Jacob Stephens Goes Through the Wringer to Win in STAR SuperTruck Division

Alan Callaway Returns to Victory Lane in Sportsman Division; Jason Plunkett, Jr. Takes the Win in Pure Stocks

07/01/2017

By Kevin Neal

The STAR SuperTrucks, Sportsman, and Pure Stock drivers created fireworks on the track almost as explosive as those that lit up the night sky with Green Mountain as the backdrop for a Fourth of July weekend celebration at Huntsville Speedway.

In qualifying for the STAR SuperTrucks, Pure Stock, and Sportsman, Michael Neely (14.453) in STAR SuperTrucks, Jerry Hendrixson, Jr. (15.929) in the Pure Stock, and Bryan Faulkner (14.873) in Sportsman turned in the fastest times of the night.

STAR SuperTrucks

In the STAR SuperTruck Division, fast time qualifier Michael Neely rolled a three on inversion, placing the Swampwater Louies/Affordable Towing number 67 of Daniel Bradford on the pole alongside the Captain D’s number 35 of Parker Henegar to start the 50 lap feature. Bradford would claim the lead at the drop of the green flag with Neely putting his nose underneath Henegar to claim the runner-up position. Henegar fell into third and the runner order stabilized for the first 17 laps until caution flew for an incident involving the number 62 truck of Jody Anderson and the number 14 of Greg Sheppard. Utilizing the cone on the restart, Bryce Carver drove his Window World number 189 truck to the outside, eventually improving his position to third. On the next caution, at lap 19, Jacob Stephens used to cone to pull his J5 machine to the high side and challenge for the lead, and was successful in leading two circuits before he and Daniel Bradford tangled, spinning the J5 from the lead. There was no utilization of the Sportsmanship Rule which relegated both drivers to the rear of the field on the restartand placed fast time qualifier Michael Neely on the point at lap 24. Caution would fly again at lap 31 for debris, allowing Carver and Bradford to use the cone to attempt to challenge Neely at the front of the field.  Another caution would fly before lap 32 was completed, setting up another restart with Carver being the sole participant using the cone. When racing resumed at lap 32, the biggest caution of the night occurred with the trucks of Jacob Stephens, Daniel Bradford, and Parker Henegar all collided after racing three wide on the backstretch. The accident would eliminate Bradford from competition, while Stephens and Henegar had to go to the pit lane to implement repairs. Michael Neely continued to command the field until caution flew at lap 43 for debris, setting up a comeback for the ages as Jacob Stephens used the cone to bring his battle worn J5 alongside Neely to challenge for the lead. On the restart, Neely and Stephens battled side by side for two laps before Stephens would capture the lead exiting turn two on lap 46. Stephens would hold on to the lead and go on to win the STAR SuperTruck feature, going from crash damaged in the pits, to Victory Lane all in one race.

Sportsman

In the 30 lap Sportsman feature, fast qualifier Bryan Faulkner rolled a six on inversion inverting the entire field and placing the number 316 car of Johnathan Campbell on the pole. Campbell fought the good fight, but was overtaken by Henry Wade in his Reliable Septic Service number 60 on lap 2. Alan Callaway quickly asserted himself in second, bumping Campbell back to third while Faulkner and Byron Westbrooks waged their own war with Faulkner nudging his way around at lap 6. Wade would pace the field until lap 16 when Alan Callaway would move to his inside as Wade seemed to fight an increasing loose condition. Callaway would lead for the remainder of the event to capture his second win of the season in the Sportsman division.

Pure Stock

In the Pure Stock 30 lap feature, fast qualifier Jerry Hendrixson, Jr. started scratch putting Jason Plunkett,y virtue of his previous race win, placing Matt Adams and Jason Plunkett, Jr. on the front row. Adams led the first 22 laps before being overtaken by Plunkett, Jr. who opened the door for Jerry Hendrixson, Jr. to follow him through, kicking Adams back to third. Plunkett, Jr., at age 15, captured his first victory of the season in the Pure Stock division, followed by Hendrixson, Jr. Adams, Josh Pitt, and Jason Plunkett, Sr. rounding out the top five finishers.

Super Stock

In the 20 lap Super Stock feature, last season’s Super Stock Champion Brad Malone started from the pole alongside Caleb Thornberry, returning to the car that Wayne Pugh piloted to victory the previous week.  Malone looked to be returning to his old form as he took off at the drop of the green, leaving Thornberry to contend with the advancing Junior Jordan. Jordan would soon find himself in the clutches of David Dean, Jr. who would take third from Jordan at lap 8. Dean would pass Thornberry for second 2 laps later and set sail for Malone, but time would run out for Dean as Brad Malone captured the victory.

Mini Modified

In the 20 lap Mini Modified feature Tommy Robinett and Jerry Mills led the field to the green flag, and it seemed that Robinett’s car simply did not want to go when the green flag flew, allowing Jerry Mills to race into the lead. Robinett would continue to pursue from second, eventually falling to Doug Emerson for the position at lap 16. Emerson set his sights on Mills to challenge for the lead when it appeared that Mills’s car was beginning to slow, but Emerson himself was showing telltale signs of overheating as steam began to billow from his overflow with just three laps remaining. Mills would hang on to capture the win, his first of the season, followed by Emerson, Robinett, Charlie McKee, and Patrick Christian.

Buzz

In the Buzz 10 lap feature Chad Helton and Kaylea Cox comprised the front row, with Helton claiming the point at the drop of the green flag. Helton would take his first win of the season with Cox, Ryan Hovik, and Johnny Neyman following. Floyd Brown captured the win in the Pro Buzz portion of the event.

Hot Shot

In the 15 lap Hot Shot feature, a game of high speed bumper tag broke out when off track compadres Jeremy Price and Josh McElhone tangled up multiple times during the race, doing heavy front end damage to McElhone’s stalwart 01 car. As the melee ensued, outside polesitter Jamie Bradford had to be grinning in his rear view mirror as he raced past Allen Gunter to take the lead and lead flag to flag to capture his first Hot Shot division victory of the season, followed by Gunter, McElhone, Jacob Barnett, and Jeremy Price.

Huntsville Speedway will return to action next Saturday night with the Late Models, Open Wheel Modifieds, Mini Modifieds, Baby Grands, Super Stock, Buzz and Pro Buzz, and Hot Shot divisions. The Pit gates will open at 3PM, front gates at 4PM, with qualifying beginning at 6PM and the first green flag of the evening flying at 7PM.

STAR Supertruck Division:

  1. 5 – Jacob Stephens
  2. 92 – Michael Neely
  3. 32 – Andrew Whitaker
  4. 189 – Bryce Carver
  5. 14 – Greg Sheppard
  6. 62 – Jody Anderson
  7. 35 – Parker Henegar
  8. 67 – Daniel Bradford
  9. 82 – Josh McWhorter
  10. 43 – Matthew Tucker
  11. 31 – Jon Whitten (DNS)

Sportsman Division:

  1. 6 – Alan Callaway
  2. 60 – Henry Wade
  3. 12 – Bryan Faulkner
  4. 316 – Jonathan Campbell
  5. 5 – Byron Westbrooks

Pure Stock Division:

  1. 38 – Jason Plunkett, Jr.
  2. 33 – Jerry Hendrixson, Jr.
  3. 19 – Matt Adams
  4. 4 – Josh Pitt
  5. 43 – Jason Plunkett, Sr.
  6. 14 – Curtis Thornberry
  7. 93 – Nicholas Reed

Super Stock Division:

  1. 15 – Brad Malone
  2. 21 – David Dean, Jr.
  3. 29 – Junior Jordan
  4. 27 – Guile Hornbuckle
  5. 1 – Austin Thornton
  6. 14 – Caleb Thornberry

Mini Modified Division:

  1. 61 – Jerry Mills
  2. 5 – Doug Emerson
  3. 9 – Tommy Robinett
  4. 121 – Charles McKee
  5. 22 – Patrick Christian
  6. 85 – Jeremy Davis (DNS), 31 – Kevin Harrison (DNS)

Buzz Division:

  1. 2 – Chad Helton
  2. 14 – Kaylea Cox
  3. 8 – Ryan Hovik
  4. J11 – Johnny Neyman
  5. 84 – Floyd Brown (winner – Pro Buzz division)

 

Hot Shot Division:

  1. 4 – Jamie Bradford
  2. 15 – Allen Gunter
  3. 01 – Josh McElhone
  4. 02  – Jacob Barnett
  5. 13 – Jeremy Price