TRACKS: Kevin Love starts over at Concord Motorsports Park
Posted By Terry Callahan
March 25, 2001
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel
The 2001 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series got off to a grand start Saturday Night for the WFMX 105.7 Opening Night Celebration at Concord Motorsport Park.
Kevin Love of Midland, NC wasted no time is re-establishing himself as the man to beat for the 2001 Coca-Cola Cup Late Model Stock Car Championship. Love piloted his newly liveried number 6 Ford Taurus to a 15 car length victory over Chuck Crump of Biscoe, NC at the close of the 50 lap main event. Love qualified best earlier in the day with a lap of 16.622 seconds around Concord’s tricky half mile TriOval but in the “Concord Scramble”, where the pole sitter draws a pill to see how many of the top 8 are inverted, Love was pushed back to 6th starting position. The end result being that Love also picked up the AAR Roofing Hard Charger Award by pushing his way to the point.
Lance Moss of Cherryville, NC inherited the pole position, but a broken hub forced Moss from contention early. The opening laps of the 50 lap affair had the near record opening night crowd paying close attention to the competition as Moss and Buster Bennet of Monroe diced for the lead with Charlotte’s Ryan Thigpen and Concord’s Shane Brafford. Thigpen took the point on lap 5 with Moss recovering on lap 6, Thigpen back on the point on lap 7 in a see-saw confrontation in mostly side by side competition. It all came unraveled for Thigpen on the 18th loop when Thigpen came off Turn 3 completely sideways after another car made contact. The ensuing crash caught up the mounts of Scott Peeler, Brad Kurth of Kernersville and J. P. Morgan of Ether, NC.
After the restart Love was able to work past the slowing Moss and on lap 22 took the lead for good. At the checkered flag, Crump followed Love to the line, with Buster Bennet 3rd, Shawn Mangum of Monroe, NC 4th and J. P. Morgan staging a gallant comeback for 5th.
Reggie Carroll of Concord took the honors in the Carolina Pipe Cleaning Limited Stock Car Division with Wayne Whitley of Mint Hill 2nd, Bret Johnson of China Grove 3rd, Joey Rinehardt of Gastonia 4th and Alton Boyd of Pensacola, FL 5th.
The 2000 Carolina Trailer Sales Pro Truck Champion resumed his winning ways as Jeremy Moore of Asheboro claimed the winner’s trophy in the 30 lap Pro truck feature. James Brown of Winston Salem and Roger Lee Newton of Concord followed Moore to the line.
Jeff Whitley of Mint Hill claimed the laurels in the J & W Communications Mini Stock Division. “I was wanting to try out this new Victory Lane, this feels good! ” said Whitley from the all-new DRP Racing Products Victory Lane. Jimmy Voyles of china Grove managed his Ford to 2nd, with Jamie Long of Marshville picking up 3rd.
Phillip Perry was victories in the MMRA Super Mini Cup Feature.
The X-Carz made their debut Saturday with Ron Spivey taking the win in the “Skate for Eight” feature. The 1st and 3rd turns were wet down to see just how much traction the X-Carz could muster in the new novelty division.
The next event on the 2001 Concord Motorsport Park schedule is the BAILEY’S SUPERSHOW Saturday, March 31st. The 150 lap Late Model Stock Car Feature will get the green flag at 7:30 PM.
Text provided by Concord