“The Locomotive” Johnny Collins Derails Field in 3rd Annual Scott Thompson Memorial
By Rick Anges
Barbersville, Fl. (7/19/2008)- When Tonya Moschell the General Manager of Volusia Speedway Park was quoted as saying “I think the most important thing for everyone to understand that this will be the biggest Late Model race on dirt in Florida this season.” She had no idea that it would actually be as huge as the turn out would be.
Scott Thompson was one of the most popular drivers at Volusia and was the Late Model track champion in 2005 and was on his way to being the 2006 National Late Model Series Rookie of the Year when he tragically lost his life in a non-racing auto accident.
Ken Kinney of the United Dirt Late Model Challenge Series and Ray Miller of the National Late Model Series got together with Moschell and they decided to make this an “All Star” race combining the two series and the Late Models of Volusia. The points for all drivers would fall as they finished in the race. That decision put 64 cars in the pits that night with 61 signing in for what started out as a $3,800 winners purse but after Kinney added another $380 in honor of the Thompson family the total winners take was a cool $4180.
Contingency sponsors Zeigler Racing Engines, Racecar Engineering, American Pace Trailers, Bruce’s Signs, Russell Brown Race Cars, Southern Style Motorsports, United Land Clearing, Tommy’s Towing, Kiser aluminum Racing Wheels, Real Racin’USA, Daytona Dodge, and several others would bring the total purse to near or over the $20,000 mark.
Volusia Speedway Park had seen nearly eleven inches of rain in the day’s prior according to track announcer Joe Linebarier and the showers that came late in the day caused the track crews to scramble to get the big half-mile back into shape for qualifying for the sixty-one cars.
The clocks began ticking on time trials Volusia race director Bully Ausburn kept the racing action at a feverish pace trying to make up time lost due to the weather. When the smoke cleared it was veteran racer Keith Nosbisch blistering the dirt to take Zeigler Racing Engines fast time award.
Three cars from each of the six heat races, two cars from each of three B-Mains, one car from the last chance race, two provisionals each from the UDLMCS and NLMS and one from the track would be the format to fill the spots for the thirty car starting field for A-Main 50 lap Scott Thompson Memorial.
Mark Whitener would show the way and take the checkers in Heat One, Josh Peacock would take second and Jeff Mathews was third. The second heat would see Johnny Collins take the win, Steve Mathis and Rich Pratt would follow “the Locomotive” across the stripe in second and third. Brandon Cameron was the winner in heat three, Joe Kump who was the previous weeks winner at Volusia in the Late Models was second and third went to Jay Johnson. Jackie Nosbisch won heat number four Darrell Padgett and Bill Howard would also move on from the heat. Adam Bedenbaugh took heat number five win; Jimmy Lee Davis second and third was Bill Howard. The winner of the final heat was fast qualifier Keith Nosbisch David Clegg and UDLMCS points leader Shan Smith were the final drivers to move on to the A-Main from the heats.
Keith Nosbisch would draw the number one pill to start on the pole for the Scott Thompson Memorial. Scott’s Mother Martha Thompson gave the field the command “Gentlemen Start Your Engines” and the thirty-car field of All-Stars roared to life. Patrick Williams in Scott’s number 38 machine lead the field in the pace laps in the missing man formation to honor the memory of Scott Thompson with the packed house on their feet.
The green dropped and Nosbisch pulled out to the early lead but it wasn’t long before Collins and Whitener got around him. The duo ran several laps side by side swapping the lead until Collins took over the top spot. Several top names had their problems early NLMS points leader Brandon Cameron would suffer a flat tire bringing out a yellow. His crew would scramble to get the tire change and get him back out before the green to stay on the lead lap. Cameron would make his way back through the field and into the top five before fading back to an eleventh place finish.
Shan Smith also had a great run towards the front until his power plant let go dropping him twenty-seventh on the evening. Shane Williams also was making his moves before he had to retire with a twenty-third place finish.
The story of the evening though unfolded with only a dozen laps to go. Patrick Williams in the Thompson machine who had his problems early in the evening and had to make his way into the feature through a B-Main made his way into the second spot and was using every groove trying to track down Collins and with only a handful of laps to go the crowd roared as the caution came out. Williams would start on the bumper of Collins for the restart and made a valiant effort to take the lead. But his charge through the field had taken it’s toll and tires went away on the 38 machine allowing Adam Bedenbaugh to move into the second spot in the closing laps.
The fans still cheered as Johnny Collins crossed the stripe for his third win of the year in UDLMCS and be crowned champion of the 3rd annual Scott Thompson Memorial. “This is the greatest Dirt late Model event that you could ask for and it’s an honor to win this,” said Collins in the winner’s circle.
Second went to a hard charging Adam Bedenbaugh. Third was Patrick Williams. “I just want to thank the Williams family for this opportunity to drive this car. I used every inch of this place to get to the front,” said Williams “Johnny is good there’s no two ways about it.”
Scott Thompsons Father Bill Thompson with Patrick Williams
Fourth across the stripe was Mark Whitener and rounding out the top five was Keith Nosbisch.
The next event for the UDLMCS will be the ˝ mile Waycross Motor Speedway in Waycross, Ga. August 9th
Once again Real Racin’USA will broadcast the race LIVE on the Internet on www.realracinusa.com
For more info on the series go to www.uniteddirtlatemodels.com
1.Johnny Collins 2.Adam Bedenbaugh (Real Racin USA Runner-up Award) 3.Patrick Williams (in Scott Thompson car - Hard Charger) 4.Mark Whitener 5.Keith Nosbisch (Ziegler Racing Engines Fast Qualifier) 6.Bill Howard 7.Darrell Padgett 8.Russell Brown Jr. 9.Jimmy Lee Davis 10.Josh Peacock 11.Brandon Cameron 12.Steve Mathis 13.Jeff Matthews 14.Jack Nosbisch Jr. 15. Billy Costello 16.Lawton Minchew 17.Jay Johnson 18.Richard Ferry 19.Bo Allen 20.Jeff Hunter 21.David Whitener 22.Roger Crouse 23.Shane Williams 24.Clay Bedenbaugh 25.David Clegg 26.Andy Schell 27.Shan Smith 28.J.R.Prather Jr. 29.Wayne Shugart 30.Rich Pratt