Posted: Wednesday, August 6th 2014 at 12:00pm
World Crown 300 Rewind: Sanders finally triumphs in 2005
By Brandon Reed Staff
Ronnie Sanders scored several wins at Gresham Motorsports Park over the years, but it took him 22 years to win its biggest event, the World Crown, in 2005. / Photo: Robert Turner
JEFFERSON, GA - For Ronnie Sanders, it was the one major event that had eluded him.
He had lost the World Crown 300 at Peach State Speedway (now Gresham Motorsports Park) in Jefferson, GA, in just about every way you could imagine.
From cut tires to engine woes to getting caught up in other peopleís problems, the Fayetteville, GA speedster had seen strong runs at the crown fall apart time and time again, dating all the way back to the first running of the event in 1983.
For a driver who had won some of the biggest short track events in the south, it had to be a major frustration to come close several times and not be able to park in victory lane in the premier event at a track that he had often seen success at.
Year after year, Sanders would return to the Jefferson high banks searching for that elusive World Crown victory.
In 2005, it finally all came together.
As the race rolled off on Oct. 23, a field of 38 strong late models, led by pole sitter Kevin Stephens, got ready to do battle.
It was outside pole sitter Matt Hawkins that would set the early pace, taking the top spot three laps in and leading up to lap 24. Thatís when Wayne Willard hunted him down, and swept past to put his No. 01 out front.
Willard would set a strong pace with Hawkins and Bubba Pollard giving chase until lap 62, when the engine let go in turn one, ending his World Crown bid.
Pollard would take over the top spot, which he would hold until the break at the 100-lap mark.
Doug Sanders stayed out, gambling his old tires on track position. When the race restarted, defending World Crown winner Fredrick Moore soon hunted him down, taking the lead on lap 104.
Meanwhile, Sanders, who had started the day from the 14th position, slowly stalked through the field, and as the laps began to wind down, the only car between him and a shot at the crown was Moore.
With less than 50 laps left to go, Sanders looked low on Moore, making the pass and moving into the lead.
The Georgia Racing Hall of Famer made the rest of the day look easy, as he cruised to the victory. Finally, after years of trying, Ronnie Sanders wore the crown in victory lane.
Moore would finish second, with Joey Senter third, Roger Delp fourth and David Elliott in fifth.
As the 31st annual World Crown 300 looms on the horizon, another Georgia speedster with a connection to Ronnie Sanders is looking to wear the crown.
Senoia, GA's Bubba Pollard, who spent several successful years driving for Sanders, has been snake bit several times over the years in the World Crown. Last year, Pollard dominated much of the event, but couldn't seal the deal as he came home second to Preston Peltier.
This year, Pollard hopes to finish one position higher, and, just like Ronnie Sanders, finally get his World Crown victory.
For more information on the 31st annual World Crown 300, visit Gresham Motorsports Parkís website at www.racegmp.com.
Peach State Speedway - Jefferson, GA
World Crown 300 - Oct. 23, 2005
1. Ronnie Sanders - Fayetteville, GA
2. Fredrick Moore - Gainesville, GA
3. Joey Senter - Commerce, GA
4. Roger Delp - Newnan, GA
5. David Elliot - Suwanee, GA
6. David Hole - Cumming, GA
7. Ryan Seig - Tucker, GA
8. Greg Motes - Canton, GA
9. Kevin Stephens - Gainesville, GA
10. Ronny Kittle - Watkinsville, GA
12. Bubba Pollard - Senoia, GA
13. Nick Potts - Jefferson, GA
14. Jimmy Price - Oxford, GA
15. Will Thomas - Sharpsville, PA
16. Beau Slocomb - Adel, GA
17. Doug Stevens - Lovejoy, GA
18. Kevin Perry - Jefferson, GA
19. Mike Ezell - Eatonton, GA
20. Clark Ninnaman - Fayetteville, GA
21. Dwayne Buggay - Woodstock, GA
22. Michael Pope - Dublin, GA
23. Scott Davis - Gainesville, GA
24. Lee Langford - Commerce, GA
25. Paul Kelley - Snellville, GA
26. J.R. Dudley - Maysville, GA
27. David Waters - Buford, GA
28. Dennis Wilder - Jefferson, GA
29. Matt Hawkins - Canton, GA
30. Hunter Robbins - Shorter, AL
31. Russell Fleeman - Dacula, GA
32. Taylor Satterfield -Jefferson, GA
33. Ricky Sanders - Riverdale, GA
34. Ryan Bowman - Lilburn, GA
35. Wes Whitfield - Homer, GA
36. Wayne Willard - Buford, GA
37. Jamie Stephens - Conyers, GA
38. Bobby Hill - Commerce, GA
Link: Gresham Motorsports Park
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