July 27, 2006

Long, Cook Claim First Wins of Season at Pepsi Scotland County Speedway

by Brian Neal

Memphis, MO (July 22) - Gas and More Night at the Pepsi Scotland County Speedway provided the fans with some great two and even three wide racing in all six feature events. Michael Long (Bentz GM Country USRA Modifieds) and Ryan Cook (USRA Stock Cars) picked up their first wins of the season at the speedway in exciting fashion. While Jim Gillenwater (Toni Dunker Advance Trading USRA B-Modifieds), Nathan Wood (USRA Hobby Stocks), Beau Taylor (Outlaw Hobby Stocks) and Gordon Blankenship Jr. (Hornets) each claimed repeat wins with the same exciting finishes.

The 18-lap USRA Stock Car feature took to the speedway first, with Matt Greiner and Jeremy Hamlin drawing the front row for the event. Greiner would jump out into the lead on lap 1, with Jason Cook following close behind in second. Greiner looked to be in control of the event until a caution flag came out at the halfway mark of the feature. On the restart, Greiner once again grabbed the top spot, but now had Ryan Cook, Colt Mather and Jason Cook battling him for the lead. On lap 10, Ryan took the top line around the speedway, with Greiner in the middle and Mather down low to make it a three-wide battle for the lead. Ryan came out of turn four to grab the top spot, with Mather taking second and Greiner slipping back to third. Ryan would hold off all challenges from Mather over the final nine laps to claim his first win of 2006 at Memphis. Jason Cook battled past Greiner on the final laps to come home third, Greiner held on for fourth, with Michael Browning rounding out the top five. Ryan Cook and Greiner each picked up a heat race win.

Up next was one of the best Outlaw Hobby Stock features of the season, as there were nine lead changes in the 15-lap event. Brian Clark and Beau Taylor took the field to the drop of the green flag, with Clark grabbing the lead on lap 1. Clark, who was running the bottom of the speedway, and Taylor, who was up top, ran all fifteen laps of the feature side-by-side, with each driver taking turns of the lead from lap 5 thru lap 14. The two drivers went into turn three on the final lap side-by-side, just like the previous fourteen laps, and the two came off of four the same way. But Taylor would edge out Clark at the line for the best Outlaw Hobby Stock finishes of the season. Rodger Dresden would finish in third, Brian Howerton was fourth, with Michael St. Clair coming home in fifth. Jeff Soper and Taylor each claimed wins in the heat races.

Ryan Yahnke and Chuck Fullenkamp led the field to the drop of the green flag in the 8-lap Hornet feature, with Fullenkamp holding off Gordon Blankenship Jr. at the line to lead lap 1. Fullenkamp and Blankenship Jr. would race the next two laps side-by-side, with Blankenship Jr. finally getting the advantage on lap 3. Blankenship Jr. then held off Fullenkamp and Brent Hartley over the final five laps to pick up his second win in a row at the speedway. Andrew Hustead was fourth, with Yahnke holding on for fifth. Blankenship Jr. made it a clean sweep by picking up the heat win.

The 15-lap USRA Hobby Stock feature was next, with Nathan Wood and Tim Kraber drawing the front row. Wood would take advantage of his front row start to grab the lead on lap 1, with Kraber following close behind in second. Wood continued to hold down the top spot, as Bill Gibson, who started tenth, and Mike Shelton, who started thirteenth, were working their way towards the front. Gibson and Shelton would challenge Wood over the final laps of the feature, but Wood would hold on to claim his seventh win of the season at the track. Shelton slipped pass Gibson to take second, leaving Gibson to finish in third, Mark Moore came from ninth to finish in fourth, with Jason VanZomeren coming home in fifth. Heat race winners were Gibson and Wood.

Tony Morton and Joe Hooper led the field to the drop of the green flag in the 15-lap Toni Dunker Advance Trading USRA B-Modified feature, with Hooper jumping out front on lap 1. Hooper would hold the top spot until lap 4, when Jack Evans Jr. slipped under him to take over the lead. Evans Jr. looked to be heading for another win, until a caution came out on lap 10, bringing the field back to his back bumper. On the restart, Tony Dunker, who started ninth, and Jim Gillenwater, who started seventh, made it a three-wide battle for the lead coming out of turn four. Gillenwater would come out of turn four on the bottom to grab the lead away from Evans, Jr., while Evans, Jr. battled to keep Dunker back in third. Gillenwater then held on for the final four laps to pick up his second win of the season at the speedway. Evans Jr. held on for second, Dunker was third, Jerry Poor was fourth, with Brandon Savage coming back from a early spin to round out the top five. Hooper, Evans, Jr. and Ron York each picked up a heat race win.

The final feature of the night was the 20-lap Bentz GM Country USRA Modifieds, and just like the other five features it would finish in exciting fashion. Ryan Meyer and Jody Wood would draw the front row for the event, with Meyer grabbing the lead on the start. Meyer had built up a big lead over the field, when a caution came out on lap 12, bringing the rest of the field to his back bumper. Meyer would jump out into the lead on the restart, with Mike Bennett, Tony Fraise, Martin Bennett and Michael Long all battling for the second spot. Long had worked the top side of the speedway to his advantage, as he slipped past both Bennetts and Frasie on lap 15 and set his sights on Meyer. Meyer, who was working the bottom side of the speedway, and Long, who was up top, came across the line on lap 17 side-by-side. The two drivers would battle side-by-side over the final three laps, bringing the crowd to their feet for the wave of the checkers. Meyer and Long came off of turn four side-by-side, with Long edging out Meyer at the line for his first win at the speedway. Martin Bennett held off Fraise in a battle for third, with Mike Bennett coming home a close fifth. Heat race winners were Long and Meyer.

Coming up next week at the Pepsi Scotland County Speedway will be Fan Appreciation Night, brought to you by Bradley Insurance and Cookís Mens Store. Tell all your family, friends and neighbors, as $5 will get anybody over six into the grandstands for this evening. Also, RL Promotions will be having happy hour before the races from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., with fans getting a chance to chip a golf ball into a hole for cash. So plan on getting there early for some fun times before the racing action gets underway at 6:30 with hot laps and racing to follow.

The battle for USRA Caseyís General Stores Weekly Racing Series national and track points continues in the Bentz GM Country Modifieds, Stock Cars, Toni Dunker Advance Trading B-Modifieds and Hobby Stocks, plus the Outlaw Hobby Stocks and Hornets will also be in action. Plus donít forget the class bringing in the most cars on this night will be battling it out for $1,000 to win and $100 to start their feature. There is no entry fee or track registration fees for this night. So come and check out the exciting racing action next week at the Pepsi Scotland County Speedway.

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