latemodelamerica.com - July 16 - Devil's Bowl Speedway
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

SUPR: Timothy Culp-Able at Devil's Bowl

Bryan Wimberley

MESQUITE, Tex. - July 15. Over the last several weeks, Timothy Culp of West Monroe, La., has been his own worse critic in getting back to victory lane. On Saturday at Devil's Bowl Speedway, Culp battled his way to the lead, fought off a couple of race-long contenders, negotiated lapped traffic and stood clear of a hectic last-lap accident, to grab his second O'Reilly Auto Parts Southern United Professional Racing (SUPR) Series tour victory. Culp edged fourth-starting Allen Tippen of Minden, La., by a length at the checkers. 

"Early on in the race we just got lined out, the bottom was just real slick and had a pretty good cushion, so that is where we was running. Once we got into lap traffic, we just had to dice around and take your chance when you wanted too, with the lapped cars. We all three (myself, Tippen, Jeff Chanler) got right together towards the middle of the race, Tippen got Chanler on the outside and I got by there too. Lap traffic played into our hands tonight, although I have been snake bit all year by lap traffic. It is good to finally win one with the traffic going your way and getting the monkey off my back," said Culp.
 
Third-starting Culp took the lead soon after the midway point of the caution-free, 25-lap race and collected $2,000 for the win. With the victory, Culp gained 25 points on current leader, Morgan Bagley of Longview, Tex., who finished sixth.
 
"I would love to win this points deal, of course second is good too. Our goal is to come out here and win every race we can, that is what we are here to do and what we'll try for the rest of the year," added Culp.
 
Chanler of Minden, La., was one of three leaders in the feature,before he slipped back to finish third. Eighth-starting Kennith Crowe of Port Allen, La., was the top ten hard charger of the race, advancing four positions to take fourth place. Jason Ingalls of Longview, Tex., crossed the line in fifth, but would end up with a mangled race car in a final lap accident.
 
Soon after the green flag dropped, polesitter Bubba Mullins of West Monroe, La., was quickly shuffled back four positions. Chanler would take charge to the front, leading lap one over Tippen, Culp and Ingalls. Chanler, driving his new Barry Wright Race Car for only the second time, opened up more than a one-second advantage, before tracking down lapped cars at the seventh circuit.
 
Culp was already on the move, dipping under Tippen to challenge for the runner-up spot. Tippen capitalized with a high side move that temporarily held the position on lap nine. A big breakaway of the top three frontrunners ensued, with Jason Ingalls lingering six seconds behind in fourth.
 
Tippen gained on Chanler once the pair hit heavy traffic, lifting him to the lead on lap 13. But it would be short-lived for Tippen, as Culp sliced his way to take the point on the next lap.
 
Culp hadn't heard the last of Tippen though, with six laps remaining, each driver chose their lines, as Tippen took to the high side and Culp stayed near the bottom. Tippen's upper groove momentum would take him near Culp's decklid. With every lap adding more intensity, both leaders had fierce battles cutting their way through lapped cars in the final laps.
 
"I know the outside was going to be the place to be early on," Tippen said later.  "I went on 1350 right rear and 1300 left rear, so we knew the outside was going to be it for us. I really didn't think it would blacken up as much as it did, but I knew we would ride the cushion. (Jeff) Chanler pulled away and he started bobbling a little bit, so I kind of walked him back down. When we got into traffic, Chanler made a few mistakes that I was able to capitalize on. He went low and I knew that high groove was still the fastest way around the racetrack. I took advantage of it, when he decided to go low and I thought we was in good shape. All of a sudden, I'm up high and I push a little and here comes Timmy (Culp), . Culp was able to drive across the black with those 1350's and I, with that big motor and soft left side tires, just couldn't do it. We still fought it hard and got up in that lap traffic. Then that last incident there, I didn't know what really was going to happen. I was just trying hard to keep my nose clean from it all, that is all I knew to do! Second is good, that is our second-in-a-row of those, I am just ready for a win'"
 
White flag waving in the air and Culp leading, both Tippen and Chanler had a shot to cement a last-lap pass. A congestion of cars stood in the way of the leaders and the flagstand before the outcome would be decided.
 
Outside of the traffic to deal with, B.J. Robinson's No. R5 car had mechanical and braking issues heading into turn three of the final lap. As Robinson saved the car from veering off the track and hitting the wall, it began slowing out of turn four as fourth place Kennith Crowe approached it. Crowe darted out of the way of the crippled car, placing Jason Ingalls in its direct path. With no time to react, Ingalls slammed Robinson's car heading to the finish line, peeling back the right side of the No. 87M like a tomato can and exposing the birdcage. The hard impact jolted Ingalls upon two wheels as Robinson's car came to rest near the frontstretch wall. Both drivers emerged from the wreckage unhurt, as Robinson's car had left front and rear suspension damage, a right rear tire down, brake line and body damage. Ingalls' car had right front suspension, frame and extensive body damage - Robinson finished 14th.
 
The top three was able to survive the chaotic last lap drama with Culp holding off Tippen by a length and Chanler trailing close behind. The advantage for Culp never exceeded over a few lengths in the waning laps, as the upstart was under pressure nearly the entire feature, but handled it well en route to victory number two.
 
"Once I got out in the lead, we got in a group of lapped cars, I could run right there with them, but I really couldn't pass them. I believe the track slowed down enough to where everybody was just as fast as each other. I could run them down, but I would lose a little bit of ground sometimes when I would duck under them to pass. I knew they (Tippen and Chanler) would suck right up to me when that happened. I bobbled that last corner there and he (Tippen) got under me, but luckily we had enough to hold him off," explained Culp.
 
Culp concluded, "I tried to stay concentrated on hitting my marks, it can change so quick on you and three laps later it could turn around with you running back in fourth or something. You just have to take what you can get and be patient and see how it unfolds."
 
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, BA Motorsports and Graduate Sales.
 
Culp won in the very car that he was close to putting up for sale just a few weeks ago. Regardless if it was impatience, frustration, strict determination or something else, the performance of the 2011 Trak-Star Race Car redeemed itself for the rising 20-year old racer. Culp and crew chief Beau Taylor put their heads together with Mike Boland, owner of Trak-Star Race Cars, to evaluate and make necessary changes to their car. With information in hand, the Culp/Miller Motorsports team recently headed to Jones Motor Speedway in Chatham, La., to compile their notes into a multi-lap practice session before the Devil's Bowl SUPR event. The verdict speaks for itself with Culp getting back to victory lane, to go with his seven other top 5 SUPR Series finishes this season.
 
"We had parked this car and was kind of frustrated and struggling with it. It wasn't performing like we wanted, getting tenth, twelveth-place finishes and that isn't what we are looking for out here. We got in the old car and was running top five every week with it. So I kind of got the fire lit back under me to get this new car going, I couldn't give up on it. I called (Mike) Boland this week and he got me pointed in the right direction. I told Beau (Taylor) what (Mike) Boland thought, so we went to Chatham last night and made about 100 laps down there, just practicing by ourselves. I think all of that paid off tonight!" said Culp.
 
Culp's second SUPR victory came on the biggest track (a 1/2-mile oval) that the series visits in 2011. Culp's other series win was ten weeks ago at the high-banked, gumbo oval of Greenville Speedway in Mississippi.
 
Culp held on for the win in heat race #1, barely edging, fast-closing Jeff Chanler, by half-car length and nailing down the third-starting position in the feature.
 
* The checkered flag dropped on the caution-free, 10-minute feature at 11:13 pm and had eleven cars on the lead lap.
 
* Allen Tippen also inched closer to series points leader Morgan Bagley, by shaving 20 points off after Saturday's race. Tippen has four consecutive top 3's at Devil's Bowl Speedway over the last two seasons.
 
"I know I was looking at points there when we was all right there in the hunt. But since Morgan (Bagley) kind of got out to a lead, I sort of stopped looking at it and try to throw my focus into just having good finishes and going for the win if it is there. If you get the win, then the points will be there. All we can do, is do what we can and I don't wish bad luck on nobody, but hopefully things can go our way," said Tippen.
 
"I thought I liked the short tracks better, when I won however many SUPR races on them, because I was better around the bottom feeders. But as we go to these bigger racetracks more and more, I am starting to think I am more of a momentum type driver. Ray Moore helps me a lot, we are real good buddies, and he is good around the cushion. He gives me advise and it has picked our program up a lot. I like Devil's Bowl, I believe I wasn't out of the top three, the three times we raced here, so I like this place! We have got a good record going here, we just need the wins to show for it," Tippen said of his recent success at the bigger track.
 
* Track points leader, Wendall Bolden of Greenville, Tex., was the highest of five Devil's Bowl Speedway regulars that made the SUPR feature. Bolden started 11th and finished in eighth place. Bolden has won four of 11 weekly super late model features at Devil's Bowl Speedway this season. The entry list consisted of 11 drivers that compete at Devil's Bowl Speedway's weekly super late model program.
 
* Bubba Mullins of West Monroe, La., won an exciting heat race #2, passing Jason Ingalls in turn two of the white flag lap, elevating him to the pole position for the feature.
 
* Ronny Adams of Diana, Tex., was eligible for a provisional spot in the feature, but a broken crankshaft would scratch him from the contest.
July 16 - SUPR at Devil's Bowl Speedway
1) Timothy Culp, 2) Allen Tippen, 3) Jeff Chanler, 4) Kennith Crowe, 5) Jason Ingalls, 6) Morgan Bagley, 7) Doug Begnaud, 8) Wendall Bolden, 9) Tom Lorenz, 10) Lee Davis, 11) Chris Holley, 12) Jay Brunson, 13) Jody Prince, 14) B.J. Robinson, 15) Patrik Daniel, 16) Bubba Mullins, 17) Johnny Philpot, Jr., 18) Max Eddie Thomas,19) Steve Whiteaker, Jr., 20) Rob Litton.
Heat winners (31 entries): Culp, Mullins, Bagley, Tippen; B-Main winner: Whiteaker

 

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