Boothill, Chanler start out weekly late models with a bang
by Bryan Wimberley
GREENWOOD, La. (April 13) - Leaping from a recent rain-stricken area of cancelled late model events, Jeff Chanler of Minden, La., lifted a personal drought, pocketing $1,000 in the return of weekly supers at Boothill Speedway in Greenwood. Chanler hadn't seen victory lane in the division, since grabbing a Southern United Professional Racing Series win at Baton Rouge Raceway on July 30, 2010, wiping away a 21-month winless streak of frustration.
"This is the first time I have won in a long time anywhere! It has been bad for us for a little while, I just lost it and we haven't been able to find anything positive until tonight. It has probably been bad luck, I know luck has a lot to do with more than anytime else sometimes. We have been doing everything that we had been doing when we was winning, I guess it just all came together and worked tonight," Chanler said.
Chanler sat on the pole of a surprising field of entries and came under scutiny several times for the lead, before taking a three-length victory over Jon Mitchell of Texarkana, Tex., in the 25-lap feature.
"There wasn't nothing left and hardly any cushion when I looked after the modified feature had ran. I really thought I was going to suffer with this big motor, we just had to go and do our best to hold on with harder tires and the distance we run. I seen Jon Mitchell a couple times, slipping down there on the bottom, but lucky he wasn't able to pull it off! I was already dedicated to my line and didn't block him (Mitchell), but I knew he was there," stated Chanler.
Ray Moore of Haughton, La., rocketed from the sixth-row to lock down third-place, while Troy Berdan of Minden and Brett Frazier, also of Haughton, rounded out the top five finishers.
The feature was briefly tampered with two early cautions in the opening lap, one taking out 15-year old newcomer, Brandon Hightower of Deville, La., with a broken driveshaft.
Chanler explained, "I was closing so quick on (Harris) the lap car, when I looked up in the corner, he was going off turn two with his front wheels in the air and I didn't know if he was coming back on the track or what. (Harris) crossed in front of me on the backstretch, I just cut across and he decided to go low, I then jerked my car to the outside to go around him. I had to check way up before I did that and I just knew someone was going to drive by me when that happen."
After back-to-back cautions on lap 15, Chanler strung together seven strong laps to extend an over two-second advantage on Mitchell. An intense battle emerged for second, with Mitchell, Berdan and Moore, taking it three-wide off turn two. Mitchell survived, giving him one last shot at Chanler, after the final caution appeared on lap 22, to set up a late-race showdown.
An excellent restart by Mitchell, put Chanler in the pressure cooker with three laps to go. Mitchell was able to show Chanler his nose on the low groove, but Chanler's No 11c powered past on the straightaway. Mitchell was able to try again in the next set of turns, but wasn't able to keep the car stuck inside to gain the position.
Chanler continued to run high and did not falter in the last couple laps, en route to grabbing victory.
Mitchell responded, "We always ran good here back in the day when the track was longer, the last few times I have been here, we just haven't really run all that well. Our team decided that we wanted to try to get in as many laps as possible since Boothill has went to this weekly show and hopefully it will make up a bit better. We had a good car in the heat race and being on the outside front row was a good place to start the feature. We slipped up and let (Chanler) get that top in the beginning, I went to the bottom and we stayed there a little too long. We fell back to third and began to roll in to the top. We took back 2nd-place three or four times, but the cautions would kill us, putting us back on the bottom on the double-file restarts. Chanler had a good car, so did we! We tightened things up on him the last few laps. It looked like we could have made something happen, but we have been having so much bad luck here lately, that we didn't want to tear any cars up and everybody would be able to go home with clean metal. I am pleased with that second-place run!"
Mitchell owns a sanctioned win at Boothill, coming earlier in his late model career, in March 2001.
"The way the top side was more dominate here tonight, one car was the only thing that could fit in that line. It is one of those deals where, you could have pushed two cars in there and we could have probably made something happen, but it would have been most likely some rubbing between the two of us. Nobody got tore up, I just wished we would have went to that top side sooner. This place is kind of tight, so you have to make sure you have them cleared behind you when you run across there. We came away with a good result in this new car that we are trying to feel out, so we are going home happy," added Mitchell.
NOTES: Chanler's Barry Wright Race Car is powered by a PTS Racing Engine and sponsored by David Peterson Contracting, All Star Performance, David's Transmission, OWC Welding, AD Signs, CV Products and Weld Racing.
Chanler also has a Boothill Speedway late model win on the Louisiana-based SUPR Series tour on July 31st, 1999.
The 20-minute Boothill super late model feature ended at 10:55 pm and was slowed by five cautions.
Ray Moore of Haughton, La., was the hard charger of the feature, marching ahead nine positions, from 12th-to-third.
Jody Prince of Sibley, La., duplicated the same feat, despite starting deeper in the field, going from 15th-to-sixth.
Michael Hudson of Shreveport, La., debuted a Humphrey Racing, MasterSbilt Race Car and couldn't avoid the spinning No. 1 of Chris Patton of Ruston, La., in the consolation. The contact disabled both cars beyond repair, scratching them from the 25-lap main event -Hudson retired with rods, birdcage and shock damage.
Wide Open Motorsports and driver Chris Huckabay of West Monroe, La., introduced a brand new Warrior Race Car to the track, joining an already existing crate to their stable. The team was pleased with the machine in prelims, but bad luck struck just passed the midway point of the feature, forcing an early retirement in 16th for Huckabay.
Three other classes were apart of Boothill Speedway's weekly racing, with Jody Davidson of West Monroe, La., grabbing the victory in the Modified feature, last year's track champion in the Limited Modified class, Derick Grigsby of Marshall, Tex., taking the win and Billy Meazell of Frankston, Tex., getting the Factory Stock feature win.
Boothill Speedway plans to have twelve different dates for their weekly super late models' program, concluding Saturday, October 26th, in a Spooky Hill Race event.
Weekly supers @ Boothill: (1) Jeff Chanler, (2) Jon Mitchell, (3) Ray Moore, (4) Troy Berdan, (5) Brett Frazier, (6) Jody Prince, (7) Jason Ingalls, (8) Shane Walker, (9) Lee Patton, (10) Jim Bryant, (11) Heath Culp, (12) Mikey Kile, (13) Lynn Beach, (14) Travis Mosley, (15) Ronny Adams, (16) Chris Huckabay, (17) Mike Harris, (18) Brandon Hightower, (SCR) Chris Patton, (SCR) Michael Hudson, (SCR) Mike Corney.
Heat race winners (among 21 cars): Chanler, Mitchell, Ingalls
Open Wheel Modified