nixed the initial race start, moving Dave Defibaugh alongside Kenny Riddle to pace the field. Riddle, debuting a new car of his own construction, wrestled the lead from Defibaugh in the first turn, with Defibaugh, Randy Hall, Rick Aukland and Thomas Sigler in tow. Hall, the Empire State hot shoe, quickly worked his way from his sixth starting spot, bypassing Defibaugh on lap five.
Closing the small margin Riddle had built, Hall set his cap on taking the position. Riddle, running an unorthodox line, frustrated Hall’s attempts in what was a tremendous battle. A testament to the quality of the field was the near total lack of cautions, and the fact that all cars were on the lead lap at the end of the 40 laps.
As usual, the field provided plenty of side by side action that kept fans’ heads on a swivel. Of note was 17th starting Jake Hawkins, who was making steady progress through the field, gaining 10 positions by the midway point.
An equally interesting battle raged for the third through sixth positions, as Defibaugh defended the spot against a host of attackers. When the fourth and final caution waved on lap 37, the entire field gathered off Riddle’s spoiler in a last gasp attempt to dislodge the race long leader. Riddle, who had earlier moved to the track’s extreme high side, again attacked the cushion. With Hall dogging his every move, Riddle jumped the thinning cushion in turn four as the pair headed for the “two laps remaining” sign from the flagman.
Hall ducked underneath and the pair screamed off turn four in a dead heat. Riddle put the whip to his mount as Riddle again turned back Hall in what would be his last opportunity to spoil Riddle’s Memorial Day celebration. The margin of victory was only a car length, as Parkersburg native #1k carried his biggest win in a driving career that spans three decades.
A throw back to racing’s roots, the winning team had the additional satisfaction of winning in a car of their own construction, powered by an engine built by the crew chief.
Ischaua, New York’s Hall literally “threw everything but the kitchen sink” at the leader, but had to settle for the runner-up spot. Jake Hawkins’ stellar run was good for hard charger honors, as the Fairmont young gun clawed his way to third.
Defibaugh was fourth, and Rob Stambaugh closed the raced strongly, advancing to fifth. Sixth through tenth were Shawn Davis, Jesse Wisecarver, Sigler, Brian Probst and Louie Krushansky. Heat winners were DJ Cline, Defibaugh, Sigler, Riddle, Holbrook and Aukland, with Jesse Wisecarver, Jess Hartman and Kenny Johnson scoring B-main wins.
The Steel Block Mafia brought 20 “hit men” to the track for the 40 lap Bullring Beatdown main. Tyler Carpenter jumped off the second row to take control early and, by lap five, had company, as fellow Mafia associate Zac Dohm had made short work of the competition by vaulting from ninth starting spot to Carpenter’s bumper.
The two young Mountain State drivers then jousted side by side for the next 20 laps, trying to settle on which would be the next Mafia “made” man. Carpenter placed his hopes and right rear tire to the cushion, while Dohm stayed a lane lower, and less than a car length behind.
Carpenter’s under-funded #28 begin to show smoke and Dohm moved in for the kill and was scored as the leader on lap 27. Carpenter held onto second until in the engine finally erupted on lap 32, ending his tremendous run in a cloud of oil smoke. Rick Armstrong took up the chase, diving below Dohm in turn one on the restart.
Dohm pedaled away, leaving Armstrong to fend off the wild battle for third, as Chris Carpenter swapped positions with father Freddy.
Proving again to be at his best when the big money is on the line, Dohm eased away from his pursuers the final five circuits to put the #25 in the Camp Copperhead victory lane for the first time in the 2009 season. Armstrong turned in his finest Bullring performance ever with a solid second place finish, with Chris and Freddy Carpenter in tow. Rod Gibson completed the top five finishers.
Sixth through tenth were, DJ Cline, Sonny Conley, Brad Jarrell, Chad Green and Tracy Sampson. Heat winners were Chris & Tyler Carpenter, Gary Knollinger Jr and Lovie Burdette, with Aaron Barley taking B-main honors.
If anyone had thoughts that Butch McGill is ready for the rocking chair, the elder statesman of the Midcap Land and Timber Late Model division is putting those ideas to rest. Securing the lead early in the 25 lap feature event, McGill turned back Robbie Scott, Paul Wilmoth Jr, and finally, Joe Loudin in an outstanding four car lead battle.
All three appeared poised to displace “the Doddridge County Terror” for the top spot, racing three-wide at McGill’s flanks when the second and final caution waved at the mid race point.
McGill fought a car that was erratic, at times pushing off the turns. Loudin stayed glued to the bottom of the track moving in to second on lap 17, and immediately pressed the issue, showing McGill his nose on lap 18. West Union’s McGill rim rode the high line, gritted his teeth and ignored the pressure Loudin applied, hitting his marks perfectly the final five circuits to become the season’s first repeat winner in the highly competitive Late Model division.
Loudin’s charge to the front fell one spot short with his second place finish. Robbie Scott, Paul Wilmoth Jr and Greg Baumberger completed a closely bunched top five at the finish. McGill and Steve Weigle were the prelim winners.
Sistersville’s Greg Conger exorcised the demons that have plagued his early season with his first ever feature win in the growing Sigler Fabrication Hot Mod division. Conger had last week’s feature winner Glenn Underwood either in his mirror or beside him the entire distance. And, with a pair of laps remaining, Underwood drew even on the front stretch. Conger squeezed a bit more speed out of his #14 to finish a scant car length ahead of Underwood, becoming the third different feature winner in the track’s newest division. Underwood led newcomer Danny Gotschall, Travis Thomas and Luke Fairburn in the top five parade.
Underwood and Conger copped the heat wins.
Sonny Conley stepped in as a pinch hitter and stepped out in victory lane, as the New Martinsville ace held off a determined Joe McFee to win the Wayside Furniture Mod-Lite main event. The 20-car field saw great action all through the fast paced event that was slowed only once for a single car spin.
Conley’s # WV2′ led McFee, Jacob Lash, Tim White and Levi Spinnewebber to the pay window. McFee, Conley and Chris Kincaid took prelim honors.
Salem’s Jeff Fornash continued his early season domination in the WXCR Classic Rock Pure Stock division, taking his track leading third feature win of the season in a caution marred event. Fornash’s turn 1 slide job pass of early race leader Steve Burnside on the fifth circuit proved to be the winning move.
Burnside stayed hot on Fornash’s heels, but couldn’t find the speed or opening to retake the position. Fornash’s # 99 powered to the checkered flag ahead of Burnside, Danny Thomas, Brad Thomas and Brian Shaffer. Fornash and Burnside won the prelims.
John Sinnett took top honors back home to West Union after scoring his first win of the season in the wild-and-wooly Custom Engraving and Awards Junkyard Warrior feature. Sinnett turned away a host of challengers, finally leading Josh Fulks and Donnie Wamsley to the winner’s podium.
Midcap Land & Timber Late Models: Butch McGill, Joe Loudin, Robbie Scott, Paul Wilmoth Jr, Greg Baumberger, Steve Weigle, Nick Corbitt, Scott Irvin, Dusty Hamrick, Robbie Thomas, Danny Mitchell, Billy Brown, Ron Deitch, Donnie Dotson, Gary Gellner.
Sistersville Center Genesis Healthcare TSMA/UEMS Mason-Dixon Shootout: Kenny Riddle, Randy Hall, Jacob Hawkins, Dave Defibaugh, Rob Stambaugh, Shawn Davis, Jesse Wisecarver, Thomas Sigler, Brian Probst, Louie Krushansky, Russ Dunn, Mark Dickson, Rick Aukland, Larry Holbrook, Kevin Morehouse, Norman Aronhalt, Andre Layfield, Greg Johnson, Phil Jeffries, Kenny Johnson, Jess Hartman, Donnie Nething.
Did not qualify: Cliff Crank, Darren Glover, Del Cunningham, Clint Keenan, Randy Gray, Gary Conner, Anthony Kinkade, Nolan Dalton, Steve Higgins, Scott Jones, Lou Ennis, Robin Duston, Brandon Patton, Eric Erwin, Michael Eschrich, Jason Brookover, Brian Douglas, Brian Blake, Josh Morrow, Tony Garber, Larry Kugel, Jack Young, Russell Erwin, Ted Beaver, Daryl Charlier, Mike Wilson.
Litman Excavating Steel Block Mafia Bullring Beatdown: Zac Dohm, Rick Armstrong, Chris Carpenter, Freddy Carpenter, Rod Gibson, DJ Cline, Sonny Conley, Brad Jarrell, Chad Green, Tracy Sampson, Aaron Barley, Tyler Carpenter, Bruce Takach, Kris Southern, Shane Hitt, Dusty Campbell, Brandon McGrady, Gary Knollinger Jr, Lovie Burdette, Brad Hutson.
Sigler Fabrication Hot Mods: Greg Conger, Glen Underwood, Danny Gotschall, Travis Thomas, Luke Fairburn, Lindsey Smarr, Bob Long, Travis Dickson, Kenny Isner, Devin Verardi.
Wayside Furniture Mod Lites: Sonny Conley, Joe McFee, Jacob Lash, Tim White, Levi Spinnewebber, Chris Kincaid, Jamie Watson, Bobby Kimball, Steve Weekly, Lynn Bartlett, Aaron Pendleton, Tony Tatgenhorst, Mitch Herrick, David Innes, Kyle Gist, Bret Irvin, Robbie Archer, Robbie McFee, Jim Ruckman, Brandon Fluharty.
WXCR Classic Rock Pure Stocks: Jeff Fornash, Steve Burnside, Danny Thomas, Brad Thomas, Brian Shaffer, Cody Henthorne, Scott Rooks, Randy Bohan, John Powell Jr, Mel Furgeson, Al Wagner, Roland Bell, Chris Ice, Zach Travis, Mark Hinton, Kevin Dotson, Mike Mason, Dan Shuman, Dave Kile, (dns- Matt Smith).
Custom Engraving & Awards Junkyard Warriors: John Sinnett, Josh, Fulks, Joey Price, Ivan Wamsley, Jonthon Sheets, Jamie Sigler, Scottie Myer, Jay Siglinger, Josh Golden, Shawn Brown, Brandon Doll, Jessica Savage, Anthony Lopez, Garry Stull Jr, Larry Barker, Rod Nething, Derek Thompson.