Merchant Triumphs at Champion Park
Bryan Wimberley, SUPR Series
MINDEN, La. — April 10. Kenny Merchant of West Monroe, La., captured his series-leading 54th
career O'Reilly Southern United Professional Racing (SUPR) series victory on Saturday, but he's had easier nights.
Merchant overcame near disaster in a heat race to start on the pole and hold off Kyle Cummings in the main event
for a $2,500 victory at the quarter-mile oval.
Merchant, who borrowed a rear end from Ray Moore's team after a heat-race accident, had an
exciting duel with Cummings late in the race as the two broke away from the pack with 12 laps remaining in the
Cummings got alongside Merchant on lap 31, and drove deep into turn one on lap 33 as the
frontrunners made contact. Merchant held on, though, and a lap-33 caution set up the race to the finish. Cummings
chased Merchant the rest of the way, sticking a nose underneath with two laps remaining but settling for second,
just three lengths behind the winner.
Ronny Adams finished third while Moore and hometown driver, Allen Tippen rounded out the top
Merchant knows he was fortunate to keep Cummings behind him. "Kyle is just great here at these
places that you run right around" infield tire barriers, said Merchant, who fought brake problems part of the race.
"If you have to run down around them, then Kyle is the man to beat.