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Ferguson gives round one of Showdown to Carolina with ‘Clash’ win at ‘The Gap’

By volunteer | 25 May 2014 | 2014 | | 0 Comments   

 

Chris Ferguson wolds up his Tennessee/Carolina Showdown champions belt after winning Saturday Carolina Clash touring series race at ‘The Gap’.

BULLS GAP, TN — Round one of the Tennessee/Carolina Showdown at ‘The Gap’ went to Mt. Holly, N.C. driver Chris Ferguson who took home the champion’s belt and $4,000 winner’s purse in Saturday’s 40-lap Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series feature.
The race could have been called the “Tennessee Tornado” with 24 Super Late Models kicking up a swirling dust storm around the World’s fastest dirt oval.
Ferguson took the pole with a lap of 12.720, and never looked back, leading flag-to-flag for his first career win at Volunteer Speedway.
The race was billed as Tennessee racers defending their home turn against the Carolina touring series invaders.
Tennessee’s best effort came from Maryville racer Jason Welshan, who qualified fifth and appeared to have a car capable of moving forward.
About nine laps in, however, Welshan shredded a right rear tire.
Restarting from the back of the pack, Welshan probably passed more cars than any other driver in the race, working his way back up for a fifth place finish.
Ferguson was able to drive away from a pack of cars that at times went three and four wide into the corners.
Miraculously there weren’t any major pileups. Swansea, S.C. driver Scott Shirey brought out the first caution on Lap three when his car slid into the tire barrier at the pit exit heading into turn one. That would end the night for Shirey, who came into the race fourth in Carolina Clash series point standings.
Neither Ferguson nor second place finisher Brad Neat of Dunnville, Ky. are regulars on the Carolina Clash series.
Neart started third and moved past Kennie Compton Jr. early in the race for second place. But, Neat was never able to make a strong challenge for the lead.
“We had a good race car,” Neat said. “We had a lot of trouble with the traffic. It was pretty tough. We didn’t know where they were gonna go, and when. He (Ferguson) had a great race car. Congratulations to him. He did a great job. Our car was pretty good, but we’re still a second place car.”
It’s been a good couple of weekends for Ferguson who won the USA 100 last Saturday night at Virginia Motor Speedway in Jamaica, Va. which paid $10,000.
“It’s been awesome,” Ferguson said. “We finally figured out what this car needed, and everything has went our way. We worked as hard as we could this whole year. My crew and my dad, and Stanford, and everybody — they did all they could to make this car fast for me, and it showed up tonight. I’m a little out of breath. I don’t know if y’all noticed, but this track was fast tonight. I ain’t used to that.”
Ferguson added, “I don’t know if anybody remembers, but the last time we came up here for the Clash race we took the lead and rolled the left rear off the rim. We’ve led a couple of these races but we’ve never won here, so to actually do it tonight is awesome.”
The top finishing Carolina Clash series regular was Compton Jr., of Bland, Va. who came into the race sixth in series points and finished third.
“We started off good, and just missed it,” Compton said. “That happens time to time. I went all the way back to fifth or sixth at one time and had a chance to split them on the back straightaway on a restart. I figured if I got by them, it was starting to slick-up and maybe I could hold them off.”
Gaffney, S.C. driver Dennis “Rambo” Franklin who sits second in the points finished sixth in Saturday’s race. Carolina Clash points leader Brad Overton of Augusta, Ga. didn’t make the trip to Bulls Gap Saturday night.
Volunteer Speedway favorite Vic Hill of Greeneville qualified 11th fastest, won his heat race, and finished 8th in the main event — the last car on the lead lap — after starting 11th.
Tennessee drivers will have an opportunity to return the Tennessee/Carolina Showdown champions belt to their home state on July 12 when the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series returns to Volunteer Speedway.
•Trevor Sise edged polesitter Cory Hedgecock on the initial start of Saturday’s $2,000-to-win 40-lap Steel Head LM feature at Volunteer Speedway.
The calamity filled race saw one of the divisions top competitors, Jason Welshan, spin twice, including early in the race as he attempted to pass Hedgecock for second place.
The red flag flew on lap 26 for a seven car pileup in the middle of turns one and two.
Upon returning to green Sise seemed to have the field of survivors covered.
That is, until about three laps to go when Hedgecock made the bottom groove stick on an unusually slick racing surface, and completed a pass for the lead and his second win in a row. Sise said after the race his tires wore out.
• Warren McMahan sailed away to his first win of the season in Saturday’s 30-lap Crate Late Model feature, leading flag-to-flag from the pole.
Defending track champion Tim Byrd finished in the runner up position, but not before completing the pass for second place three times on second place qualifier Ricky Moore. The first two passes were negated when the caution came out before the lap was completed.
• Charles Bates grabbed the lead from polesitter Gary Blanken on the start of Saturday’s 25-Lap Hobby Modified Feature at ‘The Gap’.
It took about 10 laps, but Blanken eventually got past Bates on his way to his second win in as many Hobby Modified starts at Volunteer Speedway this season.
Bates had his hands full hanging on to second as he and third place finisher Dale Reed battled for the spot while weaving in and out of lapped traffic. Meanwhile Eddie Morris got past Jamie Whitt for fifth place about halfway through the race.
It was the first time this season Whitt hasn’t finished first or second.

RESULTS 5-24-14

Carolina Clash Super LM 40 Laps:
(Pole, Chris Ferguson 12.720)

1. (1) #22 Chris Ferguson 40
2. (3) #11 Brad Neat 40
3. (2) #10 Kennie Compton Jr. 40
4. (4) #57 Zack Mitchell 40
5. (5) #29 Jason Welshan 40
6. (6) #2 Rambo Franklin 40
7. (13) #2C Randall Chupp 40
8. (11) #1 Vic Hill 40
9. (15) #25 Bobby Mays 39
10. (16) #09 Johnny Pursley 39
11. (9) #281 Kyle Pierce 39
12. (12) #1W Ricky Weeks 39
13. (8) #28 Jeff Wolfenbarger 39
14. (21) #17G Mike Gault 39
15. (22) #618 Kevin Wilson 38
16. (24) #34 Ellery Leake 38
17. (17) #42 Doug Sanders 22
18. (14) #10C Chad Ogle 16
19. (18) #32 Jonathan Edwards 16
20. (19) #86 Jeff Newbert 13
21. (10) #52 Mark Douglas 9
22. (7) #421 Anthony Sanders 3
23. (20) #10X Scott Shirey 3
24. (23) #17 Matt Henderson 3

Steel Head LM 40 Laps:
(Pole, Cory Hedgecock 13.059)

1. Cory Hedgecock
2. Trevor Sise
3. Greg Estes
4. Anthony Whie
5. John Tweed
6. Jason Cardwell
7. Ruben Mayfield
8. Jason Manley
9. Chris Chandler
10. Dustin Diden
11. Rex Coffey
12. Austin Atkins
13. Chris Long
14. Jerry Williams
15. Ross White
16. Matt Henderson
17. Jensen Ford
18. Mitchell Childress
19. Jason Welshan

Crate LM 30 Laps
(Pole, Warren McMahan 13.753)

1. Warren McMahan
2. Tim Byrd
3. Tim Maupin
4. Forrest Trent
5. Brett Ashley
6. Hunter Best
7. Joey Tweed
8. #11
9. Gary Crittenden
10. Richard Adkins
11. Ricky Moore
12. Hugh Scalf
13. Doc Petty
14. Cody Brake
15. Bryson Dennis
16. Doug Smith
17. Andy Ogle

Hobby Modified 25 Laps
(Pole, Gary Blanken 15.022)

1. Gary Blanken
2. Charles Bates
3. Dale Reed
4. Eddie Morris
5. Jamie Whitt
6. Jeff McLemore
7. Jon Cook
8. Clynis Phillips
9. Daniel Reese
10. Kaleb Trent
11. Parker Estes
12. Michael Woods
13. David Bullington
14. Landon Steele
15. Travis Light
16. Ivis Early

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