Springfield, Missouri veteran Terry Phillips has won the $10,000 to win Winter Meltdown at the Southern New Mexico Speedway three out of the last four years, but had never won the Fall Nationals – until now! Phillips, who started outside the front row was challenged only briefly during the late stages of the 50-lap event by fourth starting Johnny Scott, but Phillips would withstand the pressure and go on to dominate the $10,000 to win finale.
Friday night’s winner Stormy Scott and Phillips paced the 24-car field to the green after a brief delay for a rare pop up rain shower in the desert, but after the track was ready to race, the field took the green and Phillips blasted off into the lead at the start. A lap one caution flew as the track was a bit greasy yet, but once back underway Phillips proved that he was the man to beat as he pulled away quickly from a great side by side battle between Johnny Scott and Fito Gallardo for second. The second caution flew on lap five for a Jeremy Payne spin, but again Phillips drove off into the night on the restart with Gallardo in tow.
Great racing was taking place all throughout the field as Alex Stanford, Bumper Jones and Jason Krohn were battling just behind a side by side dual between Royal Jones and Jimmy Ray at the end of the top five. Racing continued non-stop until the third caution of the event flew with just twenty laps remaining for a Tristan Sikes spin in turn four. On the restart, Phillips again took off out front but this time Scott was all over TP’s #75 and began to put heavy pressure on the race long leader. Scott raced a higher line through turns one and two and stormed by Phillips to the lead on lap 37 to take the top spot briefly until Phillips dove back under Scott and took the lead for good with twelve to go.
The final caution of the 50 lapper flew on lap 44 when Krohn and Stanford got together ending Krohn’s bid for a top five as he went pitside. Phillips was not to be denied his first ever Fall Nationals title and outran Scott and Gallardo to the checkered for the dominating win. Jeff Taylor and 2011 Champion Jason Cummins waged a race-long side by side battle for positions within the top five, which lasted until the final lap, in which Taylor edged Cummins for fourth at the line.
Stanford advanced ten spots and earned the hard charger award, while the Karsyn’s Krusaders charity once again benefited from the unique driver auction, which saw businesses and fans bid on drivers in the starting lineup. Over $25,000 was raised to assist in the research and battle of cancer this year.
Feature: Terry Phillips, Johnny Scott, Fito Gallardo, Jeff Taylor, Jason Cummins, Alex Stanford, Eddie Martin, Bumper Jones, Wayne Brooks, Stormy Scott, Jeremy Payne, Rodney Sanders, Royal Jones, Christy Georges, Jimmy Ray, Bryan Rowland, Dusty Riggs, Dereck Ramirez, Tanner Mullens, Jason Krohn, Tristan Sikes, Neal Flowers, Ricky Thornton Jr., Jake O’Neil
B-main: B. Jones, Krohn, Martin, Thornton Jr., Rowland, Stanford, Brooks, Mullens, T. Sikes, Flowers, Riggs, Ramirez, O’Neil, C. Georges, Cain, Houston, Brown, J. Gallardo, R. Davis, H. Jones, Herring, Dawson, Brown, Adams, Falco
C-main: J. Gallardo, T. Sikes, H. Jones, C. Georges, Houston, Riggs, O’Neil, Brown, Ramirez, Herring, R. Davis, Adams, Dawson, Falco, Weaver, Dutton, T. Georges, Sprinkle, Hatton, B. Davis, Tipton, Earvan, DeBord, Jenkins, Barnett
LCR 1: B. Davis, Weaver, Brown, Herring, Hatton, Butch Reid, Roger Owens, Clint Miller, Greg Gorham, Brian Craighead, Brian Kleine, Michael Lucero
LCR 2: O’Neil, R. Davis, Earvan, DeBord, T. Georges, Bob Sikes, Danny Dozier, Roy Don Mason, Todd Budlong, Mercedes Harris, Donovan Ooley, James Flemming
LCR 3: Tipton, Sprinkle, Adams, Dutton, Jenkins, Bobby Sikes Jr., Alan Sharpensteen, Lee Heiligenthal, Melissa Gorham, Owen Puckett, Robbie Chiles, Duane Murphy
Category: Open Wheel Modified News
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