Eighth Starter Culp Reels in 171 Speedway Win
by Bryan Wimberley
LEESVILLE, La. - Aug. 6. Timothy Culp of West Monroe, La., flew under the radar early, then powered to
victory lane en route to a $2,500 payday on the O'Reilly Southern United Professional Racing Series tour
Saturday at 171 Speedway. Culp was the last of four leaders in the 50-lap feature, at the 3/8-mile track,
taking a three-and-a-half second win over Ronny Adams of Diana, Texas.
"I started eighth and Ronny (Adams) didn't start up too much
further ahead of me, it was a crazy race there for a little while. We both worked our way up there, I saw Ronny
take the lead on the outside and I just kind of bided my time. Rob (Litton) slipped up a couple times and I
snuck by him to gain a position. The track was just like I prefer, it was slow and slick and I
love it that way. I got in the zone and ran (Adams) down. Lap traffic played a little part, but no a whole
lot, because there was still plenty of room to race. I think I had a better car than him (Adams), since we were
able to run him down. I really think we had the best car here tonight, since we drove from eighth to win it,"
Culp led the final seven laps and the win was his third of the season, drawing him a little closer in the
series points -now trailing Bagley by 223.
"We are not looking at the big picture of the points scenario, we
are just trying to go out and win races right now. In the back of our minds, it's a points race and that's
money. We are trying everything we can do, as long as we are winning any race we come to, then everything
will fall in line," added Culp.
Chris Holley of Dayton, Tex., looked unbeatable in the beginning, but fell victim to a caution near the midway
point of the race. Even though Holley restarted at the back, he still managed to pull off a rally to finish
Adams led 16 laps, but would settle for second, as Morgan Bagley of Longview, Tex., quietly had a solid points
night in finishing third. Rob Litton of Alexandria, La. would be another leader at the southwest Louisiana
track, but later faded to take home fourth over 11th-starting Robbie Starnes of Baytown, Tex.
The race got underway with Chris Holley taking command from the pole, leading Bagley, Litton, Adams and Starnes
on lap one. Holley stretched the advantage, while Litton worked his way by Bagley for second on lap six.
A brief pause in the action from a caution, reset the field and geared a restart that Robbie Stuart of
DeRidder, La., took full advantage of. Stuart slipped by Adams for fourth, but wouldn't hold it for long, as
Adams returned the favor on the next lap.
Holley maintained his assault over the field, but lap traffic started to become heavy in front on him. Leading
the first 20 laps, Holley entered turn one battling two lapped cars, racing for position. With Holley trapped
down low in turn two, Zach McMillan and Wesley Chanler got out of shape, collecting Holley and bringing out the
second yellow of the race. Holley would be forced to start on the rear, relinquishing the lead and handing it
to 2010 SUPR champion, Litton.
"We was just pacing, having a good race and trying to keep our
tires on, then two lapped car decided they wanted to race the leader. Basically one of them spun out and
closed the whole track up. My biggest argument of the whole situation is, 'Are you suppose to drive through
these cars or are you suppose to stop and save your car?' The problem was, I stopped and got sent to the
back! I don't agree with the call one bit and I am very upset with SUPR and the call that was made."
"That is something that definitely needs to be looked at. I
would like to thank some sponsors that help us tremendously, First Class Septic, Erb Racing, Performance
Race Engineering, Mark, Sandra & Tyler Erb and Charles Raschke. Those guys gave me an awesome race car
tonight and I'll be damned if our bad luck just don't continue," Holley said.
Litton would take the reins and lead over Adams, Culp, Bagley and Allen Tippen on the restart. Litton would
hold the point for seven laps, but came under heavy fire from Adams on lap 28, elevating him to the top
Three straight cautions over the next two laps slowed the progress of the race, one involving five cars in a
turn two pileup. Brett Frazier got together with Allen Tippen of Minden, creating nowhere to go for Jeff
Chanler, Kevin Sitton and Jody Prince. Chanler, winner of the last two series' events, was lifted onto two
wheels, with the driver's cockpit looking towards the sky. Sitton's new Barry Wright Race Car would be mangled
below, as Prince slammed into the rear of his No. 20.
Sitton left the speedway, but later reports cited mostly cosmetic damage to his car -he finished 20th.
Remarkably, Chanler continued once the track safety crew carefully set his car back down on all fours. Although
Chanler's winning streak would come to an end, he rebounded from 18th-starting position and the five-car
accident to finish 12th.
Frazier wasn't so lucky, as the wreck rendered his car undrivable and resulting in an early retirement too
-finishing 19th. Prince would re-enter the race from the accident, but his climb to the front was minimal with
a 14th-place result.
Once the red-flag condition was cleared, racing resumed with Adams jumping back up front. Culp battled Litton
for second, gaining position four laps into the restart. Culp then set his sights on Adams, but Adams put the
lapped car of Kevin Ray between them. Culp made quick work of Ray and began closing on Adams on lap 38.
Culp looked for a faster line and began sizing up Adams to set him up for a pass. Culp nosed Adams a time or
two, before judging on the right time to go for the lead. On lap 44, Culp seized the moment and took over first
from a reluctant Adams. Adams tried firing back, but the 20-year old Culp muscled down the back-straightaway,
driving deep into turn three.
Culp's insurmountable pace on laps 47 thru 49, put one lapped car per circuit between him and Adams, cementing
him his second victory in three weeks on the tour.
Notes: Culp's Trak-Star Race Car is powered by a Wall 2 Wall Performance Engine and sponsored
by Miller Motorsports, Culp's Automotive, J&J Motorsports, Beau Taylor Technologies, PRP Racing Suspension,
BA Motorsports and Graduate Sales.
Culp would also be the hard charger of the race, taking the win from eighth-starting position. Culp's other two
wins came at the half-mile of Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Tex., and the gumbo clay of Greenville (MS)
Speedway in May.
"I have to thank my dad, without him I wouldn't be here. He flips
the bill on most of this stuff, he helps me a lot, gets me the best equipment he can afford. The two
Taylor brothers, Beau and Davis, without them I also wouldn't be where I am at. They make my job look
easy, they put the car as good as it is and all I do is sit behind the wheel and just drive it. Those two
have got me pointed in the right direction," Culp said about part of the former crew of three-time
SUPR champion, Kenny Merchant.
"We have grown the whole year, cause me and Kenny (Merchant) drive
a little different, so it took a little time to get on the same page. Now we are clicking along pretty good as
a team and are going to be pretty hard to beat," Culp concluded.
A small skirmish at the end of heat race #3 between Culp and Jeff Chanler occurred in the pits. The pair was
battling up front, racing each other hard with neither giving ground. Chanler would leave the heat with a flat
on lap six and Culp would finish third. Before Culp could exit his car, Chanler made his way over to express
his disapproval. Series officials and other parties stepped in to intervene, restoring order quickly.
"On the race track, it was just kind of a racing deal (with
Chanler). It was tight racing, we was pretty much door-to-door going into the corner and I didn't give him
any room and he didn't give me any room -just a racing deal. He kind of got into me after that. I
would have probably won the heat race no doubt, if that would not have happened, but I ended up third. I think
he ended up pulling off, so it probably hurt him worse than it hurt me. Then back here in the pits,
he got a little crazy, but we have to race with that guy every week, so I am not going to be enemies with him.
We will go on and be friends as far as I am concerned," Culp said of telling his side of the
A calmer Chanler said afterwards, "I didn't like the way he (Culp) was racing us and I was mad about
it. I just didn't think it was right."
The green flag dropped on the feature at 11:07 pm. The race was slowed by six cautions with ten cars finishing
on the lead lap.
Bagley has (13) top 5 finishes in O'Reilly SUPR Series competition this season, including five victories.
Bagley finished third at the July race at 171.
"We had a good night, I not complaining, they have a very
good racetrack here. I believe (Chris) Holley had this field covered tonight, if it wasn't for the incident,"
Bagley said on the front straightaway, in front of the capacity crowd.
Holley has shown flashes of top form during the season, but it has been sporadic at best. A very strong Fourth
of July tripleheader had the Mark Erb Racing Team thinking things were turning the corner as Holley built up
steam to make it into the top five in series points, but luck would change over the next eight races.
"Our motor program this year has been awful, we have went through
some engines. The black (No. 28) car that we run the aluminum spec motor in, has blown up four times. The steel
block just keeps on a going! Right now I feel like our racing program is top notch though, we just don't have
the results we want, to show for it. We got with Rob (Litton) a couple of weeks ago and he drove this car
(No. 77H). We made a few changes to it and ever since then, it has been a bullet! Actually, I think I like
this car (No. 77H) more than the other one (No. 28). It's easy to drive, it's fast and we are having a
ball with it. Even in the heat race, we started dead last and we win that dude -I couldn't ask for anything
better right now! I think when we got caught up in that big (5-car) wreck that happen with (Allen) Tippen and
them, coming out of turn two, Tippen actually hit the right side of the car. I don't know if it bent
a shock or something, but it sort of slowed our progress down from coming back from our earlier caution with
the lapped cars. We will get back to it this week, tear it apart, figure out what is wrong and patch
it back up. We will take it to Greenville and with the
way we are running, I ain't scared of any track right now. Let's get it on! Even last week in Baton Rouge, we
had a fast car and we popped a motor. Then two weeks ago at Little Rock, we had the 77H car out there and
was running second or third and battling, only to break a rear end. So really, we are there, we just have to
get this monkey off our back and I think the wins will come. I also can't wait to get to Battleground either, hopefully we will be on a rolled by
then. It's my hometrack, I know the in's-and-out's of that place and it will be racy from top-to-bottom. That
is one track that we can probably get four-wide on and never touch, it's a big, high-banked 3/8-mile and
just a hammer-down place to get after it," explained Holley.
Two drivers that have had their ups-and-downs this season, last year's champion Rob Litton and veteran Ronny
Adams, get back up to par at 171 Speedway. Litton is winless in the series in '11 and has five top 5's to date.
Meanwhile, Adams registered just his fourth top 5 at Leesville, in (14) entered series events this season.
"When the first two cars start further back in the field and
finish where they did, that says something about the racetrack, when you can pass and work you way forward.
We have ran a few here lately, that is was kind of like where you started, was going to be where you
finished a lot of the times. This racetrack here is a real good place. After that last restart, I think some heat transferred into my right rear
tire, because it got to where it wasn't sticking as good getting in. I was having to slow down a little
more getting in and I didn't have any traction up off the corner. I got into lapped traffic and it made me
to start having to bend the car a lot tighter. I wasn't quite as bad as when I had a free rein, I
could keep the car more straight, but when I start to try to bend under those lapped cars, I just
couldn't get up off the corners at all," said Adams, who stands fourth on the series all-time win
Chad Dupont of Bossier City, La., was back in the Childress Racing No. F5, subbing for B.J. Robinson.
Dupont had his best outing in a Late Model this season, finishing 11th.
Jay Brunson of Dubberly, La., was another driver continuing to show improvement, grabbing his best series
finished in eighth at 171.
The O'Reilly SUPR Series will hit the road for their highest paying event of the season, next Saturday night at
Greenville Speedway in Greenville, Mississippi. The race will be a $4,000-to-win co-sanction with the
Mississippi-based PRO Dirt Car Series. Track co-owner Wesley Washington, along with another track supporter has
added to the purse which originally stood at $2,500-to-win.
Second place is now lifted to $2,000 and third to $1,700, in the $400-to-start event. It's SUPR's first
co-sanction event in over two years.
Aug. 6 - SUPR - 171
(1) Timothy Culp, (2) Ronny Adams, (3)
Morgan Bagley, (4) Rob Litton, (5) Robbie Starnes, (6) Robbie Stuart, (7) Chris
Holley, (8) Jay Brunson, (9) Allen Tippen, (10) Nicholas Brown, (11) Chad Dupont,
(12) Jeff Chanler, (13) Zach McMillan, (14) Jody Prince, (15) Kevin Ray, (16) Keith
Strother, (17) Kennith Crowe, (18) Wesley Chanler, (19) Brett Frazier, (20) Kevin
Sitton, (21) Curt Lipsey, (22) Brock Williams
Heat winners (22 entries):
Stuart, Litton, Holley