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USLMS at Travelers Rest Speedway - 8/15 Story & Results (Read 1401 times)
USLMS at Travelers Rest Speedway - 8/15 Story & Results
08/16/15 at 1:28am
Ultimate Super Late Model Series
Travelers Rest Speedway
August 15, 2015
Johnny Pursley Races to First Career ULTIMATE Series Victory at Travelers Rest Speedway
by Kelley Carlton
TRAVELERS REST, SC (August 15) – It had been more than 5 years since Super Late Models had raced at the Travelers Rest Speedway. Saturday night the ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series made their first ever visit to the 3/8ths of a mile oval and brought Super Late Model Racing back to the facility in grand style. The grandstands and pit area were filled to capacity and the huge crowd on hand witnessed an outstanding 2 and 3 wide battle for the lead. After 5 official lead changes and many others along the way it was Johnny Pursley of Clover, South Carolina emerging victorious in the $4000 to win Whitey Whitesides Memorial.
The event drew 18 of the region’s best drivers for M&W Transport Haulin’ It Pole Qualifying. Current ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series point leader Casey Roberts of Toccoa, Georgia nailed down overall fast time with a lap of 15.225 seconds and picked up the $200 award. Pursley was 2nd quick followed by Dennis “Rambo” Franklin of Gaffney, South Carolina; Tim Allen of Kannapolis, North Carolina and Anthony Sanders rounded out the top 5 in time trials.
Roberts opted to start from the outside of the front row with Pursley to the inside for the 40-lap feature event. Roberts chose wisely as he was able to grab the point exiting turn 2 after the wave of the green. Pursley and Franklin battled back and forth for the second spot in the early going until a lap 8 yellow slowed the field when Dustin Mitchell got turned around in turn 2. The Dixie Double-file restart resulted in the continuation of the Franklin and Pursley battle.
Pursley was finally able to clear the 2 and set after the leader. At times Pursley was 3/10ths of a second faster than Roberts as he kept closing in. Pursley was able to duck in low and pull alongside the 101 machine. The close quarters racing allowed Franklin to join the mix as the top 3 cars waged an all out war for the top spot. Pursley pushed by Roberts exiting turn 4 on lap 13 to lead at the line only to have Roberts use his top-side momentum to roll by Pursley through turns 1 and 2. With Franklin peering under Pursley and Roberts still rolling on the top, the lead trio exited turn 4 wheel to wheel to wheel coming to complete lap 15. Franklin edged Pursley by just 0.002 seconds.
Pursley stayed the course pinning his Barry Wright mount to the inside where on lap 19 he was able to definitively grab the lead. However his battle had only just began. Franklin was able to dispose of Roberts and drew back to Pursley’s rear deck. Franklin took advantage when Pursley slipped high entering turn 1 on lap 22. But as quickly as Franklin took the spot the yellow waved when Jordy Nipper slowed to a stop in turn 2. Pursley was saved as he returned to the lead with the field not having completed the lap.
On the ensuing restart Pursley was able to get away and put some distance between himself and jis pursuers Franklin and Roberts. Pursley was able to move through lapped traffic with relative ease over the remaining distance and pulled away to capture the victory. Kenny Collins was able to move into the top 3 in the late going but a slight miscue in turn 2 allowed Roberts to slip back by for 3rd. Franklin held on for 2nd with Roberts coming home 3rd followed by Kenny Collins of Colbert, Georgia and young gun Josh Langley of Lancaster, South Carolina.
“We had a really good car. We just put this new motor in today and it ran really good. We ran a little hot but it was still really fast. I had some luck on my side too. I got the car upset when I hit that little rut in turn 1 and let Rambo get by me and then that caution came out and saved us. We really needed this win. We didn’t win a super race last year and we have been working hard to finally get one. Our new Barry Wright car has been good everywhere we have raced but we haven’t had things fall our way. Tonight it finally did. That was a lot of fun to race with Rambo and Casey like that. Those guys aren’t going to give you anything but they are going to race you clean. Thanks to everyone who helps us get to the track every week, we couldn’t do it without their help.” Pursley said after his first career ULTIMATE Supers win.
Pursley’s winning Barry Wright Race Car has a Clements Race Engine and sponsor support from: Pursley Grading, Farmer’s Service Center, VSC Fire and Security, Eagle Manufacturing, White Horse Restaurant and Big A’s Custom Graphics. Scott Shirey of Gaston, South Carolina was the PPM Racing Products Hard Charger of the Race advancing from his 17th starting position to finish in the 7th spot. The Schaeffer’s Oil by Keith Brady Slick Race Award went to Dennis Franklin. AR Bodies will present the Hard Luck Award to Anthony Sanders who lost oil pressure as the field was completing pace laps.
The next event for the ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series is the Friday, August 21st John Bradshaw Memorial at Ponderosa Speedway in Junction City, Kentucky. The event will be 50 laps and pays $15,012 to win. For more information visit
1 – 09 Johnny Pursley
2 – 2 Dennis Franklin
3 – 101 Casey Roberts
4 – 1c Kenny Collins
5 – 7 Josh Langley
6 – 1 Brent Dixon
7 – 10 Scott Shirey
8 – 98 Casey Barrow
9 – 07 Brian Ledbetter
10 – D8 Dustin Mitchell
11 – 3 Danny Ledford
12 – 28 Kelly Guy
13 – 17 Tim Allen
14 – 1N Jordy Nipper
15 – D8x Douglas Davis
16 – 00 Jeff Smith
17 – 121 Benji Cole
18 – 421 Anthony Sanders
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