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TRACKS: Kevin Love back in victory lane at Concord; Shaun Mangum leads points

Posted By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel
June 25, 2001

Two time defending champion Kevin Love of Midland, NC drove back into the DRP Race Products Victory Lane for his seventh season win Saturday night following a 50-lap shootout for the Coca Cola Cup Late Model Stock Cars at Concord Motorsport Park. Love still trails current points leader Shaun Mangum of Monroe, NC by eight points after the 13th race of the season.

Mangum, in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo finished just three car lengths back of Love’s Ford Taurus at the finish, but Mangum was just inches ahead of third place Chuck Crump of Biscoe, NC and fourth finishing J. P. Morgan of Ether, NC all in Chevrolets.

Love gathered up his sixth Hedgecock Racing Pole Award of the 2001 season in the afternoon qualifying runs with a quick lap at 16.701 seconds, but started from inside second row after drawing a three pill in the “Concord Scramble” after the trials.

Mangum enjoyed the pole position with Concord’s Shane Brafford outside front row. Love and Brad Kurth of Kernersville, NC shared the second row.

At the opening green Mangum jumped into the lead and held on for the first four laps, but Love was into second by the end of lap one and pushed by Mangum at the line the fifth time around to hold on until the finish. A torrid battle for second was joined by Mangum, Crump and Morgan that allowed Love to move out to a slim lead.

Kevin Love in Victory Lane: “That was fun, but he (Shaun Mangum) scared me on the restarts. My car wasn’t jumping out like I wanted it to, but this new body gave me plenty of speed. Hopefully I can win a few more and get back in the points lead!”

The AAR Roofing Hard Charger Award went to Scott Peeler as he gained seven positions on his way to an eleventh place result.

The opening contest of the Pizza Hut Night at the races was a twenty five lap sprint for the J & W Communications Mini Stock Cars where Jeff Whitley of Mint Hill, NC picked up his eighth Efird Grading Pole Award and his fifth Victory of the season. Whitley qualified at 19.006 seconds but also pulled a three at the scramble to start inside second row with Jimmy Voyles of China Grove, NC picking up the pole spot. Starting outside front row was Chris Rogers while Ron Shepard started outside Whitley.

Voyles led from the start with Whitley trailing in second before a duel in the dusk for three full side by side laps resulted in Whitley sliding into the lead on lap twelve. Jamie Long of Marshville moved around Voyles for second on the fifteenth lap before traffic separated the leaders. At the checkers it was Whitley, Long and Voyles occupying the top three places.

Jamie Long was awarded the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Cool Move of the Race Award and the AAR Roofing Hard Charger Award for gaining five places going to second.

Whitley now leads in the J & W Communications Cup points competition with 636, 20 points ahead of Voyles.

In Victory Lane Jeff Whitley said “The car started out a little loose, but we just held on and it started coming around a bit. That was a good race with Jimmy (Voyles), three laps side by side and we never touched! You can’t ask for any better than that. This was a LOT of fun tonight! I had a great time!”

Reggie Carroll of Concord is certainly making up for lost time in the Carolina Pipe Cleaning Limited Stock Car Division. Carroll made it FOUR consecutive wins Saturday at the conclusion of the Limited Stock Car encounter.

Jeff Melton of Monroe had proved fastest in afternoon time trials in his Ford, notching his first Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Team Pole Award of the year with a season’s fastest Limited Stock lap of 17.920 seconds, but pulled a five and had to start inside third row. Wayne Whitley of Mint Hill, brother of Mini Stock winner Jeff, took the inside front row with Carroll outside, Billy Lemmons and Kenneth Cook in the second row and Concord’s Randy McAnulty sharing row three with Melton.

Carroll led at the end of the first, and every subsequent lap of the twenty-five with Whitley on his rear bumper the entire run, until a slip on the twenty first circuit allowed Billy Lemmons room to move into second and Melton into third. Whitley finished fourth at the checkered flag.

Carroll joined in the fun the other victors were sharing in Victory Lane. After five wins on the season “Yes, I’m having fun! I had to change it up on the restarts tonight to keep ‘em guessing a bit, but we picked up another win!

Joey Rinehardt gathered up the AAR Roofing Hard Charger Award by gaining five place on his way to eighth and the Mel’s Ignition Mechanic of the Race Award.

If a son following in his father’s footsteps is enough to make a dad proud, then you’ll understand why Terry Brooks is absolutely beaming! Terry Brooks, Jr. earned his fifth win of the season Saturday in the Carolina Trailer Sales Pro Truck Division. The elder Brooks has fifty-six career wins at Concord Motorsport Park, third on the all time list while the younger Terry now has six total wins at the ripe old age of nineteen!

In the truck qualifying rounds, Brooks picked up his fourth Charlotte Wheel Pole Award of the year with a lap of 17.399 seconds, then pulled a three in post qualifying to start inside row two. Jeremy Moore of Asheboro, NC inherited inside front row with Randy Burnett of Fenton, MO outside and Concord’s Ken Kellis outside Brooks in the second row.

At the start, something failed in the drive train of the Moore truck, making an accordion out of the front runners going into Turn One. Burnett corrected first and was leading at the end of the lap with Brooks coming sideways off Turn Three in an effort to get around! Terry powered by Burnett on the third lap and never looked back even though there was an excellent race going on just behind him.

Ken Kellis of Concord, last week’s first time winner, soldiered into second on lap twenty and kept Burnett at bay until the finish at lap thirty.

Terry Brooks in Victory Lane. “We got lucky tonight. I learned how to drive sideways again, we were loose, but it worked out in the end.”

The AAR Roofing Hard Charger Award went to Jeri Dickerson, who gained 3 positions in moving up to his fifth place finish.

The King Racing Collectibles X-Carz “T-Shirt” race was won by newcomer Gene Loden of Kannapolis, NC. Yes, the “T-Shirt” race deserves a little explanation. Each of the eight drivers brought a T-Shirt with his car number on it. At the green flag, the combatants ran to the pile on T-Shirts, found theirs, put it on, ran back to his car, belted up and started the race! Loads of fun, but the X-Carz is a novelty division!

Next Saturday, June 30th, Arctic Cat presents the Fifth Annual Salute to America SUPERSHOW! On the card is a 150-lap Coca-Cola Cup late Model Stock Car feature, a 30-lap show for the Pro Trucks, 25-laps each for the Mini Stock Cars and the Limited Stock Cars and a 8-lap “Paul Revere’s Last Ride” for the X-Carz. Racing in the dark, if you will, with only lanterns to light the way! Oh, yes… the evening’s grand finale’ is a giant FIREWORKS display!

Gates open at 5:00 PM with racing at 7:30 PM sharp with the Late Model Stock Cars leading things off. General admission is $15 for adults with children 11 and under FREE! Top Row Reserved seats are $17 and VIP seating is just $20.

Text provided by Concord

Editors Note: To view hundreds of hot racing photos and art, visit The Racing Photo Museum and the Visions of Speed Art Gallery.