Henry Wade Comes Out on Top in Sportsman Division; Matt Adams the Winner in Tennessee Pure Stocks


By Kevin Neal

The STAR SuperTrucks, Sportsman, and Tennessee Pure Stock drivers returned to action Saturday night at Huntsville Speedway in a wild night of action that saw track officials working to beat the rain that fortunately had no impact on the evening’s racing activities.

In qualifying for the STAR SuperTrucks, Pure Stock, and Sportsman, Parker Henegar (14.616)  in STAR SuperTrucks, Jerry Hendrixson, Jr. (16.359) in the Pure Stock, and Alan Callaway (14.962) in Sportsman turned in the fastest times of the night.

A jam-packed field of trucks showed up to do battle in the STAR SuperTruck division with fast qualifier Parker Henegar rolling a one on the inversion putting him on the pole for the 50 lap feature alongside the number 311 truck of Jon Whitten. The race would get off to a shaky start as not once but twice as flagman Colby Guthrie dropped the green, Henegar felt the nose of the returning Affordable Towing number 67 of Daniel Bradford lifting his rear tires and and causing him to spin. The third time was a charm as the race got underway with Henegar to the lead, Bradford quickly fell in behind Henegar keeping Whitten in the high groove and relegating him to third. Caution at lap 2 for the number 31 of Jeremy Pate slowed the field and setup a restart facilitated by the cone that placed Daniel Bradford on the outside of Henegar for the restart. Bradford charged to the point in the high groove dropping Parker Henegar into the clutches of the rapidly advancing Jacob Stephens who had used the cone to better his back of the field starting spot due to not qualifying. Caution would fly again at lap 4 when Stephens would make contact with Henegar’s rear bumper, spinning him out of second. Stephens would take advantage of the Sportsmanship Rule to acknowledge his error, which relegated him to the back, put placed Parker Henegar back into second. On the restart, Bradford maintained the lead and Joe Davis his move around Henegar to take second. Caution would again slow the pace at lap 12 for the number 14 of Greg Sheppard who would retire from the event. On the restart, Jon Whitten showed he was not content riding in fourth as he used the cone to advance to the outside of Bradford for the green. Whitten was able to challenge Bradford from the high groove, until lap 15 when Bradford’s truck abruptly slowed on the frontstretch bringing out the fourth caution of the race. It was later revealed that an ignition box issue prematurely ended Bradford’s stout return. Jon Whitten and Jacob Stephens who had again worked his way to the front of the field, paced from the front row as the field went back to green with Stephens finally moving from worst to first as he took the lead at lap 16. Stephens would command the field up until the final ten laps of the race when Michael Neely emerged to challenge for the lead. Neely looked to play the spoiler as he nipped at the rear bumper of Stephen’s number J5 machine and it looked as if he would do just that. At lap 47, Neely got his nose under Stephens and briefly took the lead exiting turn 2 but it was Jacob Stephens who powered back from the outside to secure the victory in the STAR Supertrucks.

The 30 lap Sportsman feature was a hornet’s nest of racing action after fast qualifier Alan Callaway rolled a 6 on the inversion, basically flipping the entire field. Jonathan Campbell started from the pole alongside Eddie Gibbs, but scarcely a lap had passed before the front duo was under attack from Byron Westbrooks and Henry Wade. Westbrooks would capture the lead with Wade in tow, but before Wade could move into the low groove, Alan Callaway filled the space setting up an exciting side by side battle for the runner-up spot. As Callaway and Wade battled door to door, they closed on race leader Westbrooks, with Wade taking advantage of his momentum in the high groove to make the pass for the lead exiting turn 4. Alan Callaway waged a fierce battle with Westbrooks, as they traded paint down the frontstretch with Callaway sliding sideways before making the pass for second. Time would run out for Callaway giving Henry Wade the Sportsman victory.

In the Tennessee Pure Stock 30 lap feature, fast qualifier Jerry Hendrixson, Jr. started in the last row alongside perennial favorite Matt Adams who did not qualify due to a front suspension failure in practice.  This saw Josh Pitt and Jason Plunkett, Sr. start on the front row for the 30 lapper that featured some unexpected three wide racing as the Hendrixson Racing stable worked to pass Curtis Thornberry down the backstretch. Meanwhile, Matt Adams continued his methodical rise to the point, hanging on to capture yet another Pure Stock victory.

In the 20 lap Super Stock feature, Andy Sandlin, in his first start at Huntsville this season, started from the pole alongside the always fast car of Caleb Thornberry. Sandlin put up a valiant effort before relinquishing the lead to Thornberry. The number 18 car of Brandon Walker also made a good showing for himself as he rose to the runner-up spot, but on this night, no one had the answer to getting around Thornberry who captured the victory, followed by Walker, Junior Jordan, last week’s winner Todd Cagle, Sandlin, and Butch Rogers.

The 20 lap Mini Modified feature saw one of the best fields of the season led to the green by Jerry Mills and the Buster’s Bait and Pawn Mustang of Charlie McKee. A premature start by the 121 would see the field get a second opportunity at starting the race, and Mills and McKee were nose to nose on the restart. Joel Collier, returning to Huntsville in his number 71 Toyota would make a strong run, but like Jaws lurking in the ocean, it was the number 85 of Jeremy Davis who systematically made his way through the field, coming from a sixth place starting position to capture his sixth victory of the season in the Mini Modifieds followed by Collier, Mills, Doug Emerson, and Dewayne Vintson rounding out the top five.

In the Pro Buzz 15 lap feature Matthew Robbins and Courtney Gibbs would lead the flag to green. Robbins would take the advantage on the start with Gibbs quickly dropping low to protect second place from the number 192 of Shane Jones. Jones would find his mirror filled with multiple feature winner Floyd Brown who looked high and low to try to find a path around the StainMaster Carpet Cleaning machine. Robbins would hold off Gibbs for the win, followed by Jones and Brown.

The 15 lap Amateur Buzz feature saw a frightening crash on the frontstretch when Teresa Bearden’s accelerator hung open causing a collision with the frontstretch wall that lifted all four wheels of her car off of the ground. Teresa was okay after being removed from the car by Track Pro Safety Team and track officials. When racing resumed, Toby Vintson became the latest driver to pilot the number 41 machine to victory lane, followed by Kaylea Cox, and Blake Harrison.

In the 15 lap Hot Shot feature, Josh McElhone returned to the winner’s circle as he was too much for friend and Hot Shot rival Jeremy Price this week. Price finished in the runner-up spot followed by Allen Gunter and Jamie Bradford.

Huntsville Speedway will return to action next Saturday night with a special event, the I-65 Shootout featuring the Frontrunners from Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville in a 50 lap event with a timed pit stop at lap 25 for fuel and 1 tire. Also in action will be the Late Models, Open Wheel Modifieds, Super Stock, Mini Modifieds, 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. 311 – Jon Whitten
  4. 35 – Parker Henegar
  5. 85 – Joe Davis
  6. 32 – Andrew Whitaker
  7. 189 – Bryce Carver
  8. 82 – Josh McWhorter
  9. 67 – Daniel Bradford
  10. 14 – Greg Sheppard
  11. 31 – Jeremy Pate
  12. 62 – Jody Anderson
  13. 43 – Matthew Tucker

Sportsman Division:

  1. 60 – Henry Wade
  2. 6 – Alan Callaway
  3. 63 – Eddie Gibbs
  4. 5 – Byron Westbrooks
  5. 316 – Jonathan Campbell
  6. 6 – Greg Kruse

Tennessee Pure Stock Division:

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

Super Stock Division:

  1. 14 – Caleb Thornberry
  2. 18 – Brandon Walker
  3. 2 – Junior Jordan
  4. 98 – Todd Cagle
  5. 57 – Andy Sandlin
  6. 72 – Butch Rogers

Mini Modified Division:

  1. 85 – Jeremy Davis
  2. 71 – Joel Collier
  3. 61 – Jerry Mills
  4. 5 – Doug Emerson
  5. 88 – Dewayne Vintson
  6. 9 – Tommy Robinett
  7. 121 – Charles McKee
  8. 31 – Kevin Harrison
  9. 45 – Joe Griffitt

Pro Buzz Division:

  1. 48 – Matthew Robbins
  2. 99 – Courtney Gibbs
  3. 192 – Shane Jones
  4. 84 – Floyd Brown

Amateur Buzz Division:

  1. 41 – Toby Vintson
  2. 14 – Kaylea Cox
  3. 88 – Blake Harrison
  4. 5 – Teresa Bearden

Hot Shot Division:

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