By Kevin Neal
The Mother’s Day Weekend provided glorious weather for a jam packed night of racing action at Huntsville Speedway that saw some of the biggest fields and wildest action of the season.
Courtesy of USACracing.com:
JESSICA BEAN LEADS ALL 35 AT HUNTSVILLE EASTERN MIDGET STOP
Huntsville, AL……Jessica Bean of Farmland, Ind. led all 35 laps to win Saturday night’s USAC Speed2 Eastern Midget race at Huntsville Speedway. The victory vaulted her into the series point lead over George Kurtz, who was second Saturday. Nolan Allison, Jagger Parker and Sam Hatfield rounded out the “top-five” in the feature event.
USAC SPEED2 EASTERN MIDGET RACE RESULTS: May 13, 2017 – Huntsville, Alabama – Huntsville Speedway
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. George Kurtz, 4, Kurtz-13,199; 2. Jagger Parker, 20, Parker-13.234; 3. Jessica Bean, 5, Radical-13.335; 4. Nolan Allison, 16, Allison-13.359; 5. Jake Trainor, 8T, Trainor-13.441; 6. Sam Hatfield, 8, Hatfield-13.533; 7. Neal Allison, 15, Allison-13.563; 8. Ben McFarland, 25, McFarland-13.605; 9. Nick McFarland, 27, McFarland-13.708; 10. Carden Cochran, 99, Radical-14.262.
FEATURE: (35 laps) 1. Jessica Bean, 2. George Kurtz, 3. Nolan Allison, 4. Jagger Parker, 5. Sam Hatfield, 6. Jake Trainor, 7. Nick McFarland, 8. Neal Allison, 9. Ben McFarland, 10. Carden Cochran. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-35 Bean.
NEW USAC SPEED2 EASTERN MIDGET POINTS: 1-Bean-420, 2-Kurtz-413, 3-Nolan Allison-378, 4-Parker-306, 5-Trainor-274, 6-Neal Allison-237, 7-Chris Lamb-235, 8-Jake Garcia-190, 9-Neal Allison-188, 10-Eric Lewis-182.
NEXT USAC SPEED2 EASTERN MIDGET RACE: June 3 – Ridgetop, TN – Highland Rim Speedway
Johnny Brazier of Lick Skillet, Alabama would pick up the Fast Time Qualifying Award for the Late Model division with his quick lap of 13.771 and would roll a 2 on the inversion placing the returning Jaxon Bishop, the winner in the season opener on the pole. Bishop and Brazier would jockey for position when the green finally flew after a bad start was called back at the initial drop of the green. Brazier would eventually capture the top spot while Bishop would be relegated to the back of the field after being involved in a spin. Billy Melvin, Keith Rankin, and Gary Nix would all take a run at Brazier but would be unable to supplant him as the race leader. Huntsville Speedway newcomer Austin Aker of Taft, TN made an impressive showing in his crate engine late model, running as high as third before having to retire with mechanical issues. Jaxon Bishop would flex the muscle in his Ford Mustang, thundering all the way back to the runner-up spot and closing in on the lead in the final five laps, but it was the honorary mayor of Lick Skillet picking up his third Late Model victory of the season in the 50 lap feature.
OPEN WHEEL MODIFIED
John Thomas of Harvest, Alabama picked up yet another Fast Time Qualifying Award on Saturday night with a lap of 13.812, but Roy Stogner’s luck at rolling ones came to a screeching halt as the crewman rolled a four on the inversion dice putting the number 181 of Stuart Dunn on the pole, alongside the Space and Rocket Center/Knight Moves number 71 of Johnny Brazier, doing double duty in both the late models and open wheels. Brazier was able to put his day-glo orange machine out front at the start, with Troy Gray quickly getting a nose under Stuart Dunn to make his way to second. John Thomas filled the gap, taking third before Dunn could get down into the low groove. Brazier would sneak out to a bit of a lead before Gray reeled him in while Thomas seemed content to watch the battle unfold from third. With 19 laps remaining, the number 47 erupted in plumes of white smoke as his engine expired, eliminating him from contention. Thomas’s undoing was Troy Gray’s blessing however, as Gray was able to nab the lead from Brazier on the restart and close out the race to capture his first victory of the season.
David Dean, Jr. was able to capture yet another Super Stock division 20 lap feature win Saturday night, capturing the lead on the start and pacing all 20 laps en route to his victory. Caleb Thornberry took home runner-up honors, and Michael Neely brought home a top three finish in his Bama Parts machine.
Jeremy Davis did it the hard way this week, starting from the rear and using the high groove to finally take the advantage over Doug Emerson, who looked poised to capture another Mini Modified win. Tommy Robinette, who is still struggling to regain speed in his Toyota after losing an axle in a previous race, and Charles McKee rounded out the field.
Wild and wooly might be two adjectives to describe the action in the 15 lap Buzz/Pro Buzz feature event that saw Matthew Robbins emerge as the eventual winner. A multi-car collision on the frontstretch that resulted from contact between then-race leader Shane Jones and runner-up Floyd Brown, also wound up collecting the Steam Master Carpet Cleaning car of Brandon Thornton. Fortunately, all drivers were physically sound, although the same could not be said for their race cars. Tempers ran high after the finish that saw speedway officials working to diffuse passionate disagreements between the involved parties.
Jeremy Price made it two-in-a-row, besting buddy Josh McElhone to capture the win in the 15 lap Hot Shot division feature. Josh made several runs at Price, but the rear of his 01 machine seemed to step out of him, losing grip when he attempted to make the pass. Allen Gunter and Johnny Oates rounded out the field.
The Baby Grands made a return to Huntsville for a 20 lap shootout with Ronnie Binkley and Justin Shanes starting on the front row after fast qualifier Chris Willis (14.615) rolled a four on the inversion. Shanes was able to seal the deal on the lead after racing side by side with Binkley for the first half of the race. Willis was still super fast and made a run at Shanes for the win, but Shanes was in the right groove and the right time to bring home the victory, his first at Huntsville this season.
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.
USAC Eastern Midgets:
- 5 – Jessica Bean – Farmland, Indiana
- 4 – George Kurtz – Brighten, Colorado
- 16 – Nolan Allison – Greensboro, North Carolina
- 20 – Jagger Parker – Bowling Green, Kentucky
- 8 – Sam Hatfield – Mooresville, North Carolina
- 8T – Jake Trainor – Midway, Massachusetts
- 27 – Nick McFarland – Huntsville, Alabama
- 15 – Neal Allison – Greensboro, North Carolina
- 25 – Ben McFarland – Huntsville, Alabama
- 99 – Carden Cochran – Ringgold, Georgia
- 71 – Johnny Brazier
- 2 – Jaxon Bishop
- 59 – Bill Melvin
- 24 – Keith Rankin
- 99 – Gary Nix
- 12 – Canon Cochran
- 9 – Brian Bentley
- 27 – Edwin Gurley
- 14 – Bobby Castleberry
- 00 – Jeremy Price
- 71C – Ray Clemons
- 07 – Austin Aker
- 98 – Justin Ashburn (DNS)
Open Wheel Modified:
- 74 – Troy Gray
- 71 – Johnny Brazier
- 37 – Garrett Finley
- 181 – Stuart Dunn
- 56 – Craig Bell
- 101 – Cameron Berry
- 13 – Kenny Andrews
- 47 – John Thomas
- 2 – Mark Ellenburg
- 22 – Ryan Weirich
Super Stock Division:
- 21 – David Dean, Jr.
- 14 – Caleb Thornberry
- 92 – Michael Neely
Mini Modified Division:
- 85 – Jeremy Davis
- 5 – Doug Emerson
- 9 – Tommy Robinette
- 121 – Charles McKee
- 24 – Justin Shanes
- 08 – Chris Willis
- 15 – Joe McCloud
- 20 – Ronnie Binkley
- 48 – Matthew Robbins
- 84 – Floyd Brown
- 99 – Courtney Gibbs
- 1 – Jay Harmening
- 192 – Shane Jones
- 92 – Michael Neely
- 16 – Brandon Thornton
- 41 – Dakoda Emerson (Amateur Buzz)
Hot Shot Division:
- 13 – Jeremy Price
- 01 – Josh McElhone
- 45 – Tommy Rigsby
- 15 – Allen Gunter
- 03 – Johnny Oates