PTN Grayson June '11 Race RecapLittle Sandy Raceway in Grayson, KY played host to Race 2 of the 2011 Pro Truck Nationals (PTN) point series. This was PTN’s first trip to Kentucky, and it did not disappoint with great racing action from start to finish. Mother Nature was looking down on all that weekend as storm after storm skirted around the race track. Fortunately, only a few sprinkles made it to the track. Here is a recap of this great event.
Qualifying was brutal at PTN Race 2 with the top spot (based on RT) going to Lee Reynders with a great .005 RT. Mike Page was right behind him with a .007 and Jim Brantley went into eliminations third with a .026. Mike Bolyard earned the Low ET Qualifying points with a nice 3.35 pass.
Round one kicked off with a huge upset as points leader & Race 1 Winner Kip Martin’s Primal Scream Jeep faced off with Ross Abraham’s Procharged SBC-powered Chevy Truck. Martin struggled in qualifying with two red lights putting him at the bottom of the qualifying order. In the first round, he would cut a great .026 light, but would go too fast with a 3.661 (3.70) advancing Ross to round two.
The second round started with #1 qualifier Reynders’ SBC-powered Jeep facing off with Abraham in an all MI match up. Reynders would take the RT advantage .046 to .106 and hang on for the win with a 4.351 (4.30). The next pair up would see Illinois’ Eric Gallay in his Sidewinder Jeep face off with George Colwell’s Kentucky-based SBC-powered Jeep. Colwell would over stage turning on the red light, sending Gallay to the semis. A pair of Jeeps would roll up to the line next as Michigan’s Jim Brantley in his Insandity SBC-powered ride would face off with Kentucky’s Kyle Harney in his Hayshaker Jeep, also with SBC power. Brantley would be brilliant on the tree with a .004 to .101 RT advantage and force Harney into a 4.092 (4.10) break out. Finishing off the round was a bye run for Mike Page in his Blown SBC-powered Blazer from Michigan. Page would make his best pass of the day with a 3.674 on a 3.70 Index.
The first pair saw an all-Jeep battle between Reynders and Gallay. These two faced off in Friday night’s Ironman class with Gallay turning on the red bulb. This time around would have the same outcome as Eric would miss by just .007 handing the win to Lee with a .019 RT and 4.364 (4.30). This would guarantee an all Michigan final as Page and Brantley rolled up to the line. Much like the pair previous, this race would be decided on the tree as Page would go red by .039 giving Brantley the win with a .060 and 3.850 (3.80).
This set up a big final round as Reynders and Brantley came to the line to finish off the night. Reynders would leave first .045 to .062, but would turn hard left shortly after forcing him to lift and handing the win to Brantley. Jim would lift early to a 4.036 (3.80) victory. This would be Brantley’s first PTN Pro Truck class victory. The point standings would shift heading into the Season Finale as Reynders takes a 9 point lead in over a tie between Martin and Page.
Pro Outlaw FE
The Pro Outlaw FE class was a battle all weekend long at Little Sandy Raceway. Qualifying was entertaining to watch as the order jumbled seemingly after each pass. Round one would see the Wies Racing Altered take the top spot with a 3.391. Right off the bat in Q2, Kathy Ellington made the pass of the weekend with a great 3.263/97MPH blast. This would end up being Low ET of the weekend. In the next pair, Ben Dozeman, wheeling the Richards Auto Parts Funny Jeep, would run a great 3.342 to bump into the #2 qualifying position. This would send Wies back to #3 with his Q1 pass while Brian Harrison in the next pair would run a 3.42 for the #4 spot to round out the top half of the field.
Round one would start off with a great pair between Missouri neighbors Dan Wies & John Dreher. Both of the Dreher Race Cars-built rides were set on kill & at the other end Dreher would take a hole shot win 3.446 to 3.410. In the next pair, Harrison would face off with Curtis Combs in a battle of potent SBC nitrous-fed Altereds. Combs would go red handing Harrison the win with a 3.429. Ben Dozeman & the all conquering Funny Jeep would match up with Mike Bolyard’s Blown SBF-powered Bronco. Bolyard would have transbrake issues ending up with a stage foul, while Dozeman sped off to a 3.332/98MPH blast.
This would set up an excellent semi-final round with all four cars capable of running within a tenth of a second of each other. The first pair saw Ohio’s Ellington in her Black Widow Altered take on John Dreher with his Missouri-based Altered. Dreher would get a decent starting line advantage, but the big power in the other lane of Ellington could not be held off as she would take the win with a 3.311 to Dreher’s 3.458. Next up would see a Big Block versus Small Block battle between Dozeman and Harrison. Dozeman would once again be deadly on the tree with a .050 to Brian’s .126 and hang on for a 3.354 to 3.407 victory.
The final round would come down to the two quickest cars on the property all weekend. Both teams had the nitrous tune ups on kill & ready to dip into the 20’s. This race would end up being decided on the tree as Dozeman cut another killer light with a .046 to Kathy’s .137 and held on for a 3.312 to 3.317 victory. This would be Dozeman/Team Richards first PTN Pro Outlaw FE victory. Ellington’s runner-up and low qualifier points put her in a great position for the class championship as she holds a 19 point lead heading into the Season Finale at WMSD.
John Dreher led the 3.5 Index class into Kentucky after his big win at the Season Opener in Cleves. Dreher was strong in this class in 2010, but fell just short of the championship. This year he certainly is on a mission. In round one action, Dreher ran a great 3.516 to defeat Curtis Combs and in the process earned the #1 Qualifier bonus points for Closest to the Index in round one. Brian Harrison was second closest with a 3.56 on his bye run while Daniel Wies ran 3.59 in his round one victory over Jim Brantley.
Round two started off with Wies and Harrison facing off. This would be a double break out affair as Harrison took the win with a 3.46 to Wies’ 3.40. Next up would be a big match up between Ben Dozeman driving the Richards Auto Parts Funny Jeep against Kathy Ellington’s Black Widow Altered. Dozeman would leave first .061 to .098, but at the other end Ellington would track him down for a 3.542 to 3.594 victory by .015. Dreher would back up his great round one pass with a 3.512 on his bye run.
The semi-finals kicked off with Harrison and Dreher pairing up in a battle of nitrous-fed SBC powered Altereds. They would leave together and at the stripe Dreher would lift a little too soon giving Harrison the win in a 3.55 to 3.58 decision. Ellington would run a great 3.512 on her semi-final round bye run.
A pair of Ellington Chassis Works-built Altereds headed to the line for the final round. Ellington left first .071 to .100, but would take too much stripe and hand the win to Harrison in a 3.719 to 3.482 decision. This is Harrison’s first PTN 3.5 Index class win. Dreher takes a 12 point advantage (just over two rounds) heading into the Season Finale.
A tough Quick 8 Pro ATV class battled down to a pair of West Virginia based racers as Melinda Smith took the big win over Nathan McMillion. Pro 1 Cars saw a great match up as Pro Truck runner-up Lee Reynders emerged victorious in this final round over Kyle Farwick. Pro ATV would see Michigan’s Buddy Hammett take a great final round win over Keith Lycans. Matt Randolph would take the Sportsman Car class win over the always tough Curtis Combs. McMillion would come back to win the ATV Bracket 1 class defeating Albert Callihan in the final. Mark Kazee defeated Mike Pennington in the ATV Bracket 2 final round. Kristen Lewis (Juniors) and Sean Stapleton (Peewees) were the Kids class winners Saturday morning.
There was also some great bracket racing action on Friday night. Farwick would win the Ironman category over Neal Swain in the final while Lycans defeated Tex Andy English for the top prize in the Pro ATV class.
Tex Andy English
Photos Courtesy - Lonestar Graphics.