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Drew County Speedway

Murphree breaks MSRA maiden at Drew County

July 19, 2009, 7:20 am
By Bryan Wimberley
DirtonDirt.com correspondent
Michael Murphree races to victory in Monticello. (keenesphotos.com)
Michael Murphree races to victory in Monticello. (keenesphotos.com)

MONTICELLO, Ark. (July 18) — Michael Murphree of North Little Rock, Ark., became the second first-time series winner in as many nights on the O'Reilly Mid-South Racing Association, notching a $2,000 victory at Drew County Speedway for his first-ever Late Model feature win. Murphree led flag-to-flag and held off fast-closing veteran Jeff Floyd of Walnut Ridge, Ark., by three lengths in the 30-lap event. | Slideshow

Murphree, a two-time modified champion at Batesville (Ark.) Motor Speedway, has moved primarily into the Late Model division as a rookie in a car backed by Meb Gregg of Jonesboro, Ark., and Hall of Fame chassis builder Larry Shaw of Batesville. Murphree's best previous MSRA finish was third on three occasions, including two months ago at Drew County. Murphree was a modified winner at the Monticello track in 2008.

Floyd, who started ninth, took second from series points leader Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville on lap 13 before setting his sights on the leader. As Floyd closed the gap from seconds to just a few lengths, he ran out of laps in settling for the runner-up spot. Moyer finished third to increase his series lead to 39 from 18 points followed by Stacy Taylor of Jacksonville, Ark., and Dewaine Hottinger of Russellville, Ark.

Three cautions slowed the action. David Dunn of Russellville spun twice in turn two for two separate cautions and finished in 18th. Kyle Beard of Trumann, Ark., brought out a yellow for a turn-one spin on the second lap, and rallied to finish 10th, the same position where he started.

Notes: Murphree's car is sponsored by Mark Martin Chevrolet, Gregg's Salvage & Towing, S&H Industrial Services, NEA Supergas, Don Babb Motorsports and Larry Shaw Race Cars. ... The feature event started at 9:51 p.m. and lasted about 20 minutes. ... Local favorite Stormy Derryberry started fifth but faded quickly and retired to finish 17th. ... The prevous night's MSRA winner, Jon Kirby of Russellville, Ark., was 13th. ... Gary Christian of Broken Bow, Okla., had trouble getting his car fired before the race and pulled off early to finish last in the 21-car field. ... Shane Stephens of Arlington, Tenn., broke a water pump and loaded up before the main event. ... O'Reilly MSRA competition resumes with a doubleheader at Batesville Motor Speedway on July 24-25 in events co-sanctioned by the O'Reilly MARS Dirtcar Series.

Topless 30: (1) Michael Murphree, (2) Jeff Floyd, (3) Billy Moyer, Jr., (4) Stacy Taylor, (5) Dewaine Hottinger, (6) Jon Mitchell, (7) Allen Tippen, (8) Shane Diamant, (9) Robbie Stuart, (10) Kyle Beard, (11) Justin Asplin, (12) Ray Moore, (13) Jon Kirby, (14) Mark Andrews, (15) Austin Rettig, (16) Terry Henson, (17) Stormy Derryberry, (18) David Dunn, (19) Wesley Crutchfield, (20) Randy Mitchell, (21) Gary Christian. Scratched: Shane Stephens. Heat race winners (among 22 cars): Murphree, Taylor, Hottinger.

O'Reilly MSRA points

(Through July 18)
1. Billy Moyer Jr. - 1,296
2. Kyle Beard - 1,257
3. Jeff Floyd - 1,227
4. Jon Mitchell - 1,173
5. Jon Kirby - 1,149
6. Dewaine Hottinger - 1,144
7. Ray Moore - 1,103
8. Randy Mitchell - 1,061
9. Gary Christian - 1,023
10. Austin Rettig - 1,004
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