JEFFERSON - Scotty Beck wrote a page of racing history by scoring a win Saturday night at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, GA.
Not only did he win in the season opening Mini-Stock feature by holding off veteran racer Steve Hill, but he also became the first driver to score a win in a full sized stock car on the GMP quarter mile infield track, which is being used by several divisions for the first time this season.
"Man, I tell you what, that is some more hard driving out there," said an out of breath Beck in victory lane. "I'd have loved to have had 10 or 12 cars out here. Of course, if all of them was like Steve (Hill) and had to keep them behind me, I don't know that I could handle it.
"Old men like us, it's rough."
On the drop of the green, Allen Cantrell jumped to the early lead around the paper clip shaped quarter mile layout inside the GMP half-mile, with Beck nipping at his heels. Beck moved to the inside as the field entered the third turn, and would power past off the fourth turn to take the lead.
Meanwhile, Cantrell worked to hold off a hard charging Hill, who was making his first start at GMP in over a year. On lap nine, while trying to find a way around Cantrell, Hill's Ford broke lose, sending him spinning and bringing out the first caution of the night.
On the restart, it was Cantrell again jumping to the lead, but Beck would move back to the point before the completion of a lap. As the field entered the first turn on the next lap, the leaders would accordion, sending Cantrell around off Hill's front bumper to bring out the second caution of the night. Cantrell was unable to refire his Mustang, and his night ended in the garage area.
Back under green, Hill worked to challenge Beck using the high line. On lap 11, Hill would move to the inside, and make the pass for the lead off turn four. Hill would hold the lead for the next several laps, with Beck hounding him.
On lap 19, Beck applied pressure to Hill looking for the lead. While trying to hold off the challenge, Hill's car snapped around off turn 4, drawing another caution.
On the restart, Beck edged back out front, with Hill hounding him. Hill would put a crossover move on Beck off the second turn, and move back to the lead.
But with two laps to go, Hill again spun by himself, allowing Beck to slip by. There was no caution, and Beck drove away for the victory. Hill finished in second, with Cantrell credited with third and Brandon Amos in fourth.
In the combined Sportsman and Renegade feature on the quarter mile, Jackie Daniel jumped out to the early Sportsman lead, and would hold off a challenge from Renegade driver Bryan Beckner. Daniel would go on to score the Sportsman win, with Rob Hubbard in second, while Beckner picked up the Renegade victory.
A new division, the Front Wheel Drives, made their GMP debut on the quarter mile Saturday night, as Gary Zajdek and Brian Sutton brought the fans to their feet with a spirited battle for the victory, with the two swapping the lead back and forth several times. In the end, it was Zajdek scoring the victory, with Sutton rolling home in second.
The action then moved to the GMP half mile, as the Truck division took to the Jefferson high banks for their 30 lap feature.
Riley Thornton jumped to the point on the drop of the green flag, with Matt Vassar looking to challenge on the outside. The two raced side-by-side for several laps until Thornton moved firmly into the lead on lap three. Meanwhile, Kristen Wallace moved to third, and began to give chase to the leaders.
The lone caution of the event flew on lap nine when Dawson Gay caught the wall in turn two. He was able to continue.
Back under green, Vassar looked to challenge again, but Thornton was able to move back to the lead. From there, Thornton moved away, and would go on to score the victory. Matt Vassar came home in second, with Kevin Vassar in third, Wallace in fourth and Jamie Weimer in fifth.
The Outlaw Late Models would close out the night with a 30 lap feature on the half mile. On the start, former track firefighter Russell Shore and Gillsville, GA's Matthew Wragg raced side-by-side, with 2013 division champion Jason Bates trailing in third.
Lap two brought a scary moment, as Marlin Gunter spun coming off turn four. Gunter was able to catch a gear and keep going, with no caution coming out.
Wragg would go on to score the win in the caution free event. Shore finished in second, with Bates, David Murphy and Brian Hardman rounding out the top five.
All results are unofficial until certified by race officials.
Attention goes from the half mile to straight line action this weekend, as Gresham Motorsports Park presents its inaugural Street Drags and Car Show, featuring drag racing on the GMP frontstretch.
Gresham Motorsports Park - Jefferson, GA
Stockerama Results - April 5, 2014
1. Scotty Beck
2. Steve Hill
3. Allen Cantrell
4. Brandon Amos
1. Jackie Daniel
2. Rob Hubbard
1. Bryan Beckner
Front Wheel Drives
1. Gary Zajdek
2. Brian Sutton
1. Riley Thornton
2. Matt Vassar
3. Kevin Vassar
4. Kristen Wallace
5. Jamie Weimer
6. Ty Robertson
7. Dawson Gay
8. Ronnie Wehunt
Outlaw Late Models
1. Matthew Wragg
2. Russell Shore
3. Jason Bates
4. David Murphy
5. Brian Hardman
6. Marlin Gunter