Posted: Monday, July 14th 2014 at 9:00am
Bowen scores first Southern Super Series win at Gresham
By Brandon Reed Staff
Anderson Bowen made the late race pass on Daniel Hemric to score his first Southern Super Series Suepr Late Model victory Saturday night at Gresham Motorsports Park. / Photo: Terry Spackman
JEFFERSON, GA – Anderson Bowen spent most of Saturday night knocking on the door to victory lane, as he chased defending Southern Super Series champion Daniel Hemric around Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, GA.
With one lap to go, the door opened for the Suwanee, GA 16-year-old when Hemric had a small slip, allowing Bowen to get around to score his first series victory in the Sunoco 125.
Coming into the night, Bowen had not led any laps in the series all year. Saturday night, he led the most important one.
“It's all a matter of the last lap,” said Bowen in victory lane. “Phenomenal job by the guys and the team, they really worked their butts off this weekend, so I can't thank them enough. Just took advantage of one mistake he (Hemric) made. I just can't thank all the guys for the backing.”
Alabama’s Augie Grill set fast time in qualifying, and led the field of Super Late Models to green on the high banked half-mile, with points leader Bubba Pollard of Senoia, GA alongside. The two would put on a spirited early battle, with Pollard holding the early lead.
The first caution of the night flew on lap 7 when Watkinsville, GA’s Brady Boswell backed into the outside wall in turn four, ending his night.
On the restart, Pollard again flexed his muscles, pulling off to a healthy lead while Grill worked to hold off T.J. Reaid, Hemric and Bowen. As the race approached the 30 lap mark, Donnie Wilson, Casey Smith and Travis Cope would join the battle for second, making it a nose-to-tail seven car fight for the position.
The caution flew again on lap 33, when Joe Ryan Osborne and Will Gallagher tangled in turn two, drawing the yellow flag.
Pollard’s night took a bad turn on the restart, as the Georgia speedster appeared to have an electrical issue that brought his car to a halt off turn four, bringing out another caution. Pollard would spend around 60 laps behind the pit wall, returning long enough to pick up the 17th finishing position.
That moved Grill to the top spot, with Hemric, Reaid and Bowen giving chase. Grill would work to hold off the charge of Hemric, but he slid wide off turn 4 on lap 42, allowing Hemric to move to the lead. Three laps later, Bowen would follow into second. Meanwhile, Reaid and Grill would battle for third, with Reaid eventually taking the spot.
Hemric would move off to sizeable lead, one he would hold until lap 75, when race officials threw a planned competition caution.
On the restart, Hemric would again jump back to the lead, with Bowen on his tail. The two would put on a spirited battle over the final 50 laps, with Bowen looking time and again for the spot. Bowen would get alongside on the backstretch, but Hemric’s Woodstock, GA based car held the measure on the high side, pulling back to the lead each time.
Coming to the white flag, a small slip by Hemric would finally allow Bowen to get the run he needed off of turn 4, and led by inches at the line. Bowen would power past Hemric in turn one, then held off an attempt at a crossover moved by Hemric in turn three to score the victory.
It is really hard to pass here with the banking and everything, (with) the grip going away on the bottom,” said Bowen. “The high side is definitely preferable here. That mistake was just big for us, so we had to capitalize on that as much we could.”
Kyle Grissom, Cope, Casey Roderick, Harrison Burton and Landon Cling rounded out the top ten.
In other action, Matt Vassar raced hard with Rodney Benefield near the halfway point of the Truck feature Saturday night, moving his way past for the lead after pressuring Benefield off turn two. Vassar would go on to score the victory, with Benefield in second, Jami Weimer in third, Kristen Wallace in fourth and Kevin Vassar in fifth.
Shawn Simpson jumped out to the early lead of the Outlaw Late Model feature, with Matthew Wragg moving to second and Lee Langford in third. Simpson and Wragg would battle side-by-side for several laps before Wragg moved to the top spot. Simpson was giving chase on lap 6 when his car suddenly broke loose, sending him around in turn three, bringing out the caution.
Back under green, Wragg found himself under fire from Langford, as the two battled hard for the top spot. Lap after, Langford would hound Wragg, but could not find the daylight he needed to get alongside. In the end, it was Wragg holding on for the win, with Langford second, Russell Shore in third, Marlin Gunter in fourth and Simpson in fifth.
Gresham Motorsports Park returns to action on Saturday, featuring Renegade, Sportsman and Front Wheel Drive action on the infield quarter mile layout, while the Truck and Outlaw Late Model divisions will race on the half mile oval.
For more info, visit racegmp.com.
Southern Super Series
Gresham Motorsports Park - Jefferson, GA
Sunoco 125 - July 12, 2014
1. Anderson Bowen
2. Daniel Hemric
3. Donnie Wilson
4. T.J. Reaid
5. Augie Grill
6. Kyle Grissom
7. Travis Cope
8. Casey Roderick
9. Harrison Burton
10. Landon Cling
11. Spencer Wauters
12. Dalton Grindle
13. Allen Karnes
14. Will Gallaher
15. Matt Craig
16. Gus Dean
17. Bubba Pollard
18. Joe Ryan Osborne
19. Casey Smith
20. Russell Fleeman
21. David Odell
22. Ron Young
1. Matt Vassar
2. Rodney Benefield
3. Jami Weimer
4. Kristen Wallace
5. Kevin Vassar
6. Matt Wortman
Outlaw Late Models
1. Matthew Wragg
2. Lee Langford
3. Russell Shore
4. Marlin Gunter
5. Shawn Simpson
6. David Murphy
Link: Gresham Motorsports Park
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