Johnny Brazier Victorious in Open Wheel Modifieds

By Kevin Neal

05/27/2017

The Memorial Day Weekend racing festivities at Huntsville Speedway started with the gloomy cloud of rainy weather looming, but the action on, AND OFF the track went off without a hitch with one driver going for the ride of his life to cap off the evening.

LATE MODEL

Billy Melvin of Trussville, Alabama captured the Fast Time Qualifying Award for the Late Model division with a lap of 13.921 and would roll a 6 on the inversion placing the 14 car of Chattanooga, TN driver Bobby Castleberry on the pole for the 50 lap feature.

Castleberry captured the lead at the drop of the green flag with the 07 machine of Taft, TN driver Austin Aker falling into second. Castleberry would pace the first 12 laps before caution flew for a single car spin involving the number 71 of Ray Clemens.

On the restart, Austin Aker and Castleberry battled side by side for the lead with Aker moving to the point before a flurry of cautions at lap 16. The first caution ended the evening of Ron Evans in his number 72 machine and also saw Ray Clemens visit pit road for service. The second caution flew for the Rick Coulter prepared number 12 of Canon Cochran who also visited the pit area along with the 00 of Jeremy Price.

The next restart was a thing of beauty coming to the line with Bobby Castleberry and Austin Aker again poised to do battle for the lead, but Castleberry quickly fell back into the clutches of Gary Nix who had been running third on the restart. Down the backstretch the Super Signs number 99 of Nix locked together with Castleberry’s number 14 pushing Castleberry’s car up onto the backstraightaway wall as the nose of the car shot airborne, clipping fence posts as it seemed to glide along the top of the wall. Eventually gravity took over as the nose of the car slammed forward, taking the car out of the speedway and through the retaining wall just shy of the entrance to turn 3.

Track Pro Safety Team was on scene in seconds along with track owner Robbie Edger to insure that Castleberry was uninjured. Fortunately, both Bobby Castleberry and Gary Nix suffered no injuries although the same cannot be said of Castleberry’s wounded race car that had to be cradled by two wreckers back onto the racing surface after the race was over for the long ride back to Chattanooga.

After the prolonged red flag, racing resumed at lap 17 with Austin Aker still leading, challenged from the outside front row by Fast Time Qualifier Billy Melvin. Melvin would roar past Aker on the restart to take the lead, a lead that he would not relinquish for the remainder of the race. Melvin captured his second victory of the season in the late models, followed by Austin Aker in another outstanding performance, Brian Bentley, Jeremy Price with his first top five of the season, and Ray Clemens.

[Copyrighted material – not for commercial use without coordination — contact EQB View via email – info@eqbview.com ]

Wild Ride for the #14

Wild ride for the #14 Bobby Castleberry who exited the speedway in turn 3 . . . thankfully, he walked away unharmed ! Thank you for the Track Pro team being there if he (or any of the drivers) need them ! Its evident from the video that Track Pro was Ready !! #FastFamilyFun from 5-27-17. {scenes – lap, incident, post-incident, then replay zoomed, then replay zoomed and slowed down, additional aerials} [Copyrighted material – not for commercial use without coordination — contact EQB View via email – info@eqbview.com ]

Posted by EQB View on Saturday, May 27, 2017

OPEN WHEEL MODIFIED

John Thomas of Harvest, Alabama was once again the winner of the Fast Time Qualifying Award on Saturday night with a lap of 13.874, but rolled a three on the inversion putting the returning number 23 of Bradley Carter on the pole for the start alongside Johnny Brazier in the day glo orange Space and Rocket Center Auto Sales number 71.

Carter would impress in his inaugural race of 2017, leading the first several circuits before what appeared to be a braking issue caused him to succumb to Brazier who was nipping at his rear Nerf bar. Brazier took the lead and Carter then had to contend with John Thomas who would eclipse him for second in turn 1. Thomas would mount a challenge to Brazier’s lead but was unable to usurp the Lick Skillet Flash as Brazier took the checkers in the 50 lap feature.

SUPER STOCK

The Super Stock division 20 lap feature was the land where dreams came true Saturday night when crowd favorite Todd Cagle manhandled his Shrek adorned number 98 car to lead all 20 laps and win from the pole after fighting off fierce challenges for the top spot from Caleb Thornberry, David Dean, Jr. and Junior Jordan. Jordan took the last stabs at taking the win away as both cars appeared loose in their final lap around the speedway. Cagle came off of turn 4 dirt track style as the fans erupted to take the checkered flag and his first victory in the Super Stock division at Huntsville Speedway.

PRO BUZZ

In the Pro Buzz 15 lap feature, Courtney Gibbs started on the pole, flanked by multiple feature winner Floyd Brown on the outside front row, and the 48 of multiple time winner Matthew Robbins directly behind. Good manners were the order of the race as track officials had multiple conversations with participants in the division throughout the week to encourage better sportsmanship in what has been a fiery division in 2017.

Floyd Brown quickly raced to the lead on the high side bringing teammate Robbins in tow. Courtney Gibbs made an excellent accounting of herself as she reached the rear bumper of the 48 car of Robbins several times in the closing laps of the race, but seemed to keep pace with the dominant Honda powered duo for the balance of the event. Floyd Brown captured the win, followed by Robbins and Gibbs.

 

BUZZ

The Buzz division made a good enough accounting of their ranks to run their own feature on this Saturday night with the number 31 of John Davis of Nashville taking the checkered flag ahead of the returning Matthew Tucker. In post-race inspection, track officials disqualified Davis for a number of division rules infractions, giving Tucker the victory in his first race back at Huntsville in 2017. Tucker was followed by Kaylea Cox, Huntsville Speedway veteran Teresa Bearden in her first race back in 2017, and Donald Webb.

HOT SHOT

Jeremy Price has been on a tear in the number 13 Hot Shot car and Saturday was no exception as he took the car from last to first to pick up his third win of the season. The win did not come easy and produced plenty of action as he battled good friend Josh McElhone for the lead.

Price and McElhone traded more than a little paint and taps with the bumper were plentiful before McElhone left just enough opening for Price to get the run he needed to lock up the top spot. Price was followed by McElhone, Allen Gunter, Jamie Bradford, and Tommy Rigsby.

Huntsville Speedway will return to action next Saturday night with races featuring the STAR SuperTrucks, Sportsman, Tennessee Pure Stocks, Super Stock, Mini Modifieds, Pro Buzz, Buzz, and Hot Shot divisions. Pit gates will open at 2PM with practice starting at 3PM, followed by driver’s meeting at 5:30PM, qualifying at 6PM, and racing at 7PM.

 

Late Model:

  1. 145 – Bill Melvin
  2. 07 – Austin Aker
  3. 9 – Brian Bentley
  4. 00 – Jeremy Price
  5. 71 – Ray Clemens
  6. 12 – Canon Cochran
  7. 14 – Bobby Castleberry
  8. 99 – Gary Nix
  9. 72 – Ron Evans

Open Wheel Modified:

  1. 71 – Johnny Brazier
  2. 47 – John Thomas
  3. 23 – Bradley Carter
  4. 37 – Garrett Finley
  5. 0 – Jordan Key
  6. 51 – Phillip Price
  7. 56 – Craig Bell
  8. 22 – Ryan Weirich

Super Stock Division:

  1. 98 – Todd Cagle
  2. 29 – Junior Jordan
  3. 27 – Guile Hornbuckle
  4. 21 – David Dean, Jr.
  5. 14 – Caleb Thornberry
  6. 72 – Butch Rogers

Pro Buzz Division:

  1. 84 – Floyd Brown
  2. 48 – Matthew Robbins
  3. 99 – Courtney Gibbs

Buzz Division:

  1. 41 – Matthew Tucker
  2. 14 – Kaylea Cox
  3. 5 – Teresa Bearden
  4. 26 – Donald Webb
  5. 31 – John Davis (DQ)

Hot Shot Division:

  1. 13 – Jeremy Price
  2. 01 – Josh McElhone
  3. 15 – Allen Gunter
  4. 4 – Jamie Bradford
  5. 45 – Tommy Rigsby
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