The festivities for the ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series Paul “Butterball” Wooldridge Memorial kicked off at Richmond Raceway (KY) Friday with qualifying and heat races. 16 drivers locked into Saturday’s $20,059-to-win feature, while 25 more – including some heavy hitters – will be battling for six transfer spots tomorrow.
Tanner English, Michael Chilton, Tyler Carpenter and Ross Bailes won their respective 10-lap heat races to make up the first two rows of the Saturday feature.
By winning the first heat race, English will start on the pole for Saturday’s 59-lap big-money feature, the richest in the history of ULTIMATE Super Late Model racing.
“We’re pretty excited,” English told Speed51. “We’ve got a lot of good competition, here, so we’ll see how we stack up. Things are going good right now, so I’m pretty happy.”
Carpenter set fast time in qualifying and blistered the field in the third heat race, making him a favorite going into Saturday’s feature. It was a strong Friday night for “The Kamikaze Kid” to put him on the front row, but his sights are set on Saturday’s feature.
“We came here for one reason, and that was to win this baby,” said Carpenter. “The car’s really good. The track threw us for a curveball, it’s got some bite in it, some bumps, and some slick spots. We made some adjustments after hot laps, and I think we’ve got her dialed in.”
Chilton will start third, by virtue of winning the second heat race. His heat race win came against Zack Dohm, winner of the Butch Shay Memorial earlier this year at Richmond and the winner of the last three FASTRAK/ULTIMATE events at the Kentucky bullring.
“We finally got a good starting spot,” said Chilton. “That’ll be big for us. I knew we had Zack [Dohm] in our heat, he was the one I was worried about. We were a little snug around entry. If we can get that fixed, we’ll have a really good piece tomorrow.
Bailes started second in his heat race, but quickly moved to the top spot in the final heat of the night to claim the fourth starting spot in Saturday’s feature.
“I messed up a little bit in qualifying,” said Bailes. “That cost us a front-row starting spot, but we were able to get by them on the start, and that’ll put us starting fourth, so we’ve got a good shot at it.”
While 16 drivers locked their spots into the field, several big names will be competing in Saturday’s B-Mains, which will transfer three drivers apiece.
ULTIMATE Southeast points leader Zack Mitchell is among those looking to race his way in after finishing fifth in Heat 3. He will lead the field to green in B-Main 2.
“We just missed it in qualifying, no doubt. We started eighth in the heat, wound up fifth. We had a good car, we were running down the cars in front of us. Just run out of time.
“We’ll be on the pole for our consi tomorrow. Hopefully everything goes well. Any time you can start on the front row, it means a lot. It also means we’ll have to start deep in the field, but hopefully this thing will clean off and get racey.”
ULTIMATE Mid-Ohio Valley points leader Ryan Montgomery had even more issues on the night, as mechanical gremlins plagued him all night, preventing him from answering the call for qualifying and relegating him to an 11th-place finish in his heat.
“Went out there in hot laps and our distributor cap broke and the cap inside of it broke, too,” said Montgomery. “It knocked it out of timing, the belt started to fly off. We didn’t make it out for qualifying, went out for our heat race and lost oil pressure halfway through. It ended our night too early.”
Three racers will advance from each of the two B-Mains tomorrow, composing spots 17 through 22 on the starting grid. Two provisionals will be awarded based on points for the final two spots on the grid.
Fans unable to attend tomorrow’s Paul “Butterball” Wooldridge Memorial at Richmond Raceway can catch tomorrow’s B-Mains, local features and the $20,059-to-win ULTIMATE feature live on Speed51’s pay-per-view broadcast. Click here to order your video ticket now.
Paul "Butterball" Wooldridge Preliminary Night Results
Heat Race #1
1. #96 - Tanner English, 2. #1X - Victor Lee, 3. #11H - Jared Hawkins, 4. #421 - Anthony Sanders, 5. #88 - Skylar Marlar, 6. #64 - A.J. Hicks, 7. #3 - Steve Elliott, 8. #25 - Dennis Roberson, 9. #23B - Dalton Brown, 10. #27 - Shawn Martin, 11. #12 - Ryan Montgomery
Heat Race #2
1. #97 - Michael Chilton, 2. #17 - Zack Dohm, 3. #44 - Dave Hess, Jr., 4. #47 - Chris Combs, 5. #1M - Connor Meade, 6. #42 - Doug Sanders, 7. #B5 - Jason Barrett, 8. #102 - Jonathan Couch, 9. #98 - Bryson Centers, 10. #21 - Kenny Howell
Heat Race #3
1. #28 - Tyler Carpenter, 2. #12J - Jason Jameson, 3. #2 - Nick Hoffman, 4. #2X - John Henderson, 5. #57 - Zack Mitchell, 6. #11 - Tommy Bailey, 7. #16 - Justin Ratliff, 8. #21P - Kirk Phillips, 9. #11W - Jeff Watson, 10. #7 - Danny Barrett
Heat Race #4
1. #87 - Ross Bailes, 2. #83 - Scott James, 3. #8 - Kyle Strickler, 4. #4B - Jackie Boggs, 5. #38 - Derek Fisher, 6. #18D - Daulton Wilson, 7. #00 - Jeff Smith, 8. #R15 - C.J. Ruble, 9. #11N - Joey Notchie, 10. #57M - Cameron Marlar
Saturday Paul "Butterball" Wooldridge Starting Lineups
B-Main Event #1
1. #88 - Skylar Marlar, 2. #1M - Connor Meade, 3. #64 - A.J. Hicks, 4. #42 - Doug Sanders, 5. #3 - Steve Elliott, 6. #B5 - Jason Barrett, 7. #25 - Dennis Roberson, 8. #102 - Jonathan Couch, 9. #23B - Dalton Brown, 10. #98 - Bryson Centers, 11. #27 - Shawn Martin, 12. #21 - Kenny Howell, 13. #12 - Ryan Montgomery
B-Main Event #2
1. #57 - Zack Mitchell, 2. #38 - Derek Fisher, 3. #11 - Tommy Bailey, 4. #18D - Daulton Wilson, 5. #16 - Justin Ratliff, 6. #00 - Jeff Smith, 7. #21P - Kirk Phillips, 8. #R15 - C.J. Ruble, 9. #11W - Jeff Watson, 10. #11N - Joey Notchie, 11. #7 - Danny Barrett, 12. #57M - Cameron Marlar
1. #96 - Tanner English, 2. #28 - Tyler Carpenter, 3. #97 - Michael Chilton, 4. #87 - Ross Bailes, 5. #1X - Victor Lee, 6. #12J - Jason Jameson, 7. #17 - Zack Dohm, 8. #83 - Scott James, 9. #11H - Jared Hawkins, 10. #2 - Nick Hoffman, 11. #44 - Dave Hess, Jr., 12. #8 - Kyle Strickler, 13. #421 - Anthony Sanders, 14. #2X - John Henderson, 15. #47 - Chris Combs, 16. #4B - Jackie Boggs, 17-24: TBD
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo