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Hey Mister Wing - Throw Me Something!

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA (February 23, 2001) - - Turn about appeared to be fair play for Rodney Wing as he claimed the 2nd Annual O’Reilly Mardi Gras Nationals at Baton Rouge Raceway. Last year Rodney Wing led the first 22 laps of the Pike County leg of the Mardi Gras Nationals only to drop out of the race, handing the victory to his boss, Mike Boland. This year it was the Boland Performance boss man that was in the lead when the bad luck set in. Boland led the first 30 laps only to drop out with engine troubles allowing his young protégé to take the lead and the eventual win.

After the race, Wing was just happy to put in a good showing in the B&K Underground/Boland Performance/Ace Racer Graphics Chevy Monte Carlo Rocket. “I’m just proud to run good. After Columbus up there where we didn’t make the race and just kind of had some bad luck and just wasn’t on. We come down here started out slow but we got it going good at the end and we’re just proud to come back and be able to put on a show.”

Wing relayed that this was the same motor and car that he used to win the Jambalaya 100 at the end of the year. “Every thing just clicked. When this thing is right it’s right. We struggle with it sometimes but tonight it was really doing good tonight.”

Scott Dedwylder posted his strongest ever finish in O’Reilly SUPR competition as he claimed second place in just his third ever SUPR feature. Dedwylder was running a Southern All Star spec motor and felt that the package was competitive. “You could spin it (the wheels), I don’t know why you would want anymore power. I didn’t notice any big difference.” Dedwylder said his car was good. “I just wasn’t fast enough I reckon. Well I got there that one time and then I lost everything, just one of them things.”

Lee Davis put on a show barnstorming around the outside line at Baton Rouge Raceway and appeared to be a serious threat for the lead as he was pulling alongside of Wing for second place when contact with the outside wall in turn two caused his front suspension to break sending him sliding off the backstretch and ending his run. “I’ve hit’em harder and escaped but the arm just broke off the spindle and when it did it just pulled me straight off the race track.”

Keith Craft is another driver to see a strong run cut short as he hoped wheels with a lapped car and the impact from the landing broke his front suspension. Craft was running a strong third at the time of the contact on lap 15.

While the top 2 positions where claimed by the Mississippi invaders, Marlon Wild, Donald Watson the Lloyd Wild Hard Charger and Ryan Plaisance rounded out the top five and gave the local fans plenty to cheer about as well. Diamond Dave Siegert struggled with his new Rocket and slipped back to 6th after starting on the outside pole. Kenneth Crowe, the top rookie finisher followed Siegert in 7th. David Ashley, Trey Beene and Larry Ritter completed the top 10.

Official Results:
1. Rodney Wing
2. Scott Dedwydler
3. Marlon Wild
4. Donald Watsson
5. Ryan Plaisance
6. Dave Siegert
7. Kenneth Crowe
8. David Ashley
9. Trey Beene
10. Larry Ritter
11. Jay Blair
12. Kenny Merchant
13. Odie Green
14. Bill Avant
15. Ryan Fontenot
16. Bill Gordon
17. Jon Mitchell
18. Mike Boland
19. Lee Davis
20. Bubba Mullins
21. Keith Craft
22. Rob Litton

Race Notes:

· 40 Late Models were on hand for the event.

· Rob Litton was the GRT Top Qualifier as he stopped the clocks at 15.62. The O’Reilly SUPR Series was using its unique qualifying procedure where the drivers draw for heat groups and then line up in the heat race based on their qualifying time. The heat group with the fastest qualifier becomes the first heat race and the group with the second fastest becomes second and so on.

· Mike Boland won the first heat race as he topped Kenneth Crowe and Rob Litton who spun at the start of the race and had to work his way back into contention.

· Dave Siegert started on the pole and held off a race long challenge from Marlon Wild and Bubba Mullins to take the win in the second heat race. Siegert was at the wheel of his now yellow and blue Chevrolet Monte Carlo Rocket.

· Rodney Wing started on the outside front row and shot into the lead while pole sitter Dennis Duncan got loose in turn two and made contact with the outside wall. He tried to car on but dropped out of the race on lap 4. Wing held on for the win over Lee Davis and Jay Blair in his Chevrolet Monte Carlo Rocket

· Keith Craft started on the pole and pulled away to a strong win in his Chevrolet Monte Carlo GRT. Ryan Plaisance charged from his 5th starting spot to finish second while Bill Gordon finished third after starting 6th. David Knight dropped out of the race with a hurt motor after starting on the front row.

· David Ashley put his Pontiac Grand Prix American Made Race Car into the field as he ease away from the field to take the win. Kenny Merchant, running a Dodge powered GRT borrowed from Jack Blocker survived an early race slip that had him running at the rear and rallied to pass Jon Mitchell for the final transfer spot on lap 9 of 10.

· Scott Dedwylder started on the pole with his Chevy Monte Carlo GRT and stayed in front of a wild battle for the final transfer spot. Odie Green passed Scott Slay with two laps to go to grab the transfer spot as the second position swapped hands 6 times in the 10-lap race. Randy Blanchard held the spot for 2 laps, and then Odie held it for 1. Slay grabbed it for 1 before Blanchard rallied back by and held it for 2 more laps. Slay grabbed the spot on lap 7 only to see Green drive underneath him for the final pass on lap 9.

· Rob Litton made sure he wasn’t going to give up the lead in the first Last Chance race and led Jay Blair, Donald Watson and Jon Mitchell into the feature race. Late Model America/Ashley Brothers/B&K Underground Rookie contender Chris Wall try to move by Mitchell for the final transfer spot but fell just short in his effort.

· Like Liiton in the first Last Chance race, Bubba Mullins grabbed the lead from the start and earned the transfer into the feature, as did Trey Beene all the way up from the 7th starting position. Local favorites Bill Gordon and Ryan Fontenot also earned a transfer into the feature.

· The changes made to Baton Rouge Raceway added to the excitement of the event as the drivers where all confronted with a new race track. The first time a race car put a lap on the track was on Thursday night during practice for the O’Reilly Mardi Gras Nationals. The verdict on the track was generally positive and with more time to pack in turns 1 and 2, if tonight’s show is any indication, the race track should lend itself to plenty of side-by-side racing action.

For further information regarding the 2000 O’Reilly SUPR Series contact Greg Holmes at 225-275-5040 or e-mail us at gholmes@suprracing.com.
 

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