Blue Ridge Motorsports Park
Payne gets first SRRS victory at Sugar Creek
By Connie PutnamDirtonDirt.com correspondent
BLUE RIDGE, Ga. (July 7) — David Payne of Murphy, N.C., led all the way Saturday at Sugar Creek Raceway for his first career victory on the Southern Regional Racing Series.
Payne, a four-time winner in regular season action at Sugar Creek in 2012, started outside the front row and controlled the race in beating fifth-starting Aaron Ridley of Chatsworth, Ga., to the checkers.
Jacob Grizzle of Blairsville, Ga., advanced six positions to finish third ahead of Johnny Chastain of Murphy, N.C., and Josh Henry of Newport, Tenn. Polesitter and reigning SRRS champ Josh Putnam of Killen, Ala., ran second until dropping to the infield with mechanical problems on the last restart.
SRRS points leader Riley Hickman of Ooltewah, Tenn., finished 11th after running into trouble on a couple of occasions. The seventh-starting Hickman tangled with Jamie Oliver and Gabe Wilson on the 22nd lap, then drew the race’s final yellow when he hit the turn-three wall.
Notes: Payne’s Gibson Motorsports MasterSbilt Race Car is sponsored by Payne Tire Racing, GW Performance and Base Racing Fuels. ... George Mashburn hit the turn-two wall to draw the first caution on the second lap. ... Josh Henry drew a lap-four yellow. ... Shannon Bearden brought out a lap-14 caution and Benji Cole spun for a lap-16 yellow. ... Bo Eaton spun on lap 18. ... The field was set through time trials; no heat races were held. ... After a busy stretch, SRRS competitors take a break before an Aug. 3-4 weekend at Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, Ga., and Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn.
SRRS @ Sugar Creek: (1) David Payne, (2) Aaron Ridley, (3) Jacob Grizzle, (4) Johnny Chastain, (5) Josh Henry, (6) Randy Nichols, (7) Craig Burrows, (8) Kurt English, (9) Bo Eaton, (10) Shane Tankersley, (11) Riley Hickman, (12) Josh Putnam, (13) Jamie Oliver, (14) Gabe Wilson, (15) Benji Cole, (16) Shannon Bearden, (17) Rodney Weeks, (18) George Mashburn. Fast qualifier (among 18 cars): Putnam, 14.95 seconds.