latemodelamerica.com - Aug. 20 - Jones Motor Speedway
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 
 SUPR starting field at Jones Motor Speedway
Old Glory takes a lap around Jones Motor Speedway Aug. 20th. (glennonphotos)
 
SUPR: Tippen Tackles Birthday Win at Jones Motor Speedway 
 
by Bryan Wimberley 
 
CHATHAM, La. - Aug. 20. In one night at Jones Motor Speedway, Allen Tippen of Minden, La., was rewarded for the consistency he's put forth during the 2011 campaign on the O'Reilly Southern United Professional Racing (SUPR) Series tour -and all coming together on his 37th birthday. Tippen took a three-length victory over Timothy Culp of West Monroe, La., and collected $2,500 for his seventh career series win on the circuit. 
 
"It is kind of hard to describe this," Tippen said after the race. "It is hard to lead 50 laps from green-to-checkered and not get mentally messed up, much less physically. It was a tiring race and I was probably making it worse on myself than what it actually was. When we took off, I went at things a little differently, I tried to drive a little smoother and tried to keep from spinning
  
Ray Moore at Jones Motor Speedway
Ray Moore gets into the marbles and tags the guardrail during hot laps at JMS.  The former SUPR Series champion was unfazed as he finished the night with a third place showing. (glennonphotos)
 
the tires at the beginning. I knew it was going to latch up and I knew that tires were going to be a game. We went with a hard tire - I believe most everybody did. I had to run it hard at the end, because they put a little pressure on me. It seemed to work out and this couldn't have came at a better time, since that drought we have had. I thought I had forgot how to get to victory lane, but we have been close. We hit a little bit of bad luck, but it all turned around for us tonight. I am hoping it will be like it was in '06, where we won a couple times back-to-back during that season. I would like to thank my dad (Troy Tippen) and all my sponsors that make this happen for us."
 
Tippen has been in the thick of the O'Reilly SUPR points battle all year, having eight top fives in 20 events, including three straight runner-up finishes last month. It was Tippen's first win since taking a hometown victory at Champion Park in March 2009 -69 races ago. 
 
"Whenever the caution came out, I seen a lot of tore up race cars behind us tonight," the elated driver added. "I kept it in my mind and was thinking about it every time we got into lap traffic. We certainly were trying to keep the body panels from being knocked in and keep the nose clean. When Ray (Moore) got up there - and I know how Ray is - he is slick and smooth, I figured he was
 
Allen Tippen and Ray Moore at Jones Motor Speedway

Allen Tippen gets a challenge from #93 Ray Koore before racing to Saturday's win at Chatham, Louisiana's Jones Motor Speedway. (glennonphotos)

waiting on something. I was trying to keep my cool and waiting on him to make his move, he tried one time to get in there and backed off of it. I didn't even know that Culp finished second until we parked the top three on the straightaway in front of the fans. Every time I looked behind me on a caution, Ray was in second, so I was surprised by that. I was pumped up and getting ready for the race to be brought to me and it never did happen where I could see it. It's just an unbelievable feeling, to do this on my birthday." 
  
Culp had a handful of opportunities late in the race to gain the lead, after taking second with 14 laps to go. Culp would eventually settle for second during a caution-filled 50-lap feature. Moore, of Haughton, La., who has been almost invincible at the Chatham quarter-mile oval lately, took third. After being out for several weeks, Troy Berdan of Minden, returned to register an impressive fourth-place finish, followed in the top five by Nicholas Brown of Hodge, La.  
 
Ronny Adams, Rob Litton, Timothy Culp
Ronny Adams gets a nudge from #8 Timothy Culp while racing fellow SUPR Series veteran Rob Litton for third at Jones Motor Speedway.  Culp ultimately advanced to second. (glennonphotos)
 
Polesitter Tippen jumped to the lead at the drop of the green as Bubba Mullins, Culp, Rob Litton and Morgan Bagley trailed behind. Sixth-starting Moore entered the top five, getting by Bagley just three laps in. On lap 10, Tippen would encounter the back of the field, already having to negotiate lap traffic. 
 
Two-time SUPR champion Rob Litton of Alexandria, La., and Culp would battle for third position for several laps, trading back-and-forth until a lap 13 caution appeared. Once leader Allen Tippen cleared a couple lap cars, second through sixth positions were briefly held up, with congestion blocking the track, leaving them nowhere to go. The first yellow saw all those frontrunners being involved, as Bagley received the worst end of it and restarted on the tail. 
 
Litton and Culp continued waging their battle on the restart, as Litton gained the upper hand for second. Moore appeared on Litton's decklid on lap 16, challenging for position. Sixth starting Moore advanced on Litton, then put Tippen in his crosshairs. Litton would then find himself fighting for third with Ronny Adams, as the pair rubbed doors down the backstretch, one lap later. 
 
At the front, Moore made an underneath move on Tippen on lap 19, but Tippen held his ground to maintain the lead. Two laps later, Tippen and Moore were side-by-side for the top spot. Again Tippen was able to edge forward ahead of Moore. Moore fought right back, going even lower onto the dry berm of turns one and two, but it wouldn't be enough to complete the pass. 
 
A third caution halted the action briefly, but back underway, Tippen and Moore continued. Tippen had a slim half-length lead on Moore on lap 26, as a five-car break-away of Tippen, Moore, Adams, Litton and Culp ensued four laps later. 
 
Troy Berdan and Morgan Bagley at Jones Motor Speedway
Troy Berdan races outside of Morgan Bagley before posting fourth place, one of his best showings so far this season. Nagley, an early frontrunner, was involved in one of several cautions and had to tag the field. (glennonphotos)
 
On lap 31, lack of patience, coupled with aggressive driving, saw three consecutive cautions involving the top seven of the running order, to come under fire. In one incident, sixth-running Chris Holley of Dayton, Tex., was left nearly stuck on the infield barrier of turns one and two, having nowhere to go. Holley later broke free, but eased to a stop on the backstretch. 
 
The next incident had Culp getting in hot under Litton on a restart, before a lap could be completed, bringing out another caution. Four other cars would be involved in the accident, including fourth running Ronny Adams of Diana, Texas.  Adams would retire in 17th and Litton restarted in 15th. 
 
Back to green, Moore and Culp fought for second on lap 32, as Tippen edged out to a three-length lead with 15 to go. After a five-lap war, Culp moved underneath Moore to take the runner-up position. Grip looked to become an issue with some drivers up front, as Moore was drifting up in the corners, finding it harder to hold his no. 93 down low.  After getting around Moore, Culp wasting very little time in closing the gap on leader, Tippen. Culp took a lap 37 peek at Tippen in turn two for the lead, but Tippen managed to keep the black-and-orange No. 71a out front. 
 
The final caution waved on lap 42, for the stalled car of Jim Bryant on the straightaway, giving Culp eight laps to formulate a plan of action to steal a late race win from Tippen. 
 
Tippen got the all important good restart and powered out to several lengths on Culp.  Culp was able to draw closer by driving deep into the corners, but Tippen was able to expand on the lead back down the straightaways. On the white flag lap, Culp would draw to five lengths, then four, then three, but could not show his nose to Tippen in time to make him succumb to the pressure. Both exited turn four strong, but Tippen hit his marks to cross under the flagstand for his first series victory in 29 months. 
 
Notes: Tippen's MasterSbilt by Mars is powered by a Jay Dickens Racing Engine and sponsored by Smith's Towing, J&J Motorsports, Troy's Auto Salvage & Metal Recycling, Hayco Transport, Troy Tippen Racing, Hoosier Racing Tires, Mars Race Cars and X-Treme Graphics. 
 
* In the very near future, Tippen plans to add to his stable of cars, raising it by one and placing it beside the MasterSbilt by Mars he won in Saturday, and an old reliable, solid orange '99 GRT he can't part ways with.
 
 
Ray Moore and Rob Litton at Jones Motor Speedway
Still struggling through one of his leanest years ever, defending series champion Rob Litton, who ran as high as second early on before getting spun out and being flagged to the rear, gets a look at Ray Moore before settling for a ninth place outing. (glennonphotos)
 
Tippen explained, "As a matter of fact, a lot of people don't know this and I wasn't going to say anything about it, but we have another car coming from Jimmy (Mars). It's another MasterSbilt, but it is one that was Jimmy's ran locally with, and (New Richmond, Wis. driver) Pat Doar drove it some. We are excited about getting it, because I know how good this MasterSbilt by Mars car right here is. It seems to be getting better and better. (Jimmy) is putting a new body, sheetmetal, some interior on and we are trying to work out delivery for it. Ray (Moore) has been affiliated with those guys and we talked a lot. Ray has been instrumental in it all and got me started in these race cars, so surely need to thank him for what he has done too." 
  
Tippen was able to gain 46 points on series leader Morgan Bagley, but still stands in third, currently behind Timothy Culp. Tippen has finished in the top five the last two seasons in the final series point standings (third in '10 and fourth in '09). 
 
"The only thing I have to do now, is take chances. I just have to take the chances and go for the wins, because if the wins come, the points will follow. It is going to fall where it falls, but at least we know we have the capabilities to get it done. I have never been to Battleground before, but I kind of like them wide-type, bigger tracks like that. We are going to try something a little different this time, probably will take our spec motor this type around -we'll see. If we can come out strong in these next four races through Labor Day Weekend, then it could potentially all fall into place, but I am tired of finishing second and third -we will be going for it!" said Tippen. 
 
The win was also Tippen's second at the Chatham-track, with the last victory coming in June 2006. 
 
* The green flag dropped on the feature at 10:50 pm. The race was slowed by eight cautions, with (12) cars on the lead lap. 
 
* Troy Berdan would be the top ten hard charger of the feature, going from 12th to fourth. The fourth-place finish was by far, Berdan's best series effort since being in a Dirt Late Model for approximately a year now. 
 
"It was a long night for us, going from 12th to fourth and it got a little rough," Berdan said. "The track was slick at the start, but it got good for us at the end. I thought I had Ray Moore towards the end, but a caution put him back in front of me and that is where we stayed. We had some oil pan and timing cover issues that sidelined us for a little while. We didn't want to risk losing a motor over it, before we couldn't pinpoint what the problem was. So we took our time and put it back together, which had us out for at least six weeks or so. We want to continue to get comfortable in this Late Model for the future and try to get my kids more involved in what we are doing. My daughter is out here running her car, while I run the Late Model. It is a family-oriented deal for us and all about the kids. But it is awesome to know that our hard work is
 
Allen Tippen VL Jones Motor Speedway
Allen Tippen surrounded by sopme pretty ladies after his big win at Chatham. (glennonphotos) 
 
paying off with the type of finish we had tonight. It is hard to explain, because if you haven't never been there, then you will never understand it. It is one of those deals where I always wanted to run a Dirt Late Model, you can see them on television and now I am knocking on the door of a top three finish. It is our goal to get a top three in the series by the end of the season, hopefully we can follow it all the way through with the races winding down." 
 
The dirt racing world is fairly new to the Minden, La. driver, who has only been on dirt for about four years now and originally hails from the northern part of the country. 
 
"I've had three years of dirt racing prior to Late Models and jumped from the Hot Stocks division. My background in racing is all asphalt racing, so this is a new thing for me. There is most definitely a learning curve involved, but it has been fun for us in getting here. I like it better than running asphalt. I ran Late Models on asphalt, but begun in Cruisers/Bombers way back when. We worked our way up to an asphalt Late Model and ran them all over the State of Michigan. We are from a General Motors' town, north of Detroit and east of Flint (in Davison, Mich.), but work brought us down to northwest Louisiana and we are still racing," Berdan said. 
 
 
Three-wide at Jones Motor Speedway
Paint-swapping at Jones Motor Speedway. (glennonphotos)
 
Two-time track champion, Nicholas Brown, would hurry home Saturday morning from his week-long Florida vacation in Panama City, making the nine-hour trip to take part in SUPR's second event of the season at Chatham. Brown made the worthwhile rush back to the Bayou State, recording his second series top five finish of the season - both at Jones. The 13th-starting Brown finished fifth, but would have to come further back than that, after getting involved in a lap 13 caution. Brown also has four other unsanctioned top fives this season at Jones Motor Speedway, including a $1,000-victory on June 4th. He last won the track title at Chatham in 2008, formerly called Fast Trax Speedway. 
 
A faulty radiator cut short Gary Christian's pursuit of a second series victory in '11. Christian of Broken Bow, Okla., finished 20th in his Pannell Motorsports-owned No. 58x car. 
 
The O'Reilly SUPR Series is next set to appear at Battleground Speedway in Highlands, Texas on Saturday, August 27th, for the first time since August 1998. The race at the 3/8-mile speedway is a $2,500-to-win event. 
 
Allen Tippen CF Jones Motor Speedway SUPR
Allen Tippen takes David Corbello's double checkers at Jones Motor Speedway. (glennonphotos)
 
Aug. 20 - Jones Motor Speedway SUPR
1) Allen Tippen, (2) Timothy Culp, (3) Ray Moore, (4) Troy Berdan, (5) Nicholas Brown, (6) Brock Williams, (7) Chris Holley, (8) Bubba Mullins, (9) Rob Litton, (10) Morgan Bagley, (11) Heath Culp, (12) Mark Underwood Jr, (13) Keith Strother, (14) Jim Bryant, (15) Jesse Mills, (16) Jody Prince, (17) Ronny Adams, (18) Zach McMillan, (19) Chris Buhler, (20) Gary Christian, (21) Darin Patrick, (22) Drew Zeigler
Heat winners (22 entries): Litton, Mullins, T. Culp

glennonphotos

 

 

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