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15th Annual ASCS Gulf South Summer Nationals @ Cotton Bowl Spwy 7-23-1


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15th Annual ASCS Gulf South Summer Nationals @ Cotton Bowl Speedway 7-23-16

 

By JM Hallas

 

Paige, TX.,(July 23rd, 2016) After an exciting night at Heart o Texas Speedway Friday night, the ASCS Gulf South Summer Nationals moved to Cotton Bowl Speedway for Saturday action. Channin Tankersley took home Friday's victory with others in the top three points chase finishing second(Tommy Bryant) and sixth(Ray Allen Kulhanek).

 

Drivers and crews had to transition from a high-banked, tight, bull ring(HOT) to the 3/8 mile, semi-banked, clay oval with more sweeping turns. In a combined National Tour/Gulf South race here in March, all of the top three in points were forced to qualify through the B-main. Kulhanek had the best finish(9th) while Tankersley and Bryant both took DNF's(24th and 17th respectively).

 

The nights action also included three of the IMCA classes(Modifieds, Southern Sportmods and Stock Cars) along with the NeSmith Street Stocks and Go-Karts earlier in the evening.

In local points former IMCA National champ, PJ Egbert leads the Modified pack by 73 over Raymond McSpadden, 92 on David Goode sr., 93 on Scott Stubbs with another IMCA National champion, Keith White in fifth, running a limited schedule.

 

Southern Sportmod points are tight with Chris Birmingham only 5 up on Thomas Bennett with Don Painter(-38) and Tom Grothues(-39). The I-Stocks show Charles Cosper with a big margin on Peter Delevan(-86) and Jeff Bauser(-139).

 

The NeSmith Street Stock battle has Jeff Schultea on top by 11 over Bryan Meredith and Heath Stewart(tied), Tim Ellis(-18) and Rob Slott(-42).

 

Tank to the Bank, Again

 

Channin Tankersley(Highlands) had the dominant car last night and tonight was no different. The only one to get by Tankersley was Scottie McDonald on the initial start, briefly. McDonald took the low road off turn 2 on the start and led down the back stretch. That was it. Tankersley, up top, drove around McDonald in turn 3-4 and was never challenged from there leading all 25 laps and taking home the extra $1,000 weekend sweep bonus, for the second time this season.

 

As the 17-car field stormed into turn 1 Tankersley was first into turn 1 and jumped up top. McDonald, hugging the tires, got off turn 2 ahead of Tankersley and led a couple hundred feet before Tankersley regained the lead. McDonald, who then followed in Tankersleys tracks, Ray Allen Kulhanek, Michael McNeil and Jacob Lucas filled the top five spots.

Tankersley and McDonald used the bottom in turns 1-2 and the cushion in (turns) 3-4. Kulhanek was was running the bottom on the both ends, while Tommy Bryant used the top on both ends after taking fifth from Lucas. By lap 9 Tankersley, and the lead group, were in traffic. This gave Bryant the chance to grab fourth from McNeil.

 

 

At halfway it was Tankersley with a big lead, McDonald, Kulhanek, Bryant and McNeil. Bryant caught Kulhanek for third and they went three wide past a lapped car. Kulhanek's night ended on lap 14 when he broke and stopped on track for a yellow erasing Tankersleys full straightaway lead. A trail of fluid followed Kulhanek as he was pushed to the infield hot pit.

 

On the restart Tankersley and McDonald got away while Bryant and Lucas began a squabble for third and Zane Lawrence got past JJ Simmons for fifth. Tankersley in the Watercraft Plus LLC, G3 Boats, Challenger Drilling Inc., Blackfoot Electric, Wesmar powered, Maxim Chassis then checked out on McDonald for the win, while Bryant and Lucas exchanged sliders for third.

 

"It's a lot of hard work off the track," said Tankersley. "We're really focused on trying to get this car working. We've had a lot of luck on our side and that has a lot to do with it. Really, we're just all gelling, we're getting along, having fun, that's the key to success."

 

"We really haven't done well here in the past. I don't even think we've run in the top ten in the four times I've been here. Coming in we were open minded and our goal was a top five. A top five would have been damage control for us here. To be as fast as were out of the box and run like we did tells you how much hard work we've done.

 

"The bonus money was a little extra motivation. It's cool to do it one time in a year, but to do it twice in a year just tickles me to death. I couldn't be happier. My goal coming into the year was to win five races. I've won four, but never five. This was our fourth and we've got a little left in the year to achieve that."

 

"Usually I prefer to start in the second or third row. You get some time to see and judge where you're at, where the track is. Starting up front is a little nerve wracking, I'm not going to lie, you don't know if you're a sitting duck. I thought for sure the cushion was going to be fast in (turns 1-2), and I saw the 88(Scottie McDonald) drive by me on the start. Luckily I was able to get back by in (turns 3-4). If I hadn't beat him off (turn) 4 I might not be here talking to you."

 

"I was trying to look for my dad or crew guys under caution. I didn't feel like I was getting threatened. I wasn't being too cautious, but wasn't trying to push it. If I'd have seen a nose or something I may have been a bit more aggressive. I was just trying to be smooth and not make any mistakes with the cushion on the wall like it was and the bottom so narrow. I really don't pay attention to the points. I haven't looked at them I don't want to. If you start doing that you take a lot of focus off trying to be fast every night and trying to win. When to try to points race, mistakes happen.In the last race of the year if we're 50 or 100 ahead, it doesn't matter. We're just going to go for it like we always do."

 

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ASCS Gulf South Region Sprints

 

14 Channin Tankersley, 88 Scottie McDonald, 28 Tommy Bryant , 57 Jacob Lucas , 76 Zane Lawrence, 15t Michael McNeil, 6 Dustin Gates, 66 JJ Simmons, 51 Caleb Martin, 36 John Pate, 48 Cody Stacy, 24 Brandi Jass, 1 Randy Allen, 17w Harli White, 17 Ray Allen Kulhanek,11 Jerry Cox, 02 Harry Yerrington

 

ASCS heats(top 14 in passing points to A-main, top 8 redraw)

 

Heat 1; 28 Tommy Bryant, 17 Ray Allen Kulhanek, 88 Scottie McDonald, 36 John Pate, 48 Cody Stacy, 02 Harry Yerrington---dns

 

Heat 2; 17w Harli White, 15t Michael McNeil, 57 Jacob Lucas, 24 Brandi Jass, 1 Randy Allen, 76 Zane Lawrence---dns

 

Heat 3; 14 Channin Tankersley, 66 JJ Simmons, 6 Dustin Gates, 51 Caleb Martin, 11 Jerry Cox

 

Big Mike, Big Man in Modifieds

 

"Big" Mike McCarthy(Hutto) went flag to flag in the 20-lap IMCA Modified feature, but had a couple former national champions to contend with. McCarthy caught somewhat of a break early when, on a restart, several of the top contenders got tangled up sending them to the rear. Keith White and PJ Egbert were able to make their way back to front with White on McCarthy's bumper for a mid-race restart. McCarthy and White eased away and had a near miss with a lapped car coming to the checkers with McCarthy by a couple car lengths taking the win.

 

As the 16-car IMCA Modified field roared to life it was McCarthy first into turn 1 trailed by Raymond McSpadden, Greg Dinsmore, Egbert and David Goode sr. Rob Sanderson spun in turn 4 for a quick lap 1 yellow. On that restart McSpadden drove over the nose of Dinsmore stacking up the pack collecting White, Egbert, Goode and Lonnell Timmons jr. All were able to contunue, but at the tail.

 

The next restart saw McCarthy lead Jamie Campbell, Don Banker, Joe Spillman and James Cochran II back to green. As McCarthy inched away it was fun watching the top contenders work their way back up through the pack. Campbell's good run up front came to end on lap 5 when expired a motor and stopped for a yellow.

 

McCarthy again got a good jump on green while Dillon Pike, Jerry Frydrych and Cochran were three wide for fourth. The next lap it was Pike, Spillman and Cochran three abreast for third. White joined the group going three wide with Cochran and Pike, while Egbert closed in. At the crossed flags it was McCarthy, Banker, White, Pike and Egbert in the top five.

White ducked under Banker for second on lap 11, with Egbert looking on the high side. Cochran spun in turn 4 on lap 12 for a yellow erasing McCarthy's big lead. On the single file restart, McCarthy and White got ahead with Egbert and Pike s

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