On Friday, he was second fastest next to polesitter Ryan Crane of Panama City. Grill jumped out in front on the start before Crane passed him on Lap 4.
The pair ran 1-2 through the next 58 laps, which for Five Flags were amazingly caution free. Points leader Eddie Mercer of Pensacola started fifth, dropped back early, then worked his way back up to fourth when the only caution came out after Jay Middleton lost power on the track.
Augie Grill won at Montgomery (AL) last weekend, and followed it up with a win at Five Flags Speedway on Friday night. (Dan Butler Photos)
Eight laps later, Grill drove past Crane in Turn 3.
“We didn’t change it from Montgomery,” Grill said. “I knew it was good, but I didn’t know it was that good.”
Over the final 25 laps, Pensacola drivers Donald Long and Scott Carlson worked their way toward the front. As Grill was pulling away, the next four became a freight train as Crane held off Mercer, who held off Long, who held off Carlson.
“I drove my race and the pace I wanted to run,” said
Ryan Crane (#10) and Augie Grill (#112) race at Five Flags on Friday night. (Butler Photo)
BLIZZARD SERIES RACE #2
Five Flags Speedway, Pensacola, FL
1. Augie Grill
2. Ryan Crane
3. Eddie Mercer
4. Donald Long
5. Scott Carlson
6. Ronnie Sanders
7. Josh Hamner
8. Dale Little
9. Cale Gale
10. Joey Senter
11. Shaun McWhirter
12. David Hole
13. Donnie Wilson
14. Stanley Smith
15. Roger Reuse
16. A.J. Ganino
17. Ron McDonald
18. Jerry Bohlman
19. William Wambles
20. Jay Middleton
21. Tommy Warren Jr.
22. Wes Loyd.
MOBILE SUPER LATE MODEL SERIES RACE #2
Mobile Speedway, Mobile, AL
1-#118 Dave Mader III
2-#83 Cale Gale
3-#72 Eddie Mercer
4-#10 Ryan Crane
5-#00 William Wambles
6-#99 Dale Little
7-#25 Lane Morrow
8-#93 A. J. Ganino
9-#82 Donnie Wilson
10-#82 Grant Enfinger
11-#69 Scott Hamilton
12-#11 Donald Long
13-#99 Wayne Niedecken Jr.
14-#42 Kevin Rehwinkel
15-#18 Eddie Craig
16-# 74 Jay Middleton
17-# 6 Okie Mason
18-#49 Stanley Smith
19-#57 Wes Loyd
Augie Grill knew Five Flags Speedway as a crew chief, helping Wayne Anderson win the 2001 Snowball Derby. He showed Friday night he can handle the track as a driver.
In his first race behind the wheel at Five Flags, Grill of Birmingham, Ala., led the final 34 laps to capture the Super Late Model Papa John’s 100 Blizzard Series race.
Grill, 28, started driving only three years ago and it was his 22nd Late Model race.
“I figured I’d better start driving now before I got too old,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to do it.”
He scored his first Late Model victory just a week earlier in a 125-lap event at Montgomery, Ala.
Mercer, who maintained his points lead. “We just didn’t have as good a setup as the last race we won.”
Unofficially, Mercer leads Long by 10 points as the top two drivers earn provisional starting berths after five races in December’s Snowball Derby. Carlson trails Mercer by 20 points, while Crane is another five points back.
Grill, whose car wasn’t ready for the first Blizzard race, plans to run the rest of the series to prepare for the Snowball Derby as a driver this time.
BLIZZARD NOTES by Dan Butler
22 cars started Papa John's 100 Friday night, the second of five Blizzard Series races at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. Most of the drivers in the field were familiar to the fans at the historic track, yet a few of the drivers had traveled a long......long way for a night of racing. A.J. Ganino of Lebanon, Ohio and his crew put 746 miles behind them on their way to the Florida panhandle. This was Ganino's first race at Five Flags Speedway, though he had tested there two years prior to Friday's race. Though it was Ganino's first race at Five Flags, he had former Snowball Derby champion, Dave Mader III as a crew chief for the night which can't hurt. "The only thing I know about this track so far is that it likes to eat tires." Ganino told us.
now in Ontario are averaging close to 64 degrees during daylight hours, with no humidity. This week in Pensacola a new record high was recorded at 97 degrees with a heat index of 108 with some pretty nasty humidity. Welcome to the south Shaun. So how did they do? McWhirter crossed the line in 11th position, with Wilson just two cars behind him in 13th. A.J. Ganino finished in the 16th position.
Local favorite, and short track heavy hitter Wayne Niedecken Jr. had the car dialed in and qualified 3rd fastest behind Crane and Grill. Then he ran into trouble in pre-race tech inspection and virtually disappeared for the night. An official announcement was never made as to what happened to Niedecken, but we were told that he had a carburetor infraction and would have to start in the rear. After that, Niedecken was seen loading up his hauler and called it a night.
MADER MISSES FRIDAY, MAKES UP FOR IT SATURDAY NIGHT by Gerald Hodges
Eddie Mercer still leads the Blizzard point standings. (Butler Photo)
2001 ROMCO Series champion, Donnie Wilson traveled 852 miles, nearly 15 hours, to Pensacola, Florida Friday night. Wilson said is going to try to make the field in the remaining Blizzard Series races, and is looking forward to trying to qualify for the 38th Annual Snowball Derby in December. Wilson also finished fourth in this year's Rattler at South Alabama Speedway in March.
Shaun McWhirter, his crew went the extra mile, 1,328 to be exact, to compete at Five Flags Speedway on Friday. McWhirter resides in Ontario, Canada nearly 25 hours north of Pensacola. Getting a handle on a new track was hard enough for the team, but getting used to the gulfcoast's weather was even tougher. Temperatures right
Dave Mader III is back in town.
Mader III of Sherrill’s Ford, NC is still carrying on the family tradition of winning big races at Mobile International Speedway.
My dad loved this race track when he raced here in the late 60s and early 70s, and I’ve been racing here for a long time, also,” said Mader. “Between the two of us, we’ve won our share of races here. I’m just carrying on a long, family tradition.”
Mader’s latest win came Saturday, May 28 in the second of five 100-lap Allison Electric/Jam Construction Super Late Model races.
Mader started the race from the fifth starting position in his No. 118.
The fast qualifier, Donald Long of Pensacola, FL was on the pole. Cale Gale of Irvington was on the outside pole.
Stanley Smith of Chelsea, AL and Wes Loyd of Covington, LA made up the second row.
Dave Mader blasted to a win at Mobile on Saturday night. (Gerald Hodges Photo)
Mader was on the inside of the third row and “Fast” Eddie Mercer was on the outside.
During lap one, Stanley Smith and Wes Loyd got together in Turn 3. Cale Gale was also caught up in it. Smith’s No. 49 and Lloyd’s No. 57 were damaged too much for them to continue, but Gale did return to the track, even though he had to go to the rear of the field of 19 other cars.
After 10 laps, the top-five cars were Long, Mader, Ryan Crane of Panama City, FL, Mercer, and Gale.
During the first half of the race, there were three brief caution periods.
“Boy, I’m going to tell you the Fisher Engines/Press-A-Dent Monte Carlo was right,” said Mader III.
“It was absolutely perfect. That’s how good it was.”
Gale’s No. 83 Keller/Smith Monte Carlo suffered some body damage during the lap-1 accident, but in spite of the damage, he had a strong finish.
“We had a good car, and I think if we hadn’t got caught there on that first lap, we might could have won,” said Gale. “I had to use my stuff up coming back up, and Dave was just real good.”
Wes Loyd was taken out in an early accident. (Hodges Photo)
During lap 43, Mader, who had been working on Long, was able to get by for the lead and collect the Miller Lite Halfway leader bonus at lap 50.
The night’s fourth caution came out on lap 57 after Kevin Rehwinkel spun.
Gale continued to move up and by lap 64 was second.
But that was as far as the Irvington driver could go. For the remaining 36-laps, Mader put the hammer down, and cruised to his first MIS victory of the season.