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Talladega Short Track

Weaver on pole position for Red Farmer Classic

May 15, 2010, 5:27 am
By Bryan Wimberley
DirtonDirt.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:

First heat

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.

Second heat

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.

Third heat

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.

Preliminary notes

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

First consolation
Row 1: Randall Walker, Stacey Caldwell
Row 2: Adam Cummings, Red Farmer
Row 3: Dwayne Britton, Stacy Taylor
Row 4: Royce Bray
Second consolation
Row 1: Ethan Hunter, Dillon Crim
Row 2: Jake Knowles, Larry Boutwell
Row 3: Klint Byars, Earl Smith

Time trials (overall)

Pos. Driver (car no.), hometown, time
1. Randy Weaver (116), Crossville, Tenn., 14.917
2. Stacey Holmes (H2), Munford, Ala., 15.091
3. Wendell Wallace (88), Batesville, Ark., 15.121
4. Danny Peoples (11), Margaret, Ala., 15.203
5. Tim Busha (15), Boaz, Ala., 15.270
6. Jack Sullivan (88x), Greenbrier, Ark., 15.331
7. Ross Martin (47), Talladega, Ala., 15.351
8. Chris Jones (46), Alabaster, Ala., 15.352
9. Terry Smith (99), Oxford, Ala., 15.401
10. Tony Knowles (26), Tyrone, Ga., 15.409
11. Stacy Taylor (27), Jacksonville, Ark., 15.431
12. Dougie King (18), Anniston, Ala., 15.458
13. Tim Roszell (25), Anniston, Ala., 15.474
14. Larry Boutwell (58), Baker, Fla., 15.492
15. Bo Shirley (111), Gadsden, Ala., 15.500
16. Red Farmer (F97) Hueytown, Ala., 15.507
17. Ronnie Johnson (5), Chattanooga, Tenn., 15.521
18. Earl Smith (11), Rockmart, Ga., 15.538
19. Royce Bray (21), Hull, Ga., 15.541
20. Ethan Hunter (15), Tiger, Ga., 15.551
21. Stacey Caldwell (14), Nettleton, Miss., 15.557
22. Neil Baggett (21), Shannon, Miss., 15.581
23. Dingus Griffin (49), Alexandria, Ala., 15.582
24. Mark Mears (19), Decatur, Ala., 15.585
25. Dillon Crim (7c), Eastaboga, Ala., 15.603
26. Brandon Roberts (10), Carrollton, Ga., 15.689
27. Jake Knowles (66), Tyrone, Ga., 15.703
28. Klint Byars (5), Carrollton, Miss., 15.716
29. Adam Cummings (66), Springville, Ala., 15.719
30. Dwayne Britton (36), Alexander City, Ala., 16.100
31. Randall Walker (15), Pell City, Ala., no time

Red Farmer Classic lineup

Row 1: Weaver, Busha
Row 2: Wallace, Peoples
Row 3: Johnson, Sullivan
Row 4: T. Knowles, Holmes
Row 5: T. Smith, Roszell
Row 6: Griffin, King
Row 7: Martin, Jones
Row 8: Shirley, Baggett
Row 9: Roberts, Mears
Row 10: Consolation transfers
Row 11: Consolation transfers
Row 12: Consolation transfers
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