Mitchell edges Murphree for MSRA victory in Greenville
By Bryan WimberleyDirtonDirt.com correspondent
GREENVILLE, Miss. (Aug. 22) — Jon Mitchell of Nash, Texas, won a late-race duel with Michael Murphree of Little Rock, Ark., on Saturday for a $2,000 victory on the O'Reilly Mid-South Racing Association at Greenville Speedway.
The seventh-starting Mitchell took the lead from Murphree for good on lap 37 after a lengthy side-by-side battle and went on to cross the finish line a second ahead of Murphree in the Topless 40. Jon Kirby of Russellville, Ark., was third followed by Ray Moore of Haughton, La., and Clay Fisher of Dewitt, Ark. Series points leader Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., salvaged an 11th-place finish after an early accident in an hour-long event marred by 10 cautions, which contributed to several position shuffles. Nine drivers finished on the lead lap in a race with five leaders and eight lead changes.
The victory was Mitchell's second career on the series. His first came at his home track of 67 Speedway in Texarkana, Texas, on Aug. 29, 2007.
Dewaine Hottinger of Russellville, Ark., led the first six laps with Jamie Elam of Senatobia, Miss., taking command on laps 7-11. Jeff Floyd of Walnut Ridge, Ark., took over on the 12th lap, but when Murphree went out front on the 25th lap, he led seven circuits before beginning the caution-free, lead-swapping duel with Mitchell that wrapped up the event.
Notes: Mitchell's GRT Race Car is sponsored by J&J Motorsports, W&W Timber, Hooters Restaurants, BSB Mfg. and JFR Graphics. ... The checkered flag fell about midnight. ... Among the many race stoppages was a red flag on the fifth lap for a multicar melee that included Billy Moyer Jr., who had temporary transmission problems that left him only with reverse to head pitside. His crew made repairs and he returned three laps down. ... Austin Rettig, whose car lost its nosepiece in the lap-five accident, returned to finish 10th. ... A lap-25 caution came out after a chain-reaction accident for Ray Moore, Chad Thrash and local favorite Greg Fore. Fore retired. ... Ross Camponovo took a series provisional in the borrowed No. 15 of Jarod Roller; Camponovo's regular No. 18 had mechanical problems in his heat races. ... Gary Christian of Broken Bow, Okla., was disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct. ... Drivers not making the feature: Raymond Ball, Wayne Skinner, Bo Gordon, Jarod Roller and Jeff Horton. ... Next up for O'Reilly MSRA competitors is an Aug. 29 event at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark.
MSRA @ Greenville: (1) Jon Mitchell, (2) Michael Murphree, (3) Jon Kirby, (4) Ray Moore, (5) Clay Fisher, (6) Jeff Floyd, (7) Kyle Beard, (8) Chad Thrash, (9) Doug Showah, (10) Austin Rettig, (11) Billy Moyer Jr., (12) Ross Camponovo, (13) Jamie Elam, (14) Greg Fore, (15) Dewaine Hottinger, (16) Johnny Lancaster, (17) Jeff Wells Jr., (18) Stormy Derryberry, (19) Chad Washington, (20) Eddie Provence, (21) Randy Mitchell,, Disqualified: Gary Christian. Heat race winners (among 27 cars): Lancaster, Elam, Hottinger, Floyd. Consolation winners: Rettig, Moore. Provisional starters: R. Mitchell, Camponovo, Thrash, Derryberry.