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Turner earns $2,000 victory at West Plains

April 19, 2009, 7:20 am
By Ben Shelton
O'Reilly MSRA
Eric Turner (99) heads for victory Saturday in West Plains, Mo. (Ron Mitchell)
Eric Turner (99) heads for victory Saturday in West Plains, Mo. (Ron Mitchell)

WEST PLAINS, Mo. (April 18) — Modified convert Eric Turner of Hermitage, Mo., took a major step in his fledgling Dirt Late Model career with a victory at West Plains (Mo.) Speedway. The 10th-starting Turner, who took the lead from outside front-row starter Will Vaught of Crane, Mo., on the 18th of 40 laps, earned $2,000 in the first sanctioned Super Late Model event at West Plains since 2006. | Slideshow

Turner's caution-free victory in a Steve Rushin-owned car was sanctioned by a pair of O'Reilly Auto Parts-sponsored tours, the MARS DIRTcar Series and Mid-South Racing Association. Another modified convert, Jeremy Payne of Springfield, Mo., was second followed by Payne's teammate and car owner Terry Phillips of Springfield. Jeff Floyd of Walnut Ridge, Ark., and polesitter Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., rounded out the top five in an event that drew 31 drivers from five states.

Wendell Wallace, looking to extend a three-race win streak in MARS competition, was sixth at one of his best tracks. Vaught, who led the first 17 laps, finished seventh.

Notes: Turner's GRT Race Car is sponsored by Swafford's Amoco and Rushin Towing. ... Car owner Steve Rushin of Poplar Bluff, Mo., has been a MARS regular for years, but nerve damage that prevents him from gripping the steering wheel easily have kept him out of action most of 2009. ... A few light rain showers fell during the night, but didn't prevent the racing from continuing. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature lineup: Gary Scott Christian (blew engine in hot laps), Jeff Sloan, Austin Rettig, David Ashley and two-time MSRA champion Joey Mack. ... MARS and MSRA competitors were scheduled to wrap up a three-race weekend on Sunday, April 19, at Monett (Mo.) Speedway, but the event was rained out. ... Wendell Wallace won the April 17 weekend opener at Beebe (Ark.) Speedway.

MARS-MSRA @ West Plains: (1) Eric Turner, (2) Jeremy Payne, (3) Terry Phillips, (4) Jeff Floyd, (5) Billy Moyer Jr., (6) Wendell Wallace, (7) Will Vaught, (8) Brandon McCormick, (9) Tony Jackson Jr., (10) Jack Sullivan, (11) Dewaine Hottinger, (12) Stacy Taylor, (13) Kyle Beard, (14) Jon Kirby, (15) Darrell Mooneyham, (16) Gary Stolba, (17) Ray Moore, (18) Rylan Long, (19) David Turner, (20) Brad Looney, (21) Jon Mitchell, (22) Ross Camponovo. Heat race winners (among 31 cars): Payne, Looney, Moyer, Vaught. Consolation winners:� Sullivan, Stolba.

Correction: Updates with official finish and Kirby in 14th; corrects heat race winners

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