Talladega Short Track
Weaver on pole position for Red Farmer Classic
By Bryan WimberleyDirtonDirt.com correspondent
EASTABOGA, Ala. (May 14) — Randy Weaver of Crossville, Tenn., laid down fast time in qualifying Friday night and backed it up with a heat race victory to earn the pole position for Saturday night's inaugural Red Farmer Classic at Talladega Short Track.
Also capturing heat races for the $9,700-to-win event were Wendell Wallace of Batesville, Ark., who looked impressive in a commanding heat race victory, and Tim Busha of Boaz, Ala., the Super Late Model points leader at the track just across the highway from NASCAR's 2.66-mile superspeedway. | Farmer inspires, touches TST's best drivers
Other TST regulars posted strong performances, too, with Stacy Holmes, Terry Smith and Danny Peoples finishing no worse than third in heats at the third-mile high-banked with a reputation for stiff weekly racing.
Capsules of each Friday night heat race with the top six drivers transferring from each:
Polesitter Randy Weaver and TST regular Danny Peoples came across the line in a dead heat on the first lap. The action slowed on the next lap when event honoree Red Farmer spun in turn two to bring out the yellow. Weaver stuck a nose under the leading Peoples on lap four and made the pass at the midway point. Weaver cruised the rest of the way to earn the pole for Saturday's feature. Neil Baggett of Shannon, Miss., held down the final transfer spot over Ice Bowl XIX winner Randall Walker after Walker hotly contested the position the final three laps.
Finish: Randy Weaver, Danny Peoples, Tony Knowles, Tim Roszell, Ross Martin, Neil Baggett, Randall Walker, Dillon Crim, Red Farmer, Klint Byars, Royce Bray.
In arguably the most stacked heat of the night, front-row starter Tim Busha of Boaz, Ala. edged a rapidly closing Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, Tenn., by three lengths. Busha led lap one when Stacy Holmes of Munford, Ala., came out of turn two on the outset and bobbled wide entering the backstretch. Two laps later, Johnson had advanced three positions and was breathing down Holmes' neck for the runner-up spot. Holmes pinched Johnson against the backstretch wall, briefly breaking his momentum and temporarily holding off the onslaught. But Johnson overtook Holmes on lap six and moved up to the cushion, beginning to reel in Busha the last four circuits. R.J. ran out of laps and fell just short of winning the night's closest heat. Stacy Taylor of Jacksonville, Ark., had a transfer spot all wrapped up until slipping up in the final corner and ending up last in the 10-car heat.
Finish: Tim Busha, Ronnie Johnson, Stacey Holmes, Dingus Griffin, Chris Jones, Brandon Roberts, Ethan Hunter, Adam Cummings, Larry Boutwell, Stacy Taylor.
Polesitter Wendell Wallace of Batesville, Ark., stated his case for a serious threat to take home Saturday's $9,700 winner's prize by completely dominating the final heat. Wallace powered his way to a three-second victory over fellow GRT Race Car pilot Jack Sullivan. In the night's only caution-free heat, Wallace got out front and stayed there, leading a half-straightaway margin at the midway point and easing to victory the last five laps.
Finish: Wendell Wallace, Jack Sullivan, Terry Smith, Dougie King, Bo Shirley, Mark Mears, Stacey Caldwell, Jake Knowles, Dwayne Britton, Earl Smith.
Randall Walker of Pell City, Ala., broke a lift bar in hot laps and wasn't able to make the call for qualifying. Walker and crew made the repairs in time for his heat, but fell one position short of making the feature. Walker will start on the pole for a Saturday consolation race. ... Instead of driving his usual GRT house car No. 1, Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., ran as a teammate to Wendell Wallace in the Wincrest Farms #88x. ... Hall of Famer Ronnie Johnson and Ice Bowl XIX runner-up Dingus Griffin both moved up four positions from their heat race starting spots, more than any other drivers from the three heat races. ... Just one driver was able to break the 15-second qualifying barrier as Randy Weaver had a fast time of 14.917. ... Shane Clanton owns the track record of 13.145 seconds, set Oct. 30, 2009. ... Current track points leader Tim Busha has four victories in seven weekly Super Late Model features at TST and has finished no worse than fifth (Ice Bowl XIX) in 2010. ... Talladega averages over 21 entries per week in their super late model division in the 2010 season.
Saturday's consolation race lineups
Time trials (overall)
1. Randy Weaver (116), Crossville, Tenn., 14.917