latemodelamerica.com - June 18 - I-30 Speedway
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 
SUPR: Moore Takes Back-to-Back Trophies With I-30 Win
 
Bryan Wimberley
 
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - June 22. Ray Moore of Haughton, La., continues to be a force on the O'Reilly Auto Parts Southern United Professional Racing Series (SUPR).. Moore scored a $2,500 paycheck with his I-30 Speedway victory Saturday night, holding off Kevin Sitton of Baytown, Tex., by four lengths for his third series win of the season.
 
"We started the night off and even in hot laps I felt pretty good. I thought we might have made a wrong adjustment for the heat race. We freed the car up a little bit too much and the track started blowing off quite a bit after the heats. It started getting to my liking. 
 
"We like I-30 Speedway," Moore continued. "It's a good place to come to and it gets real racy here. Tonight it got black from top-to-bottom, we started coming through the field and lapping up into the top ten. We had a caution when a guy blew a motor up and laid some oil down on the bottom of the track. It started kind of rubbering it up, we just kind of rode from there," said Moore.
 
Front-row starter Moore had an early back-and-forth battle with current series points leader, Morgan Bagley of Longview, Tex., before getting a late race scare from Sitton at the stripe of the 40-lapper.
 
"We were on a hard tire, I knew it was going to take me 15 to 20 laps to get going. I knew if I could jump out to the early lead, then I was going to be okay, because I was going to get better throughout the race. We got the jump on him (Bagley) and had the edge a little bit. We were battling back-and-forth, I was running middle-to-top and he (Bagley) was hustling the bottom pretty hard. We got an early caution and I was thinking I was in the lead, but they put him back in front of me, I was thinking 'Well, he might move up my line and might be the end of the race there!' When we took back off, our car was really good no matter where we went and we were able to get back by Bagley. Everything worked out well for us to take the win," Moore added. 
 
Bagley would expand his points lead by a slim margin, finishing third, while Timothy Culp of West Monroe, La., rebounded with a fourth place finish. Brett Frazier of Haughton, continues to improve, recording his second straight series top ten, finishing in fifth.
 
Moore would lead the pack on the initial lap, with Bagley, Frazier, B.J. Robinson and Culp following close behind. Bagley would pull alongside of Moore to challenge for the lead on the next lap, but Moore would edge Bagley by a length. Jon Mitchell of Texarkana, Tex., would bring out the race's first caution on the same lap.
 
Polesitter Bagley would get a great restart and would take the point on lap three. A second yellow would fly when Chad Dupont would be off-the-pace while running fifth.
 
Moore and Bagley would resume their side-by-side war on the restart, raging on for three more laps. Bagley would lay claim to the low groove, as Moore would take to the cushion for the lead -a lead he would never relinquish.
 
Timothy Culp would move into third and begin to close the gap on Bagley for second. Moore's pace would have him negotiating lapped traffic on the eighth circuit.
 
Moore stretched the advantage to nearly three seconds, as Sitton's continuous pressure on Culp lands him in the third spot. Moore had lapped all the way up to 10th, with positions sixth through ninth battling hard to stay on the lead lap. Amongst that battle were Robinson and Jeff Chanler of Minden, La., with Moore baring down on the pack to put them one down.
 
Moore recalled, "I lost quite a bit of races in lapped traffic before, so when I started approaching that pack that was racing hard to stay on the lead lap, I really wanted to hurry up and get by them. I didn't want to just bide my time and ride behind them, so I started to try to go through them as quick as I could, but at the same time, I wasn't taking anything real aggressive. If there was a hole in that bunch of cars, then I was taking it in there. I was hoping they would give me some room. I know when I caught them, they were definitely racing hard. When they wrecked in front of us, we had to put the binders on pretty hard and we almost got involved with it. Thankfully, we were able to get by and survive it."
 
Exiting turn four, Robinson and Chanler were door-to-door on lap 24, as contact sent Robinson out of control on the front straightaway. Chanler would draw up on the pair rapidly with no place to go. The yellow was brought out for the third time for Robinson's spin.
 
On the restart, Bagley would quickly clear the lapped car of Tippen, gaining a shot at Moore for the lead. The suspense would be short lived and Moore powered back to control the race with ten laps remaining.
 
Contact between Jeff Chanler and Ronny Adams running near the top five, sent Adams slamming the wall by the flagstand. Adams never let up and the race would stay green until a fire broke out under Curt Lipsey's car on lap 33. The track safety crew would quickly extinquish the fire, setting up a seven-lap run to the finish.
 
It would play into the hands of Sitton the best, working past Bagley after dipping to the inside and getting second. Moore appeared to be cruising upfront with a two-second advantage on lap 38, but Sitton wasn't about to give up on the lead.
 
Moore would push upon to lap traffic, letting out of the throttle to roll around the corners, while Sitton could see Moore's decklid getting bigger. On the last lap, unbeknownst to Moore, his security for the win was in jeopardy in the last two corners. Sitton's charge had shrunk the two-second lead, to a few lengths. Moore's momentum would carry him to the win, but only by mere car lengths from the fast-closing Sitton.
 
"We started out running around the bottom, we were behind Jody Prince and I knew we wasn't going to go anywhere. Once a caution came out, I moved up to the outside of him (Prince) and started making some headway. I figured, 'Hell, I can go to the front like this', so once I got by him we pretty much cruised around. The car was real, real free getting in. Once the track got rubber down, then I could drive it into the corners a bit harder and it would grip for me to be able to drive off better. We started passing cars. I think Bagley got hung by one of the lapped cars on a restart and we ended up getting by him. I started over-driving the car because I was trying to catch up to Ray (Moore), it was slipping out of the rubber. Once I seen where Ray was running, I moved down.
 
"This is only our fifth race in this new car, we are getting better and we now know what to do for the next time we race it. Of course I can call Barry Wright and talk to him, I can tell him what the car is doing and get some feedback on it. We had a good night and finished second and there is a lot more left in the car, there is a lot more changes we can make. I am happy about the night we had and where we finished," Sitton recounted.
 
Notes: Moore's MB2 Customs Chassis is powered by a Jay Dickens Racing Engine and sponsored by Moore Wireline Inc, tic Tools International, X-Treme Graphics, Smith's Towing and J&J Motorsports.
 
The win was Moore's 17th SUPR Series victory and his third consecutive series top 10 finish at I-30 Speedway -adding to a fifth and tenth last July.
 
Moore has three SUPR wins at I-30 Speedway, dating back to June 2007.
 
Eight of Moore's last ten Late Model entries have been top 3 finishes, only missing the starting grid in two Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events at Wheatland (MO) and Kilgore (TX).
 
Ray Moore is participating in the FansFund.com (Fans Supporting Racers) contest, an event that raises money for drivers/teams who attends the USA Nationals. Fans across the nation donate and vote on drivers entered into the contest. Currently the top seven FansFund drivers, as well as the top All-Star driver is taken from the voting based on donations. The total number of votes are ever-changing daily and Moore currently stands 8th in the FansFund list of entrants.
 
The fund is set up to help eleviate costs for a team participating at the New Richmond, Wisconsin race on August 5th-6th.
 
"We defintely need all the voting that we can get, we are most likely going to go regardless, no matter how we finish in the voting, but it would help us out a lot since diesel prices are real high now. It is an awful long pull for us up to Wisconsin, maybe 18 to 19 hour trip," Moore said. 
 
Morgan Bagley and Gary Christian are the only other SUPR Series regulars that are receiving votes in the FansFund Program, voting ends on Saturday, June 25th at midnight. Bagley is currently 41st, while Christian is 84th.
 
Moore is hoping and addition to his stable after returning home from Cedar Lake Speedway in Wisconsin. Moore gave a status report on the new ride currently being prepared by Jimmy & Chris Mars.
 
"Jimmy and his brother has built me a new car, these two that I have now are just unbelievable. We are not trying anything a whole lot different on this other one, it is just time to freshen up and get another one. Hopefully we can pick it up when we are up there (for USA Nationals), so we won't have to make a second trip up that way -that would be nice! My family and my crew is wanting to come up to Wisconsin with me, so honestly we will probably take our stuff up there, instead of drive one of Jimmy's (Mars) cars. It would be more comfortable for us to hang out in our own quarters and motorhome, so most likely we will be in our own stuff and hopefully bringing a new addition back," said Moore.
 
The 26-minute feature ended at 11:04 pm. Four cautions slowed the main event, with nine cars on the lead lap.
 
It was SUPR's 56th visit to I-30 Speedway dating back to 1991, with 29 different drivers winning in the series during that span.
 
Sitton continues to get comfortable in his new Barry Wright Race Car, having four of five top 6 finishes in it, with an accident giving him a DNF last week at Chatham.
 
"What I like about this new Barry Wright Race Car is, I know it is capable of winning Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series or World of Outlaws races. When we had that 2005 Black Frontend Rocket, there isn't anybody on a national level that even runs one of those cars, so you have professionals that would try to run them and even they couldn't make it work. That prompted us to make a change since we know this BWRC can win at the national level," Sitton said.
 
When asked if a step up in competition is the projected plan, Sitton added, "I don't believe we would travel with the (national) series, maybe in the coming years. It is something that we would like to do, but we would have to get another rig, which is holding us back to do it more recently. We have to get an open motor, hopefully find some sponsors and find some help to take that step."
 
The seventh-starting Sitton was one of the top 10's biggest movers, advancing five positions to claim the runner-up spot.
 
Sitton draws closer in the O'Reilly SUPR points standing to make it a three-way battle for second place, currently trailing Timothy Culp (by 61) and Allen Tippen (by 36).
 
Jeff Chanler claimed the hard charger of the race, going from 19th-to-seventh.
 
Morgan Bagley has over a one-race cushion in the points, increasing his lead from 183 to 198 over second place Timothy Culp.
Bagley has managed to pull away from week-to-week, by registering four of five series top 5's in the last month, including a win three weeks ago at USA Speedway in Sterlington.
 
The Childress Racing Team placed a fifth different driver to take the wheel of the No. F5 car. Modified driver, Chad Dupont of Bossier City, La., handled the duties at I-30 Speedway, impressing early with a heat race victory. Bad luck would strike early in the feature for Dupont and he would exit early to become the first retiree of the race.
 
Dupont joins, Josh Danzy, Jody Prince, Billy Moyer Jr. and Justin Allgaier, who drove the car (then decalled up as the No. 31) in The Prelude to the Dream and finished fifth. Danzy is normally the driver of the race car, but back injuries continue to hamper the 30-year old from Heflin, Louisiana. He is not expected to return until becoming completely healed and back to 100 percent.
 

June 18 - I-30 Speedway SUPR

1) Ray Moore, 2) Kevin Sitton, 3) Morgan Bagley, 4) Timothy Culp, 5) Brett Frazier, 6) Jody Prince, 7) Jeff Chanler, 8) Chris Holley, 9) Ronny Adams, 10) Allen Tippen, 11) Jay Brunson, 12) Terry Henson, 13) Joe Long, 14) Paul Joyner, 15) Curt Lipsey, 16) Billy Robinson, 17) Jon Mitchell, 18) Alan Murray, 19) Chad Dupont
Heat winners (19 entries): Moore, Dupont, Bagley

Scott Burson photo

 

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