North La. veteran
Jeff Chanler races to his second straight SUPR Series win at Donald Watson's Baton Rouge Raceway Saturday.
SUPR: Chanler Hits Baton
Rouge For Second Straight Win
by Bryan Wimberley
BAKER, La. - July 30. For consecutive weeks, Jeff Chanler of Minden, La., kept his momentum going by
snatching up another O'Reilly Southern United Professional Racing (SUPR) Series victory Saturday at Baton Rouge
Raceway. Chanler went flag-to-flag in dominating fashion to seal the $2,500 payday and a four-second
victory over Kevin Sitton of Baytown, Texas.
"I can't believe it, I have never won two SUPR races in-a-row, I just knew a lapped car was going to get
in my way, especially there at the last part when I got the white flag, I was worried then. I was among those
lapped cars and was scared somebody was going to get into me before I got to the checkered, but
thankfully it didn't happen," Chanler said.
With his third place finish at Baton Rouge, Timothy Culp made some small gains on
points leader Morgan Bagley. (Best Photography)
The only chance any driver had of getting close to Chanler during the 50-feature was on a restart and even
then, Chanler mastered each of the four, to drive home something he has never done before in his career
-win back-to-back in the series.
"I know winning last weekend gave us some much confidence and it only helped when I got down here and was
then out front again. We ran about the same thing we did last week at Little Rock, the car has been
working good for me because we haven't changed much on the setup. It has been cutting the corner good, I jumped
the cushion one time and lost some ground early in the race, but I didn't see anybody come up on me. On the
restarts, I just kept powering to keep on going. I didn't know what they were doing behind me, I didn't know if
they were right on me or if I was pulling away," added Chanler.
Jeff Chanler and his North Louisiana based entourage after his second straight SUPR
win at Baton Rouge Raceway. (Best Photography)
Timothy Culp of West Monroe, La., took third and eased a little closer to currently points leader, Morgan
Bagley, trailing now by 232. Polesitte Robbie Starnes of Baytown, Tex., drove to a solid fourth-place finish,
while Jody Prince of Sibley, La., rounded out the top five finishers.
Chanler took the lead from the outset over Starnes, Prince, Sitton and Kennith Crowe of Port
Allen. The action would be brief, with the race's first caution appearing on lap two, for contact
between a trio of racers battling for fifth.
The feature limped along slowly for four more laps before seeing two straight yellows at lap 6. The
more serious caution came when contact between series founder, Donald Watson and Robbie Stuart of
Deridder, La., sent Stuart for a nasty ride into the backstretch wall near turn three. Stuart was
uninjured in the accident, but would be the first retiree of the event.
Taking advantage of the local venue, Zachary's Alex Ashley returned to play with the
SUPR troopers and picked up 11th place at a track that he virtually grew up in. (Best Photography)
Another strong restart by Chanler had him at point again with Starnes, Sitton and Culp giving chase.
Chanler's pace had him negotiating lap traffic on the 13th circuit. Culp and Bagley, like they have done all
year, battled for position on lap 15.
Chanler marched to a two-second lead, but Starnes was able to find a way to cut into his advantage for a
moment, approaching the halfway mark of the race. Culp, which earlier held off Bagley, was now taking a look
under Sitton for third on lap 27.
The feature's final caution waved one lap later for the slowed car of Kevin Watts of Denham Springs,
setting up a 22-lap dash under green. No late-race restart to pressure Chanler like last week at
With Starnes shuffled back to fourth on the final restart, the real battle the rest of the way was between
Kevin Sitton and Timothy Culp. The pair fought tooth-and-nail for second position, not settling it
until the end of the race. Sitton couldn't breathe a sigh of relief and never held more than a few lengths on
Culp during that time.
Morgan Bagley's record of consistency included a sixth place at Baton Rouge, while
former champion Rob Litton (6x), one of the few remaining charter memberrs of the SUPR tour, continues to
struggle in perhaps his most difficult season ever. (Best Photography)
Chanler cemented the lead with five laps remaining, by putting a cushion of two lapped cars between
himself and second-running Sitton. Chanler cruised on to victory, crossing under the flagstand comfortably
ahead of Sitton, who fought off Culp in the most intense battle on the racetrack all night.
"During the heat (race) the track was one-laned pretty bad. But in the feature, I could run up there, cut
across the bottom, then run up and hit the cushion to run off -it seemed to be the fastest way
for me. I tried to run the outside all the way around and that didn't work out good for me, so I just kept
cutting across. I figured if I was cutting across, then they wasn't going to get below me and if I
faded to the outside, then they wasn't going to come around and cut me off," stated Chanler.
"When they (series staff) was telling me the lineup (on a caution) on the raceceiver, I can hear them when
they were telling drivers to pick their lines. Listening to the lineup behind me each time, I can tell who
has moved up from the last caution and who was pushing towards the front. I was trying to keep up with who is
on the move, who is just behind me and who was gaining on me," explained Chanler.
Jody Prince races outside of Keith Strother before picking up fifth place at Baton
Rouge. (Best Photography)
Veteran Dayton, Texas driver Robbie Starnes lines up outside of newcomer keith
Strother before racing to his fourth straight top five in SUPR Series action. (Best Photography)
July 30 - SUPR at Baton Rouge
1) Jeff Chanler, 2) Kevin Sitton, 3) Timothy Culp, 4)
Robbie Starnes, 5) Jody Prince, 6) Morgan Bagley, 7) Allen Tippen, 8) Curt Lipsey, 9) Michael Jay
Brunson, 10) Jim Bryant, 11) Alex Ashley, 12) Donald Watson, 13) Keith Strother, 14) Zack Mcmillan, 15)
Kennith Crowe, 16) Kevin Watts, 17) Rob Litton, 18) Shawn O'Toole, 19) Jason Polite, 20) Shane Barbara,
21) Paul Joyner, 22) Robbie Stuart, 23) Chris Holley, 24) Marlon Wild
Heat winners (24
entries): Chanler, Starnes, Sitton