MINNER IS STORMPAY.COM WRS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE WINNER
TAMPA, FL - Todd Minner of Murfreesboro, TN took the lead on
lap six, and never looked back to drive the Thick and Dry Waterproofing
Rocket to victory on Thursday night in the 40-lap StormPay.com Weekly Racing
Series National Championship Race at East Bay Raceway Park.
Minner, representing StormPay.com Weekly
Racing Series track
Thunderhill Raceway in Lawrenceburg, TN, had some laps under his belt at
East Bay Raceway Park in the past, but not in a dirt late model.
"I've been here many times before driving a Mod Light, but
this was the first time I've been here in a late model," Minner said. "It
just feels great to win against a field like this with experienced drivers
because this was only my 15th-ever race in a dirt late model. My car was
tight all night long, and I kept waiting for someone to get under me, but I
didn't see anybody."
Minner was able to outrun one the best drivers the
StormPay.com Weekly Racing Series had to offer in West Region Champion and
the Track Champion at Whynot Motorsports Park in Meridian, MS Lucky Keeton
of Toomsuba, MS in the Charlotte's Toy GRT.
Minner, at one point in the race, had a full straightaway lead over Keeton,
who ended up the survivor in a last-lap four-wide battle for the second spot
that saw only two of the four combatants make it back to the checkered flag.
Chase Washington of Columbus, MS, representing Magnolia
Motor Speedway in Columbus, MS, was also involved in the four-way last lap
battle for second. Washington came off the fourth turn to the checkered
flag side-by-side with Keeton, but fell inches short of the runner-up spot
and had to settle for third after starting 11th in the Washington Racing
Early race leader Jason Wilson of Margaret, AL came back
from a lap 29 pit stop to finish fourth in the Peoples Racing Stinger.
Wilson, the 2006 StormPay.com Weekly Racing Series East Region Champion and
Track Champion at Talladega Short Track in Eastaboga, AL, was also the
Swinging Bridge Raceway Fast Qualifier Award winner.
Wilson toured the 1/3-mile clay oval in 17.281 seconds to earn the $300
prize from Swinging Bridge Raceway Promoter, and "The Mayor" of Hog Chain,
MS, Lacy Haralson, who was named the 2006 StormPay.com Weekly Racing Series
Promoter of the Year at the series awards banquet on Wednesday night at the
Westin Hotel in Tampa.
Don Young of Hopkinsville, KY, representing StormPay.com
Speedway in Clarksville, TN, finished fifth in the Don Young Custom Hauling
Rocket. John Pierce of Billingsley. AL, the 2006 StormPay.com Weekly Racing
Series East Region fifth-place driver and Track Champion at Childersburg
Speedway in Childersburg, AL finished sixth in the MediComp Solutions Larry
Steven Ashby of Cunningham, TN, the StormPay.com Weekly
Racing Series West Region sixth-place driver and the Track Champion at
StormPay.com Speedway finished seventh in The Wheel Shop Stinger. Carlton
Freeman of Eastaboga, AL, the 2006 StormPay.com Weekly Racing Series East
Region Runner-Up, started 16th and finished eighth in the Pate's Paint and
Body Shop GRT.
The two drivers in the four-way battle for second on the
last lap that didn't make it to the checkered flag finished ninth and tenth
against the third turn wall with 39 laps complete.
Anthony Hill of Carrollton, GA, representing Childersburg
Speedway, finished ninth in the Hill Racing Rocket, and Swinging Bridge
Raceway Track Champion Landon Frith of Terry, MS rounded out the top ten in
the Summerville Junkyard/WMF Racing Products Mastersbilt.
Polesitter Wilson brought the field down for the green flag,
and took the lead in turn one followed by Minner, Keeton, Hill, and Zach
Nichols of Cedartown, GA in the B&B Specialized Hauling/All South Racing
Products GRT, representing Thunder Mountain Speedway in Fyffe, AL. Nichols
was able to get around Hill for the fourth spot on lap two.
Minner was able to keep pace with Wilson for the first five
laps of the race, On lap six, Wilson slipped high in turn two, and Minner
dashed under him to take the lead. Wilson seemed to be having some handling
difficulty, as Keeton moved up to challenge Wilson for the second spot
side-by-side on lap 10.
Just as Keeton cleared Wilson for the second spot on lap 11,
Jimmy Elkins Jr. of Talladega, AL, the sixth-place driver in the
StormPay.com Weekly Racing Series East Region, spun in turn two to bring out
the caution flag and negated Keeton's pass for second-place.
Minner led Wilson, Keeton, Nichols, Hill, and Frith down for
the restart. Nichols seemed to have problems on the restart, as both Hill
and Frith passed him to move up to fourth and fifth respectively. Minner
began to open up a lead, as Wilson and Keeton resumed their classic battle
What made the Wilson and Keeton battle so unique was that it
marked the first time ever that these two respective StormPay.com Weekly
Racing Series Regional Champions had competed against one another.
On lap 14, Keeton was able to get to the inside of Wilson in
turn one, and the pair raced side-by-side until Keeton was able to clear
Wilson coming off the fourth turn. The problems for Nichols continued, as
he spun out on lap 15 in turn two to bring out the caution flag. Minner had
a full straightaway lead erased by the caution flag.
With Minner leading Keeton, Wilson, Hill and Frith down for
the restart, Wilson hit the inside dirt berm of the track with the left
front corner of his car which enabled both Hill and Frith to get by. Wilson
was able to recover one of those spots by passing Frith before Mitchell
Browning of Buchanan, GA spun his B&B Specialized Hauling GRT in turn four
on lap 19 to bring out the caution flag.
Keeton stayed with Minner on the restart, but couldn't get a
good enough run on the leader to make a challenge. Young had moved up to
the sixth spot for the restart, and passed Frith for fifth. Frith
regrouped, and reclaimed the fifth-spot by getting around Young on lap 23.
Wilson fell off the pace on lap 29 to bring out the caution
flag, and pitted with a suspension problem. His Crew Chief and
Father-in-law, veteran dirt late model racer Danny Peoples, made the repairs
and sent Wilson back to the track for the restart. Frith moved around Hill
for the third spot when the field went back to green, as Minner pulled away
When the field got the five-to-go signal on lap 35, Minner
had pulled out to a full straightaway lead over Keeton, who had plenty of
company on his flanks from Frith, Hill, and Washington.
When the quartet battling for second came off the second
turn on the final lap, Washington darted to the inside of Keeton, with Frith
outside of Keeton, and Hill outside of Frith. Keeton forged ahead into the
second spot going into the third turn, with Washington just a half a
car-length behind him to his inside.
Washington stayed with Keeton coming off the fourth turn to the checkered
flag, with Keeton having a good enough run on the outside to take second by
inches. At the same time, Frith and Hill got hooked up on the outside, both
cars turned right, and both nosed head-on into the third turn wall. Neither
driver was injured in the crash.
Wilson was able to come back to finish fourth, followed by Young, Pierce,
Ashby, and Freeman.
After the race, all of the entrants for the StormPay.com National
Championship Race had their names in a drawing to have a chance to win a GM
Performance 604 Crate Engine valued at $5,000 courtesy of Bill Martens of GM
Performance. Tim Bland with NeSmith Chevrolet of Claxton, GA drew Steven
Ashby's name out of the hat.
The East Bay Raceway Park StormPay.com Dirt Late Model Series action
continues Friday night with night one of the 2nd Annual StormPay.com Crate
Racin' USA World Championship Race with qualifying and heat races for
Saturday night's main event. The Saturday night program will consist of
C-Main and B-Main races, along with the $10,000-to-win 100-lap main event.
Over 100 of the top drivers in the country, including Nextel Cup driver Ken
Schrader of Fenton, MO, the 2006 StormPay.com Dirt Late Model Series
National Champion David Gentry of Lewisburg, TN, and multi-time East Bay
Track Champion and StormPay.com DLMS East Bay winner Keith Nosbisch of
Valrico, FL are expected to try and qualify for the 24-car main event on
East Bay Raceway Park is located five miles south of I-4 on U.S. Highway 41.
For more information call 813-677-7223, or visit the track web site at
For more information about the StormPay.com
Dirt Late Model Series visit the series web site at
OFFICIAL RESULTS OF THE STORMPAY.COM WEEKLY RACING SERIES NATIONAL
CHAMPIONSHIP RACE AT EAST BAY RACEWAY PARK IN TAMPA, FL ON 12/14/06:
POS STRT CAR# DRIVER
HOMETOWN LAPS $ WON
1. 2 G1 Todd Minner
Murfreesboro, TN 40 $3,000
2. 3 22 Lucky Keeton
Toomsuba, MS 40 $1,200
3. 11 38 Chase Washington
Columbus, MS 40 $800
4. 1 11 Jason Wilson
Margaret, AL 40 $1,000
5. 8 41 Don Young
Hopkinsville, KY 40 $600
6. 12 88 John Pierce
Billingsley, AL 40 $500
7. 14 16a Steven Ashby
Cunningham, TN 40 $450
8. 16 22 Carlton Freeman
Eastaboga, AL 40 $400
9. 4 10 Anthony Hill
Carrollton, GA 39 $350
10. 10 16 Landon Frith
Terry, MS 39 $300
11. 13 47 Adam Martin
Talladega, AL 36 $200
12. 15 17 Mitchell Browning
Buchanan, GA 35 $180
13. 9 07e Jimmy Elkins Jr.
Talladega, AL 33 $160
14. 5 12 Zach Nichols
Cedartown, GA 28 $140
15. 7 1t Terry Mosley
Gilbertown, AL 28 $120
16. 6 07 Talbert Goldman
Meridian, MS 15 $100
SWINGING BRIDGE RACEWAY FAST QUALIFIER: Wilson - 17.281 Seconds
LEAD CHANGES: 1
LAP LEADERS: Wilson, 1-5; Minner, 6-40
LAPS LED: Minner, 35; Wilson, 5
TIME OF THE RACE: 35 Minutes, 27.330 Seconds
NeSMITH CHEVROLET GM PERFORMANCE 604 CRATE ENGINE WINNER: Ashby
SWINGING BRIDGE RACEWAY QUALIFICATIONS:
Jimmy Elkins Jr.