April 5, 2014
Linville, Despain, and Howard Visit Victory Lane in Season Opener at Ponderosa Speedway
by Michael Despain
JUNCTION CITY, KY (April 5) - Ponderosa Speedway kicked off the 2014 racing season on Saturday evening with its 42nd Annual Season Opener and feature event winners for the evening included Dustin Linville of Lancaster, KY in Late Models, Elliott Despain of Campbellsville, KY in Modifieds, and Jeremy Howard of Berea, KY in Sportsman.
The 25 lap Late Model main event would see Linville jump to the race lead immediately and pull away to a healthy advantage by lap 6 and would have all but the second through fifth place runners a lap down by lap 10. But disaster would strike for Linville on lap 16 when he contacted a slower car in turn three and would loop his machine. Linville would restart as the last car on the lead lap in fifth (Delaware double-file restart), with Gary Yeager now at the point. Linville would jump beneath the front two rows entering turn one and would go three wide for the race lead and regain the top position in turn three. Linville would drive away in the remaining laps to pick up the win aboard the Terry Linville owned Johnny Maco Electric/Paul Benton Auto Body/Graphic Impressions/Pine Top Motors/ Travis Short Racing/Cookie Monster Power Plants/Schaeffer Racing Oil/Linville Finish Carpentry/ Linville Construction/Bruce and Vicki Barnes sponsored #D8 Swartz Race Car sporting a Bullock Race Engine. Yeager would finish second, while Chris Johnson, Glen Hounshell, Jr., and Dion Benningfield would complete the top five. Eight Late Models (Supers and Pros were combined) would Linville as the overall top qualifier, with Linville and Yeager winning heat race events.
The 20 lap Modified main event would see J.T. Ayers jump to the early race lead, followed by Elliott Despain, Michael England, and Ryan Thomas. Ayers would open up a comfortable lead until he would get involved in an accident with a slower car on lap 7 and would have to restart at the rear of the field. Despain would take the race lead at that point and he and England would settle into a great battle for the lead that the pair side-by-side as the pair took the two lap remaining signal. However, the caution would wave for a spin by Steven Eversole, setting up a two lap shootout to complete the race. Despain would hold by a car length to take the victory behind the wheel of the Billy and Lisa Despain owned Lucas Oil Products/Miller Pest Control/Southern Indiana Rock Drilling/Chandler Heating and Cooling/Family Eye Care/NAPA/SpeeDecals Vinyl Graphics/VP Racing Fuel/VP Small Engine Fuel/Bilstein/Schoenfield/SRA Racing Photos/Dyer’s Top Rods/Canton Racing Products/ Stage 8/Butler Built/Bassett Wheels/K&N Filters/DJ Safety/Hypercoils/PRC/Wiles Driveshafts/BSB Manufacturing sponsored #75e Bandit Race Car powered by a Dale Meers Race Engine. England would settle for second, with teammate Ryan Thomas finishing third. Ayers would motor back through the field to finish fourth, while Rocky Wilson would start 12th and finish fifth. Fourteen entries would see Thomas as top qualifier, while heat wins fell to Despain and Ayers.
The 20 lap Sportsman main event would pay $400 to the winner and that event would see Jeremy Howard take the lead at the start of the event and would only be slowed by lapped traffic and a late race cautions with three laps remaining to tighten the field up. Howard would again motor away from the field over the final three circuits to take the win in the seat of his Terry Rice Race Engines/Howard Chassis/Xtreme Style Signs and Graphics sponsored #310 entry. Jim Robinson and Glen Hounshell, Jr. would battle for second for much of the event, with Robinson winning the battle at the conclusion of the event, while Landon Miller and Glen Branham would complete the top five. Thirteen entries would see Howard be the top qualifier, with heat victories going to Howard and Robinson.
SUMMARY-Ponderosa Speedway-Junction City, Kentucky-April 5, 2014
Late Models (8 entries)
Top Qualifier- Dustin Linville
1st Heat- Dustin Linville, Dion Benningfield, Timmy Taylor, Todd Noel 2nd Heat- Gary Yeager, Glen Hounshell, Jr., Chris Johnson, Chris Fair
Feature- Dustin Linville, Gary Yeager, Chris Johnson, Glen Hounshell, Jr., Dion Benningfield, Timmy Taylor, Chris Fair, Todd Noel
Modifieds (14 entries)
Top Qualifier- Ryan Thomas
1st Heat- Elliott Despain, Ryan Thomas, Tim Patrick, Kenneth Reams, Daniel Stephens, Daniel Eversole, Rocky Wilson 2nd Heat- J.T. Ayers, Michael England, Stacey Decker, Matthew Jordan, Aaron Cox, Faron Robinson (DNS- Magen Witt)
Feature- Elliott Despain, Michael England, Ryan Thomas, J.T. Ayers, Rocky Wilson, Stacey Decker, Matthew Jordan, Kenneth Reams, Steven Eversole, Aaron Cox, Daniel Stephens, Tim Patrick (DNS- Faron Robinson, Magen Witt)
Sportsman (13 entries)
Top Qualifier- Jeremy Howard
1st Heat- Jeremy Howard, Sarah Patrick, Thomas Scenters, Terry Cheeks, Landon Miller (DNS- Derek Bottoms, Bill Robinson) 2nd Heat- Jimmy Robinson, Glen Hounshell, Jr., Glen Branham, Teddy Gregory, Jr. (DNS- Clay Reece, Allen Hackworth, Jr.)
Feature- Jeremy Howard, Jim Robinson, Glen Hounshell, Jr., Landon Miller, Glen Branham, Sarah Patrick, Teddy Gregory, Jr., Derek Bottoms, Terry Cheeks, Clay Reece, Thomas Scenters (DNS- Allen Hackworth, Jr., Bill Robinson)