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Smoky Mountain Speedway

Cook nabs 13th SRRS victory at Smoky Mountain

July 1, 2012, 2:24 pm
From series and correspondent reports
Ray Cook waves to the Smoky Mountain Speedway crowd. (photobyconnie.com)
Ray Cook waves to the Smoky Mountain Speedway crowd. (photobyconnie.com)

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (June 30) — Third-starting Ray Cook of Brasstown, N.C., overtook polesitter Brett Miller of Greeneville, Tenn., on the eighth lap for a Southern Regional Racing Series Showdown victory at Smoky Mountain Speedway. Cook earned $3,000 in the third of five series events ahead of the Fourth of July. | Slideshow

Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Tenn., ended up second followed by Blount Motorsports teammate and hometown driver Tommy Kerr in third. Miller and D.J. Myers of Greencastle, Pa., rounded out the top five finishers at the 3/8-mile oval. Series points leader Riley Hickman of Ooltewah, Tenn., finished 11th.

The fast-qualifying Cook’s victory was his first of the season with SRRS but series-leading 13th of his career. Cook survived challenges from Miller and Ogle amid traffic, including a brief tangle with a slower car.

“We had one close call with (Bobby Giffin) there,” Cook said. “I got into him a little bit — I didn’t mean to, I just caught him quicker than I thought I would — but, you know, we didn’t get nothing hurt, so that was all good."

The race was slowed three times, including a second-lap red flag when Mike Weeks got into the backstretch wall as Mark Vineyard and David Crabtree tangled exiting turn two, leaving Vineyard’s car partially atop Crabtree’s machine. Vineyard recovered to finish ninth. Yellow flags appeared on lap 15 for a slowing Mark Douglas and lap 17 for a slowing Skip Arp.

Notes: Cook’s MasterSbilt Race Car has a Race Engine Design powerplant and sponsorship from Hicks and Ingle Construction, A+ Moving and Storage and D&R Motorsports. ... The feature was cut to 35 from 40 laps to help the track meet the midnight curfew. ... Vic Hill of Mosheim, Tenn., has dominated Super Late Models specials at Smoky Mountain this season, but he was a no-show because of vacation. ... Ryan King won the night’s Crate Late Model feature, overcoming a wreck during qualifying. ... SRRS Showdown action continues Monday at 411 Motor Speedway in Seymour, Tenn., with a $3,000-to-win event� and Tuesday at Wartburg (Tenn.) Speedway with a $4,000-to-win event.

SRRS Showdown: (1) Ray Cook, (2) Billy Ogle Jr., (3) Tommy Kerr, (4) Brett Miller, (5) D.J. Myers, (6) Josh Putnam, (7) David Payne, (8) Ronnie Johnson, (9) Mark Vineyard, (10) Skylar Marlar, (11) Riley Hickman, (12) Aaron Ridley, (13) Pierce McCarter, (14) Jeff Watson, (15) Josh Henry, (16) David Crabtree, (17) Skip Arp, (18) Mark Douglas, (19) Chad Ogle, (20) Bobby Giffin, (21) Jeff Franklin, (22) Steve Smith, (23) Weston Gantte, (24) Mike Weeks. Scratched: Matt Henderson, Sammie Russell. Fast qualifier (among 26 cars): Cook, 15.935 seconds. Heat race winners: Arp, Hickman, Putnam. Dash winner: Miller.

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