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Clarksville Speedway

Wallace sweeps Toilet Bowl Classic on MARS

March 22, 2009, 6:57 am
From series and correspondent reports
Wendell Wallace enjoyed an $8,000 weekend. (kohlsracingphotos.com)
Wendell Wallace enjoyed an $8,000 weekend. (kohlsracingphotos.com)

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (March 21) — Wendell Wallace swept the season-opening O'Reilly MARS DIRTcar Series weekend at Clarksville Speedway. Or maybe we should say the Batesville, Ark., driver brushed the bowl clean.

Capturing the second straight event at Clarksville's Tuckassee Toilet Bowl Classic, the polesitting Wallace led all 35 laps Saturday at the quarter-mile oval for a $5,000 payday, giving him an $8,000 weekend. The 43-year-old driver also led all 30 laps in Friday's opener. Wallace finished the weekend with his first MARS victories since the 2006 season and now owns 25 career series victories, third on the all-time list. | Slideshow | Friday's results

Eric Turner of Hermitage, Mo., finished second for his best career MARS finish while second-year Late Model driver Jon Henry of Ada, Ohio, was an impressive third, taking that position from Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., on the final lap. Unzicker, the runner-up in Friday's opener, held on to finish fourth in the finale despite racing with a broken left-front suspension most of the race.

Three cautions slowed the action, none for serious incidents. Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., who started fifth, lost an air filter on the sixth lap to bring out the first yellow. Reigning MARS champion Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., broke an axle on the 12th lap while running fifth. And the third and final caution appeared on the 24th lap when Brent Kreke of Lebanon, Ill., spun in turn two.

Notes: Wallace's GRT Race Car has a Gaerte engine and sponsorship from Wincrest Farms, C&S Cable Construction and Delph Communications. ... Jeremy Payne of Springfield, Mo., passed 14 cars in the opener and continued charging in the finale. Saturday, the Arizona native started 18th and rallied to finish seventh. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature lineup: Billy James, Richie Hedrick, Carnell Parker III and Steven Ashby. ... Tait Davenport won the Crate Late Model feature over Rylan Dagg. ... MARS competitors take a few weeks off before the next racing weekend on April 17-18 at Beebe (Ark.) Speedway and West Plains (Mo.) Motor Speedway.

Tuckassee Toilet Bowl Classic: (1) Wendell Wallace, (2) Eric Turner, (3) Jon Henry, (4) Ryan Unzicker, (5) Dane Dacus, (6) Duane Chamberlain, (7) Jeremy Payne, (8) Chuck Proctor, (9) Tony Jackson Jr., (10) Terry English, (11) Tony Albright, (12) Tony Morris, (13) Jason McBride, (14) Rusty Schlenk, (15) Brandon McCormick, (16) Mike Hammerle, (17) Brad Looney, (18) Dustin Mooneyham, (19) Caleb Ashby, (20) Brent Kreke, (21) Terry Phillips, (22) Brandon Sheppard, (23) Steve Sheppard Jr. Fast qualifier (among 35 cars): Wallace, 13.475 seconds. Heat race winners: Wallace, Turner, Unzicker, Henry. Consolation winners: McCormick, Morris. Provisional starters: Mooneyham, Looney, C. Ashby.

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