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Green Valley Speedway

Cook dominates Bama Bash, pockets $7,500

February 22, 2009, 3:25 pm
By Michael Rigsby
Ray Cook earned $7,500. (mikessportsimages.com)
Ray Cook earned $7,500. (mikessportsimages.com)

GLENCOE, Ala. (Feb. 22) — Leading all 75 laps of the Super Late Model feature, polesitter Ray Cook of Brasstown, N.C., pocketed $7,500 for Sunday evening's victory in the unsanctioned Bama Bama at Green Valley Speedway. | Super Late Model slideshow | Crate slideshow | Preliminaries

Cook survived a scare on an early botched start but stayed in control all the way to outrun Randy Weaver of Crossville, Tenn., at the 3/8-mile oval near Gadsden. The victory kept this version of the MasterSbilt house car perfect in 2009 feature races with three straight victories worth more than $18,000 in all, including January triumphs at nearby Talladega Short Track's Ice Bowl and Boyd's Speedway neat Chattanooga, Tenn.

"We're tickled to death. MasterSbilt, Race Engine Design, Danny (Dishman) and Ron Ivey, I mean, there's just so many people involved with this besides me. I just get to be the lucky one to drive it," said Cook, who merged his team with D&R Motorsports for 2009. "This car is 3-for-3. We didn't race it at East Bay — we (ran it) the last night and we got wrecked in the first lap of the heat, so we're not counting (that). We're just tickled to death. I don't try to get too high so I don't get too low. You just ride it as long as it'll last because you never know when it's going to end."

Weaver was second in his Mike Hill-owned car followed by previous Bama Bash winners Dale McDowell of Rossville, Ga., and Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., in a race with single-file racing all the way. Another Georgian, Tony Knowles of Tyrone, rounded out the top five as all the top-five finishers started in the first three rows. Jeff Smith of Rocky Face, Ga., started outside the front row but fell from contention when he slowed to draw a caution, one of a half-dozen yellows.

"Ray ran a great race, congratulations to him," McDowell said. "Other than that, you just had to get in line and follow the leader. It's typical day-racing. There's not much they can do. Everywhere we go, it seems to get one-laned during the day."

Cook officially led every lap, but the third-starting Weaver actually slipped under him on the initial start. However, a spin back in the pack reset the field and Cook didn't slip up on his second opportunity. "I was glad the caution came out," Cook said. Cracked Weaver: "There was about 7,500 reasons why I wanted that to stay green."

Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, Tenn., finished seventh in the Super Late Model feature, but he cashed in by winning two 50-lap feature events for Limited Late Models and Crate Late Models. Johnson earned $3,000 apiece for the flag-to-flag victories.

Super Late Models: (1) Ray Cook, (2) Randy Weaver, (3) Dale McDowell, (4) Clint Smith, (5) Tony Knowles, (6) Eric Turner, (7) Ronnie Johnson, (8) Bo Shirley, (9) Robert Gant, (10) Mickey Trosclair, (11) Don Jenkins, (12) Bub McCool, (13) Anthony Burroughs, (14) Stacy Holmes, (15) Travis Pennington, (16) Kevin Sitton, (17) Jeff Smith, (18) Jeremy Grady, (19) Chuck Proctor, (20) Anthony Morris, (21) James Cline, (22) Dennis Hale, (23) Mark Knight, (24) Anthony Hill.

Limited Late Models: (1) Ronnie Johnson, (2) Mark Haddon, (3) Brandon Williams, (4) Ryan Law, (5) Tod Darda, (6) Jack Rayburn, (7) Bobby Tucker, (8) Mike Pearl, (9) Tony Brown, (10) Shane Criswell, (11) Dale Nance, (12) Brian Smith, (13) Jackson Hale, (14) Neil Brown, (15) Jason Morris, (16) Craig Scott, (17) Jim Harrah, (18) Jason Hiett, (19) Robert Edwards, (20) Mitchell Browning, (21) Ben Hill, (22) Kevin Mitchell, (23) Buddy George, (24) Ted Ray.

Crates: (1) Ronnie Johnson, (2) Jason Hiett, (3) Billy Mayo, (4) Royce Bray, (5) Jody Knowles, (6) Ray Cook, (7) James Cline, (8) Don Farmer, (9) Johnny Stokes, (10) Tom Maddox, (11) Walker Arthur, (12) Owen Osteen, (13) Jody Summerville, (14) Dustin Griffin, (15) Charlie Henderson, (16) Logan Yates, (17) Craig Burrows, (18) Kasey Hall, (19) Bobby Dauderman, (20) Billy Melvin, (21) Randy Hill, (22) Craig Grice, (23) Dale McDowell, (24) Steve Grissom.

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