Lone Star Speedway
Modified upstart nabs SUPR win at Lone Star
By Bryan WimberleyDirtonDirt.com correspondent
KILGORE, Texas (May 24) — Inheriting the lead when race-dominator Ray Moore spun amid traffic, modified ace Chris Brown of Spring, Texas, led the final 11 laps Sunday at Lone Star Speedway for his first career Late Model victory on the O'Reilly Southern United Professional Racing tour. Brown earned $2,500 as the 20-year-old series returned to the long-shuttered half-mile oval for the first time in five seasons.
Brown crossed the finish line three lengths ahead of 12th-starting Jon Mitchell of Texarkana, Texas, for the victory while the rest of the top five rallied from the ninth or 10th rows: Rob Litton of Alexandria, La. (started 18th), Allen Tippen of Minden, La. (19th) and Chris Wall of Holden, La. (17th).
For most of the race, it appeared former SUPR champion Ray Moore would welcome the track back to the series with a 40-lap victory. Taking off from his pole position, the Shreveport, La., driver reached lapped traffic after just a dozen circuits.
But while negotiating slower cars on the 29th lap, Moore spun in turn four, knocking him out of contention. He ended up seventh in the race plagued by six cautions.
The 30-year-old Brown was making a rare Late Model start in a new No. 21B. The Houston-area modified driver is just six weeks removed from $2,000 United States Modified Touring Series victory at Battleground Speedway in Highlands, Texas, in the third annual Rinehart Trucking Texas Shootout.
Notes: The Lone Star event features two headlining series with the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series of the Gulf South Region joining the O'Reilly SUPR Late Models. The event drew 36 sprint cars and Brandon Berryman won the feature flag-to-flag. ... In the Late Model feature, two-time series champion Kenny Merchant of West Monroe, La., stopped in turn four after a power steering hose came off, ending his race. He was coming off Saturday's SUPR victory at Champion Park Speedway in Minden, La. ... A few drivers made a long haul from West Plains, Mo., after competing in the 17th annual O'Reilly Show-Me 100, including Ray Moore, Chris Wall and Howard Willis. ... Wall's team headed to its Holden, La., shop to pick up another race car before heading to Lone Star. ... Provisional starter Howard Willis drove the No. 14m (driven by Doug Ingalls in prelims) in the feature after his team's No. 23 was damaged. Willis tangled with Robbie Stuart in hot laps, then took a hard lick in turn one after a tie rod broke during a heat race. In his consolation race, Willis hit the wall between turns three and four nearly head-on after contact with another car. In the feature, Willis retired after a tangle with Chris Wall and Ronny Adams between turns three and four. ... Coming from the tail in the second consolation race, Wall rallied for a last-lap slide job on Allen Tippen for a victory. ... Among drivers who failed to make the feature lineup: Waylon Morris, Michael Coleman, Tom Earl III, Scott Creel, Robbie Stuart and former SUPR champions (and brothers) Doug and Ricky Ingalls. ... Ronny Adams of Greenwood, La., who won the last SUPR event at Lone Star at 2004's Armadillo Nationals, finished eighth. ... Next up for SUPR is the twice-postponed trip to Monroe (La.) Motor Speedway for the first-ever non-dirt surface race in the 20-year history of the series. The May 29 event at the $7 million concrete oval will be for double series points.
O'Reilly SUPR @ Lone Star: (1) Chris Brown, (2) Jon Mitchell, (3) Rob Litton, (4) Allen Tippen, (5) Chris Wall, (6) Chris Holley, (7) Ray Moore, (8) Ronny Adams, (9) Lee Davis, (10) Gary Scott Christian, (11) Kyle Cummings, (12) Josh Danzy, (13) Kennith Crowe, (14) Kevin Sitton, (15) Jeff Chanler, (16) Bub McCool, (17) Howard Willis, (18) David Ashley, (19) Kenny Merchant, (20) Patrik Daniel, (21) Jason Ingalls, (22) Justin Ingalls. Heat race winners (among 37 cars): McCool, Christian, Sitton, Moore, Crowe. Consolation winners: Wall, Litton. Provisional starters: Willis, Adams.
Correction: Fixes the cause of Kenny Merchant's demise