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Kerr outruns stellar field in capturing Volunteer Speedway ‘Southern Nationals’ victory

 

By Robert Walden

 

BULLS GAP, Tenn. (July 24) — The O'Reilly Southern Nationals Series features 10 events in the span of 13 days, with races held in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.

 

Tommy Kerr of Maryville entered Friday night’s O’Reilly Southern Nationals Series event presented by Super 8 Motel of Morristown at Volunteer Speedway with one career series victory, coming last year at “The Gap.” He also had momentum on his side as he stood atop the points leaderboard through eight races in the two-week tour around the Southeast.

 

Taking the lead from Chris Madden racing off fourth turn on lap 2, Kerr proceeded to outrun arguably the strongest field of talent ever assembled for a Southern Nationals event to capture the victory worth $5,300.

 

With competitors representing 10 states in the pits, Kerr was Integra Shocks Fast Qualifier from the 42 entries during time trials, running a quick-lap of 12.430-seconds (116.624 mph) to earn the pole position, with Madden second-quickest at 12.469 to nail down the outside front-row starting berth. Winners of the three B-mains, respectively, were Anthony White, Stacy Boles and Dennis Franklin.

 

Madden raced into the lead off turn two over Kerr on the opening lap, with Joe Armes, Jimmy Owens and Scott Bloomquist in tow. Kerr got a strong run on the bottom off turn four on the second lap to power into the lead. Madden lost several spots on lap 3 when he slid up the track between turns three and four, allowing the quartet of Armes, Owens, Bloomquist and Billy Ogle Jr. by, dropping him back to sixth in the running order.

 

With Kerr, Armes and Owens beginning to catch traffic at the tail of the field on lap 15, Armes and Owens closed to within two car lengths of the leader Kerr. But Kerr maneuvered his way past the cars he dropped a lap off the pace with no problem, thus moving back out to a comfortable advantage over his closest challengers.

 

Just behind the front-running trio of Kerr, Armes and Owens, Bloomquist, Billy Ogle and Madden were engaged in battle for position, racing two- and three-wide on occasion around the high banks. Madden took fifth from Ogle on lap 21 racing off the fourth turn.

 

At halfway Kerr was still in command out front, followed by Armes, Owens, Bloomquist and Madden as the race was caution-free up to this point. Owens trapped Armes behind a slower car on lap 31 to move into the runner-up position. Just five circuits later on lap 36, the event’s first caution waved for a multi-car wreck off turn two on the backstretch involving Chad Ogle, Franklin, Mark Vineyard, Jonathan Davenport, Justin Ratliff, Tony Knowles, Ivedent Lloyd, Jr. and Jeff Cooke.

 

Kerr led Owens, Armes, Bloomquist and Madden back up to speed. Just six circuits back under green, on lap 42 the yellow waved when Jeff Maupin got up against the outside guardrail between turns one and two. Kerr was hoping for a clean run to the checkers, but the caution appeared for the final time on lap 45 for Rick Rogers spin in turn two.

 

Poised for an eight-lap sprint to the finish, Kerr, driving the Turner Industrial Supply Inc./Explosive Specialists Inc./Insurance Partners/Stowers CAT/Blount Excavating/Ohlins Shocks/Storie Manifolds/Bearden Oil & Race Fuels/Hoosier Racing Tires South/Custom Race Engines/Rocket Chassis/Blount Motorsports/No. 4T Chevrolet Impala SS, stood hard on the gas (pedal) and begin to put some breathing room between himself and Owens. While Owens kept within striking distance, Kerr would not be denied an impressive romp to victory. Finishing third through fifth, respectively, were Armes, Madden and Bloomquist.

 

Completing the top 10 finishers were Vic Hill, Billy Ogle (who crossed the stripe in fifth, but was penalized two positions by Southern Nationals officials for jumping the restart on lap 45), Shon Flanary, Franklin and Steve Smith.

 

“Man, this win is big – I mean big,” said a smiling Kerr after climbing from his car in victory lane. “We’re running the whole ‘Southern Nationals’ tour this year and entering tonight’s event we were leading in points over Jonathan (Davenport) and (Dennis) Franklin. With Davenport getting involved in that wreck and finishing next to last, he’s now dropped to third in points and we’ve got a 52-point advantage over Franklin heading into tomorrow night’s series finale. We’ll try to get us another win at Tazewell Speedway to put an exclamation point on winning the series championship.

 

“I’m telling you, we had an awesome race car tonight. We were fast in practice and then backed it up in qualifying to earn the pole position. During the race we were real good. I could run the car anywhere on the track I needed and never miss a beat. I knew I couldn’t make any mistakes, because when you’re racing against the likes of Jimmy Owens, Scott Bloomquist and Chris Madden, you make a mistake and they’ll make you pay. Joe (Armes) also had a strong run. To be able to beat those four Team Zero Bloomquist Race Cars, this whole Blount Motorsports team is really pumped up over what we accomplished tonight. I’ve got to give a lot of credit to my crew chief Gary Winger, and also to B.J. Hillman and Wayne Irwin. Winning this same race here last year was the biggest victory of my career. But winning tonight with all the top drivers that were assembled, this definitely surpasses last year’s win. To run as well as we did tonight and beat Bloomquist, Owens, Madden and Vic (Hill) and everybody else, this is a race I’ll never forget.”

 

Vic Chandler grabbed the lead over Jonesborough’s Bobby Mays at the start of the “Courtesy Chevrolet” Pro Late Model main, but Mays powered into the lead racing off fourth turn on lap 5 and never looked back en route to winning his second feature of the season. With Mays and Chandler finishing first and second, respectively, rounding out the top-five were Dale Ball, Ricky Moore and Jerry Broyles.

 

Ray Jarnigan of Thornhill increased his “McDonald’s” Hobby Stock points lead by winning his second feature of the season while recording his fifth overall top-five run. Chasing Jarnigan to the checkers were Dale Reed, Jamie Whitt, Dennis Metcalf and Chuck Johnson.

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O’REILLY SOUTHERN NATIONALS SERIES – PRESENTED BY SUPER 8 MOTEL OF MORRISTOWN, TN

 

Finishing Position, Starting Position In Parentheses, Driver, Car No., Hometown, Laps Completed In Parentheses, Money Earned

 

1. (1) Tommy Kerr #4T-Maryville, TN (53) $5,300

2. (4) Jimmy Owens #20-Newport, TN (53) $2,500

3. (3) Joe Armes #77-Petros, TN (53) $1,500

4. (2) Chris Madden #44-Gray Court, SC (53) $1,000

5. (6) Scott Bloomquist #0-Mooresburg, TN (53) $900

6. (7) Vic Hill #1-Morristown, TN (53) $800

7. (5) Billy Ogle Jr. #201-Knoxville, TN (53) $750

8. (9) Shon Flanary #98-Church Hill, TN (53) $725

9. (13) Dennis Franklin #97-Gaffney, SC (53) $700

10. (15) Steve Smith #3-Powell, TN (53) $675

11. (18) Mark Douglas #52D-Knoxville, TN (53) $650

12. (14) Michael Smith #4-Rogersville, TN (53) $625

13. (24) Jeff Cooke #99-Spartanburg, SC (52) $600

14. (22) Lee Sutton #L7-Taylorsville, GA (52) $590

15. (21) Tony Knowles #26-Tyrone, GA (52) $580

16. (12) Stacy Boles #11B-Claxton, TN (52) $575

17. (10) Rick Rogers #44t-Knoxville, TN (45) $570

18. (20) Jeff Maupin #0-Greeneville, TN (41) $560

19. (16) Mark Vineyard #4v-Powell, TN (36) $555

20. (8) Chad Ogle #10-Sevierville, TN (35) $550

21. (19) Justin Rattliff #16-Campbellsville, KY (35) $545

22. (17) Ivedent Lloyd Jr. #21-Ocala, FL (34) $540

23. (23) Jonathan Davenport #49-Blairsville, GA (34) $535

24. (11) Anthony White #2x-Clinton, TN (5) $530

 

- Integra Shocks Fast Qualifier ($50): Tommy Kerr 12.430

- Lap Leaders: Chris Madden (Lap 1), Tommy Kerr (Laps 2-53)

- Time of Race: 26 Minutes, 8 Seconds

- Cautions: 3 (Laps 30, 42, 45)

- PPM Racing Products Hard Charger of the Race ($50): Jeff Cooke (24th to 13th)

- Barry Wright Race Cars Highest Finisher ($100): Jonathan Davenport

- Rocket Chassis Highest Finisher ($100): Tommy Kerr

- GRT Race Cars Highest Finisher ($100): Vic Hill

- SHY Racing Suspensions 7th Place Award ($70): Billy Ogle, Jr.

- DBR Performance Starters Middleman Award ($75): Michael Smith

- GW Performance Highest Finisher ($50): Tommy Kerr

- Integra Shocks Highest Finisher ($50): Michael Smith

- American Racer Tires Highest Finisher (1 Tire): Vic Hill

- Wilwood Engineering Tough Brake Award ($50): Kerry Jones

- Provisionals: Jonathan Davenport & Jeff Cooke

- Previous Volunteer Speedway O’Reilly Southern Nationals Series Winners: Jimmy Owens (2006 & 2007), Tommy Kerr (2008)

 

AMERICAN RACER TIRES B-MAIN #1 (Top Four Advance)

 

1. Anthony White

2. Michael Smith

3. Ivedent Lloyd Jr.

4. Jeff Maupin

5. Kerry Jones

6. Randle Chupp

7. Chris Chandler

8. Duane Chamberlain

9. David Payne

10. Dale Ball

11. Jeff Madden

 

HOOSIER RACING TIRES B-MAIN #2 (Top Four Advance)

 

1. Stacy Boles

2. Steve Smith

3. Mark Douglas

4. Tony Knowles

5. David Crabtree

6. Jeff Cooke

7. Bub McCool

8. Dane Dacus

9. Daniel Baggerly

10. Travis Greer

Bobby Mays (DNS)

 

VP RACING FUELS B-MAIN #3 (Top Four Advance)

 

1. Dennis Franklin

2. Mark Vineyard

3. Justin Rattliff

4. Lee Sutton

5. Bryan Hendrix

6. Jeff Neubert

7. Jared Landers

8. Jonathan Davenport

9. Chris Combs

10. Herman Goddard

 

O’REILLY SOUTHERN NATIONALS SERIES – INTEGRA SHOCKS TIME TRIALS

 

1. Tommy Kerr #4T-Maryville, TN 12.430

2. Chris Madden #44-Gray Court, SC 12.469

3. Joe Armes #77-Petros, TN 12.536

4. Jimmy Owens #20-Newport, TN 12.541

5. Billy Ogle Jr. #201-Knoxville, TN 12.547

6. Scott Bloomquist #0-Mooresburg, TN 12.550

7. Vic Hill #1-Morristown, TN 12.568

8. Chad Ogle #10-Sevierville, TN 12.602

9. Shon Flanary #98-Church Hill, TN 12.620

10. Rick Rogers #44r-Knoxville, TN 12.620

11. Anthony White #2x-Clinton, TN 12.670

12. Stacy Boles #11B-Claxton, TN 12.696

13. Dennis Franklin #97-Gaffney, SC 12.706

14. Jeff Maupin #0-Greeneville, TN 12.721

15. Mark Douglas #52D-Knoxville, TN 12.730

16. Jonathan Davenport #49-Blairsville, GA 12.738

17. Michael Smith #4-Rogersville, TN 12.750

18. Tony Knowles #26-Tyrone, GA 12.768

19. Mark Vineyard #4v-Powell, TN 12.781

20. Kerry Jones #6-Bristol, TN 12.789

21. Steve Smith #3-Powell, TN 12.799

22. Justin Rattliff #16-Campbellsville, KY 12.810

23. Ivedent Lloyd Jr. #21-Ocala, FL 12.823

24. Jeff Cooke #99-Spartanburg, SC 12.828

25. Jared Landers #777-Batesville, AR 12.849

26. Chris Chandler #8c-Weaverville, NC 12.893

27. David Crabtree #41-Maryville, TN 12.895

28. Chris Combs #47-Isom, KY 12.903

29. Randle Chupp #114-Troutman, NC 12.958

30. Bub McCool #57j-Vicksburg, MS 12.985

31. Jeff Neubert #30th-Rockford, TN 13.025

32. Jeff Madden #10m-Cashiers, NC 13.066

33. Daniel Baggerly #16-Rural Retreat, VA 13.083

34. Lee Sutton #L7-Taylorsville, GA 13.132

35. David Payne #8-Murphy, NC 13.144

36. Dane Dacus #54-Lakeland, TN 13.196

37. Bryan Hendrix #5-Knoxville, TN 13.211

38. Duane Chamberland #1c-Richmond, IN 13.251

39. Travis Greer #11g-Marion, VA 13.381

40. Herman Goddard #22-Knoxville, TN 13.442

41. Dale Ball #7-Johnson City, TN 13.775

42. Bobby Mays #25-Jonesborough, TN (NT)

 

“COURTESY CHEVROLET” PRO LATE MODEL (25 laps)

 

1) Bobby Mays #19; 2) Vic Chandler #88; 3) Dale Ball #2; 4) Ricky Moore #75; 5) Jerry Broyles #j00; 6) Josh Henry #B00; 7) Kip Pearson #00; 8) Todd Brooks #T1; 9) James Cole #5; 10) Tim Byrd #24 – Did Not Start: John Harrell #H19, Richard Adkins #73

 

“MCDONALD’S” HOBBY STOCK (20 laps)

 

1) Ray Jarnigan #73; 2) Dale Reed #52; 3) Jamie Whitt #j1; 4) Dennis Metcalf #55; 5) Chuck Johnson #17; 6) Bobby Reed #54; 7) Chris Long #75; 8) Mike Kelley #8; 9) Craig Schmalzried #6; 10) Eddie Adams #9; 11) Jesse Helton #4; 12) Thomas Cook #00; 13) Charlie Bates #27; 14) Phillip Gentry #33 – Did Not Start: Devin Helton #17H, Patrick Flannery #88

 

Volunteer Speedway: (423) 235-5020

Track Office - Weekdays Only 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.: (423) 378-5942

Phyllis Loven: (423) 676-9081

Robert Walden-Media/Public Relations Director: (423) 928-9644 robwald@prodigy.net

Jimmy Meade-Marketing and Sales: (423) 817-0925 volunteerspeedwy@yahoo.com

Race Director David Bryant: Race Shop (423) 235-5420 ... Cell (865) 978-1752

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