Ford leads 50 laps, grabs $3,000 Volunteer victory
By Robert WaldenVolunteer Speedway
BULLS GAP, Tenn. (April 25) — Capturing the biggest race of his career, 21-year-old Jensen Ford of Piney Flats, Tenn., led all 50 laps at Volunteer Speedway for a Fastrak Racing Series victory. Ford pocketed $3,000 as the 4/10-mile oval opened its 36th season of racing.
“It’s very tough to outrun all these traveling racers, but my car was really good tonight," Ford said in victory lane. "I could drive the car anywhere I needed on the track and that really helped when I encountered slower cars to lap them. I don’t really know what my lap times were at the finish, but I believe my car was just as fast at the end as it was at the beginning."
Lee Cooper of Greer, S.C., finished second while Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga., Vic Chandler of Weaverville, N.C., and Arthur Walker of Forest, Va., rounded out the top five. Royce Bray of Hull, Ga., ran among the leaders most of the way but slipped back to sixth with about 10 laps remaining after getting too high in turns three and four.
Among cautions were a frontstretch pileup on the second attempted start that damaged several cars. Among the drivers involved were Ron Parker, Travis Pennington, Chuck Laney, Ross Bailes, Chris Cantrell, Brian Ligon, Anthony Meadows and Donald Bradsher.
The frontstretch was also the site of a lap-39 wreck triggered by contact between fast qualifier Shanon Buckingham and Anthony White as they battled in the top five. Owen Osteen was also caught up in the accident and was visibly upset in climbing from his damaged car in turn one.
Notes: Ford's TNT Race Car is sponsored by Byrd's Radiator, Metcalf Tree Service, AFCO Shocks, Bert Transmission, Sweet Mfg., Hy-Tec Specialty Coatings, Wilwood Racing Products, Quickcar, Simpson and Primetime Designs. ... Ford's family, including his parents Tony and Teresa, operates TNT Race Cars & Parts. ... He has three victories overall in 2009. ... The 30 Crate teams represented six states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee). ... Chad Ogle won the companion $3,000-to-win feature for Super Late Models. ... Upcoming Fastrak touring events in the region include a $2,000-to-win race on May 22 at the Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Wythe Raceway in Rural Retreat, Va., hosts a $3,000-to-win event on May 23.
Fastrak @ Volunteer: (1) Jensen Ford, (2) Lee Cooper, (3) Jonathan Davenport, (4) Vic Chandler, (5) Arthur Walker, (6) Royce Bray, (7) David Watts, (8) Kenny Peeples Jr., (9) Dale Ball, (10) Ron Parker, (11) Gene Nasworthy, (12) Colt Smith, (13) Brian Connor, (14) Shanon Buckingham, (16) Owen Osteen, (17) Donald Bradsher, (18) Anthony Meadows, (19) Brian Ligon, (20) Chris Cantrell, (21) Ross Bailes, (22) Chuck Laney, (23) Travis Pennington, (24) David Smith. Fast qualifier (among 30 cars): Buckingham, 13.789 seconds. Heat race winners: Bray, Ford, Davenport.