latemodelamerica.com - Mar 26 - Westminster Speedway
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

 

Parker Takes Late Lead to NDRA Opening Night Win at Westminster

By: NDRA

WESTMINSTER, S.C. - March 26. Ron Parker emerged into the lead on lap 31 of a 35-lap feature to capture round one of the Heintz Performance Road Show at Westminster Speedway.   Parker, who started from the outside pole position, claimed the lead on lap 31 and wtayed there to claim the season opener for the new touring series.

Inman, South Carolina’s David Smith set fast time in GM Performance Qualifying with a lap of 17.160 around the 4/10 mile.  Smith, Parker, Timbo Mangum, and David McCoy posted the top four times needed to enter the top four redraw, which moved Timbo Mangum to the pole position.

Mangum immediately vaulted into the lead at the outset, and as he opened up an early lead, the battle ensued between McCoy, Parker, and Dennis Franklin. Bill Morgan soon made his presence felt as he quickly joined the top three. At the halfway point, Morgan had made his way into the second position and began his pursuit of Mangum as Parker and Franklin dueled for third.

Lap 23 would bring heartaches for both Smith (flat tire) and Morgan (mechanical failure) as they were forced to exit the speedway.  At this point, 17th starting Jeff Cooke and tenth starting Matt Long were making their move to the front of the field. Mangum remained at the top of the order with Franklin and Parker in tow. 

The lap 24 restart ignited a fierce battle between Timbo and "Rambo" Franklin.  Mangum held his lead as Franklin looked to the inside of the race leader.  Lap after lap passed with Franklin challenging on the inside, only to have Mangum pull ahead on the outside.   With only a handful of laps remaining Franklin made his push for the lead coming off of turn four as he and Mangum raced side by side back to the first turn.  Franklin grabbed the lead entering turn one, only to have Mangum dive to the inside exiting turn two. 

Finally, with $3000 and The Road Show point lead on the line, the competitors touched exiting turn two with Mangum reassuming the lead.  Franklin’s night would come to an unfortunate end on the next lap due to a turn two spin.  Conflict between Mangum and Franklin ensued under the caution flag.  Franklin was dismissed from the event and Mangum, with a heavily damaged car, was placed at the point.   On the restart, Parker quickly capitalized on his opportunity to grab the race lead.  Parker slid to the inside of Mangum and would lead the rest of the way, holding off the hard charging Jeff Cooke, Stephan Segars, Magnum, and Greg Pilgrim.

 Finish - Westminster NDRA

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