latemodelamerica.com - June 25 - Smoky Mountain Speedway
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

William Thomas and Brian Reese at Smoky Mountain Speedway Southern All Stars

Phenix City, Alabama's William Thomas makes a late bid for #33 Brian Reese's lead before settling for second at Smoky Mountain. (Michael Moats)

Southern All Stars: Reese Wins a Wild One at Smoky Mountain "Big Daddy 500"

Richard Allen

MARYVILLE, Tenn. - June 25. Fans witnessed a wild night of racing as one of east Tennessee’s most historic racetracks returned to action on Saturday. Brian Reese would ultimately wind up as the winner of the 50-lap feature, but there was more to talk about than the Sharpsburg, Georgia driver’s dominating performance.

The Smoky Mountain Speedway was temporarily closed by its ownership on May 10th, but was reopened to host the Southern All Stars Series. Reese began the night with a lightning fast qualifying lap of 15.224 seconds around the 4/10 mile clay oval. That time was just a shade slower than the track record set earlier in the spring by Jimmy Owens. With the top-10 locked into their starting spots, Reese had earned the pole position with his fast lap.

Brian Reese and Randy Weaver at Smoky Mountain Speedway Southern All Stars 
Brian Reese races #5 Randy Weaver off turn two on the first lap before moving to the "Big Daddy 500" Southern All Stars win at Smoky Mountain Raceway on Saturday. (Michael Moats)

Billy Ogle - Tommy Kerr - Moats

Teammates Billy Ogle Jr. (201) and Tommy Kerr battle inside the top five at Smoky Mountain. (Michael Moats) 

Qualifying just behind Reese were Randy Weaver, series points leader William Thomas, Billy Ogle, Jr., Tony Knowles, Mike Weeks, Chad Ogle, Tommy Kerr, Mark Vineyard and David Crabtree.

On the initial start, Weaver jumped to the lead from his outside front row starting spot with Reese trailing close behind. After a lap five restart, Reese grabbed the top spot when Weaver’s car bobbled in turn one. From that point, Reese would hold the lead for the rest of the way.

However, that hardly means the excitement was over. Behind Reese there were intense battles within the top five on the lightning fast race track as Thomas hounded Weaver for second. Teammates Billy Ogle and Kerr contested the fourth position.

It was just after the halfway point when the action would reach a fever pitch. At lap 27, just two laps after a Delaware Double-file restart, Ogle and Weaver raced side by side for second place down the front straightaway. As the two entered turn one, contact was made which sent Ogle’s car hard into the outside wall. The #201 machine actually teetered precariously for a moment as if it might go over the fence and out of the facility.

Skip Arp and David Payne at Smoky Mountain Speedway

B-Main winner kip Arp battles his way paste #8 David Payne to reach the top ten at Smoky Mountain. (Michael Moats) 


As the cars slowed for the caution, Ogle’s fellow Blount Motorsports driver, Kerr, raced up beside Weaver as the cars entered turn three. After becoming entangled, the two machines ended up nosed into the dirt berm that rings the inside of the track. At that point, a BMS crewmember angrily jumped onto Weaver’s car. Weaver then proceeded to get out of his car and stood on its top as he and Kerr, who had in the mean time climbed from his racer, engaged in a brief shouting match.

Kerr eventually continued in the race and put on quite a charge toward the front until he was involved in an incident while he and Crabtree raced for third around a slower car.

After the lap 27 incident, the race settled into a high speed battle between Reese and Thomas, who made several attempts to get under the leader, but was unable to pull off a winning pass.

Brian Reese VL at Smoky Mt Speedway

Brian Reese and family after his Smoky Mountain Speedway Southern All Stars triumph. (Michael Moats)

Reese collected $5,000 for his efforts. He was followed to the line by Thomas, Crabtree, Chad Ogle, Mike Hill, Mark Vineyard, Hunter Best, Ross White, Jeff Neubert and Jason Welshan.

Reese's Rocket Chassis is sponsored by: Emory Winship Cancer Institue, CSR Aluminum Fabrication and Reese Motorsports.

June 25 - SAS at Smoky Mountain Speedway
1) Brian Reese, 2) William Thomas, 3) David Crabtree, 4) Chad Ogle, 5) Mike Hill, 6) Mark Vineyard, 7) Ross White, 8) Jeff Neubert, 9) Hunter Best, 10) Jason Welshan, 11) Tommy Kerr, 12) James Kelso, 13) Mike Weeks, 14) David Payne, 15) Jeff Franklin, 16) Randy Weaver, 17) Billy Ogle, Jr., 18) Tony Knowles, 19) Skip Arp, 20) Kayne Hickman, 21) Brian Hendrix, 22) Ronnie Payne
Fast Time: Reese (15.224); B-Main winner: Arp

Michael Moats photo

 

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