- July 23 - I-30 Speedway by Sam Holbrooks


Jeff Chanler at I-30 Speedway

Veteran Louisiana racer Jeff Chanler with flagman David Corbello after Chanler posted his first win of the season on the SUPR tour at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock. (Best photography) 

SUPR: Chanler Turns Back Tippen Attack For Little Rock Win
By Bryan Wimberley    
BRYANT, Ark. - July 23. Polesitter Jeff Chanler of Minden, La., marched out to a comfortable lead early and then held on late, for a $2,500 victory on the O'Reilly Southern United Professional Racing (SUPR) Series tour Saturday. Chanler led all the way in the 40-lapper at I-30 Speedway, but only after some tense, late-race moments from Allen Tippen to secure the three-quarters length victory.
'I was having a little trouble coming off of turn four, it was getting a little slick there. I believe I was running in too hard and letting my car drift out there and getting in the slick," Chanler said after the race. "I thought I was pretty fast in (turns) one & two, but all those restarts was hurting us. I like to keep my rhythm going and with all the cautions and restarts, I would lose it. The racetrack was best for me around the bottom, I didn't know if anyone was going to slip on the outside and go. On that last lap, I thought I seen somebody on the outside, so I swept up and cut the run off a little bit. I thought that would be the best thing I could do, to keep my lead from getting away from me. I just wanted to do my part and not mess it up, I knew my trouble spots on the track and just wanted to focus on making any mistakes."
Tippen of Minden, would settle for a close second, while current SUPR points leader, Morgan Bagley of Longview, Tex., climbed ten positions to finish in third place over veteran Ronny Adams of Diana, Tex. and young hotshoe, Timothy Culp of West Monroe, La.
Jeff Chanler and Chris Holley at I-30 Speedway
Jeff Chanler takes a low line past the slower car of Houston area driver Chis Holley for his first SUPR win in just over a year as the tour returned to I-30 Speedway. (Best photography)
Tippen recounted his final moments on the race.
"I knew in turns one and two that I could beat Jeff (Chanler) or I could at least get up beside him in those corners. Turns three and four I was worried about and I had reason to be, because that line I was trying to run in those turns were a lot slicker. I tried to give it my best shot and tried not to hit the black and we just fell a little short on momentum coming out of the last corner." 
The race would take two attempts before getting underway, but a three-car accident just a lap into the feature would immediately slow things back down. Jim Bryant, Ray Moore and Wesley Crutchfield would have the caution waving in turn four, ending Bryant and Moore's night early.
The race would pick up life for a ten-lap, green flag run as Chanler took control, followed by Chris Holley, Jody Prince, Tippen, and B.J. Robinson trailing. Ninth-starting Culp moved into sixth just three laps in, while Chanler broke out to a two-second advantage on the field.
Chanler's pace established him negotiating lap traffic on the sixth circuit. Brett Frazier spun to bring out the race's second yellow. Two more episodes warranted yellows at lap 13, before the race seen the longest green flag stretch of 20 laps.
At the midway point of the race, Chanler enjoyed nearly a three-second cushion over runner-up Chris Holley of Dayton, Tex., and Allen Tippen in tow. Ronny Adams and Jody Prince lagged back a distant fourth and fifth.
The battle for second between Holley and Tippen ignited, as they reeled in the leader. Holley and Tippen raced door-to-door with ten to go, drawing to within a few lengths of Chanler. Tippen took over second on the 32nd lap, while Holley's charge was over on the next lap as he lost a rear end. Holley was running third when his car broke, ending the solid run and retiring him to a 13th place result.
On the restart, Ronny Adams took advantage and slipped by Tippen for second. Tippen would regain it with three to go before waging a serious challenge to Chanler race-long dominance.
Tippen drew his no. 71a car to a within length of Chanler on lap 38 and pulled up beside Chanler, only to trail by a nose with the white flag waving. The race would by decided on which driver had a cleaner turn three entrance and accelerated off of turn four the best. Tippen took a little different line in the final two corners, as Chanler hit his marks, edging Tippen by three-quarters length at the flagstand for the triumph.
"After five cautions, everybody was picking inside and the cars picking the outside on the restarts, really wasn't making it work," Tippen explained later. "The groove that everybody was running at the top was going to be a little different than the one I wanting to try. So that is what I did, I see a line and was going to go all out for it. I ran that line and it almost paid off for us. It put us in contention with a chance to win it at the end. I got up beside Chanler on the backstretch and his car got pretty wide - I don't blame him. Just so close for us, that is three times in-a-row we have been second and close to getting a win. I got got beat by just a little bit again and I wished I made a different tire choice again, I was on all 1350's this time. Of course it's hindsight, but I am kicking myself again and wondering if I made a wrong tire choice. It was working good for us at the end of the race, but none of it matters, except for the last lap."  
Even though Tippen didn't come away with the victory, he gains a little in the points chase on the only two drivers that are in front of him - Bagley and Culp. 
"These finishes we are having lately are uplifting for our team. I also want to thank my dad, Troy Tippen, for everything he has done for me too. We struggled early on in the season, but have fired off good here lately," Tippen said. "I hope this pattern continues, everybody has been telling me if we keep on with these seconds and thirds, then a win will follow soon. We are going to keep hammering on it, keep our spirits up and hopefully drive one home soon." 
Notes: Chanler's Barry Wright Race Car is powered by a PTS Racing Engine and sponsored by David Peterson Contracting, CV Products, OWC Welding, All Star Performance, David's Transmission, Weld Racing, AD Signs and Hoosier Racing Tires.
The victory marked Chanler's 8th career SUPR Series win and his first since June 12, 2010 at Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas -a span of 33 races. He ran seventh last month in the only other series race at I-30 Speedway this season.
"When I got to those lapped cars, this car here is a little more rough than my new Barry Wright Race Car," Chanler later added. "That is probably because I have been taking more care of the new one, but I know no matter what, that I had to go. That happened to me at Devil's Bowl last weekend, I checked up a little bit and didn't push the issue and I got passed. The Barry Wright Race Cars really fit me well and I think it is one of the better cars out there, that's the reason we went back with another BWRC. The new one has only been raced twice, since it has the open motor and the 8" spoiler." 
* The 42-minute feature ended at 10:27 pm, and was slowed by six cautions, with 12 cars running at the end of the feature.
* Bubba Mullins of West Monroe, La., was the top 10 hard charger of the race, going from 20th to ninth. Mullins debuted the Ricky Jowers-owned, PTS Racing Engine powered, No. 11JR car just a few weeks ago and set it on the pole last weekend at Devil's Bowl Speedway.
* Ray Moore of Haughton, La., winner of SUPR's June visit to I-30 Speedway, was hampered all night, getting caught up in two separate incidents. The first occurred halfway through Moore's heat race, involving two other cars, and Moore bowing out with A-Frame damage. The early exit subjected him to start last in the feature. Moore would then be involved in a lap one caution, giving him a busted radiator and a 20th place finish in the feature.
* B.J. Robinson of Shreveport, La., was in the Childress Racing No. F5 car, instead of his familiar No. R5, due to damage suffered from a last lap accident a week ago at Devil's Bowl Speedway. An engine swap in that car also stalled the efforts on having it ready for I-30, but Robinson didn't miss a beat early on, winning his heat and putting it on the grid in fourth starting position. Robinson would fade in the feature, taking home a 10th place finish.
* Shane Diamant of Maumelle, Ark., had a scary moment in heat #1, when his No. 76 car went off the track's embankment, but landed upright -Diamant was unhurt in the accident, but the car was too damaged to continue. It was Diamant's second time behind the wheel of a Dirt Late Model in the last 18 months.
* The next appearance for the O'Reilly Auto Parts SUPR Series Dirt Late Models will be at its hometrack of Baton Rouge Raceway in Baker, La., on July 30th. The series also recently added two more dates to the tour schedule this season, one at 171 Speedway in Leesville, La., on August 6th and the other at USA Speedway in Sterlington, La., on September 2nd.
July 23 - SUPR at I-30 Speedway
1) Jeff Chanler, 2) Allen Tippen, 3) Morgan Bagley, 4) Ronny Adams, 5) Timothy Culp, 6) Jody Prince, 7) Jon Mitchell, 8) Kevin Sitton, 9) David "Bubba" Mullins, 10) B.J. Robinson, 11) Michael Jay Brunson, 12) Zach McMillan, 13) Chris Holley, 14) Brett Frazier, 15) Paul Joyner, 16) Alan Murray, 17) Gary Christian, 18) Wesley Crutchfield, 19) Kyle Beard, 20) Ray Moore, 21) Jim Bryant, 22) Shane Diamant.
Heat winners (22 entries): Robinson, Chanler, Christian.

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