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Southern Challenge @ Abilene Spwy 10/15/04

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9th Annual Southern Challenge @ Abilene Speedway 10/15/04

By J M Hallas

Abilene, Texas., The 9th Annual Southern Challenge kicked off on the 1/4 mile semi-banked clay track under Chamber of Commerce conditions, with nearly 175 teams from six states signing for the first night of qualifying. This years procedures were changed up some from past years with the deletion of second chace heats and addition of more b-mains. As in the past the heat winners all advanced directly to the A-qualifiers in the Modifieds, while Stocks took the top 2 and Hobby’s the top four.


Modified heat winners

1 Neal Flowers

2 Scotty Phillips

3 Scotty Cook

4 JP Dowell

5 Kelly Cross

6 Rodney Sanders after Vernon Bridwell was Dqed(tire grinding)

7 Dwaine Powers

8 PJ Egbert

9 Kenny Stone

10 Mark Patterson


Five B-mains would take the top two from each to fill the 20 car field for the A-qualifier.

Travis Ashley got by early leader Tommy Fain near halfway. Ashley led until the final laps when he slid high on a restart allowing, 2003 IMCA Mountain Regional Champion, Robert Gallegos to get by and take the win and transfer along with Jason Borlace.

Mike Hathcock got out at the start of B-main #2 and began to pull away. Ronny Sigman and Bo Newton battled for the final transfer spot, with Sigman following Hathcock across the line.

In B-main #3, Bo Briley got the point in the 15 lap race as the top four moved ahead of the pack. Shane Priddy would get past Josh McGaha in the waning laps to gap the transfer behind B. Briley.

Danny Patterson would lead flag to flag in B-main #4, leaving the two Egbert Brothers, Trevor and GW to fight it out for the final transfer. D. Patterson’s win would be erased when failed tech for a safety equipment violation, GW. Egbert would have moved to second, but did not stop at the scales after finishing third and thinking he was out of the running. This would leave T. Egbert and Jason Gore as the two transfers.

In the last B-main, Brian Killingsworth grabbed the point followed by Allen Colyer. B. Killingsworth and A. Colyer pulled away, with A. Colyer pressuring B. Killingsworth in the finals laps, but settling for the runner up spot and transfer with B. Killingsworth.



In the 20 lap A-qualifier for the IMCA Modifieds, it was Dwaine Powers and 2003 IMCA Modified Rookie of the Year, PJ Egbert, leading the 20 car field to green. PJ Egbert got a good jump as the green waved and was quickly out into the lead in turn 1. Neal Flowers followed into second, with Kenny Stone also getting by Powers for third. On lap 2, Mark Patterson and Scotty Phillips moved around Powers for the fourth and fifth spots.


Lap 3 saw JP Dowell and Robert Gallegos both suffer troubles and pull off. PJ Egbert and N. Flowers started to put a little space on Stone and M. Patterson by lap 5, but Stone and M. Patterson reeled the top two back in on lap 8 as the top four ran nose to tail. At the halfway point the top five were PJ Egbert, N. Flowers, Stone, M. Patterson and Phillips who caught the lead quartet.


Caution waved on lap 13 for an infield tire kicked on the track in turn 2. N. Flowers tried to get the nose inside PJ Egbert on the restart, but PJ Egbert held on. In the mean time Trevor Egbert, the 2004 IMCA Modified Rookie of year was battling with Mike Hathcock and Ronny Sigman for the final transfer spot to Sunday's B-main.


Teenage driver Rodney Sanders blew the motor on lap 16 and was rearended by Brian Killingsworth who was blinded by the smoke. N. Flowers again ducked inside PJ Egbert as the race resumed and the two were side by side at the line on lap 17. Powers retook fourth from Phillips on the same lap.


Phillips lost another spot on lap 18, giving way to Scotty Cook. PJ Egbert maintained a small lead throughout the final two laps and was first across the line as checkers waved in his BigTex Autoplex/Phils Paint & Body/Nightmare Graphix/Lingo Racing Engines/Texas Towing/Zips Car Wash/Excaliber Chassis.



IMCA Modifieds

1 707 PJ Egbert (2)

2 85 NealFlowers (4)

3 51 Kenny Stone (3)

4 17 Mark Patterson (6)

5 40 Dwaine Powers (1)

----------------------Top five to Sunday A-main

6 18 Scotty Cook (7)

7 104 Scotty Phillips (5)

8 00 Kelly Cross (9)

9 48 Ronny Sigman (16)

10 70 Trevor Egbert (13)

---------------------6-10 to Sunday B-main

11 103 Mike Hathcock (14)

12 125 Jason Borlace (19)

13 66 Shane Priddy (12)

14 57 Brian Killingsworth (17)

15 0 Bo Briley (18)

16 22 Jason Gore (20)

17 201 Rodney Sanders (8)

18 2 Allen Colyer (11)

19 11 Robert Gallegos (15)

20 715 JP Dowell (10)

****Unofficial pending tech***


IMCA Stock Car heat transfers

1 Rex Higgins, Philip Houston

2 Michael Sams, PJ Egbert

3 Jason Gore, Duain Pritchett

4 Brian Blessington, Bradford Benson II

5 Michael Sheen, Toby Miller

6 Eric Rempel, Ernest Strickland


The three B-mains would send the top three from each to the nights A-qualifier.

Wade Daniell led almost, flag to flag in the first B-main. On the final lap Chad Estes pulled off the win, with Daniell and Charlie Wilson in tow.

B-main #2 had Dustin McGaha lead lap 1. Charles Brewer got the point on lap 2, but D. McGaha fought back to lead lap 3 as the duo slugged it out door to door for several laps until Brewer took charge on lap 7. Brewer would take the chyeckers ahead of D. McGaha and Dan Johnson.

In the final B-main, Jason Batt snagged the lead on lap 1, but gave way to Richard Brown on lap 3. Brpwn led until the final laps when Thomas Earl III got by after a side by side battle on lap 11. Earl, Brown and Batt held on to the final transfer spots.


Jason Gore and Philip Houston paced the 21 car IMCA Stock Car A-qualifiers to green. Houston and Gore stayed Side by side through turns 1-2, with Houston getting the edge on the back stretch. But caution flew before the completion of lap 1 when Toby Miller spun and collected Charlie Wilson. Houston again got the lead on the restart, but yellow was quickly back out when PJ Egbert, Thomas Earl III, Charles Brewer and Dustin McGaha all got tangled in turn 1.


Back under green the top three of Houston,Gore and Brian Blessington had pulled aheads of the pack. Blessington was looking low on Gore for second when caution waved again when Rex Higgins spun from fifth and collected Eric Rempel and Michael Sams on lap 4. Once under green, 2003 IMCA Stock Car National Champion, Duain Pritchett got along side Michael Sheen for fourth.


Bradford Benson and Dan Johnson brought out a yellow when both stopped on track with flats on lap 6. With green back out the battle for the top spot heated up, when Blessington got inside Gore for second. But Gore fought back and found the high side to his liking as he got back by Blessington and was able to grab the lead as the race reached halfway. Rounding out the top five were Blessington, Houston, Pritchett and Sheen.


Chad Estes charged into the top as he got past Sheen for fifth on lap 11. An infield tire on the track brought out yellow a lap later. On the restart, Blessington got inside Gore in turns 1-2 and down the back stretch, but Gore dove into turn 3 hard to keep the point. Estes picked off another position, taking fourth from Houston on lap 14.


Pritchett tried Blessington on the high side on lap 16, but couldn't get by. This gave Estes the chance to get by Pritchett on the low side on lap 17. Pritchett was hung out high and was about to lose another spot to Houston when caution came out for Richard Brown who expired a motor and dropped fluid on the track.


Pritchett tried to retake third from Estes on the restart, but fell back into line. Gore, the two-time Thunderbird Speedway IMCA Stock Car Champion, continued to hold a slight advantage on Blessington as the white waved, and he was able to grab the victory in his Arty & Sons Paint & Body/We've Got Your Number Lettering & Graphics/Gore Racing Chassis powered by a Price-Gore motor.


IMCA Stocks

1 021 Jason Gore (1)

2 92 Brian Blessington (3)

3 183 Chad Estes (13)

4 221 Duain Pritchett (9)

5 71 Philip Houston (2)

--------------Top 5 to Sunday A-main

6 19 Michael Sheen (4)

7 01 Dustin McGaha (17)

8 09 Ernest Strickland (10)

9 113 Wade Daniell (16)

10 55 Charlie Wilson (19)

-----------------6-10 to Sunday B-main

11 47 Rex Higgins (8)

12 131 Eric Rempel (7)

13 44 Michael Sams (6)

14 99 Jason Batt (21)

15 11 Dan Johnson (20)

16 122 Bradford Benson II (12)

17 170 PJ Egbert (11)

18 77 Richard Brown (18)

19 25 Toby Miller (5)

20 147 Thomas Earl III (15)

21 72 Charles Brewer (14)


The IMCA Hobby Stock heats would transfer the top four cars to the A-qualifier with others going to the one B-main.

IMCA Hobby Stock heat transfers

1 Joey Patterson, Steven Yuen, Larry Abels, Clarence Hobbs

2 Kelly Brown, Todd Bartlett, Joshua Hewitt, Everett Keel

3 Jerry West, David Watkins, Richard Collins, Paul Martin


The Hobby B-main would see the top eight go on to the A-qualifer for the night. Chris Ater got the early lead, but got loose and spun after contact with Matt Drottz. Allen Montgomery inherited the top spot and would go on to pull away for the win. Montgomery, Brad Gambrell, Jason Bell, Ater, Bobby Gilmore, Marty Baker Paul Norman and Russell Carter were the transferees.


In the IMCA Hobby Stock A-qualifier, Clarence Hobbs and Todd Bartlett led the 20 car pack to the green flag. Hobbs got sideways and stacked up the field with Russell Carter and Bobby Gilmore getting together and pounding the wall. Both continued on, but debris from one or both brought about a complete restart. Bartlett jumped out to the lead with Kelly Brown in tow as the toptwo moved ahead.


Everett Keel got sideways on lap 4 while battling with Hobbs and fell from third to ninth. Brown went up on the high groove to get along side Bartlett, while Jerry West and Hobbs ran door to door for third. Just as Brown got the lead, Hobbs got loose and collected Richard Collins sending him into the wall on lap 6.


The top three of Bartlett, Brown and West had just got away from the field when the dreaded infield tire in turn 2 got knocked on the track.David Watkins got past Paul Martin as green came back out to take fourth as the race reached halfway, with the top five of Bartlett, Brown, West, Watkins and Martin.


West and Brown battled side by side for second on lap 11. Watkins had trouble on lap 12 and slid high, with Keel getting around Martin for fourth. West and Brown continued their battle for second running door to door on lap 14. The duo closed in on Bartlett for the lead and it was almost three wide in turn for the lead.


Brown held off West and moved in on Bartlett for the lead on lap 17. With two to go the battle for the lead got crazy when Bartlett got loose, stacking upand scrambling the top five. Brown came out with the lead, with Martin jumping up into second. Brown would go on to take the win, but fail tech inspection giving the win to Martin.



IMCA Hobby Stock

1 23 Paul Martin (9)

2 22 Todd Bartlett (2)

3 9 Jerry West (8)

4 99 Larry Abels (7)

5 86 Everett Keel (4)

---------------Top 5 to Sunday A-main

6 43 Joshua Hewitt (12)

7 18 Steven Yeun (11)

8 60 Brad Gambrell (!4)

9 13 Russell Carter (20)

10 44 Bobby Gilmore (18)

--------------6-10 toSunday A-main

11 04 Chris Ater (16)

12 3 Paul Norman (19)

13 28 David Watkins (5)

14 199 Jason Bell (15)

15 08 Marty Baker (17)

16 690 Richard Collins (6)

17 171 Joey Patterson (10)

18 47 Clarence Hobbs (1)

19 38 Allen Montgomery (13)

20 Kelly Brown (3)--originally 1st, DQed

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