March 30, 2019-Blacksburg, SC-By Gray Sutherland
The Big 3 Challenge Series fired up its 2019 season at Patriot Speedway with an excellent crowd of 355 kart racers. Trailer parking began Friday night and the action began on Saturday. Gusty winds would keep temperatures low for the day as karts spread across 24 classes in the running order would cycle through for 2 practices and then each class would get an attempt to set quick time in group qualifying. A special tribute to the late Ginger Owens would be held during Pre Race Ceremonies with a balloon release in her memory. A special trophy and check was to be presented to the winner of the Pro Stock class later in the program.
Qualifying Results-Top Time
Sumo 450-09 Jeffrey Durham 14.749
Amateur-97 Keith Bumgarner 14.203
Predator 425-9 Timmy Simmons 14.644
Stock Medium-52 Jason Scruggs 13.563
Junior 1-88 Carson Lucas 14.847
Pee Wee A-14 Blayne Nix 16.334
Super Heavy 410-1 Christian Henson 13.991
Junior 3-12 Tatum Phillips 13.880
Senior Stock-4 Jimmy Lindley 13.696
Predator 375-111 Tommy Jernigan 14.090
Senior Champ-154 Andrew Dove 14.087
Junior 2-25 Coletrain Palmer 14.095
Stock Heavy-321 TJ Penland 13.289
Pro Amateur-57 Eric Askren 13.283
Pro Junior 1-33 Cameron Lambert 14.329
Super Heavy 425-64 Randy Moon 13.445
Junior Sportsman Champ-18 Peyton Byrd 14.772
Pro Junior 3-21 Jay Merck 13.509
Pro Stock-45 Joseph Mintz 13.007
Pro Predator-111 Tommy Jernigan 13.940
Pro Junior 2-71 Tyler Bowie 13.736
Pro Champ-154 Andrew Dove 13.686
Pro 425-60 Josh Haskins 13.313
Sumo 450 hit the track first and the 29 of Eron Bryant would power from 4th to 1st, using a slingshot draft around the 181 of Kenneth Byrd and then sliding past the 0 of Joey Toney and the 55 of Daniel Ruppe as those two drivers battled for the top spot that Bryant would lay claim to in the closing laps.
Winner: 29 Eron Bryant, 2. 0 Joey Toney, 3. 55 Daniel Ruppe
In the largest field of the day with 28 karts taking the green, Amateur would be won from the 7th place starting spot. Lane Penley in the 10L would show patience through the caution filled main as he worked his way to the front and stay out of trouble. He would edge out Dustyn Bailey in the 87 by .279. Of the 28 started, 15 finished on the lead lap.
Winner: 10L Lane Penley, 2. 87 Dustyn Bailey, 3. 44L Ray Lane
Predator 425 would provide a thrilling conclusion as the 10 of Brandon Henson held on against a last lap charge from the 11 of Ben Harrison for the win. Official margain of victory would be .071.
Winner: 10 Brandon Henson, 2. 11 Ben Harrison, 3. 00BJ BJ Gillespie
Stock Medium would see a two kart breakaway and Joseph Mintz in the 45 would win the duel slipping by the 52 of Jason Scruggs as Scruggs held on for 2nd over TJ Penland in 3rd and Tom Spanel in 4th.
Winner: 45 Joseph Mintz, 2. 52 Jason Scruggs, 3. 321 TJ Penland
Junior 1 featured yet another last lap dash for the win with Luke Cooper in the 57 and Dylan Dove in the 21. Going into turn 3 Dove made his move and tangled up with the 57. By an incredible stroke of luck the 33 of Cameron Lambert, trying to win the race himself, would slam into the back of Dove freeing him from Cooper and pushing him to the win. Cooper would hold onto 2nd.
Winner: 21 Dylan Dove, 2. 57 Luke Cooper, 3. 317 Jayden Cordell
Pee Wee A would be the lone wolf of Blayne Nix going out solo but claiming the win.
Winner: Blayne Nix
Super Heavy 410 would show why Christian Henson was the fastest in qualifying as he fended off all challenges and successfully defended his pole time with a win.
Winner: 1 Christian Henson 2. 4 Jimmy Lindley, 3. 78 Michael Adamic
As if it were a challenge, Junior 3 decided to up the ante with the finish as Walker Silvers squeezed by the 97 of Michael Bumgarner coming off turn 4 and the field fanned out 3 wide coming across the line for positions 3-5.
Winner: 96 Walker Silvers, 2. 25P Carson Palmer, 3. 97 Michael Bumgarner
Senior Stock showed the power of the draft at Patriot as Tommy Jernigan and Michael Hughes left the other 11 competitors behind and settled it between themselves. Jernigan would edge Hughes by .028 seconds at the line.
Winner: Tommy Jernigan, 2. 14 Michael Hughes, 3. 4 Jimmy Lindley
Predator 375 saw four karts within two tenths of the top time set by Tommy Jernigan but with the help of some timely cautions, it was Daniel Simmons staying close and pulling away at the end.
Winner: 06 Daniel Simmons, 2. 8 Dolph Manucy, 3. 111 Tommy Jernigan
Senior Champ was a two kart duel to the end as well as Jason Moates held his line against Andrew Dove to win. These two karts finished a full second ahead of the rest of the field.
Winner: 4 Jason Moates, 2. 154 Andrew Dove, 3. 81 Patrick Owen
Junior 2 would feature a nasty lick into the outside tire wall for Luke Cooper early on in the race. After being checked out by the EMS crew, Cooper climbed back into his 57 and drove it back up through the field of 11 to a 4th place finish. Ahead of him though it was Tyler Bowie powering away by three tenths for the win.
Winner: 71 Tyler Bowie, 2. 99 Billy Snodgrass, 3. 125 Lee New
Stock Heavy had Jason Scruggs lead a freight train past Andrew Dove coming to the white flag and then Scruggs having to hang on as Joseph Mintz dove underneath but could not complete the pass as Scruggs won by .066 seconds.
Winner: 52 Jason Scruggs, 2. 45 Joseph Mintz, 3. 321 TJ Penland
Pro Amateur fielded 23 karts and Ray Lane and Eric Askren would waste no time breaking away from the field. Askren would close in on Lane but run out of laps trying to track down the leader.
Winner: 44 Ray Lane, 2. 57 Eric Askren, 3. 7 Brandon Greene
Pro Junior 1 would feature some returning characters but it would be the new challenger up front who would steal the show. Dillon Sharp in the 55 would drive to the lead from his 4th starting spot and then fend off Dylan Dove, already a winner earlier, and Luke Cooper trying to push Dove by. Sharp stood his ground and it paid off for a pro win.
Winner: 55 Dillon Sharp, 2. 21 Dylan Dove, 3. 57 Luke Cooper
Super Heavy 425 had a great display of driving from Randy Moon and Jimmy Lindley but neither could move the 117 of Zac Powell. This class was loaded with the likes of Scruggs, both Hensons, and Josh Haskins. Twenty of the twenty four drivers that started did finish on the lead lap.
Winner: 117 Zac Powell, 2. 64 Randy Moon, 3. 12B Brad Scruggs
Junior Sportsman Champ hit the track as now nightfall was just about complete over the facility at Patriot. Hunter Walton may have qualified last for the main but the speed came to the champ driver as a serious challenge from Brice Moore was deflected coming off Turn 2 at the end.
Winner: 24 Hunter Walton, 2. 72 Bryce Moore, 3. 17 Ethan Black
Pro Junior 3-Michael Bumgarner had a nice bounce back surviving the 20 lap main as he drove down Coletrain Palmer and held on against a four kart breakaway for the win.
Winner: 97 Michael Bumgarner, 2. 25P Coletrain Palmer, 3. 83 Dylan Bell
Pro Stock-The spevial Ginger Owens trophy and check would claimed by Jason Scruggs. A special 3 wide salute was given before the main by the field. Contact was made as Scruggs and Andrew Dove tangled for the race lead. Scruggs held on and then had to hold on against Colin Mize who came from half a second back of the two leaders to take 2nd.
Winner: 52 Jason Scruggs, 2. 81 Colin Mize, 3. 23L Lee Higdon
Pro Predator-Coby Lambert practiced patience and on the last lap going into Turn 3, slid past dominant Tommy Jerigan to grab the win.
Winner: 33 Coby Lambert, 2. 06 Daniel Simmons, 3. 111 Tommy Jernigan
Pro Junior 2-These top three finishers broke away and put on a show as Bowie had just enough at the end. Cooper was able to snag 2nd away coming to the checkered.
Winner: 71 Tyler Bowie, 2. 57 Luke Cooper, 3. 25 Coletrain Palmer
Pro Champ-Jason Moates had the slingshot timed right against Lee Higdon around 2 laps to go as Dove’s last push fell just short.
Winner: 4 Jason Moates, 2. 154 Andrew Dove, 3. 23L Lee Higdon
Pro 425-No lead on the last lap was safe as the final main rolled on. Zac Powell lead for most of the event with drafting help from Brad Scruggs who timed his move going into Turn one on the last lap.
Winner: 12B Brad Scruggs, 2. 117 Zac Powell, 3. 78 Michael Adamic
The Big 3 Series returns to the track April 27, 2019 down in Gray Court, SC at Warrior Creek Speedway.