Beard outruns Phillips, wins Springfield finale
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Nov. 17) — Kyle Beard of Trumann, Ark., earned $2,500 Saturday at Springfield Raceway in capturing the sixth annual KMJ Performance Turkey Bowl.
Beard took the lead when polesitter and early leader Justin Wells of Aurora, Mo., slipped off the backstretch, then survived a mid-race scrape with a lapped car and raced to victory over runner-up and hometown driver Terry Phillips.
“I ain’t won a big race in a while, so it means a lot to me,” the 26-year-old Beard said after the quarter-mile oval’s season finale.
Phillips, who won the evening’s modified feature, settled for second with Wells rallying back to third after slipping back several positions on the 11th lap. Jack Sullivan of Greenbrier, Ark., and Matt Johnson of Archie, Mo., rounded out the top five.
Wells was in command through the race’s early stages while Jesse Stovall of Galena, Mo., worked his way into the second spot. Beard took second from Stovall on an early restart and the field strung out as the frontrunners headed for lapped traffic.
While Wells was working around the outside of a slower car heading into turn three, he slipped over the banking, allowing Beard to zip ahead. Four drivers went by before Wells could wrestle his car back onto the track as the green flag stayed out.
A few laps later, Beard got into the slower car of Matt Zimmerly between turns three and four, spinning him out. Beard kept rolling while the second-running Phillips bumping Zimmerly's machine. The third-running Stovall and Wells both escaped over the banking to avoid the mess.
Stovall was told to go to the tail by competition director Ronnie Williams because Stovall stopped on the frontstretch and asked an infield official to look at his car, according to the track report. Springfield rules call for any car stopping on the track during a yellow to go to the tail. Stovall, who won Springfield’s Larry Phillips Memorial two weeks earlier, pulled to the frontstretch to dispute the ruling, then decided to retire.
Beard kept Phillips, Sullivan and Wells in check the rest of the way.
“I was trying to be kind of cautious,” Beard said. "My dad, he told me I slowed down the last five or six laps, and he could tell. I was trying not to mess up, mainly.”
Notes: Beard’s Upton Motorsports entry is sponsored by Greg’s Sawmill, Best One Tire & Service, Gary Beard Trucking and 45 Race Shop. ... To equalize rules among cars with a variety of engine packages, officials elected to have all three divisions of Late Models, modifieds and limited modifieds to run minus their rear spoilers. ... The event drew 60 modifieds and 52 limited modifieds..
KMJ Performance Turkey Bowl: (1) Kyle Beard, (2) Terry Phillips, (3) Justin Wells, (4) Jack Sullivan, (5) Matt Johnson, (6) Brandon Morton, (7) Jacob Magee, (8) Mike Hammerle, (9) Bryon Allison, (10) Dewayne Kiefer, (11) Don Danner, (12) Chris Morelock, (13) Larry Jones, (14) Darrell Mooneyham, (15) Matt Bailey, (16) Larry Bratti, (17) Mike Harris, (18) John Coats, (19) Jesse Stovall, (20) Matt Zimmerly, (21) Chuck Comer. Heat race winners (among 21 cars): Wells, Sullivan, Stovall.
Corrections: Fixes Jacob Magee seventh instead of Chuck Comer and completes finishing order; fixes winning purse to $2,500; updates with more information on Stovall's departure.