McCool earns $7,000 for Gumbo Nationals victory
By Ben SheltonPRO Dirt Car Series
GREENVILLE, Miss. (Nov. 5) — Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., mastered a slick racing surface Saturday at Greenville Speedway to lead all 70 laps of the fifth annual Gumbo Nationals for a season-high $7,000 victory.
The pole-starting McCool celebrated in victory lane with a big hug for his mother and by giving his customized mohawk-topped helmet to a lucky young fan at the quarter-mile's oval's richest-ever event. | Notebook | Slideshow
Battling cars with a spec-engine package and taller spoilers, McCool's open-competition setup was successful as he avoided any problems with the high-side cushion exiting the corners throughout the race sanctioned by the Promoters Racing Organization Dirt Car Series.
"I about got over it that one time," McCool said, "and I just had to start hitting it a little easier and easier and hope we stayed on there."
Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., finished second followed by Kyle Pleasant of Natchitoches, La. Rodney Wing of Meridian, Miss., rallied from his 24th starting spot to fourth and Ross Camponovo of Clarksdale, Miss., rounded out the top five finishers in the PRO season finale.
Eric Cooley of Fulton, Miss., finished ninth to wrap up the PRO championship along with the Jeff Burns Racing Engines Rookie of the Year honors on the tour.
McCool and Ronny Lee Hollingsworth of Northport, Ala., started on the front row with McCool taking command early, but Hollingsworth got the worst of a lap-five restart when he spun, then retired from the race.
A series of early cautions slowed the action, but McCool held the top spot over Sullivan while the eighth-starting Pleasant headed for the front, reaching the third spot on the 11th lap.
McCool tangled with the slower Kyle Beard on the 13th lap, and Beard's spin brought out a caution as Sullivan, Pleasant, Timothy Culp and B.J. Robinson restarted behind McCool in a race that would go green the rest of the distance.
McCool quickly built a half-straightaway margin on Sullivan while Pleasant struggled after losing his brakes midway through the event. Wing was up to eighth after 30 laps and heading for the top five.
Battling slower traffic, McCool employed several daring slide jobs through the lapped cars with Sullivan giving chase further back. Pleasant had his hands full with Camponovo, Culp and Wing battling among the top five.
McCool stretched out to a straightaway lead and took the victory with Sullivan holding onto second at the finish.
Notes: McCool's Victory Circle Chassis is sponsored by McCool Logging, Henderson Motorsports, Southern Belle and New Vision Graphics ... Ashley Newman won the NeSmith Chevrolet Late Model Series feature, earning $3,000 in the Crate Late Model portion of the Gumbo Nationals.
Gumbo Nationals: (1) Bub McCool, (2) Jack Sullivan, (3) Kyle Pleasant, (4) Rodney Wing, (5) Ross Camponovo, (6) Timothy Culp, (7) Chad Thrash, (8) Allen Tippen, (9) Eric Cooley, (10) Dane Dacus, (11) Rick Rickman, (12) B.J. Robinson, (13) Josh Putnam, (14) Brian Rickman, (15) Chad Dupont, (16) Matthew Turner, (17) Doug Showah, (18) Kyle Beard, (19) Johnny Stokes, (20) Tanner English, (21) Mike Palasini Jr., (22) Neil Baggett, (23) Greg Fore, (24) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth. Fast qualifier (among 35 cars): McCool. Heat race winners: McCool, Culp, Hollingsworth, Sullivan. Consolation winners: Cooley, Beard. Last-chance winner: Dacus.