National Late Model Sportsman Series Report and Results: Lake City, FL
30 September 1997Lake City, FL - The National Late Model Sportsman Series made their annual trek to Lake City, Florida for the Gaylon Roberts Memorial 50 on the semibanked 1/2 mile asphalt of Columbia Motorsports Park. It took an Emergency call and a substitute driver to bring home the win , but when the checkered flag flew it was Joe Kump's #721 Koury/Kar House/A-1 Specialty Chevrolet that took the win, piloted by Tuck Trentham of Deland, FL. Kump made the trip from Hollywood, Fl to the race, but when rain delayed proceedings for 24 hours, he received an emergency call that meant he had to return to South Florida. A quick call to Trentham,. a past winner on the Southern Dirt Tour, and Trentham took over the car. After Qualifying in fifth spot, Trentham bided his time before taking the lead midway through the race and then holding off the challenge of young Chris Usry to take the win.
There were 27 cars on hand for the unusual show of dirt Late models racing on an asphalt track and practice was very interesting as the drivers find to find the handle on this strange surface. By the time the cars rolled out for Qualifying, most had a pretty good idea of the set-up and the times were extremely close with just 1.7 seconds separating the entire field. Fast time was set by 1996 NLMS Champion Ivedent Lloyd in his Koury, Gary Johns Chevrolet at 17.292 seconds for an average speed of 104.094 mph. Lloyd, Billy Godowns Jr, and Usry would win their respective heats to take the top three positions on the start of the race.
Godowns used his outside row one starting spot to get a good jump at the start and lead the field into turn one. Unfortunately, the middle of the pack got all tangled up going through turns one and two with the result that a number of cars spun out and the race was forced to be restarted. Godowns again got the jump on the restart and led Lloyd, Lawton Minchew, Usry and Trentham as the first lap was completed.
On lap 5 Chuck Cumby slid high in turn two losing a couple of spots while Everett Phillips, sent to the rear in the first lap melee, began to work his way back towards the front as he slipped under Cary Corbin. Eddie Gainey, forced to start scratch on the field when he had to change a motor, passed 6 cars in six laps and was coming to the front in a hurry.
By the tenth lap Lloyd had closed right up on Godowns and was looking for a way around the Wynn's/Walter Newman/Godowns farm/Henderson Chevrolet Camaro. Usry led Trentham to the low side as they both got under Minchew in turns one and two while Skip Pannell and Cecil Eunice had hooked up together in their own battle just behind the leaders. By lap fifteen it was still Godowns in the lead, Lloyd second followed by Usry, Trentham, Minchew, Pannell, Eunice, Tracy Walden, Johnny Lieupo and Rance Phillips.
On lap 19 Lloyd drove hard into turn three and got under Godowns to take the lead and quickly opened up a two car length lead. Usry and Trentham were able to get past Godowns the next lap as the Louisville, GA driver suffered from a brake problem. On lap 21 Trentham went to the high side of Usry and made the car stick as he took over second place, and was soon on the rear spoiler of Lloyd. Lap 22 saw the lead change again as Trentham went low in three and took the lead from Lloyd. Usry made the same move as the cars went through turn two on the next lap and remained just a car length behind Trentham as they roared down the back straight.
At the halfway point of the 50 lap affair Trentham held a three car length lead over Usry, who was making his first ever appearance on asphalt, with Lloyd third Minchew fourth and Godowns in fifth. Slowly Trentham began to expand the lead until lap 32 when the first, and only, caution of the race flew for a spin by Walden.
Usry refused to let Trentham get away on the restart, remaining glued to his rear bumper and looking to the inside for a way around. The horsepower of the Graham & McTier/Walter Newman/Washington Wood/Pilgrim and Son Ford was obviously a bit better than Trentham had, but although Usry managed on several occasions to get his nose inside the left rear fender of Trentham, he had to back out each time as the dove into the corners.
Back in the pack, "The Lumberjack", Wendell Durrance had decided it was time to make a move and he began chopping down cars like the were trees in a tightly packed forest. Within two laps he moved from 14th to tenth and then on lap 40 he went inside Gainey and outside Steve Jones to pull into eighth spot. Gainey quickly made a move to the inside when Durrance went a little too hard into the corner and retook eighth and then All three of the cars fighting for the spot were able to file under Pannell on lap 44. Durrance Made another pass of Gainey, this time bringing Jones with him as they moved into seventh. Although Durrance took off and ran down the sixth place car of Godowns, he never had an opportunity to challenge for the spot as the Checkered flag flew. Trentham was able to handle Usry's challenges to take the win, while Lloyd took third with Minchew and Rance Phillips rounding out the top five.
The Southern Dirt Tour returns to more familiar ground for their next race as they tackle Ogelthorpe Raceway Park in Savannah, Georgia on October 10th and 11th.
Columbia Motorsports Pk - NLMS - Qualifying results for the National Late Model Sportsman Series, Gaylon Roberts memorial 50: Ps.No. Driver , Car Lap Time M.P.H. -- ---- ----------------------------------------------------- -------- ------- 1 21 Ivedent Lloyd Jr Snow Bros/Larry Moore Chev 0:17.292 104.094 2 20 Billy Godowns Jr Godowns Farm/Henderson Chev Chev 0:17.336 103.830 3 2 Tracy Walden Infiltrator Systems Inc Chev 0:17.367 103.645 4 23 Lawton Minchew Sunridge ferneries/Kar House Chev 0:17.429 103.276 5 721 Tuck Trentham A-1 Specialty/Car House Chev 0:17.488 102.928 6 12 Chris Usry Washington Wood/Robinson Trking Ford 0:17.522 102.728 7 P21 Larry Perry Jr Snow Bros/Reeves RPM/SMC TruckingChev 0:17.550 102.564 8 83 Lee Faulk Jerry Barnes Pine Straw Chev 0:17.602 102.261 9 46 Everett Phillips Everett's Custom Services Chev 0:17.629 102.104 10 3x Skip Pannell Seabolt & Leslie Dyno/Hollywood Chev 0:17.643 102.023 11 28 Henry Carter Jr Mimbs Farms/Sweats Port Build Chev 0:17.676 101.833 12 112 Johnny Lieupo Lieupo Motorsports Chev 0:17.705 101.666 13 27x Rance Phillips Bass Auto/Steedley Racing Chev 0:17.716 101.603 14 22 Cecil Eunice Norman Pontiac/Ace Pole Chev 0:17.763 101.334 15 88c Chuck Cumby Cumby Motorsports Chev 0:18.042 99.767 16 0 Steve Jones Quality Saw Works/Beardon Oil Chev 0:18.067 99.629 17 15 Mike Becton J7M Diesel Repair Chev 0:18.146 99.195 18 X15 Jeff Jacobs Crazy J's Auto Sales Ford 0:18.199 98.907 19 32 Wendell Durrance Bills Timber/Bennett Bros Motor Chev 0:18.258 98.587 20 27 Cary Corbin Robert Cates Body/T&E Trucking Chev 0:18.366 98.007 21 201 Gene Maine Ives Racing/Russell Brown Racing Chev 0:18.991 94.782 22 1d Dennis Morris Lakeside Water/Hydraulic Supply Chev 0:18.902 95.228 23 4 Jeff Prescott Capt Dave's Seafood/Discount AutoChev 0:18.902 95.228 24 5 Jerry Parnell JCP Engineering Chev 0:20.967 85.849 25 66 Chuck Chitty C&C Powerline/J&W Engine Serv Chev DQ - WT 0.000 26 114 Jeff Gordon RV Specialties Chev No Time 0.000 27 17 Eddie Gainey Snow Bros/VP Racing Fuel Chev No Time 0.000 Track Length : 0.5000 Miles Columbia Motorsports Pk - NLMS - Provisional results for the National Late Model Sportsman Series, Gaylon Roberts Memorial 50: Ps.Ql.No. Driver , Car Laps -- -- ---- ----------------------------------------------------- ----- 1 5 721 Tuck Trentham A-1 Specialty/Car House Chev 50 2 6 12 Chris Usry Washington Wood/Robinson Trking Ford 50 3 1 21 Ivedent Lloyd Jr Snow Bros/Larry Moore Chev 50 4 4 23 Lawton Minchew Sunridge ferneries/Kar House Chev 50 5 13 27x Rance Phillips Bass Auto/Steedley Racing Chev 50 6 2 20 Billy Godowns Jr Godowns Farm/Henderson Chev Chev 50 7 19 32 Wendell Durrance Bills Timber/Bennett Bros Motor Chev 50 8 12 112 Johnny Lieupo Lieupo Motorsports Chev 50 9 16 0 Steve Jones Quality Saw Works/Beardon Oil Chev 50 10 27 17 Eddie Gainey Snow Bros/VP Racing Fuel Chev 50 11 10 3x Skip Pannell Seabolt & Leslie Dyno/Hollywood Chev 50 12 7 P21 Larry Perry Jr Snow Bros/Reeves RPM/SMC TruckingChev 50 13 14 22 Cecil Eunice Norman Pontiac/Ace Pole Chev 50 14 3 2 Tracy Walden Infiltrator Systems Inc Chev 50 15 21 201 Gene Maine Ives Racing/Russell Brown Racing Chev 49 16 9 46 Everett Phillips Everett's Custom Services Chev 48 17 20 27 Cary Corbin Robert Cates Body/T&E Trucking Chev 48 18 11 28 Henry Carter Jr Mimbs Farms/Sweats Port Build Chev 48 19 22 1d Dennis Morris Lakeside Water/Hydraulic Supply Chev 47 20 23 4 Jeff Prescott Capt Dave's Seafood/Discount AutoChev 45 21 15 88c Chuck Cumby Cumby Motorsports Chev 30 22 24 5 Jerry Parnell JCP Engineering Chev 28 23 18 X15 Jeff Jacobs Crazy J's Auto Sales Ford 19 24 8 83 Lee Faulk Jerry Barnes Pine Straw Chev 18 25 25 66 Chuck Chitty C&C Powerline/J&W Engine Serv Chev 4 26 17 15 Mike Becton J7M Diesel Repair Chev 0 Track Length : 0.5000 Miles John Kaiser