Taylor edges Slay for first career MSCC victory
By Bryan WimberleyDirtonDirt.com correspondent
GREENVILLE, Miss. (July 24) — Earning his first Late Model victory in a new partnership with engine builder Keith Craft, two-division driver Jeff Taylor of Batesville, Ark., regained the lead from Scott Slay of Clinton, Miss., with two laps remaining at Greenville Speedway for a $2,500 victory on the Mississippi State Championship Challenge. In winning his first MSCC event, the fourth-starting Taylor beat Slay to the checkered flag by just over two lengths for the 40-lap victory.
Former series champions Chris Wall of Holden, La., and David Ashley of Zachary, La., were third and fourth with Clay Fisher of Dewitt, Ark., rounding out the top five. Local favorite Ross Camponovo of Clarksdale, Miss., crossed the line fourth, but he was disqualified after coming up light at the scales.
The last 10 laps were action packed with Slay in control while Wall, Taylor and Camponovo battling three-wide amid traffic. On the 38th lap, Taylor was forced underneath the track barriers heading into turn one. Re-entering the track out of the second turn, Taylor battled Slay into the turns three and four to wrestle away the lead he'd never give up.
"It was real tight racing and I had no other place to go," Taylor said of the infield foray. "We were good early, then I took care of my brakes to make a run late."
At the outset, MSCC points leader Chad Thrash of Collinsville, Miss., took the point with Taylor taking over the sixth lap, just before a caution for a stalled Trey Williams of Winnsboro, La. After more cautions, including one for Michael Aycock's spin and another for debris from Chad Washington's car, the fifth-starting Slay went to work on Taylor, taking command on the ninth lap.
Slay built leads of as much as four seconds midway through the race while Wall, who started third but got shuffled back early, took second from Thrash before hometown driver Greg Fore's slide off the turn-three embankment. Soon after, Thrash's evening ended on a hook when he drove to the frontstretch infield with a flat and damage, drawing the fifth and final caution. That set up the four-car battle up front over the final 10 laps that saw Taylor emerge victorious.
Notes: Taylor's Larry Shaw Race Car has a Keith Craft engine and sponsorship from Provence Construction, Mesilla Valley Transportation, New Vision Graphics, Hoosier Racing Tire and Rick Lovelady Carpets. ... Shaw also competed in the SMP-sanctioned modified feature, rallying from 19th-to-fifth for hard charger honors in the 40-lapper. ... Scott Slay's second-place finish cut Chad Thrashes series lead to 35 points. ... Rookie Steve Bryan of Collinsville, Ms., would be the last car on the lead lap in sixth. ... Teenager Alex Ashley of Zachary, La., finished a lap down in seventh after starting 15th. ... The night's dash was marred by a scary rolling accident for Jeremy Broadus of Biloxi, Miss., who went over the turn-one embankment and rolled three times. He was uninjured and to take the green flag in the feature for a single lap and start money. ... Mike Poyner of Grenada, Miss., piloted the No. D8 normally driven by Doug Showah, who is out of action because of a non-race related injury. ... The 37-minute feature ended at 11:55 p.m. .... MSCC action continues Saturday at Central Mississippi Speedway in Winona.
MSCC @ Greenville: (1) Jeff Taylor, (2) Scott Slay, (3) Chris Wall, (4) David Ashley, (5) Clay Fisher, (6) Steve Bryan, (7) Alex Ashley, (8) Scott Creel, (9) Mickey Trosclair, (10) Stormy Derryberry, (11) Charles Gaines, (12) Leon Henderson, (13) Chad Washington, (14) Wayne Skinner, (15) Chad Thrash, (16) Greg Fore, (17) Michael Aycock, (18) Mike Poyner, (19) Trey Williams, (20) Jeff Horton, (21) Jeremy Broadus. Disqualified: Ross Camponovo. Fast qualifier (among 22 cars): Camponovo, 14.145 seconds. Consolation race winners: D. Ashley, Fisher. Dash winner: Thrash.
Correction: FIxes that no caution appeared for Fore's departure.