Story by Brad Byrd, Advanced Thunder Series
Ringgold, GA (8-8-08) Tommy Kerr of Maryville, TN has been knocking on victory lane’s door all season long on The Advance Auto Parts Thunder Series tour in the Blount Excavating, Bob Kid Siding #4T Rocket Chassis race car only to come up one or two positions short and on at least two occasions falling to equipment failure. The third generation racing veteran would not be denied on Friday night at Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, Georgia.
With beautiful blue skies and temperatures in the mid 80s, the racing conditions were nearly perfect at the newly renovated facility that sits on the Tennessee Georgia Border. As the crowd packed the facility to the brim, twenty-six Super Late Model teams from four states signed in to vie for their share of the $4,000 to win, $325 to start forty lap affair.
Kerr showed early signs of muscle as he topped the field in PowerMaster Time Trials with a lap of 13.504 seconds, topping Anthony White and Rick Rogers as the top three qualifiers. Luck was also on Kerr’s side as he drew a number 1 pill from the fast qualifiers draw bag which meant he would keep his position and start the first of two Sunoco Quick Six Dash events from the pole.
He wasted no time charging to the point over White and Rogers and went on to claim the dash win, subsequently earning the pole position for the 40 lap Advance Auto Parts A-Main. Roger Best and Stacy Boles finished fourth and fifth respectively. Billy Ogle Jr. crashed into the turn four wall and retired from the dash early but his crew would go to work to get him back in time for the feature.
The Chattanooga Flash, Ronnie Johnson would top the second field of six in Sunoco Dash 2 over Jamie Perry, Jamie Oliver, Brian Hickman, David Payne and George Mashburn.
Track officials elected to start all twenty-six cars in the feature rather than to send two cars packing therefore there were no West Haven Speed Equipment B-Mains. Instead the remainder of the field would line up based on qualifying times for the A-Main.
>From the drop of the green flag in the forty lap feature, caution flags began to wave on lap one as White, starting from the outside front row, lost the handle of his #2X machine in turn two. He would retire immediately to the pits to change a right rear tire. Roger Best, who started from the second row outside, also ducked down to the pits for a quick tire change sending both cars to the rear of the field for the restart.
With the first and second row outside starters at the rear of the field, suddenly Ogle found himself on the front row outside starting spot for the second double file start. Before a lap could get scored, caution #2 waved for Jeremy Carr as he spun in turn one. The third attempt would be the charmer as Kerr led Rogers across the stripe to lead the first three laps until yellow was displayed again for the #86 of Jeff Neubert as he spun in turn two. A flurry of cautions would continue to wave over the course of the next five laps for various single car spins.
The red flag was displayed following a restart on lap seven as April farmer, running in mid pack, slammed the turn four inside wall and came to stop cross ways in the middle of the track and collected the #12T of Dan Tipton, The #2X of White, who had methodically worked his way through half the field at this point, and the #115 of Billy Mayo. Once the clean-up was completed, seventeen minutes had passed.
Kerr would continue to lead over Rogers, Boles, Perry and Johnson until two additional caution flags flew on laps thirteen and fourteen for single car spins. This would be the final two cautions of the night as the remaining twenty-six laps would go caution free as Kerr stretched his lead to as many as ten cars lengths over Rogers until slower traffic would tighten the field up on several occasions but this night would belong to the #4T of Kerr as he was able to snag his first series win of the season. The #44 of Rogers would claim second, followed by the #16 of Perry, the #11B of Boles and the #5 of Johnson who rounded out the top five.
“This has been a long time coming and it feels real good. I just want to thank my crew and all the guys that help me out every week. I want to thank all these fans for coming out tonight and the series for putting this deal together. Thanks a lot” stated a very excited Tommy Kerr from Victory Lane.
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS THUNDER SERIES RACE #12
‘HOT SUMMER NIGHTS 40’ – BOYD’S SPEEDWAY RINGGOLD, GA 8-8-08
Entries: 26 Representing 4 states (GA, TN, NC, AL)
Time of Race: 45 minutes (10:37pm – 11:22pm)
Yellow Flags: 9
Red Flags: 1 (17 minutes)
Lap Leaders: 1 (#4T 1 thru 40)
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS A-MAIN
1 Tommy Kerr #4T
2 Rick Rogers #44
3 Jamie Perry #16
4 Stacy Boles #11B
5 Ronnie Johnson #5
6 Billy Ogle Jr. #201
7 Brian Hickman #41
8 David Payne #8
9 Anthony White #2X
10 Jamie Oliver #38
11 Robert Gant #22
12 Billy Mayo #115
13 Davy Davis #11
14 George Mashburn #13
15 Kenney Hall #38
16 Jeff Neubert #86
17 Ronnie Payne #8X
18 Roger Best #007
19 Jeremy Carr #4
20 John Winge #17J
21 Craig Burrows #23
22 Dan Tipton #12T
23 Cody Barnett #18
24 Lamar Scoggins #32
25 April Farmer #14
26 Kayne Hickman #H3
PowerMaster Fast Time – Tommy Kerr #4T – 13.504
Phoenix Conversions Hard Charger – #11 Davy Davis (21st to 13th)
Sunoco Dash #1 – Tommy Kerr #4T
Sunoco Dash #2 – Ronnie Johnson #5
Racin With Rex Racer Of The Race: #44 Rick Rogers
FSR / Hans Safety Award: #4T Tommy Kerr