Neat pockets $5,000 at Ponderosa Fall Classic
By Michael DespainPonderosa Speedway
JUNCTION CITY, Ky. (Oct. 5-6) — Brad Neat of Dunnville, Ky., captured the 17th Annual Clayton Homes Fall Classic at Ponderosa Speedway. The unsanctioned victory over Jason Keltner of Campbellsville, Ky., was worth $5,000.
Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., finished third in his Ponderosa debut followed by Victor Lee of Stanford, Ky., and 18th-starting Chris Combs of Isom, Ky.
At the outset, Bobby Wolter Jr. started outside the front row and jumped into the lead with Whitney McQueary, Neat, Keltner and Shirley in pursuit. McQueary and Neat immediately began a battle for second while Mike Jewell and Victor Lee pressured Shirley for fifth.
Wolter stretched his lead a bit as Neat and McQueary raced door-to-door for the runner-up slot. Neat finally took second on lap eight.
Keltner had closed in on this battle and motored by McQueary for third on lap 10. Neat closed in on the leading Wolter and outgunned him on the 12th lap to take a lead he'd never give up.
Keltner dropped Wolter to third a lap later while Shirley began to flex his muscles by taking fourth from McQueary on lap 15. Further back, Don O'Neal battled Jewell for sixth, but a flat tire stymied O'Neal's charge.
The only restart of the race allowed McQueary to take fourth from Wolter while Shirley kept the pressure on the second-running Keltner, taking the spot on lap 20.
While Neat was beginning to pull away from the field, the Shirley-Keltner battle continued with Keltner regaining second on lap 25, only to have Shirley take it back on lap 26.
Neat faced lapped traffic beginning on lap 27 while the runner-up battle raged behind him. With Neat continuing to edge away, Jewell squeezed by McQueary for the fifth position on lap 33.
By lap 40, Neat held almost a full-straightaway advantage over the battle for second while Jewell closed up on Lee, who ran fourth. As the leaders raced in heavy traffic, Keltner regained the second spot. But it was too late to track down Neat, who romped to the checkered flag.
Neat's Rayburn Race Car is powered by a Cornett engine and sponsored by NWN Distributing, Neat's Service Center, Tarter Gate, Tarter-Roberts Insurance and Tri-County Wood Products. ... The event was also sponsored by Mortgage Suppliers and the Good Neighbor Pharmacy. ... Eddie Carrier Jr. was the fastest of 37 cars with a 13.569-second lap. ... Whitney McQueary, Bobby Wolter Jr., Jason Keltner and Neat won heat races. ... Bryan Barber won the consolation race. ... In Friday's night's preliminary feature, Keltner took the lead from Carrier with three laps remaining to win the 30-lapper and $2,000. Don O'Neal was second followed by Carrier, Aaron Hatton and Neat. ... P.J. Feistritzer won Saturday's crate Late Model feature over a six-car field.
17th Annual Clayton Homes Fall Classic: (1) Brad Neat, (2) Jason Keltner, (3) Brian Shirley, (4) Victor Lee, (5) Chris Combs, (6) Mike Jewell, (7) Michael Chilton, (8) Whitney McQueary, (9) Tyrel Todd, (10) Josh McGuire, (11) Eddie Carrier Jr., (12) Don O'Neal (13) Dustin Neat, (14) Joey Daniel, (15) Steve Barnett, (16) Bryan Barber, (17) Jordan Bland, (18) Bobby Carrier Jr., (19) Jason Dunn, (20) Anthony Adams, (21) Tommy Carlton, (22) Bobby Wolter Jr., (23) Tim Tungate, (24) Shannon Thornsberrym, (25) Aaron Hatton.