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TYLER COUNTY LATE MODELS OUTRUN RAIN AGAIN
By: Dustin Jarrett
Middlebourne, WV (7/31/99)– For the second straight time, Mother Nature shortened the evening’s festivities at the Tyler County Speedway, but not before Butch McGill pocketed $3,000 in the All-American 40.
The 1999 All-American 40 began with dash winner Steve Lucas and fast qualifier Mike Benedum setting the pace for the event. At the drop of the green flag, Benedum moved ahead of Lucas with a daring move in turns one and two as Lucas, Butch McGill, Henry Hornsby, and Mike Eaton battled for second. A lap 2 caution for debris slowed the field and spoiled the second place dogfight. On the restart, Benedum quickly separated himself from the rest of the field and reached lapped traffic by lap 12.
While Benedum drove away from the competition, Lucas held second with McGill, Hornsby, Eaton, Gary Dalton, and Dave Groves all within a few car lengths of each other for third. McGill finally grabbed sole possession of the spot leaving the rest to combat against themselves.
As Benedum received the crossover flags on lap 20, he had built nearly half a track lead over Lucas and a closing McGill. However, on lap 23, Benedum showed signs of a slight smoke from the rear of his #25 as well as a bad push coming off the corners. On lap 25, the push was so bad Benedum tagged the outside wall coming off turn 4. His huge lead allowed the fault to seem minimal at the time, but how much longer could he hold on.
The break Benedum didn’t want to see occurred on lap 28 when second place Lucas slowed on the speedway. The yellow gave McGill second and Dalton third as Bendum’s tremendous lead had been erased.
On the restart, McGill took advantage of the leader’s misfortunes by slipping by Benedum to take over the top spot. Dalton followed McGill’s lead as Benedum eventually dropped from the race a few laps later.
The remained of the event went caution free as McGill, West Union, WV, pulled out to nearly a straightaway lead over Dalton and Frank Wilson Sr., who used the high side of the speedway to work through the field after starting 14th. When the checkered flag waved, McGill’s Powell Dozer/Jack’s Auto Wrecking sponsored #1 was the first to cross the stripe. Dalton would finish second with Wilson Sr. third, M. Eaton fourth, and Mike Johnson fifth.
In victory lane, the top three cars were presented trophies courtesy of the Dirt Track Racing Round-Up.
Before the late model feature, the support classes ran their make-up features from July 17th. The Steel Block saw M.T. Hall lead the first five circuits before Sonny Conley, New Martinsville, WV, motored by for the lead. Conley held the top spot for several laps until Greg Lemley mounted a charge and pulled even with the leader with 7 laps remaining. Lemley was able to grab the lead, but not before a caution flag waved, allowing Conley to maintain first. On the restart, Conley held on and picked up the win in the Tee Time Racegraphics/Rine’s Heating & Cooling sponsored #1x1. Lemley had to settle for second with Keith Rush, Hall, and Donnie Dotson completing the top 5.
The make-up Modified feature was a fantastic race which saw Mark Dickson grab the lead at the start with Jeff McDonald and Wade Benjamin in tow. The top two separated themselves from the remainder of the field by 6 car lengths as Dickson continued to hold the point. The lead duo raced side-by-side throughout much of the contest as McDonald looked high and low for a pass, but could never work around Dickson as the Gallipolis, OH native put the Stu-Art Signs sponsored #0 in victory lane for the first time in 1999.
The make-up Stock Car feature saw Brian Probst grab the early race lead and watch a good battle for second in his rear view mirror between Jess Hartman, Rod White, and Pat Garrett. With 5 laps remaining, White and Garrett pulled ahead of Hartman and reeled in Probst. As the leaders received the two-to-go signal, the race was on as White, Probst, and Garrett made it three-wide in turns on and two. Side-by-side-by-side they raced down the backstretch as Garrett inched ahead. On the final circuit, White looked for a pass, but couldn’t get the job done as Reno, OH’s Pat Garrett added another feature to his successful 1999 season in his J.D. Oil Gathering/Arvilla Well Service sponsored #3. White, Probst, Hartman, and Kris Van Camp rounded out the top 5.
Although he was heavily challenged by Terry Hall the entire race, Steve Mason held on and picked up the win in the Dwarf car make-up feature. Mason, in the Ace Hardware sponsored #1, led green-to-checkered followed by Hall, Tim Jackson, Bob Bolin, and Mitch Herrick.
Tim Mendenhall also led green-to-checkered in the make-up Enduro Stock feature. Mendenhall was never really contested during the event and cruised to an easy win ahead of Tim Frame, Mike Dotson, Chad Dotson, and Randy Gibson.
After the Late Model feature, the support classes ran their heats until the rains came during the Dwarf car prelim and washed out the rest of the evening’s races. Racing action will pick up where it let off on Saturday, August 14th as well as a regular racing program. In addition, August 14th will also be the running of the 2nd Annual Rough Rider Steel Block Late Model Invitational.
Sunday, August 8th – Tyler County Fair race for Late Models only. $1,500 to win. (race is run by the Fair Board)
Saturday, August 14th – 2nd Annual Rough Rider Steel Block Late Model Invitational. Make-up races for all classes.
Saturday, August 21st – Season Championships.
Saturday, August 28th – No Racing! (in preparation for the Hillbilly 100)
Sunday, Sept. 5th & Monday Sept. 6th – 31st Annual Hillbilly 100!!! $20,000 to win!!!
TYLER COUNTY SPEEDWAY
Results Summary – 7/31/99
Fast Qualifier: Mike Benedum/13.19
Dash: Steve Lucas, Mike Benedum, Butch McGill, Henry Hornsby
Heat #1: Mike Eaton, Frank Wilson Jr., Don Conley, Gary Knollinger
Heat #2: Dave Groves, Gary Dalton, Steve Weigle, Greg Eaton
All-American 40: Butch McGill, Gary Dalton, Frank Wilson Sr., Mike Eaton, Mike Johnson, Dave Groves, Frank Wilson Jr., Henry Hornsby, Steve Weigle, Greg Eaton, Gary Knollinger, Mike Benedum, Steve Lucas, Don Conley
Fast Qualifier: M.T. Hall/13.69
Dash: Keith Rush, Greg Lemley, Sonny Conley, M.T. Hall
Heat: D.J. Cline, Donnie Dotson, Gary Midcap Jr., Mike Stevens
Feature: Will be run August 14th
Make-Up Feature: Sonny Conley, Greg Lemley, Keith Rush, M.T. Hall, Donnie Dotson, D.J. Cline, Mike Stevens, Paul Baker, Ron Deitch
Heat #1: Gerald Deitch, Chris Clegg, Jeff McDonald, Eddie Kelly
Heat #2: Chris Fordyce, Mark Dickson, Gary Midcap Jr., Gary Elder
Heat #3: Wade Benjamin, Jason Brookover, Gary Smith, Tom Sigler
Feature: Will be run August 14th
Make-Up Feature: Mark Dickson, Jeff McDonald, Wade Benjamin, Chris Fordyce, Gary Midcap Jr., Chris Clegg, Gerald Deitch, Ron Burgess, Jerry Potts, Gary Elder, Mike Griffin, Eddie Kelly, Jason Brookover, Brian Rush, Rick Hockenberry
Heat #1: Jess Hartman, Pat Garrett, Rod White, Dave Gorrell
Heat #2: Tracey Otto, Steve Thomas, Dave Casto, Ryan Twarog
Feature: Will be run August 14th
Make-Up Feature: Pat Garrett, Rod White, Brian Probst, Jess Hartman, Kris Van Camp, Tracey Otto, Jenny Thomas, Joel Prosser, Dave Gorrell, Steve Thomas, Robby Thomas, Travis Thomas
Heat #1/Heat #2/Feature: Will be run August 14th
Make-Up Feature: Steve Mason, Terry Hall, Tim Jackson, Bob Bolin, Mitch Herrick, Chris Metz, Dave Full, Bill Vargo, Carl Harris, Kevin Quinn, Ned Greeneltch, Tyler Hall
Heat #1/ Heat #2/Feature: Will be run August 14th
Make-Up Feature: Tim Mendenhall, Tim Frame, Mike Dotson, Chad Dotson, Randy Gibson, Sandy Durrah, Zac Marks, Junior Wade, Josh Sigler