Merchant tops Adams for fourth straight SUPR victory
By Bryan WimberleyDirtonDirt.com correspondent
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Oct. 3) — Racing to his fourth consecutive series victory, Kenny Merchant of West Monroe, La., overtook Ronny Adams with a late-race pass Saturday at I-30 Speedway for a $2,500 payday on the O'Reilly Southern United Professional Racing tour.
The fourth-starting Merchant, who has a series-leading nine victories overall in 2009 and 53 in his career, moved by Adams with three laps remaining in a race shortened to 30 laps because of rain moving into the area.
Adams, of Greenwood, La., started on the front row and led the first 27 laps before Merchant won the 30-lapper by seven lengths. Kevin Sitton of Baytown, Texas, was third followed by Wendell Wallace of Batesville, Ark., and Bill Frye of Greenbrier, Ark.
Merchant waged a lengthy battle with Frye that enabled Adams to build up to a four-second lead early in the feature. The leader's swift pace sent him into lapped traffic after just seven laps.
Once Merchant cleared Frye, he cut the lead in half by midway through the race. He made up more ground and on lap 25 Merchant put his car's nose where it was visible to Adams. The frontrunners ran side-by-side two laps before Merchant took over for good in a caution-free event that lasted just nine minutes.
Notes: Merchant's Trak-Star Chassis is powered by a Wall 2 Wall Performance Engine and is sponsored by J.D. Caver & Co., Henry's Auto Salvage, Bayou Fabricators and J&J Motorsports. ... Allen Tippen of Minden, La., was leading the consolation race when mechanical failure ended his run on the third lap; he started the feature with a provisional and finished 21st. ... Ray Moore of Haughton, La., who won the last time that SUPR was at I-30 Speedway in June 2009, was seventh. ... Three of four drivers transferring through the consolation race performed well in the main event. Chris Holley, Jody Prince and Kyle Cummings all advanced eight positions or more with hard charger honors going to 20th-starting Cummings, who finished in 11th position. Holley and Prince finished ninth and 10th, both advancing eight positions. ... Five different classes ran at I-30 with 125 race cars filling the pit area. Jack Sullivan, just named the GRT house car driver in the Late Model division, won the $2,000-to-win topless modified feature. ... Drivers failing to make the SUPR feature: Eddie Provence, Jimmy Miller, Shane Diamant, Wesley Crutchfield and Stormy Derryberry. ... Three SUPR races remain in 2009 beginning with an Oct. 10 event at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas. The final two races are Oct. 17 at Baton Rouge Raceway in Baker, La., and November 14 at Pike County Speedway in Magnolia, Miss.
O'Reilly SUPR @ I-30: (1) Kenny Merchant, (2) Ronny Adams, (3) Kevin Sitton, (4) Wendell Wallace, (5) Bill Frye, (6) Jon Mitchell, (7) Ray Moore, (8) Rob Litton, (9) Chris Holley, (10) Jody Prince, (11) Kyle Cummings, (12) Josh Danzy, (13) Dewaine Hottinger, (14) Gary Christian, (15) Chris Brown, (16) Kyle Beard, (17) Jason Trevathan, (18) Alan East, (19) Terry Henson, (20) Jon Kirby, (21) Allen Tippen. Scratched: Robbie Stuart. Heat race winners (among 27 drivers): Danzy, Merchant, Frye. Consolation winner: Holley. Provisional starter: Tippen.
Correction: Fixes that Robbie Stuart scratched from the feature lineup.