Baton Rouge Raceway
Plaisance nips faltering Merchant at Baton Rouge
From series reports
BAKER, La. (May 25) — In a race where every leader faced some sort of trouble, Ryan Plaisance of Westwego, La., took the lead from Kenny Merchant of West Monroe, La., exiting turn four on the final lap to win at Baton Rouge Raceway. Plaisance's first O'Reilly Auto Parts Southern United Professional Racing victory in more than two years paid $2,500 at the quarter-mile oval.
Plaisance pulled into victory lane with his engine pegging at a dangerously high 300 degrees, but he wasn't the only leader with issues in the 40-lapper. Polesitter Ray Moore of Shreveport, La., dominated the first 27 laps of the race, but he was knocked out when his left-rear tire peeled off. Fellow front-row starter Howard Willis of Dayton, Texas, took command on lap 28, but he lasted out front only seven laps when he starting blowing oil out of a valve cover line.
Merchant inherited the lead on lap 36 and appeared to be headed for his first SUPR victory since last June. But a deflating tire on the last lap slowed his progress, and Plaisance made an inside move exiting turn four and won the drag race to the checkered flag by a car length. Merchant was second followed by rookie Kevin Sitton of Baytown, Texas. Rounding out the top five was Scott Slay of Clinton, Miss., and Allen Tippen of Minden, La.
Notes: Plaisaince's winning Bloomquist Race Car has a Wall 2 Wall engine and is sponsorship from RPMotorsports and Xtreme Graphics. ... The next SUPR event is scheduled for May 31 at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas.
O'Reilly SUPR @ Baton Rouge: (1) Ryan Plaisance, (2) Kenny Merchant, (3) Kevin Sitton, (4) Scott Slay, (5) Allen Tippen, (6) Chris Hoyt, (7) Robbie Stuart, (8) Doug Begnaud, (9) Jason Polite, (10) Howard Willis, (11) Ray Moore, (12) James Ward, (13) Elizabeth Halpin Smith, (14) Rob Litton, (15) David Ashley. Heat race winners: (among 15 cars): Willis, Moore.