May 22, 2008

Mother Nature Finally Allows Season Opener at Scotland County Speedway

by Brian Neal

Memphis, MO (May 17) - Finally mother nature shined on the Scotland County Speedway in Memphis, after three straight rain outs, the opening night of the 2008 season was put in the books. Taking home feature wins on Bradley Insurance / Cook’s Mens Store Night were Michael Long (Modifieds), AJ Johnson (Stock Cars), Jim Gillenwater (B-Modifieds), Jim Lynch (Hobby Stocks) and Jim Oliver III (Hornets).

The first feature on the night was the 16-lap Stock cars, with Michael Browning taking the lead on the drop of the green flag. But AJ Johnson, only eighteen years old, jump to outside to challenge him for the lead. Browning, who ran the bottom of the speedway, and Johnson, who was up top, ran laps two through four side-by-side, before Johnson got the advantage on lap five.

Johnson then held on the final 11 laps to claim his first career Stock Car feature win. Mark Holt won the battle for second, with Browning coming home third. Butch Bailey was fourth with Troy Alexander rounding out the top five.

Heat race winners were Bailey and Holt.

Up next was the eight-lap Hornet feature. Jim Oliver III took command of the race on the drop of the green flag and led all eight laps to pick up the win. Chuck Fullenkamp came home in second. Dalton McCartney was third with Jeremy Phillips fourth.

Oliver III made a sweep of the night by claiming the heat race win.

The 15-lap Hobby Stock feature took to the speedway next, with Jim Lynch jumping out front on lap one. Lynch would lead all 15 laps and held off Jeff Soper and Jim Oliver Jr. on the final laps to claim his first feature win in seven years of trying in Memphis.

Soper was second. Oliver Jr. was third. Brandon Symmonds was fourth with Justin Hamelton coming home in fifth.

Heat race winners were Oliver Jr. and Soper.

Levi Smith took control of the 15-lap B-Modified feature on the drop of the green flag and then held the top spot until lap three, when Joe Hooper slipped under him for the lead.

Hooper would lead the next three laps, before handing the lead over to Jim Gillenwater.

Gillenwater would go on to lead the final nine laps to claim the feature win.

Ron York was second. Rob Kirchner was third. Jared Fuller came from 11th to finish in fourth with Josh Larson rounding out the top five.

Gillenwater and Smith took home the heat race wins.

The final feature on the night was the 20-lap Modified. Tony Dunker grabbed the top spot on lap one, with Michael Long and Tony Fraise close behind in second and third. Long jumped to the outside of Dunker on lap two to take over the lead, with Fraise following in second.

Long then held the top spot until lap five, when Fraise slipped under him to take over the lead. Fraise continued to hold off Long until they entered lapped traffic on lap 16, when Fraise went high and Long went low to get around the lapped cars. Long would come out with the lead and then held off Fraise over the final four laps to pick up the win.

Dunker held on for third. Mike Bennett was fourth with Brandon Savage coming from 14th to come home in fifth.

Heat race wins went to Dunker and Long.

Coming up next week will be Arts Racemart and Slayton Polaris Night at the Scotland County Speedway. Racing action will continue in the Modifieds, Stock Cars, B-Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Hornets. Pit gates will open at 4:30 p.m., with drivers draw cut-off at 6:10 p.m. Hot laps start at 6:30 p.m. and racing gets started at 7:00 p.m. sharp. Grandstand admission is adults $8, students (11-15) and seniors (62+) $6, and kids 10 and under Free. Pit passes will be $20.

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