Whynot Motorsports Park
Weaver rallies from 13th for Whynot victory
MERIDIAN, Miss. (May 26) — Series points leader Randy Weaver of Crossville, Tenn., rallied from his 13th starting spot Saturday at Whynot Motorsports Park for his first Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series victory in nearly two years.
Weaver, who took the lead from Klint Byars of Carrollton, Miss., on a lap-22 restart, earned $3,500 in becoming the fifth winner in five series races this season. Scott Dedwylder of Vosburg, Miss., finished second while Byars was third after his steering was hampered by a broken left-front spindle because he clipped an infield tire barrier. | McRee wins NeSmith race at Whynot
Henry Cooper of Star, Miss., and Rick Rickman of Columbus, Miss., rounded out the top five finishers at the third-mile oval.
“This Mississippi group, they’re tough, and we knew we had our plate full,” said Weaver, whose subpar qualifying effort forced him to run a consolation race. The team made changes that improved his GRT Race Car for the 40-lap feature.
“This thing was a Cadillac,” Weaver said. "Anybody could’ve drove it. It was really, really good. Cornett horsepower was drivable and still had what we needed.”
Weaver restarted second on a mid-race caution and overtook Byars, who led 14 of the first 21 laps but was struggling with his steering.
“I was fiddling around with a lapped car, and getting too aggressive. It was my fault,” Byars said. "The track was kind of one-laned there and the lapped cars can’t really move over, because when they do, they give up 10 positions. You can’t blame any of them guys. I just got to aggressive with him there and should’ve waited another lap.”
William Thomas of Phenix City, Ala., started outside the front row and led the first lap, and Byars took a turn up front before hometown driver Chad Thrash used the outside groove to take command on the third lap. Byars worked back under Thrash to lead the ninth lap and edge away from the field, but Weaver was already up to fourth and heading for the front.
“The track was so racy, cars were all over,” said Weaver, who didn’t realize he’d made up so much ground. "I was just concentrating so hard passing cars. Then I got to looking and I could see Byars and (Chad Thrash), and I glanced on the board, and I realized that was the top two or three cars.”
Weaver took second from Dedwylder and began chasing Byars, whose infield foray caused the left-front suspension damage that made him vulnerable. Weaver ran unchallenged the rest of the way while Dedwylder dropped Byars to third at the finish.
Two cautions sowed the action. Fourth-starting Jamie Elam of Senatobia spun between turns three and four early in the race, collecting Ronny Lee Hollingsworth and ending the race for both drivers. The second yellow came out on lap 21 for a slowing Thomas, who also departed with a 22nd-place finish.
Notes: Weaver’s GRT Race Car is powered by a Cornett Racing Engine and sponsored by Outlaw Race Parts. ... Weaver, the Southern All Star champion in 2009 and ’10, has 15 career series victories. ... His previous victory came July 16, 2010, at Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, Ga. ... Scott Dedwylder scored a runner-up finish for the third time in as many weekends. ... The feature lasted about 19 minutes. ... Drivers failing to make feature lineup: Chris Hoomes, Dwight Falcon, Shep Lucas, Brian Rickman, Leon Henderson, Matthew Turner, Taylor Jarvis, Hunter Rasdon. ... The Southern All Stars continue the Mississippi weekend with the $5,000-to-win Governor’s Cup on Sunday at Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus.
SAS @ Whynot: (1) Randy Weaver, (2) Scott Dedwylder, (3) Klint Byars, (4) Henry Cooper, (5) Rick Rickman, (6) Chad Thrash, (7) Shan Smith, (8) Jason Cliburn, (9) Rodney Wing, (10) Neil Baggett, (11) Dane Dacus, (12) Mike Weeks, (13) Jamie Tollison, (14) Scott Creel, (15) Stephen Brantley, (16) Eric Cooley, (17) Dylan Ames, (18) Bo Gordon, (19) Larry Boutwell, (20) Brooks Strength, (21) Jimmy Cliburn, (22) William Thomas, (23) Jamie Elam, (24) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth. Fast qualifier (among 32 cars): Byars, 13.402 seconds. Consolation race winners: Jason Cliburn, Scott Creel. Provisional starters: Smith, Baggett.