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Talladega Short Track

First SAS win a special one for Thomas at TST

July 31, 2011, 7:29 am
From series and correspondent reports
William Thomas gets his first Southern All Star victory. (focusedonracing.com)
William Thomas gets his first Southern All Star victory. (focusedonracing.com)

EASTABOGA, Ala. (July 30) — William Thomas scored his first Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series victory in a race special to virtually every Alabama dirt racer.

The 24-year-old driver from Phenix City, Ala., captured the 14th annual Michael Head Jr. Memorial at Talladega Short Track to earned $5,400 and a visit to victory lane with Hall of Fame driver and race host Mike Head of Ellenwood, Ga. | Slideshow

On a night when rain delayed the start of racing and later on the start of the main events, Thomas roared from his eighth starting spot, using an outside pass to overtake fast qualifier and polesitter Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Tenn., en route to the 54-lap victory. Ogle battled back in the mid-race tussle for the lead but Thomas, the series points leader, edged away to snap Ogle's two-race win streak.

Reigning track champion Tim Busha of Boaz, Ala., charged into contention in the late stages, dropping Ogle to the third spot in the final rundown while Brandon Kinzer of Allen, Ky., and Terry Smith of Oxford, Ala., rounded out the top five finishers. Brian Reese of Sharpsburg, Ga., started on the front row but faded from contention, ending up 15th.

Notes: Thomas drives a MasterSbilt Race Car sponsored by Zaxby's and J.W. Land & Timber. ... The event was in danger of being postponed when rain hit before the Crate Late Model feature, but the Super Late Models helped repack the racing surface. Officials gave them some bonus hot laps for helping rework a track that allowed racing in every groove. ... Chris Jones received a track provisional, but he loaded up when it rained and scratched from the feature. ... Ryan King won the night's Crate Late Model feature. ... Next up for the Southern All Stars is the $5,000-to-win Budweiser Jean Johnson Memorial on Aug. 6 at Cleveland (Tenn.) Speedway.

Michael Head Jr. Memorial: (1) William Thomas, (2) Tim Busha, (3) Billy Ogle Jr., (4) Brandon Kinzer, (5) Terry Smith, (6) Jason Hiett, (7) Todd Morrow, (8) Jason Wilson, (9) Ronnie Johnson, (10) Riley Hickman, (11) Tommy Kerr, (12) Tony Knowles, (13) Ross Martin, (14) Tim Roszell, (15) Brian Reese, (16) Ethan Hunter, (17) David Payne, (18) James Cline, (19) Bo Shirley, (20) Buddy George, (21) Dusty Chitwood, (22) Dillon Crim, (23) Kayne Hickman, (24) Logan Yates. Scratched: Chris Jones.. Fast qualifier (among 31 cars): Ogle, 13.536 seconds. Consolation race winners: Ronnie Johnson, Brandon Kinzer. Provisional starters: Hickman, Shirley, Jones.

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