McCool earns $7,500 for second serving of Gumbo
By Ben SheltonDirtonDirt.com correspondent
GREENVILLE, Miss. (Oct. 6) — Greenville Speedway was serving up some more gumbo, and Bub McCool came back for seconds. The Vicksburg, Miss., driver took the lead on the 33rd of 75 laps Saturday night to capture the Gumbo Nationals feature for the second straight season. | Video | Prelims
McCool’s ninth career Mississippi State Championship Challenge victory paid $7,500 for the driver who piloted the backup car of Friday’s fast qualifier Klint Byars of Calhoun City, Miss.
“It’s always special to come here to Greenville because we have so many great fans. This win goes out to all of them,” an exhausted McCool said. "I also have to thank Klint Byars for letting me drive one of his cars here this weekend since my stuff is out in North Carolina waiting on me with my crew for the World of Outlaws race next Wednesday.”
Polesitter Ronny Lee Hollingsworth of Northport, Ala., finished second with Josh Putnam of Florence, Ala., in third. Timothy Culp of West Monroe, La., and Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., rounded out the top five finishers at the quarter-mile oval.
Hollingsworth and Kyle Beard of Trumann, Ark., started on the front row of the sixth annual event with Beard taking the early lead over Hollingsworth, Moyer, Putnam and the third-starting McCool.
Beard built a straightaway lead early while McCool ended up slipping as far back as seventh as he stuck with the low groove while most drivers ran up high.
Beard entered traffic on lap 15 and Hollingsworth closed in, taking control on lap 21 in turn one. But a caution for Chris Huckabay reset the field with Beard out front again over Hollingsworth, Moyer, Putnam and Brian Rickman.
Hollingsworth made his next move stick, sliding past Beard on the restart and leading seven laps before Beard regain the spot with a move in turn four. While the frontrunners diced for the lead, McCool moved up to third on lap 26, took second from Hollingsworth on lap 28 and grabbed the lead from Beard on lap 33.
With McCool in control, Beard faded while Hollingsworth came back to life, regaining second just past the halfway point. A lap-54 yellow for debris set up a late-stage battle between McCool and Hollingsworth.
The frontrunners diced through heavy lap traffic for the closing laps of the race with Hollingsworth pulling even with McCool on several occasions, only to have McCool race back past him for the spot. Both drivers bounced off the wall on more than one occasion during the battle.
The final five laps were especially nip and tuck for the leaders, but at the line it was McCool taking the checkers, then tossing his helmet into the crowd upon reaching victory lane.
Notes: McCool drove a Victory Circle Chassis powered by a Jay Dickens Racing Engine and sponsored by Lovorn & Lovorn, Southern Belle and Schaeffer’s Oil. ... Scott Dedwylder's 14th-place finish was good enough to wrap up his MSCCS title. ... Among drivers failing to make the feature lineup: Justin McRee, Jamie Elam, Tommy Surrett, Allen Tippen, Robert Baker, Bo Gordon, Scott Creel, Jeff Young, Seth McCormick and Cliff Williams. ... Jeremy Shaw of Millport, Ala., earned $5,000 in the NeSmith Chevrolet Late Model Series race, the Crate Late Model portion of the event that drew more than 150 race cars overall.
Gumbo Nationals: (1) Bub McCool, (2) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, (3) Josh Putnam, (4) Timothy Culp, (5) Billy Moyer Jr., (6) Kyle Beard, (7) B.J. Robinson, (8) Brian Rickman, (9) Robbie Starnes, (10) Klint Byars, (11) Rick Rickman, (12) Chris Wall, (13) Greg Fore, (14) Scott Dedwylder, (15) Chad Thrash, (16) Chris Huckabay, (17) Mike Palasini Jr., (18) Ray Moore, (19) Brett Frazier, (20) Morgan Bagley, (21) Scott Creel, (22) Jack Sullivan, (23) Cliff Williams, (24) Wendell Wallace. Fast qualifier (among 44 cars): Byars, 14.276 seconds. Heat race winners: Hollingsworth, McCool, Beard, Moyer Jr. Consolation winners: Bagley, Wall. Last-chance winner: Frazier.