Coleman Pressley Wins the 2010 UARA Championship
McReynolds Claims His Second UARA Rockingham Win
Brandon McReynolds and Coleman Pressley, two young drivers who spent most of their childhood playing in Rockingham Speedway's infield, celebrated in “The Rock's” victory lane Saturday following the UARA season finale. McReynolds, the son of TV analyst and former NASCAR crew chief Larry McReynolds, won the 75-lap race, defeating second-generation driver Kyle Grissom by 1.123 seconds. Pressley, the son of former NASCAR driver Robert Pressley and grandson of legendary short-track star Bob Pressley emerged with the UARA Series championship, defeating Brennan Poole by 28 points.
The drama of the UARA Championship came right down to the wire. The cars hit the track at 11 am on Friday October 8, 2010 and all was well to start with. During the last few minutes of the practice flag man Danny Willard radios the control tower that there was a little bit of smoke coming out of Pressley’s car. By the time timing and scoring look at Pressley’s car coming down the backstretch it belches a huge pillow of smoke. Needless to say the Pressley crew starts to hussle to remedy the situation.
Round one practice finds Kyle Grissom with the quickest time followed by Brennan Poole (Pressley’s leading point contender), Brandon McReynolds, Randy Benson, Garrett Campbell, Clint King, Chris Lawson, Lee Tissot, Robert Johnson and Coleman Pressley as the top ten.
Round two practice begins at 1:15 and the Pressley team is feverishly working on the car (driver included) so they can get that precious practice time in. Sadly the car never made a lap of practice in round two. Poole comes out on top of the timing charts followed by McReynolds, King, Grissom, Lawson, Ronnie Bassett Jr, Campbell, Tissot, Benson and Johnson.
Qualifying takes place at 4 p.m. and the Pressley team have made repairs and it will be a wait and see situation to see if the repairs will do their job. Brennan Poole sets the Sunoco Pole at a 25.469 followed by Kyle Grissom at at 25.497. Chris Lawson, Brandon McReynolds, Clint King, Scott Turlington, Lee Tissot, Garrett Campbell, Randy Benson and Robert Johnson round out the top ten. Pressley would end up 15th in qualifying.
The green flag flies at 11 am and it will be Poole who leads the first 15 laps, before relinquishing the No. 1 position to Grissom. Caution one hits the air as the car of Joe Russell making his debut UARA run spins coming out of turn two down the backstretch. Russell's race will end at this point.
During this caution Pressley will head to the pits to have his car checked out by the crew. Grissom will continue to lead as McReynolds puts the pass on Poole on lap 18 for second. By lap 25 Robert Johnson and Lee Tissot are on the move picking through the field with Pressley not too far behind.
Midway through the race it will be Grissom, McReynolds, Poole, Clint King, Ronnie Bassett Jr, Scott Turlington, Johnson, Tissot, Randy Benson and Pressley as the top ten.
McReynolds and Grissom battled for the lead at the race's mid-point, but Grissom held on to the top spot. It was a late-race caution that put McReynolds in position to challenge for his second straight Rockingham victory. The car of Garrett Campbell is slowing on the track and will head to the garage area with his hopes of a good finish ending at this point. Campbell suffered a broken spindle and the track is checked for debree.
Rookie contenders Clint King and Ronnie Bassett Jr have a good battle going for fourth position. Coming down the backstretch contact is made and the King car goes spinning. Caution will fly and Bassett will receive a stop and go penalty for rough driving. King who is the only UARA rookie to win a race in 2010 will see his top five run end at this time. King would come home as the ARbodies Hard Luck driver of the race.
The field will see the green only to see the caution fly before a lap is finished as former Champion Lee Tissot spins off turn 2 while battling Poole for third. Three laps later the race returned to green-flag conditions and McReynolds wasted little time in snatching the lead. McReynolds jumped into the high groove as he and Grissom battled side-by-side, grabbing the lead for good on lap 68. Grissom will receive the Sonic Most Laps Led Award but would like to have had that checker flag to add to his days great run.
All during the event cars were on the move and Johnson would have gained five positions to claim a top five finish and Pressley gained ten positions to end up fifth with the Championship claimed as his.
Johnson would come home as the Rookie of the Race, Pressley would also win the G Force Shift of the Race Award for gaining the most positions. In a post race interview Pressley quoted, “This is a place where I came a lot as a kid . It's funny. Me and Brandon McReynolds used to race scooters in the motor home lot and now we are racing on the big track. It's a big deal for us. It's my first championship and I'm just really excited about it. I'm sure it won't sink in until we are out of here and the racing is done for the year. "
With McReynolds' victory Saturday, the Mooresville, N.C., driver swept the UARA races this year at the 1-mile Rockingham track. McReynolds did a great job of pacing himself. Kowalsky Machine will be the Comp Cams Engine Builder of the Race for the second time at Rockingham with the UARA.
"Kyle Grissom is a class act,” McReynolds said. “He could have easily done something there. He is just a racer. He did a nice job.”
Hats off to FHR and the Brennan Poole team for a valliant fight in the championship chase. The records will show what a good effort Poole and his team put forth throughout the 2010 season.
A special thanks to Randy Benson and Clint King for being at the Rockingham Main Street Thunderfest Thursday night to mingle with fans and sign autographs.
1. Brandon McReynolds
2. Kyle Grissom
3. Brennan Poole
4. Robert Johnson
5. Coleman Pressley
6. Scott Turlington
7. Ronnie Bassett Jr.
8. Lance Gatlin
9. Randy Benson
10. Bobby Reuse
11. Julia Dawson
12. Lee Tissot
13. Clint King
14. Chris Lawson
15. Garrett Campbell
16. Joe Russell
For more info visit www.uara-stars.com or call 828-692-3833
Press Release by: Wink Bodenhamer & Andy Cagle