UARA PREPARES FOR JEFF'S AUTO SALES 150 "PART DEUX" AT NEWPORT SPEEDWAY THIS WEEKEND
HENDERSONVILLE, NC (July 9, 2012) -- Four short weeks ago the UARA-STARS made its first visit to Newport Speedway and Roger Powell emerged from the chaotic night as a first-time winner.
This coming Saturday July 14, 2012 the touring series will revisit the high-banked bullring for the Jeff's Auto Sales 150 "Part Deux." For the teams and drivers, they hope the event will be less eventful than June's visit and some seek to avenge bad luck from the previous event.
A month ago, Scott Turlington used the high line to lead the entire race up until the "big one" in turn three. He withstood challenges from Ronnie Bassett, Jr., Dillon Bassett, Powell and Kaleb Pressley over those first 130 laps. Four of those drivers, including Turlington, were taken out in the huge turn three melee with less than 20 laps to go.
For Kaleb Pressley, the incident took what could have been his first career win and shattered the dream into pieces.
"We were so good at Newport, and I still had a lot left in the car I thought," said Pressley of the first Newport race. "When Ronnie got into the wreck, he clipped my right rear and bent the truck arm to the point we had to change it. If we're anywhere near as good as we were last time, we're going to be bad fast the next time we go there."
Pressley was one of over a half-dozen drivers in contention for their first UARA triumph during the last visit to the speedway. In fact, the entire top five in that race had never won an event under the UARA sanction. None of them have visited victory lane since.
"It was a wild one," said Roger Powell about his win at Newport a month ago. "But we were there all night. We've started to figure things out with this new car and these longer races. I think we'll be good enough to get number two this weekend."
"I really think we had the best car at the end of the race," said Trey Marcham, a rookie from Oklahoma who finished second in June. "Roger just used his experience to stay in front of us and I think we can win if everything goes right this weekend. It'll take a lot of work but Roger Johnson and my guys have really helped me to figure these cars out."
UARA events at Newport have a long history of late-race drama. Two years ago, Coleman Pressley was destined for victory in the spring race until a broken transmission on the final lap caused his car to screech to a halt and allowed Alex Yontz to pass by for his only victory of 2010. A year ago, a three-wide pass for the lead by Garrett Campbell with less than 25 laps to go sealed his first victory of 2011. And last fall, Alex Yontz tangled with eventual champion Brennan Poole after a late restart to take what ultimately would be the top spot and his only victory of 2011.
Saturday night promises to be no different than past events as the usual suspects will be on hand to wrestle for the trophy at Newport like Powell, Marcham and Pressley, in addition to Ben Rhodes, Scott Turlington, the Bassetts and point leader Travis Swaim. Others who look to have a shot include rookies Devin Jones, Tyler Laing, Brandon Jones, Cory Joyce and Sean Rayhall. Rayhall hopes to be back in a UARA late model for the first time since suffering injuries at the Big Money 100 Legends car race at Charlotte Motor Speedway a week ago.
Spectator gates open at 2pm on Saturday with UARA-STARS Sunoco Pole Qualifying taking to the speedway at 5:30pm. Local street stock action opens the night and local front wheel drive racing concludes the evening with the UARA Jeff's Auto Sales 150 "Part Deux" in the middle. Tickets start at only $15 for adults, students 12-17 $10 and kids 11 and under admitted free.
For more information on the UARA-STARS, visit their website at uara-stars.com or call (828) 692-3833. Additional information is available via the UARA's social networking pages on Facebook (United Auto Racing Association) and Twitter (@uarastars).