Merchant Triumphs at Champion Park
MINDEN, La. (April 10) —
Polesitter Kenny Merchant of West Monroe, La., captured
his series-leading 54th career O'Reilly Auto Parts Southern United
series victory on Saturday, but he's had easier nights. Merchant
disaster in a heat race and held off Kyle Cummings in the main event for
$2,500 victory at the quarter-mile oval.
Merchant, who borrowed a rear end from Ray Moore's team after a
accident, had an exciting duel with Cummings late in the race as the two
away from the pack with 12 laps remaining in the 40-lapper.
Cummings, of Sibley, La., got alongside Merchant on lap 31, and drove
turn one on lap 33 as the frontrunners made contact. Merchant held on,
and a lap-33 caution set up the race to the finish. Cummings chased
rest of the way, sticking a nose underneath with two laps remaining but
for second, just three lengths behind the winner.
Ronny Adams of nearby Greenwood, La., finished third while Ray Moore of
Haughton, La., and hometown driver, Allen Tippen rounded out the top
Merchant knows he was fortunate to keep Cummings behind him.
"Kyle is just great here at these places that you run right around"
barriers, said Merchant, who fought brake problems part of the race. "If
have to run down around them, then Kyle is the man to beat.
NOTES: Merchant's Trak-Star Chassis has a Wall 2 Wall Performance
sponsorship from J.D. Caver & Co., J&J Motorsports, Bayou Fabricators
Henry's Auto Salvage. ... The victory was Merchant's third of the last
series races held at Champion Park Speedway. ... Kyle Cummings has
worse than fourth at the last five SUPR events at Champion Park. ... The
checkered flag fell on the 36-minute feature at 11:28 p.m.; three
slowed the action. ... Thirteen cars finished on the lead lap. ...
of DeRidder, La., was the hard charger of the race, going from 17th to
... Alex Ashley of Zachary, La., flipped his No. 9 in turn four on the
to draw the first caution, but he wasn't injured. ... Another scary flip
second heat race sent Darin Patrick of West Monroe, La., on his roof as
21 car rested atop the track in turn two. Patrick could not climb out
immediately, as track safety crew worked to get the car upright. Patrick
uninjured, but done for the night. ... Drivers failing to make the
Bryant, Wesley Chandler, Mark McWilliams, Rusty Cummings, Wayman
Cavanaugh, Bob Ewell, Shawn O'Toole, Joey Couvillion, Bryan Sugg, Darin
Timothy Culp and Heath Culp. ... Next up for O'Reilly SUPR competitors
April 24 event at Cowtown Speedway in Kennedale, Texas, the series visit
'98, when Rusty Cummings was victorious.
SUPR @ Champion: (1) Kenny Merchant, (2) Kyle Cummings, (3) Ronny
Ray Moore, (5) Allen Tippen, (6) Jeff Chandler, (7) Jody Prince, (8)
Stuart, (9) Bubba Mullins, (10) David Ashley, (11) Rob Litton, (12) Chad
(13) Lee Davis, (14) Skip O'Neal, (15) Josh Danzy, (16) Kevin Sitton,
Michael Coleman, (18) B.J. Robinson, (19) Chris Holley, (20) Jeff Gandy,
Alex Ashley, (22) Paul Joyner. Heat race winners (among 35 cars):
Merchant, Thrash. Consolation winners: Stuart, Sitton. Provisional
Corporate sponsors of O’Reilly SUPR include: AFCO,
Bert Transmission, Brodix, BSB Manufacturing, Dirt on Dirt, Dominator, Dura-Lite
Racing Wheels, GRT Race Cars, Hinchman Uniforms, Hoosier Tire Southwest, Larry
Shaw Race Cars, Master Vac, O'Reilly Auto Parts, PBM Performance Products, Trak-Star
Racecars, Trick Wild, Triple A Diesel Service, Wall 2 Wall Performance, X-Treme
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