Alabama State Championship & National 100 Warm-Upadmin
Alabama State Rules warm-up race at EAMS tonight (9/12/15). Here are the unofficial results and details from one fan’s point of view.
Late Model: This may not have been a points race, but you would have thought they were racing for $10,000 to win, based on the battle put on by Rick Culpepper and Montana Dudley for the top spot. After taking the pole by almost 1/4 of a second (15.69 to 15.93) Dudley appeared to be a shoe-in for the win tonight, but outside pole starter Culpepper would have something to say about that. Culpepper got the lead from the outside on the start. The fact that he lead all 25 laps does not tell the story, though. Dudley dove to the bottom on both ends of the track over and over again trying to clear Culpepper. I’ve never seen anybody run lower than Dudley was. He came close a few times, but never was able to clear him. Both drivers showed tremendous respect and skill in keeping the battle clean. I hate to admit that I could barely take my eyes off the battle for the win to see what else was going on in the race. I can just tell you that Tod Darda took 3rd over Thomas Lewis and Patrick Wall. At one point Dana Eiland was in the top 5, but faded. Also, Brand Lewis was running in the top 5 when he had a flat tire and had to pit for a replacement. This was a win that Culpepper will remember for a while, as he put in a flawless performance to edge out Dudley.
Super Street: Joseph Brown served notice tonight that he’s going to have to be dealt with in this class at the State race – again! He was the class of the field tonight, though Keith Hudson made a great late-race charge into 2nd place from his 6th place starting slot. Jake Traylor took 3rd ahead of Dustin Diem and Marc Gooden. Gooden lead early from the pole, but spun in turn 2 on lap 4 under pressure from Brown.
Hobby: This class provided plenty of drama, as usual. On the 1st start, Don Don Cook took the lead off the high side of turn 2, but that lead was erased when John Michael Schmear spun in turn 4 forcing a total restart. On the 2nd start, Schmear slipped high in turn 2 allowing Dylan Holmes to dive under him for the lead down the backstretch. However, Schmear again spun in turn 4 forcing another restart. The 3rd start went Schmear’s way as he took the lead and lead the entire race, but not without challenge. Both Cook and Holmes were able to mount significant challenges to Schmear, especially Holmes over the last several laps. He was working the bottom on Schmear, but couldn’t get quite enough traction to get by cleanly. Holmes had to settle for 2nd with Cook 3rd, Al Walker 4th, and Todd Bullard 5th.
Bomber: This was an entertaining race tonight, with Rocketman Racecars Richie Stevens leading the way. He had all the competition he could ask for from Herbie Donath driving Richie Grantham’s car. On lap 8 Donath made his bid for the lead in turn 3 with a slide job past Stevens, but couldn’t hold it and spun in turn 4 bringing out the caution. From there on Stevens easily held on for the win over Billy Duell Sr., who recovered from a trip to the rear of the field early in the race after spinning Donath off turn 2. Chris Arnett took 3rd ahead of Jacob Boughton and Ronnie Dollar.
Cruiser: Gator Berryhill did a little showing off in this class tonight by really putting it to Chandler Diem, who has been a front runner on a regular basis. Diem had nothing, however, for Berryhill. Diem was able to win a close battle with William Arnett to nail down the 2nd spot. Following Arnett were Brian Bo Robinson and Bobby Duell rounding out the top 5.
Hot Shot: This was again a show put on by Bobby Duell who was followed by newly married Lloyd Segars. Michael Harris took 3rd followed by Dustin Ducker and Chrishobo Bosley.
There’s a day time practice session scheduled for Sunday, 9/13 allowing the drivers some practice on a dry slick track – much more difficult than racing on a track with some moisture in it as is typically the case at a night race. Next week there will be no racing at EAMS, but the following week – September 24 – 27 – Thursday through Sunday – will be the Alabama State Championship Race. You won’t want to miss this event. Be there!!