Fallen leaders help Fuller to $3,000 Tucson victory
By Todd TurnerDirtonDirt.com managing editor
TUCSON, Ariz. (Jan. 12) — Taking advantage as two leaders fell by the wayside, Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., captured the first round of Tucson International Raceway’s six-race Winter Extreme for his second victory of 2013.
Fuller outdueled Will Vaught with three laps remaining and grabbed a $3,000 victory at the 3/8-mile oval just eight days after capturing the 30-lap miniseries opener at Central Arizona Raceway. | Complete Arizona coverage
Vaught, of Crane, Mo., settled for second ahead of Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., who appeared to be on his way to victory when he lost the lead getting too high entering turn one on a lap-26 restart. That restart came moments after polesitter and race-long leader Brad Looney of Republic, Mo., went spinning into turn one after Mars bumped him from behind at the flagstand as they battled for the lead.
Looney, sent to the tail by race officials, was among nine drivers who dropped out while Chris Simpson of Oxford, Iowa, and hometown driver R.C. Whitwell rounded out the top five finishers. Fuller’s Kennedy Motorsports teammate Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., made a late rally after starting 20th to finish sixth.
Besides the lap-25 caution for Looney, three other yellows slowed the action. Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark. — a six-time winner at Tucson over the past two seasons — slowed on the backstretch on the sixth lap with engine problems and John Lowrey slowed in turn four on the ninth lap. Clay Daly brought out a lap-21 yellow when his No. 32B’s right-side tires briefly climbed the turn-four wall before returning to the track.
The six-race miniseries continues Sunday with a $5,000-to-win Late Model program beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday. Modifieds race for $1,000-to-win in the second of six Winter Extreme events.
Notes: Fuller’s Capital Race Car is sponsored by Core Construction, Kennedy Partners Racing, Keyser Mfg., and Ironco. ... Fifteen cars were running at the finish, 13 on the lead lap. ... John Anderson of Omaha, Neb., started outside the front row and was running second when he slowed and dropped to the infield near the midway point of the 30-lapper. ... Chris Simpson held second in key parts of the race but lost ground when he twice slipped over the turn-four cushion. ... Steve Drake broke a right-front lower control arm, forcing him out of the race at Moyer's lap-six caution. ... Mod ace Jason Krohn of Slayton, Minn., made his Late Model debut, finishing 16th. ... Rodney Sanders of Happy, Texas, won the modified feature, dominating most of the way before Blake Jegtvig made a late charge to get within a few lengths at the finish.
Winter Extreme (Jan. 12): (1) Tim Fuller, (2) Will Vaught, (3) Jimmy Mars (4), Chris Simpson, (5) R.C. Whitwell, (6) Shane Clanton, (7) Don Shaw, (8) Terry Phillips, (9) Justin Kay, (10) Pat Doar, (11) Tim Isenberg, (12) Steve Isenberg, (13) David Breazeale, (14) Bumper Jones, (15) Nick Bartels, (16) Jason Krohn, (17) Brad Looney, (18) Clay Daly, (19) Ron Davies, (20) Lance Matthees, (21) John Anderson, (22) John Lowrey, (23) Steve Drake, (24) Billy Moyer. Heat race winners (among 49 cars): Anderson, Fuller, Phillips, Vaught, Looney, Whitwell. Consolation winners: Kay, Clanton.
First heat: John Anderson, Chirs Simpson, Clay Daly, Justin Kay, Mike Balcaen, Shane Clanton, Morgan Bagley, Lonnie Parker Jr., Kyle Beard.
Second heat: Tim Fuller, Steve Drake, Don Shaw, Leon Henderson, Jordan Yaggy, Rick Shafer, Paul Guglielmoni. Scratched: Jesse Stovall.
Third heat: Terry Phillips, Billy Moyer, Jason Krohn, David Breazeale, Joey Moriarty, Rob Sanders, Billy Moyer Jr., Scott Lewis.
Fourth heat: Will Vaught, Jimmy Mars, Trevor Glaser, Lance Matthees, Chase Junghans, Pat Doar, Ron Davies, Ed Turnbull.
Fifth heat: Brad Looney, Steve Isenberg, Tim Isenberg, Tony Toste, David Karst, Randy Shafer, Mark Carrell. Scratched: Troy Ruebke.
Sixth heat: R.C. Whitwell, John Lowrey, Bumper Jones, Rob Mayea, Nick Bartels, Jason Papich, Brad Williams, Rick Shafer.
First consolation: Justin Kay, Ron Davies, David Breazeale, Morgan Bagley, Trevor Glaser, Mike Balcaen, Chase Junghans, Joey Moriarty, Scott Lewis, Brad Williams, Larry Childress, Jason Papich, Rob Sanders, Randy Shafer. Scratched: Troy Ruebke.
Second consolation: Shane Clanton, Pat Doar, Nick Bartels, Tony Toste, Kyle Beard, Leon Henderson, Lonnie Parker Jr., Jordan Yaggy, Billy Moyer Jr., David Karst, Mark Carrell, Ed Turnbull, Paul Guglielmoni, Rick Shafer. Scratched: Rob Mayea.