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Duck River Raceway Park

Cook captures Showdown opener at Duck River

June 28, 2013, 6:11 am
By Connie Putnam
DirtonDirt.com correspondent
Winner Ray Cook (left) shares a laugh with announcer Chris Tilley in victory lane. (photobyconnie.com)
Winner Ray Cook (left) shares a laugh with announcer Chris Tilley in victory lane. (photobyconnie.com)

WHEEL, Tenn. (June 27) — Rallying from his eighth starting spot, Ray Cook of Brasstown, N.C., overtook Josh Putnam’s ill-handling car with eight laps remaining Thursday at Duck River Raceway Park to win the caution-plagued Summer Showdown opener on the Southern Regional Racing Series.

Cook pocketed $3,000 for his series-leading 15th career SRRS victory in the 40-lapper that kicked off four races over a seven-day stretch for SRRS competitors.

Putnam, of Florence, Ala., led the first 32 laps from outside the front row, but he faced stiff challenges from polesitter Brad Skinner of Spring Hill, Tenn., as the race entered the late stages. While battling Skinner, the left-front corner of the nosepiece on Putnam’s car got folded under, hampering the steering on Putnam’s car.

Running third, Cook pounced on lap 33, getting by Skinner and then Putnam for a lead he’d never give up. Skinner held on for second while Jeff Watson of Campbellsville, Ky., came from his 16th starting spot to finish third. Putnam muscled his car home fourth with 17th-starting Ryan King of Russellville, Ala., rounded out the top five in a race that took nearly an hour to complete.

Nearly a dozen cautions and a red flag over the first 14 laps slowed the action, including a rollover accident for Mark Fields in turn four. He wasn’t injured in the lap-four wreck.

A first-lap scramble that knocked Scott Cook, Justin Rattliff and Scott James out of the race while Skylar Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., ran second in the early going but was also among the retirees amid a flurry of yellow flags along with SRRS points leader Jason Welshan of Maryville, Tenn., and reigning SRRS champ Riley Hickman of Ooltewah, Tenn.

Notes: Cook’s MasterSbilt Race Car is powered by Jay Dickens Racing Engine and sponsored by Keyser Mfg., PPM, VP Racing, PRC, Kelly Walker Trucking and A+ Moving & Storage. ... Cook’s previous SRRS victory came July 2, 2012, at 411 Motor Speedway in Seymour, Tenn. ... The SRRS hasn’t had any repeat winners over six 2013 races. ... Summer Showdown action continues Friday at Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, Ga., for another $3,000-to-win event.

Summer Showdown: (1) Ray Cook, (2) Brad Skinner, (3) Jeff Watson, (4) Josh Putnam, (5) Ryan King, (6) Eric Jacobsen, (7) Daniel Miller, (8) Tony Morris, (9) Joe Denby, (10) Eric Hickerson, (11) Clint Nichols, (12) Todd Morrow, (13) Skylar Marlar, (14) Joseph Joiner, (15) Donald Johns, (16) Riley Hickman, (17) David Seibers, (18) Victor Lee, (19) Jay Brinkley, (20) Mark Fields, (21) Jason Welshan, (22) Scott James, (23) Scott Cook, (24) Justin Ratliff. Fast qualifier (among 30 cars): Putnam, 12.387 seconds. Dash winner: Skinner. Consolation race winners: Seibers, Cook, Fields.

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