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SUPR at Lone Star Speedway - 5/29 Results (Read 1034 times)
SUPR at Lone Star Speedway - 5/29 Results
06/02/11 at 2:09pm
SUPR Late Models
June 2, 2011
Mitchell wins Lonestar, gets first SUPR victory in almost nine years
by Bryan Wimberley
KILGORE, Tex. (May 29) - Jon Mitchell of Texarkana, Tex., outdueled current series points leader, Morgan Bagley, nabbing his first O'Reilly Auto Parts Southern United Professional Racing tour victory since July 2002. Mitchell crossed almost two seconds ahead of Bagley, leading all 40 laps and collecting $2,500 for the win at Lonestar Speedway. It was Mitchell's fourth series win and SUPR's first appearance on the recently re-configured 3/8-mile speedway.
"It has been a long time coming for this win. We have kind of had a dry spell here lately. It was really special with my dad and some of my sponsors here tonight. It was a good time to bring one home. I believe we had been off a little bit, maybe doubting ourselves. We were trying new stuff that was over my head, so we really got back to basics. I have been dealing with some of my customers and Joe (Garrison) with GRT Race Cars, coming up with our own little program setups that meets more of my driving style, back like it use to be when we were winning races before," Mitchell said after the victory.
Bagley of Longview, Tex., would settle for second in the race, but had a monster points weekend, turning a narrow 15-point lead, into a sizable 160-point margin. Chris Holley of Dayton, Tex., turned in his third straight solid performance, finishing third. Jody Prince of Sibley, La., turned in a season-best fourth, while Devil's Bowl Speedway regular, Patrik Daniel of Wills Point, rounded out the top five.
"We are big picture racing with a championship hanging in the balance, so we need to go out every night and finish races, definitely finish ahead of our competition and do the best that we can. At the end of the day, we want to win races, because that is what we set our minds to do. But as long as we can outrun who we need to, then we will be sitting okay at the end of this deal," Bagley said of the favorable points swing after the SUPR Memorial Day Weekend tripleheader.
Bagley later added, "This is our second time to race here on this reconfigured surface and sure we wanted to win real bad in front of the hometown fans, but at the end of the day, we have sit down and think about what we accomplished. We have had a great tripleheader, from getting a win, then running third last night. I think we made a poor decision last night (at Champion Park) on tires and we wrote that down in our notes and will learn from that lesson. So to salvage a third place finish on in that race, it's something that we will take. We looked to this open car here tonight and around heat race time, we were saying 'uh oh, we might have made the wrong car choice!' but then managed to get a second out of it. I have two cars to wash this week instead of one, but it makes it a whole lot easier to do it when you have a first, second & third to show for it."
Front-row starter, Mitchell lead from the outset as Bagley kept the distance to a few car lengths early. By lap 5, the field was in single file formation, with Jason Ingalls nudging near the top 5 and passing Chad Dupont for sixth.
Two laps later, Bagley closes the gap on Mitchell, then shows his nose on lap 9. Mitchell stays defiant to keep the lead and heads toward lapped traffic on the next circuit.
The two Texans break-away from the rest of the frontrunners, creating a six-second advantage stretching back to third-running Chris Holley. Mitchell approached Timothy Culp to put him a lap down, but Culp battled hard to stay ahead of the leader on lap 17.
Bagley shoots up to the top to try a different line on Mitchell, but loses ground and momentum in the process.
Caution appears for the first time, for Robbie Stuart of DeRidder, La., who is slowed near the turn two wall. A second yellow waved before a lap could be completed, for the spun car of Curt Lipsey of Albany, Louisiana.
On the restart, Prince pressured Holley for third with the race reaching the halfway mark. Holley holds firm after a multiple lap battle for position.
Mitchell was stretching his lead on Bagley, when the race's final caution flew on lap 25. Just like in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series race held at Lonestar almost two months prior, tire choice was gaining an important role near the race's final stages.
Mitchell doubled his lead on Bagley with ten laps remaining, but Mitchell had traffic up ahead that would stand between him and getting this nearly nine-year monkey off his back. Bagley had nobody pressuring him from behind for position and a last clear shot at Mitchell for the win.
Three laps to go, Mitchell finds himself having to negotiate the lapped cars to finally get a shot at victory. Bagley begins to close, but Mitchell puts the Curt Lipsey-driven car between them. Bagley tries to depose of the lapped car quickly, but it enabled Mitchell enough time to head for the checkered flags to secure the long-awaited win.
Mitchell said, "I knew Morgan (Bagley) was there the first ten laps, I could hear him and see his nose. I don't know if our tires came in a little bit better or it was our spec motor compared to his open motor that was better. It looked like we started pulling away there at the end, lapped traffic came back into play as well. My crew man was giving me signals in the infield and we seen that it was starting to get tighter when we was getting into that lapped traffic.
We came to the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series race (in April) on this re-configured track and didn't have any success here. Me and Morgan are pretty good buddies and go back to our modified days together. The both of us talked about our tire selections after the race, I think we was kind of similar and it was a matter of who got out front first or who had big spoiler/small spoiler that probably played parts in that."
As the top three drive on the front straightaway and the racers climb out of their cars, Bagley's left rear tire sits flat on the rim, with his crew having to change it before heading off the track.
"I was telling Jon (Mitchell) afterwards, that I wish I could say that it was because we ran out of tearoffs or it was this or that, but he was just good tonight and that is all it was to it. Jon had a real good race car, he didn't make any mistakes and he did what he had to do for the win. I definitely think the best car won the race tonight. The track was hard to pass on, with the rubber on there and that is what made tire selection a little difficult. It is one of them things that we don't ever know what tire we might bolt on, the rule of thumb that we go by is, we don't want to get caught with our pants down. We don't want to be the hero, we don't want everybody to adjust tires off of us and we may can figure out what tires everybody else has on and go from there. I have raced here several times, I know the surface, I felt like going a little harder (on tires) than Mitchell, would have been the ticket. I don't believe that we got beat off of tires, but I think Jon made a good decision," explained Bagley.
Bagley and Team 14 also flirted with more than just tire decisions for the last leg of the tripleheader at Lonestar Speedway. Whether it was just trial-and-error, strategic points racing or going for the flat-out win, the team placed their luck on the black, open motor No. 14M machine, instead of the red, spec motor car that has given Bagley three wins so far this year.
"Being fresh in this late model deal, we have an open (motor) car and a spec motor car, with both being Rocket Chassis and running (Darrell) Lanigan's type stuff. Darrell and Randall (Edwards) help us out tremendously. I like that open car and we have had good success with it. We talked about what we was going to run here at Lonestar, we pulled into this track and I know we have two or three more races at this facility this year. We have had a good weekend so far (with a win at USA Speedway on Friday and a third at Champion Park on Saturday), so being that it was already a good points weekend for us, we went ahead and decided to try out that open car here tonight to see if it was going to be the car that we need to run later on. We definitely don't want it to come down to the end of the year and there be a heated points battle going on and we are left scratching our head and unload a car that will not get the job done," said Bagley.
You never know which car the Wayman-McMillan-owned team will unload, until the liftgate is raised and the car is rolled out.
Notes: Mitchell's GRT by Catman Race Car is powered by a KHP Racing Engine and sponsored by W&W Timber, Keyser Racing, J&J Motorsports, Team 5 Enterprises, JFR Graphics, Racing BASE Fuel & Oils, BSB Manufacturing, C&D Plumbing, Kenneth's High Performance and Integra Shocks.
In fourteen entered Late Model events this season, Mitchell has four top 5's. He also runs in the Open Wheel Modified division.
"We are going to try and concentrate on the Comp Cams Series this season and run for a championship, since we have already ran so many races with them this season. They are kind of stretching the races out on us more than what we were thinking there, because of racetracks cancelling and shutting down. We will stick with that throughtout and run a few SUPR shows, hopefully a few more big races throughout the year. We are bringing our modified program back out too, so we will mix it in a little too. We'll run both classes in one night sometimes, that is kind of a good deal and will help our expenses in travelling with two cars (late model & modified). We (at Team 5 Enterprises) have a customer base in the modified division, so without me driving a modified every once-in-a-while, I struggle in trying to help my customers with hands-on stuff. I believe it will work out better this way if I can get seat time in both," said Mitchell.
The green flag for the feature dropped at 11:41 pm and was slowed by three cautions.
Kevin Sitton of Baytown, Tex., was the hard charger of the race, starting 11th and battling to a sixth place finish.
Bad luck continued for Timothy Culp of West Monroe, La., when he gets caught up in a chain reaction accident in the consolation race, that involved Curt Lipsey and Doug Begnaud. After the accident, Culp pulled off and took a provisional for the feature -he finished 14th.
Culp currently sits in 2nd place in SUPR Series points, only holding a slim ten-point margin ahead of third place, Allen Tippen.
Wesley Chanler of Minden, La., who won the consolation race to transfer into the feature, is making the transition from motocross racing to late models. Wesley
is the younger brother of longtime SUPR Series regular, Jeff Chanler. Wesley advanced four spots in the feature, to finish 13th.
Jeff Chanler debuted a brand new Barry Wright Race Car at Lonestar Speedway, powered by a PTS Racing Engine. Returning from BWRC in South Carolina, Chanler stopped off at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tennessee to make a few hot laps in the new ride. Chanler started 13th in the new No. 11c machine and was able to crack the top 10, with a ninth place finish.
"It's the first time in a race with it, we have some things to do and getting use to it. Our problems were in turns one & two, but I like the car," said the older Chanler.
Modified driver, Chad Dupont of Bossier City, La., subbed for Jay Brunson in his No. 23B car. In the offseason, Brunson bought the 2008 GRT Race Car from Childress Racing, which was formerly driven by Josh Danzy. It was Dupont's first time behind the wheel of a late model in about eight years. Dupont currently leads the Champion Park Speedway points in the Modified division and plans on getting his own late model in the near future.
"I wanted to see if we could change our stoke of luck and put someone else in the driver's seat for this race. Me and Chad have always been really good friends, so I talked it over with him and he agreed," said Brunson. Before Dupont went out onto the racing surface, Brunson laughed and added, "Although he may be having second thoughts on it right now!"
Brunson failed to make the featrue in the first leg of the SUPR Series tripleheader at USA Speedway on Friday, but finished 15th at Champion Park Speedway on the second night.
Dupont started the Lonestar feature in seventh, but fell out of contention and dropped to 17th.
Jason Ingalls of Longview, Tex., again found himself in the No. 87M of Jody Mayne at Lonestar. Just weeks earlier, Ingalls finished seventh in the SUPR Series, in Mayne's car at Boothill Speedway. Ingalls wouldn't be as fortunate this go-around, exiting the track early in 20th.
Drivers not making the feature included, Marcus Baxter, Zach McMillan, Paul Joyner and John Sliney.
The O'Reilly Auto Parts Southern United Professional Racing tour will be off a week, before a June 11th event at Jones Motor Speedway in Chatham, Louisiana.
SUPR @ Lonestar: (1) Jon Mitchell, (2) Morgan Bagley, (3) Chris Holley, (4) Jody Prince, (5) Patrik Daniel, (6) Kevin Sitton, (7) B.J. Robinson, (8) Ronny Adams, (9) Jeff Chanler, (10) Allen Tippen, (11) Allen Murray, (12) Wendall Bolden, (13) Wesley Chanler, (14) Timothy Culp, (15) Curt Lipsey, (16) Michael Coleman, (17) Chad Dupont, (18) Robbie Stuart, (19) Doug Begnaud, (20) Jason Ingalls, (21) Brett Frazier
Heat race winners (among 25 cars): Holley, Bagley, Mitchell
Consolation race winner: W. Chanler
Provisional starter: Culp
O'Reilly SUPR Series points
(Through May 29th)
1. Morgan Bagley - 1,142
2. Timothy Culp - 982
3. Allen Tippen - 972
4. Kevin Sitton - 935
5. Rob Litton - 754
6. B.J. Robinson - 722
7. Chris Holley - 712
8. Jody Prince - 614
9. Robbie Stuart - 579
10. Ronny Adams - 553
11. Jeff Chanler - 540
12. Ray Moore - 519
13. Bubba Mullins - 485
14T. Jon Mitchell - 428
14T. Robbie Starnes - 428
16. Troy Berdan - 387
17. Derek Perkins - 355
18. Jay Brunson - 346
19. Wesley Chanler - 337
20. Doug Begnaud - 293
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