Fall Classic gives Linville richest victory
By Michael DespainPonderosa Speedway
JUNCTION CITY, Ky. (Oct. 11-12) — Dustin Linville of Bryantsville, Ky., notched the richest victory of his career Saturday at Ponderosa Speedway, earning $5,000 at the 23rd annual Fall Classic. Linville inherited the lead upon leader Brad Neat’s mid-race tangle and led the rest of the way in the 50-lap season finale at the central Kentucky oval. | Slideshow
Neat, of Dunnville, Ky., rallied back to finish second while battling third-place finisher Greg Johnson of Bedford, Ind., exiting turn four on the final lap. David Webb of Nicholasville, Ky., and Victor Lee of Danville, Ky., rounded out the top five finishers at the 3/8-mile oval.
Neat and Linville started on the front row with Neat setting a quick pace early, reaching lapped traffic on the ninth lap before fifth-running Skylar Marlar drew the first caution by slowing on the frontchute. Another quick caution appeared for fourth-running Dustin Neat, Brad’s older brother.
Brad Neat was in control at halfway, working lapped traffic when he made contact trying to put Jeff Watson’s No. 11 a lap down. Watson spun and Neat was tagged with the caution, putting Linville on the point for the restart.
After Shannon Thornsberry hit the turn-four wall and retired on lap 32, third-running Michael Chilton retired to the infield, then fifth-running Justin Rattliff’s car lost power in turn one.
Linville pulled away over the final 10 laps while Neat desperately charged toward the front. Neat took third in lap 47 and while Linville took the checkers, Neat came across the line second with Johnson’s car pushing him after they tangled coming to the finish.
In Friday’s preliminary action at Ponderosa, Chilton, of Salvisa, Ky., earned $2,000 in the ninth annual Ironman Classic, outrunning Johnson and Linville.
Notes: Linville’s Swartz Race Car is powered by a Bullock Race Engine and sponsored by Johnny Maco’s Electric, Benton Auto Body, Graphic Impressions, Bruce and Vicki Barnes. FastWax, Cookie Monster Power Plants, 4B Motorsports, Linville’s Finish Carpentry, Wayne Bowen Racing Supply, Pinetop Motors, Bennett’s Car Care, JumpStart Communications and DJ Safety. ... While the $5,000 is Linville’s richest winning purse, he earned $6,500 last month for a runner-up finished in Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series action at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway. ... Brad Neat drove a mostly-white Rocket Chassis. ... Provisional starting spots on Saturday went to Jeff Watson (track points), Jerry Rutherford (fastest qualifier not in the race) and Derek Fisher (highest finisher from Friday’s race not in the Saturday’s lineup). ... Among drivers failing to crack the feature lineup Saturday: Dennis Barton, Tommy Carlton, Jimmy Crabtree, Michael Jantz, Bill Tinch, Dion Benningfield, Chris Fair and Ben Petrey. ... The event concluded Ponderosa’s season.
Fall Classic (Oct. 12): (1) Dustin Linville, (2) Brad Neat, (3) Greg Johnson, (4) David Webb, (5) Victor Lee, (6) Brandon Kinzer, (7) James Rice, (8) Chris Combs, (9) Stephen Breeding, (10) Jeff Watson, (11) Brandon Thirlby, (12) Justin Rattliff, (13) Todd Coffman, (14) Dennis Roberson, (15) Michael Chilton, (16) Shannon Thornsberry, (17) Jerry Rutherford, (18) D.J. Wells, (19) Derek Fisher, (20) Dustin Neat, (21) Skylar Marlar, (22) Lee Logan, (23) Dan Schlieper. Fast qualifier (among 36 cars): Linville, 13.372 seconds. Heat race winners: Linville, B. Neat, S. Marlar, Johnson. Consolation winners: Breeding, Schlieper. Provisional starters: Watson, Rutherford, Fisher.
Ironman Classic (Oct. 11): (1) Michael Chilton, (2) Greg Johnson, (3) Dustin Linville, (4) Stephen Breeding, (5) Derek Fisher, (6) Dustin Neat, (7) Victor Lee, (8) David Webb, (9) Brandon Kinzer, (10) Justin Rattliff, (11) Brad Neat, (12) Dan Schlieper, (13) James Rice, (14) Jeff Watson, (15) Dion Benningfield, (16) Brandon Thirlby, (17) Mike Marlar, (18) Jeff Rawlings, (19) Dennis Roberson, (20) Lee Logan, (21) Mike Jewell, (22) Clarence Belcher. Fast qualifier (among 35 cars): M. Marlar, 13.290. Heat race winners: M. Marlar, Fisher, Chilton, Johnson. Consolation winners: Watson, Rice. Provisional starters: Benningfield, Belcher.