Southern All Star @ Volunteer Speedway


Team Owner
Jun 12, 2002
North East, TN
Sexton cruises to Volunteer Southern All Star ‘American Freedom 100’ victory
By Robert Walden

BULLS GAP, Tenn. (July 5) – Scott Sexton of Pigeon Forge pocketed $10,000 Friday night at Volunteer Speedway in winning the Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series’ Loven Ready-Mix “American Freedom 100” before a packed grandstand. Sexton brought the crowd to their feet with a daring pass for the lead on lap 3 while racing three-wide with Ronnie Johnson and Mark Douglas, and once out front he cruised to his second victory of the season with the Huntsville, Ala.-based sanctioning organization.

With a stellar field of 47 competitors signing-in for Sunoco Fuels qualifying on Thursday evening, Steve Smith of Powell set fast-time at 14.442-seconds, with Chattanooga’s Ronnie Johnson second quickest at 14.445. Knoxville’s Mark Douglas won the first of four heat races to earn the pole position for the American Freedom 100, with Johnson winning heat two to nail down the outside front row starting berth. Mike Head of Ellenwood, Ga., won the third heat with Sexton winning the fourth.

At the drop of the green Douglas and Johnson raced off into the first turn side-by-side, and back around to the stripe to complete the opening lap Johnson had a half car-length lead over Douglas, with Sexton, Head and Clint Smith rounding out the top five in the running order. Sexton stuck his nose in between Johnson, who was running the high-line and Douglas, who was glued to the bottom, racing off (turn) two on lap 2.

With the trio running three-wide down the front straightaway into turn one on lap 3, Sexton powered into a lead he would never relinquish with Johnson settling into second and Douglas falling in line behind “The Chattanooga Flash” in the third spot. Making an early move from his eighth starting position, current Southern All Star points leader Duayne Hommel dropped to the bottom racing off the second turn on lap 6 to pass Smith for fifth place.

Sexton had pulled out to a half-straightaway advantage over Johnson and Douglas by lap 10, while Hommel, Smith and Skip Arp were hooked up in a three-way battle for the fifth spot. Hommel got out of shape on lap 11 in turn two to fall back to seventh, and two laps later he spun in turn two to bring out the event’s first caution. After heading into the pits to change a flat left-rear tire Hommel tagged on at the tail of the field.

The top five on the restart were Sexton, Johnson, Douglas, Head and Smith. Douglas immediately dropped to the inside of Johnson and the duo raced door-to-door for two laps before Douglas made the pass to take over the runner-up spot on lap 15 in the first turn.

In a battle between two veteran Georgia drivers, Smith passed Head to briefly take over fourth place on lap 18, but Head fought back to reclaim the spot one lap later. With the race leader Sexton holding an eight car-length lead over Douglas on lap 25, lapped traffic momentarily held Sexton up to allow Douglas to close to within two car lengths. But Sexton got aggressive and threaded his way through the slower cars to once again open up some breathing room over Douglas.

Hommel had charged his way back up through the field after his earlier spin to pass Gusty Christenberry in turn one on lap 34 to move into tenth place. After knocking on the door for five laps challenging for the fifth spot, Arp finally worked around Smith on lap 35 in turn four to grab the position. While on the same lap Hommel gained another position by passing Steve Smith for ninth.

With the race going green from the caution on lap 13 for the spin by Hommel, halfway into the 100-lapper Sexton had pulled out to almost a full-straightaway advantage over Douglas, Johnson, Head and Arp. The battle was heated for positions six through ten between Ray Cook, Rex Richey, Clint Smith, Hommel and Steve Smith.

Arp’s march forward continued on lap 53 with a pass of Head in turn four to take over fourth place. And Head lost another spot as Cook moved into fifth on lap 58. Clint Smith held off advances from Hommel for four laps before losing his hold on eighth place on lap 63. But Hommel’s night would end two laps later with a broken right-front suspension after contact from Smith sent him spinning in turn four.

Going back green Sexton was in command on the point followed by Douglas, Johnson, Arp and Cook. Sexton once again pulled out to a comfortable lead over Douglas, but he narrowly avoided disaster on lap 77 when the lapped car of Tommy Kerr got up against the outside front straightaway wall right in front of him to bring out the final caution.

Lining up for the final sprint to the finish, 14 cars remained on the lead lap. With a clear view out front, Sexton once again flexed his muscle by pulling out to almost a half-straightway advantage over Douglas. While Douglas had a firm hold on the runner-up spot, behind him Johnson had his hands full trying to fend off Arp. With Johnson running up high and Arp down low, finally after 12 circuits of trying to make the pass for position Arp was successful on lap 91, dropping Johnson back to fourth place.

But out front it was all Sexton, driving the Competition Racing Equipment-Roger and Cindy Kerr/Quality Heating & Air/D & S Builders/Matco Tools/Custom Detail & Truck Wash/Pro Shocks/Schoenfeld Headers/Bert Transmissions/PPM/Ovalcraft/Hoosier Racing Tires by Pup/Custom Race Engines/No. 52 MasterSbilt Grand Prix to the $10,000 victory over Douglas, Arp, Johnson and Cook.

Completing the top 10 finishers were Richey, Head, Clint Smith, Steve Smith and Terrance Nowell.

“This was a really good win for us over a strong field of cars,” said Sexton to the cheers of the crowd after climbing from his car in Victory Lane. “My dad is battling cancer and wasn’t able to be here tonight, and he’s been my biggest supporter through all my years of racing and this win is for him. We learned some things last night in the heat race and made a few changes to the car for tonight’s race. The car was great from the drop of the green to the checkers.

“I’d like to give thanks to David ‘Fatboy’ Bryant for helping me this weekend. He and I have won a lot of races together over the years, and what he knows in setting a car up really benefited us tremendously. I also need to thank Roger and Cindy Kerr at Competition Racing Equipment and Keith and Tader Masters at MasterSbilt Race Cars for the great racecars they build. And all the guys who help work on the car back at the shop and at the track; Brian ‘PB’ Imler, Eddie Rolen, Jason Gibson, Charles Reed, and Robert and Josh Beal.”

Vic Hill of Johnson City, driving the EcoQuest International/Vic Hill Race Engines & Supplies/Lowe Trucking/Chip Vineyard Race Cars/No. 1 Monte Carlo, passed Rusty Goddard on the white flag lap to win the 25-lap Limited Late Model feature. Finishing third through fifth were Greg Burchett, Steve Jones and Todd Hunt.

Newport’s Jimmy Owens started from the pole position and led the 25-lap UMP (Open-Wheel) Modified feature flag-to-flag for his fourth victory this season. Finishing behind Owens were Stanley Donahoo, Jerry Broyles, Rodney ****r and Wayne James.

Bobby Mays of Jonesborough captured his second straight Sportsman victory over Anthony Morgan, Shannon Emery, Doug Evans and Stanley Donahoo.

Newport’s Scott Thornton grabbed the lead on lap 4 of the 20-lap 4-Cylinder feature and at the checkers held off a hard-charging Randy Lane for his fourth victory of the season. Finishing third through fifth were Scottie Hicks, Richard Hicks and Richard McMahan.

Monk Ledford of Newport visited victory lane for the second time this season in winning the 15-lap Hobby Stock feature over Sonny Leatherwood, Brad Kenyon, Shawn Nease and Robert Corbett.

Another exciting “Saturday Night Live” six division racing program is scheduled at Volunteer Speedway on Saturday, July 13. For more information, contact the track office at (423) 235-5020.


Showing Finish Pos., Start Pos., Driver, Car No., Hometown, and Purse Money Won

1. (4) Scott Sexton #52-Pigeon Forge, TN $10,100
2. (1) Mark Douglas #52-Knoxville, TN $5,000
3. (6) Skip Arp #31-Georgetown, TN $2,500
4. (2) Ronnie Johnson #5-Chattanooga, TN $2,000
5. (10) Ray Cook #53-Brasstown, NC $1,500
6. (14) Rex Richey #87-Ringgold, GA $1,500
7. (3) Mike Head #54-Ellenwood, GA $1,300
8. (5) Clint Smith #44-Senoia, GA $1,200
9. (9) Steve Smith #201-Powell, TN $1,100
10. (7) Terrance Nowell #55-Phenix City, AL $1,000
11. (12) Gusty Christenberry #c3-Seymour, TN $850
12. (13) H.E. Vineyard #24-Powell, TN $800
13. (18) Dale Ball #25-Johnson City, TN $750
14. (17) Rick Norris #15-Kingsport, TN $700
15. (15) Ivedent Lloyd Jr. #21-Ocala, FL $600
16. (16) Bryan Hendrix #5-Knoxville, TN $500
17. (25) Greg Burchett #32-Church Hill, TN $500
18. (21) Wayne Rader #8-Newport, TN $500
19. (20) Mike Duvall #F1-Cowpens, SC $500
20. (23) Dewayne Aldridge #07-Lithia Springs, GA $500
21. (24) Tommy Kerr #4T-Rockford, TN $500
22. (19) Vic Hill #1-Johnson City, TN $500
23. (8) Duayne Hommel #H2-Newport, TN $500
24. (26) Dave Burks #B1-Abingdon, VA $500
25. (22) Herman Goddard #22-Knoxville, TN $500
26. (11) Lamar Haygood #17-Douglasville, GA $500
I was there for that race. Volunteer is my hometown track. Sexton was amazing. I have been going to that track for over 25 years, and I can recall maybe three other times a driver handled like Sexton did. Anywhere he pointed that car, it went. No slipping, no sliding. High, low, or between two cars in traffic. I was speechless watching him. I really wanted to see Ronnie Johnson win, but Sexton was awesome.
Hey Tn Ward Fan that is my home track too.

Hey Kelloggs I saw where they were having a Southern All Star race at Tazwell too. Saw the sign as I went by. Not sure of the date.
Hey that is our hometrack too. :) I didn't get to go this last time. I will be there this Saturday night. I go in the pit. tjk24 you need to show up once and in awhile.:p
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