- June 12 - Mountain Motor Speedway by Sam Holbrooks


HP - Randy Weaver - SAS Late Models

Weaver Survives Wild Ride For Second SAS Win at Mountain Motor Speedway

By Kelley Carlton

MARYVILLE, Tenn. - June 12. In a punishing race that saw only five of the original 22 starters completing the laps, Randy Weaver prevailed for his second $5,000 Southern All Stars win of the season and moved into closer contention for his second SAS title.

David Payne - MMS Late Model
Only runner up David Payne remained on the lead lap with Weaver at the finish at MMS, but not before making some pre-race repairs. (Michael Moats)

In the 2009 version of Mountain Raceway Park’s Southern All Stars sanctioned "King of the Mountain 50" Weaver made an exciting last lap pass to take the win. On Saturday,the defending Series Champion made repeating as the event winner seem almost effortless as he set fast time and led all 50 laps en route to the $5000 payday and his second Series win in a row.

“We are seriously considering running for these points again. We had planned to go to Eldora for the Dream but we didn’t get our motor back until this morning so it just didn’t happen. We started off kind of slow this year just getting used to this new (Bloomquist) cars so we have stayed close to home for the most part and that has put us in a pretty good position in the points.” Weaver said after the event.

Randy Weaver's second SAS win of 2010 moves him closer to his second title on the tour.

(Thomas Hendrickson)

Twenty-two cars signed in for VP Race Fuels qualifying with 20 taking timed laps. Weaver laid down a blistering 15.415 second lap to establish a new track record, eclipsing the mark set two years ago at the same event by Ivedent Lloyd. Following Weaver in time trials was Bobby Giffin, Billy Ogle, Jr., Tommy Kerr and Mike Weeks. Giffin was piloting an entry normally driven by Tennessee veteran Skip Arp however Arp injured his back earlier in the week and was unable to compete. Hall of Famer Freddy Smith was unable to make the call for time trials after suffering radiator damage. Smith made the trip back to his Seymour, Tennessee shop to grab the necessary parts to make the repair just in time to tag the tail of the feature.

Mike Weeks and #4t Tommy Kerry each offered a challenge to leader Weaver, but neither was able to finish. (Thomas Hendrickson)  

Heavy rains over the last several weeks had wreaked havoc on the historic half mile. Promoter Kevin Coffey appeared with track prep equipment throughout the night to attempt to smooth the very tacky but rough surface. But in spite of Coffey’s best attempts, the track just wouldn’t cooperate, leaving the 22 car starting field to fight it out on the choppy high-speed red clay. But as current Southern All Stars point leader Scott Creel pointed out before the green flag, “it will probably get pretty rough, but we are all racing on the same track. They have done the best they could considering the circumstances so the rest is up to us."

At the green, Weaver stormed away to the lead, but contact between several of the front runners sent Kerr high out of the groove and against the outside retaining wall, causing him to stop and negate the start. The field reset for a complete restart and once again Weaver surged ahead to take the point. As drivers looked for the fast way around, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth put his mount up on the very top of the speedway and made his way into the top five shortly after the halfway point. Hollingsworth looked to have a machine equal to that of Weaver, but his night came to an end when he lost an engine while running third.

Daniel Baggerly survived a scrape with #11 Mike Hill to complete the event in fifth place. (Michael Moats)

Meanwhile at the front Kerr had reeled in Weaver and began to look for a way to make the pass. Before the cautioned waved for Hollingsworth, Kerr had nosed alongside on at least two different occasions, only to have Weaver slam the door shut. After the restart, Kerr stepped up to the top of the speedway to continue his assault, but Kerr had his hands full as he wrestled his mount through the ruts. Kerr pulled even with Weaver in turn two with six laps remaining, but caught a rut on the exit of the turn, which allowed Weaver to slip away.

A late caution with just five laps remaining seemed to set-up a showdown run for the finish between Weaver and Kerr. However, Kerr’s machine suddenly slowed and came to a stop on the back straightaway with smoke and steam billowed from beneath.

Weaver was now left to fend off David Payne over the final laps. Payne was the lone car left on the lead lap as Weaver rolled on to lead the final three circuits and take his 13th career Southern All Stars Racing Series victory and his second this year. Weaver joined Jonathan Davenport as the only other repeat series winner in 2010.

“I tell you this was tough. I know Kevin Coffey was trying to give us a racy track here tonight but it just didn’t work. I know they didn’t want it like this. Kevin and the folks here are trying real hard to make this the place to race at in East Tennessee. They just had a bad night. The place was just bad fast. I think they said we beat the track record by two-tenths and that is really hauling it around this place. I want to dedicate this win and everything we do this year to my good friend and one of my mentors, Calvin Cheek. He just did so much for me dedicating one race just isn’t enough. So every race we win this year is for him.”

Weaver continued to flirt with the idea of making a run at defending his Southern All Stars title. “I don’t know. We are about 95% decided to do it. But me and Junior (car owner Weisgarber) will talk about it this week some more and try and nail down a definite decision about running the rest of the series.” Weaver commented in VP Race Fuels Victory Lane. 

Southern All Stars - Mountain Motor Speedway - June 12th
(1) Randy Weaver, (2) David Payne, (3) Jason Welshan, (4) Scott Creel, (5) Daniel Baggerly, (6) Tommy Kerr, (7) Mike Hill, (8) Bobby Giffin, (9) Freddy Smith, (10) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, (11) Billy Ogle Jr., (12) Doug Smith, (13) Mike Weeks, (14) Robby Moss, (15) David Crabtree, (16) Chad Ogle, (17) Mark Vineyard, (18) Hunter Best, (19) Sammy Russell, (20) Steve Smith, (21) James Kelso, (22) Rodney Kiker.

Thomas Hendrickson photo

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Updated 11/17/10

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