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Mar 30

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MMS Season Opener kicks off with a Crash and Bang

Threatening weather wouldn’t keep the Montgomery Motor Speedway crowd away as the racing bug was alive and kicking Saturday night. Twin features in Open Sportsman and Buzz cars only added to the excitement and close racing,first time winners and a demolition derby gave the racing enthusiast their fill.

New sponsor for 2014 Bama Budweiser kicked off qualifying with the Uncle Bob’s Street Stocks and the Open Sportsman taking to the track at 6 pm. Joe Bethea Jr. had his arms full as he captured the Budweiser pole award in both divisions. #33 Bethea from Deatsville, AL. posted a quick time of 20.965 setting a new track record and rolled a 1 for a heads up starting position in the first feature.

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Uncle Bob’s Street Stocks saw the #33 of Bethea turning a fast lap of 22.994 just nudging the #31 of Dwayne Wesenburg’s time of 23.055 off the pole. Bethea rolled a 4 for the inversion of the feature race slated for later in the evening.

Buzz cars were the first division to hit the track for feature racing in the 2014 season. Matthew Robbins wasted no time jumping out to an early lead. The #36 looked smooth as Robbins motored around the half mile racing surface and kept his competition in his rear view mirror. The #48 Floyd Brown held off numerous attempts by the #5 of “Oilman” John Musgrove from Bessemer, Al. This was Matthew’s first win in 3 years of competition in the Buzz car division.

Results: Buzz cars Race #1
1st Matthew Robbins #36
2nd Floyd Brown #48
3rd John Musgrove #5

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Mini Modified took to the track next as the #2 Ashley Bridgemon led the field to the green. Bridgemon from McCalla, AL. stayed on the point for the first 2 laps but could not hold off the charge of 2013 Mini Modified Champion Joe Collier #71 who settled in to a familiar position leading lap 3-20 and taking home the hardware in the season opener. Chris Landers of Deatsville, AL. in the brightly colored #9 worked his way to a second place podium finish followed by the “Wild Child” Lance Campbell Rounding out the top 3.

Results: Mini Modified Feature
1st Joe Collier #71
2nd Chris Landers #9
3rd Lance Campbell #29
4th Nicholas Doehring #11
5th Heath Williams #82
6th Ashley Bridgemon #2

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The 3rd feature highlighted the Open Sportsman as Budweiser and new track record holder #33 Joe Bethea Jr. started on the point position and got off to a quick start. Caution flew on lap 1 as the #59 of Shelby Reuse made hard contact with the turn 1 wall ending her night. The #79 car of Gary Sanford Jr was checked by Montgomery Motor Speedway for a possible oil leak and the field was restarted. The Yellow was displayed again on lap 9 as Jason Furrow #21 from Thomasville, Al looped his race car but was able to continue. 2013 Points champion Bobby Reuse had a strong run going but the car seemed to experience handling problems as the race progressed. Lap 19 saw the #79 retire as the #33 Bethea crossed the finish line for his first win of the 2014 season.

Results: Open Sportsman Feature #1
1st Joe Bethea Jr. #33
2nd Justin Caton #7
3rd Jason Furrow #21
4th Bobby Reuse #89
5th Gary Sanford Jr. #79
6th Shelby Reuse #59

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Uncle Bob’s Street Stocks Lived up to their name as the Fan favorite as a roll of the die put the #24 of David Wood on the pole to start the race. The yellow flag was displayed before a lap could be completed as the #24 seemed to have a suspension part break sending the Montgomery Alabama, Auto Performance Engines sponsored Monte Carlo hard into the inside wall. Lap 2 saw a caution for the #12 of Josh Wilson of Prattville, AL. for a spin. Budweiser Pole award winner Joe Bethea Jr. took his machine to the pits with Ignition issues which ended his night in the Street Stock feature. The restart saw #31 Dwayne Wesenberg on the point and wheeling his 1988 Monte Carlo around the Historic raceway. The fans were treated to close racing as the #31, #51 Perry Patino and the #17 of Chance Atkins put on a show battling for the top 3 spots. The Checkers flew for the Montgomery Alabama driver Wesenberg as he held off the competition for his first feature win of the new race season. The #51 of Patino crossed the line in second but failed post race inspection being too light at the scales.

Results: Uncle Bob’s Street Stocks Feature
1st Dwayne Wesenberg #31
2nd Chance Atkins #17
3rd Josh Wilson #12
4th Joe Bethea Jr. #33
5th David Wood #24
DQ Perry Patino #51

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The 2nd Open Sportsman feature hit the track with 2013 Champion and Hoover, AL. native Bobby Reuse starting in the pole position due to a total inversion. The #89 led the first 2 laps but started fading as the #7 ride of Justin Caton from Jemison, Alabama moved to the point for lap 3 and 4. The #33 machine of Bethea quickly moved to the lead and held the spot from lap 5 to lap 15 when caution came out for the slowing vehicle of #21 Furrow. The Deatsville driver looked strong on the restart but trouble struck as Bethea launched into turn 1 and experienced a mechanical issue and hit the turn 1 wall hard and brought out the 2nd caution of the race. The 82 wrecker crew hauled the #33 car back to the pits as the driver walked back to his pits discouraged that a second win was not possible this evening. The race resumed with the #7 Justin Caton leading the way in his Grand American Race car and rolling to his first Open Sportsman Victory.

Results: Open Sportsman Feature #2
1st Justin Caton #7
2nd Bobby Reuse #89
3rd Joe Bethea Jr. #33
4th Jason Furrow #21

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The excitement wasn’t over as the Buzz cars took to the track for the final racing feature of the night. The second feature was inverted which put the #5 of John Musgrove on the pole. It Looked like Musgrove was off to a sure win as he held the point for 7 laps but as he was coming to the checkered the #36 of Matthew Robbins inched past to steal the win from Musgrove. The #36 was celebrating in victory lane as he picked up his second win of the night. The #48 of Floyd Brown failed post race inspection.

Results: Buzz Cars Feature #2
1st Matthew Robbins #36
2nd John Musgrove #5
DQ Floyd Brown #48

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The weather was threatening all night but it didn’t discourage the faithful Montgomery Motor Speedway fans as they stuck it out till the Demolition Derby Drivers rolled out onto pit road. The metal flew as the competitors crushed the steel to the delight of fans. The #61 Green Goblin was within a second of being DQ’d for no activity but came back to life just in time. The #14 station wagon of Eric Beers was just to strong and took home the trophy.

Demo Derby Results
1st Eric Beers #14
2nd Andrew Smith #61
3rd Red Lovelady #10

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Racing action continues at Montgomery Motor Speedway on April 12 for the Spring Explosion featuring the Pro late Model division battling it out for 100 laps. Drivers from all over the Southeast will visit Montgomery Motor Speedway for this annual event. Fans will get their first opportunity to meet the drivers as they will be featured in an on track autograph session. The night will also feature the Uncle Bob’s Street Stocks, Mini Modifieds and the Buzz Cars.

Montgomery Motor Speedway first opened its doors in 1953 and is the Deep South’s Oldest Asphalt Speedway. The Half mile track is the home of the Alabama 200 featuring the Southern Super Series bringing some of the most talented super late model drivers to compete at the gem of the south. Sponsorship opportunities are available to fit any budget. Our Private air conditioned VIP suite can accommodate a company outing or private party in our “state of the art” control tower.

Montgomery Motor Speedway bringing you quality racing and family entertainment at an affordable price.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.montgomerymotorspeedway.org/2014/03/30/mms-season-opener-kicks-off-with-a-crash-and-bang/