Southern All Stars Asphalt Series: Report from Huntsville Speedway
9 September 1997Huntsville, AL - The final trip of the Southern All Stars Asphalt Series to Huntsville Speedway for 1997 may well have brought some memories flooding back for many of the older fans. In the 1980's Buddy Broome was a regular competitor at the track and he made a triumphant return as he took the win in the Taylor Farms/WHNT-TV 150. Broome, who has been racing at 411 Speedway in Knoxville, TN, has teamed with car owner Rick Coulter to run a limited Southern All Star schedule, and in his fifth start he garnered his first win. Gary Wade Finley followed Broome across the line with Casey Bishop in third.
Tim Fryar of Chattanooga, TN was awarded the fast Qualifier award after three cars set identical times of 12.734 seconds around the tight 1/4 mile oval in Quickcar Qualifying. Fryar was the first of the three cars to make his qualifying run. Fryar then drew a '6' for the inversion, putting two-time winner Russell Bearden on the pole with Huntsville Speedway points leader Casey Bishop on the outside of the front row.
When the green flag flew, Bearden took the point with Broome making a good move into second. Bishop fell into third and Dan Beddingfield nabbed the fourth spot as the cars completed the first lap. Bearden would hold the lead until lap 52 when Broome was able to slide under him in turn two. Broome would then spend the rest of the race fending off challenges from Bearden and Gary Wade Finley. Bearden camped on Broome's rear bumper, waiting for the leader to make a mistake that would allow him to retake the lead. Finley had moved into the top three in the middle of the race and was trying hard to get round Bearden and try his hand at pressuring Broome. With less than ten laps to go, Finley and Bearden made contact in turn one, with Bearden spinning and everyone else taking evasive action.
The final lap saw Finley right on Broome's rear deck and as the cars came off turn four and headed for the checkered flag Finley and Broome touched , but Broome was able to maintain control and take the win. Finley finished in second for his best career finish with the SAS tour. Third place went to Casey Bishop despite having lost a cylinder during the race.1996 SAS Champion Johnny Brazier made a steady run into fourth after an early spin and took over the series points lead. Another former SAS Champion, Dan Beddingfield finished in fifth.
TAYLOR FARMS/WHNT-TV 150 RESULT 1. Buddy Broome 2. Gary Wade Finley 3. Casey Bishop 4. Johnny Brazier 5. Dan Beddingfield 6. Kevin Gillum 7. Russell Bearden 8. Ronald Walls 9. Brian Bentley 10. Shannon Berry 11. Brad Stell 12. Trab Crews 13. Gary Jones 14. Roger Scott 15. Edwin Gurley 16. Johnny Wall 17. Heath Hindman 18. Tim Fryar 19. Andy King 20. Shad Hodgin 21. Terry Mason Jr 22. Warren McMahan 1997 SAS POINTS STANDINGS 1. Johnny Brazier 1230 2. Tim Fryar 1218 3. Russell Bearden 1176 4. Kevin Gillum 1128 5. Roger Scott 1034 6. Shannon Berry 1034 7. Warren McMahan 982 8. Ranoald Walls 848 9. Trab Crews 808 10.Curtis Gattis 744
John Kaiser -- The Autochannel