August 14, 2003

SCS Regular Season Closes With Points Championships

It was a little earlier than expected but by all accounts the points championship and regular season finale at Scotland County Speedway was a success as Saturday Night Excitement closed out August 9 in Memphis. Only one of the six track champions prevailed on the final night of points racing at SCS. The Flyin' Iowan Tony Fraise capped off a tremendously successful season by leading every lap of the A-modified feature event. The 45 car started on the second row but by turn three the Montrose, IA, pilot had his ride in familiar surroundings at the head of the pack. In his usual spot on victory lane Fraise was almost apologetic about winning so often at SCS, almost being the key word. "I appreciate the fans and the racers not getting down on us because we have had a pretty amazing run this year," Fraise told track announcer Andy Middleton in the winner's circle. "Then again we don't come every weekend to finish second and that's why we all come out to race each Saturday for a shot to be right here." Ryan Meyer sowed up second place in the season standings finishing behind Fraise in the race. Jardin Fuller was third in the 33 car followed by Bob Dale of Gorin. Dale finished third in points behind Fraise and Meyer. Fourth was Jim Gillenwater (10) with Paul Lawson (14) taking fifth. Technically the track champion in the B-modified class, Jack Evans, Jr. won the feature in his class but he won by default on a night of firsts for the track. Jerry "Shot-Rod" Reese battled Evans, Jr. side-by-side for the first half of the contest before pulling ahead on the final few laps to take his first ever feature win. But the celebration for the 2R pilot and crew was cut short when Bruce Summers of the 77B car placed a claim on the car's motor. Reese refused the $350 claim and by track rules had to not only forfeit his win but also all of his points for the entire season, which would have been good enough for a top five finish. The move was obviously not a popular decision as Summers was booed by the Memphis crowd. In a classy act Jack Evans, Jr. immediately handed the trophy for the feature win back over to Reese after the event. Evans finished first in points followed by Logan Trueblood of Memphis in second. Summers was third with Phillip Cossell (15) and Todd Morten (33) rounding out the top five. If that wasn't enough excitement for the fans the cruiser division had not one but two serious crashes that had the emergency crews working overtime as one crew member from each racer was taken from the track by ambulance. The 14 car broke an axle in turn one of the final heat race and rolled several times before coming to rest on its wheels. The crowd was horrified as a helmet came flying out the passenger side of the car during one of the violent rotations. Fortunately the crewmember was taken by ambulance to Scotland County Memorial Hospital and he was able to return later that evening to partake in the post race festivities. The second crash looked like a replay as the 8UP car had a similar problem in nearly the exact same spot. This time it was the driver, who needed medical attention and had to be extricated by fire department and EMS personnel. If that wasn't enough excitement the race itself was very eventful as the season's points race came down to the final lap. Brian Overhulser and Sean Verdon took the checkered flag in the 42 car to win the feature but it was not enough as Greg and Donnie Peters (87) defended their 2002 track title by finishing third to win the title by just two points over Overhulser and Verdon. Jody Small and Dan Raymond finished third in season points followed by another local team, David Hudson and Robert Arnold. Fifth place went to Tom Damon and Ron Frese (4) Shot-Rod Reese was not the only first time winner at SCS. Jason Cook put an end to his streak of bad luck taking his first win at the Memphis track. He traded the lead back and forth with Michael Browning early on and then had to hold off his brother Ryan Cook to take the checkered flag. Ryan Cook (27R) was crowned the season's point champion. Browning (13) took second place followed by Roger Dresden (1) Bob Lynch (4x) and Mike Robinson (78R). The late model feature closed out the night and it was Tommy Elston holding off Terry Schlipman to take the checkered flag. Schlipman led for much of the first half of the race before Elston got around on the high side and never looked back. The win was not enough for Elston to unseat Schlipman as the 42 car was named the season champion. Elston had to settle for runner-up in points. Jody Wood earned third place with the Z4 car in both the final race and the final points standings. Jeremy Townsend was fourth overall in points with Jerry Asher finishing fifth.

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