Talladega Short Track
Busha's first SAS win continues Talladega roll
EASTABOGA, Ala. (July 25) — Taking command in the second half of the race, track points leader Tim Busha of Boaz, Ala., raced to victory in the 12th annual Michael Head Jr. Memorial at Talladega Short Track for his first career victory on the O'Reilly Southern All Star Series. The ninth-starting Busha battled polesitter Neil Baggett of Shannon, Miss., in a mid-race duel before taking command on lap 33 of the 54-lapper. He earned $5,400.
“Man I just can’t tell you how much this win means to me," Busha said in victory lane. "These races are so hard to win and for us to win at the Michael Head Jr. Memorial is just a dream come true. This is definitely our biggest career win and the most special for me personally."
The low-running Baggett also recorded his best-ever series finish as the runner-up as he fought off late-race challenges from 11th-starting Randy Weaver of Crossville, Tenn. Sixth-starting Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., was fourth and Brandon Kinzer of Allen, Ky., ran in the top five all the way in finishing fifth at the third-mile oval across the highway from one of NASCAR's showplace tracks.
Dingus Griffin of Alexandria, Ala., started fourth and had his sights set on his first-ever Southern All Star triumph, but after overtaking Baggett early in the race, a flat right-rear tire sent him pitside on the 21st lap.
Notes: Busha's GRT Race Car has a RaceTek Race Engine and sponsorship from Kilpatrick Chevrolet, Sound Mountain Toyota, Pierson Chevrolet-Jeep, Stealth Racing Carburetors and Hoosier Racing Tires. ... The victory is the richest of Busha's career; he's had a $5,000 victory in the Limited Late Model portion of the Bama Bash at Green Valley Speedway in nearby, Glencoe, Ala.. ... Busha and Dingus Griffin won nine of the last 10 Super Late Model events at TSTS heading into the Michael Head Jr. Memorial. ... Seven of the top 10 starters (including Busha) utilized the series spec-engine package which allows for a weight break and larger spoiler, a combination that's been successful at the track. ... The event drew 39 Super Late Models, 32 NeSmith Chevrolet Crate Late Models and 20 unsanctioned Sportsman cars in the Late Model-type divisions. ... Ronnie Johnson's 24th-to-13th run gave him PPM Race Products Hard Charger honors. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature lineup: Tim Roszell, Jason Wilson, Chris Mullinax, James Cline, Randall Walker and Mike Head, father of the race honoree. ... Proceeds from the race go to the Kayla Head Educational Trust for the granddaughter of Mike Head. ... Next up for the series is a $5,000-to-win event at Toccoa (Ga.) Speedway on Aug. 8.
Michael Head Jr. Memorial: (1) Tim Busha, (2) Neil Baggett, (3) Randy Weaver, (4) Bub McCool, (5) Brandon Kinzer, (6) Jake Knowles, (7) Terry Smith, (8) William Thomas, (9) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, (10) Stacy Holmes, (11) Chris Jones, (12) Danny Peoples, (13) Ronnie Johnson, (14) Todd Morrow, (15) Dillon Crim, (16) Ethan Hunter, (17) Skip Arp, (18) Jordy Nipper, (19) Ted Lackey, (20) Kenny Gaither, (21) Dingus Griffin, (22) Dane Dacus, (23) Casey Roberts, (24) Ross Martin, (25) Anthony Burroughs. Fast qualifier (among 39 cars): Baggett, 14.637 seconds. Consolation race winners: Weaver, Hunter, Jones. Provisional starters: Roberts, Johnson, Lackey.
Correction: Fixes Busha's starting position.