BULLS GAP, Tenn. — The Southern All-Star Racing Series visited Volunteer Speedway on Saturday night for the second annual Scott Sexton Memorial, and Brad Neat of Dunnville, Ky., turned in a dominating performance by leading flag-to-flag to capture the $5,200 victory.
The race honored one of East Tennessee’s all-time best behind the wheel of a dirt Super Late Model. The 46-year-old Sexton, from Pigeon Forge, passed away on January 10, 2013 after a seven year health battle.
Known as “Superman” for his racing exploits, Sexton captured Volunteer Speedway championships in 1991 and ’95. In the decade from 1995 to 2005, Sexton won 10 Southern All-Star Racing Series victories at Atomic Speedway and “The Gap,” plus he still holds the series’ record for most career $10,000 triumphs.
Neat set overall fast-time at 12.420 seconds in White Performance qualifying to earn the pole position for the 52-lap main event, with Jason Welshan second-quickest at 12.440. Mark Douglas and Todd Morrow each won PPM Racing Products B-mains.
On the first attempt to get the race underway, Neat and Welshan got out of shape up front while battling for the lead in turn two, which in turn jammed the field up behind them and caused a major multi-car wreck on the backstretch. Strong contenders Stacy Boles and Billy Ogle Jr. were eliminated from action with severe damage, while Aaron Ridley, Riley Hickman, Mark Douglas, Josh Putnam, Tommy Kerr and others continued with bent sheet-metal.
The next try at green proved to be successful, with Hickman powering into the lead over Welshan, Vic Hill, Randle Chupp and Todd Morrow. Hill, a five-time Volunteer Speedway Super Late Model champion, got around Welshan for second on lap 4 racing off the fourth turn.
Neat was setting a blistering pace out front, pulling out to almost a full-straightaway advantage over his closest challenger Hill as the race reach halfway in distance. While Neat was comfortably in command and Hill had a firm grip on the runner-up position, behind them the racing action was heated among Welshan, Chupp, Morrow and Hickman.
Caution waved on lap 39 when Welshan went up in smoke at end of the front straightaway entering the first turn, to close the field back up for a run to the finish.
With the tires cooling down following a heat-cycle, Hill hoped to have one last shot to mount a challenge on Neat for the lead. But that never materialized, as on the restart Hill’s car never came up to speed due to a fuel pickup issue which would end his race.
Neat would go on to easily record the $5,200 Scott Sexton Memorial victory over Chupp, Morrow, Ridley and Hickman.
Completing the top 10 finishers were Josh Putnam, Jeff Maupin (who worked his way to seventh after starting from the rear in 21st), Bryan Hendrix, Bobby Mays and Chris Wilson.
The next Southern All Star event will be the B J Parke Memorial at Talladega Short Track a 42 $4,200 to win event
PPM Racing Products B Main Winners: Todd Morrow; Mark Douglas
AR Bodies Last Car Lead Lap: Aaron Ridley
For more information on the Southern All Stars Dirt Racing Series can be obtained by calling General Manager Lynn Acklin at (256) 924-4546, [email protected] or you can log on to the official series website at www.sasdirt.com . Also, LIKE the Southern All Stars Dirt Racing Series on Facebook or be a FOLLOWER on Twitter @SASDIRT or www.volunteerspeedway.com or on Twitter @thegap_volspdwy
SCOTT SEXTON MEMORIAL FINISH; 1.Brad Neat; 2.Randall Chupp; 3.Todd Morrow; 4.Aaron Ridley; 5.Riley Hickman; 6.Josh Putnam; 7.Jeff Maupin; 8.Bryan Hendrix; 9.Bobby Mays; 10.Chris Wilson; 11.Vic Hill; 12.Jason Welshan; 13.Tim Tungate; 14.Dylan Ames; 15.Tommy Kerr; 16.Ellery Leake; 17.Skylar Marlar; 18.Michael Chilton; 19.Mark Douglas; 20.Stacye Boles; 21.Billy Ogle Jr
Current Southern All Star Racing Series Top Ten Point Standings: 1.Riley Hickman 650; 2.Josh Putnam 560; 3.Todd Morrow 550; 4.Dylan Ames 548; 5.Chris Wilson 542; 6.Bo Shirley 372; 7.Joe Armistead 342; 8.Jason Hiett 286; 9.Brandon Kinzer 242; 10.Billy Ogle Jr 236
Cruise With the Champions/DirtonDirt.com Rookie of the Year Point Standings: 1.Chris Wilson 178; 2.Dylan Ames 172; 3.Mark Gant 91; 4.Cale Finley 69;
Southern All Star Racing Series 2014 Event Winners:
March 22-Riley Hickman-Boyd’s Speedway
March 29-Joe Armistead-East Alabama Motor Speedway
April 26-Billy Ogle Jr-Smoky Mt Speedway
May 3-Todd Morrow-Talladega Short Track
May 17-Waycross Motor Speedway-Ivedent Lloyd
May 24-Tennessee National Raceway-Todd Morrow
June 14-Volunteer Speedway-Brad Neat
Upcoming Southern All Star Racing Series Events:
June 21-Talladega Short Track-Eastaboga, AL,-$4,200
July 19-Magnolia Motor Speedway-Columbus, MS-$4,000
By Robert Walden
Volunteer Speedway – Media/Public Relations – Photo – Randall Perry