Two New Winners In ASA South Doubleheader
"JWT" Wins At New Senoia, "Chocolate" Wins At South Georgia
The sixth race of the 2007 season in the ASA Late Model Series Southern Division; The South Georgia 125 was postponed due to raging wildfires in the area at the time and rescheduled for Friday September 14, 2007. One driver didn't mind.
Rookie, Jeff "Chocolate" Choquette started on the pole and the current ASALMS Southern Division Overall and Rookie of the Year Points Leader would lead all 125 laps in a wild attrition and caution plagued event to take home his first career ASALMS Feature win.
Jeff Choquette (top, center) and John Wes Townley (bottom, center) were able to each grab their first wins with the ASA Late Model Southern Division this past weekend. (ASA LM photos)
It would be Choquette and fellow freshman, 19-year-old Travis Cope leading the 27-car starting field to the green flag to begin Day One of the Georgia Doubleheader Weekend as trouble ensured as soon as the field completed the first lap when Jeremy Gerstner and Travis Wilson got together in Turn Four to bring out the first of many cautions to be thrown throughout the event.
On the restart, Choquette would lead the field to the green with Cope trailing and the two rising stars would pull away from the rest of the pack to battle for the top spot. Beau Slocumb began working his way through the pack from his seventh starting spot and was up to third by Lap 15 and quickly reeled in both Choquette and Cope as the Top Three checked out from the rest of the field.
Over the next 40 laps, Slocumb worked on Cope high and low trying to come up with a way to get by the 19-year-old Weeki Wachi, Florida pilot. On Lap 55, Slocumb drove hard into Turn One to try the outside lane around Cope, but lost grip up in the third groove and looped his mount! Slocumb would be sent to the rear and with nothing to lose, Slocumb pitted for minor adjustments and fuel.
All the while, Choquette continued to set the pace with Cope following in his tire tracks when a new contender emerged in 14-year-old Max Gresham, who was as high as third at one point early in the race before Slocumb got by.
From that point on the caution flagged came out with regularity as attrition and other factors began playing a role in the outcome of the 125-lap Feature. With Nine laps to go and after the 15th caution of the event, ASALMS Officials elected to bring the cars onto pit road to top off their fuel cells as fuel became a major concern for the ASALMS Southern Division Teams.
Brothers Racing Team teammates, 17-year-old John Wes Townley, who was sitting in third, and Beau Slocumb, who had worked his way back to up fourth spot, both elected not to take on extra fuel and it cost Townley dearly as the green came out on Lap 116!
Just three laps later on Lap 119, as Townley was battling with Cope for second, he slowed on the race track, out of gas as his teammate Slocumb drove by for third! A final six-lap Shootout ensued as Choquette had been fighting off Cope the whole time and now Slocumb had rejoined the battle. Slocumb applied heavy pressure to Cope which allowed Choquette to pull away from the battling duo. At one point Slocumb managed to slide past Cope coming down the front stretch with three laps to go, only to be immediately passed right back by Cope heading into the next turn!
In the end, Choquette would survive 16 cautions and an attrition plagued event that saw only 12 cars take the checkered flag when all was said and done. Choquette would go on to lead all 125 laps to give the Loxahatchee, Florida freshman his first career ASALMS Feature Win and extend both his Overall and Rookie of the Year Points Leads heading into Day Two of the Georgia Doubleheader Weekend the next day in Senoia, Georgia.
Travis Cope on Lap 85 and then had to fight off several challenges from his own teammate and fellow Peach State driver, Beau Slocumb to go on and win his first career ASALMS Feature!
In a reversal of fortunes on the front row, 19-year-old Travis Cope and ASALMS Southern Division Overall and Rookie of the Year Points Leader and Feature Winner the night before at the South Georgia (GA) Motorsports Park, Jeff Choquette started on the front row of the 125-lap Feature in Senoia, Georgia. The night before at South Georgia it was Choquette on the pole with Cope flanking his outside!
The front row stayed side by side with Choquette just edging Cope across the start/finish line to lead Lap One and more importantly, pick up Five (5) bonus points for leading a lap, which is extremely crucial as the points battles head into the home stretch. On Lap Two, Cope took his turn in the lead and pulled out ahead of Choquette, who tucked in behind as the field began to sort itself out.
Choquette stayed glued to Cope’s back bumper until the Brothers Racing Team duo of 17-year-old John Wes Townley and Beau Slocumb both managed to get by the Loxahatchee, Florida driver and set their sights on Cope.
Jeff Choquette (#170) holds off Travis Cope (#26).
Cope finished a career high second over Slocumb who made the last Six laps with Cope very exciting to watch! Chris Fontaine also had to come from the back twice after spins to finish fourth as Travis Wilson brought home fifth after his first lap spin!
Brandon Johnson came through with a sixth place finish as like Slocumb and Fontaine, he also came from the back of the pack after pitting. Jeremy Gerstner finished a career high seventh after a first lap spin while 16-year-old Brian Blum, Rob Partelo, and Townley, despite running out of gas late in the race, completed the Top 10
The 0.375 Mile New Senoia (GA) Raceway, hosted of the Senoia 125 Presented by FLF Racecars, day two of the Georgia Doubleheader Weekend.
An emerging star shined brightly on Day Two of the Georgia Doubleheader Weekend as 17-year-old John Wes Townley, from near-by Watkinsville, Georgia took the lead from
John Wes Townley takes the checkers at Senoia.
Cope stayed out in front with Townley and Slocumb in hot pursuit over the next 47 laps when the caution flew on Lap 67 when 16-year-old Dakota Stroup got into the back end of Travis Wilson in Turn Four. Stroup was sent to the rear of the field while Wilson was forced to pit and also had to restart at the rear right behind Stroup!
Things took a turn for the worst 10 laps later as Wilson drove around the outside of Stroup and the two collided several times before Stroup shoved Wilson up into the Turns 3-4 wall on Lap 77. ASALMS Officials immediately parked Stroup as he was Black-Flagged and Disqualified for conduct detrimental to the ASALMS! Unfortunately for Wilson, the damage to his machine was to severe for him to continue.
On the next restart, Townley and Slocumb again applied pressure to Cope and finally on Lap 85, Townley and Slocumb both drove underneath the 19-year-old Sunshine State pilot to take over first and second to the roar of the vocal Peach State crowd! From there, Townley and Slocumb would pull away from the rest of the pack to battle.
ARP Bodies Fast Qualifier, Chris Fontaine also got by Cope and began reeling in the teammates from the Brothers Racing Team. Soon it was a three-car battle for the lead. Later on however, Townley and Slocumb lost Fontaine using lapped traffic and would settle the race on their own terms.
Several times Slocumb let his teammate know he was behind him and with 10 laps to go got to Townley’s drivers door as they battled side by side for the next several laps with the partisan Georgia crowd on their feet. Townley managed to maintain his momentum on the outside groove and got back ahead of Slocumb with Five to go.
Slocumb tried the inside lane again going down the backstretch with Four laps to go and the two drivers touched, slowing both down briefly. Townley was able to gather his machine back up quickly and briefly pulled away. As the white flag came out, Slocumb finally caught up to Townley’s back bumper but could nothing with him as the 17-year-old Townley would fight off his teammate to score his first career ASALMS Feature Win!
Townley, who’s part of the Driver Development Program for Wood Brothers JTG Racing made his Car Owner and Father, Tony Townley proud as it was a 1-2 finish for his drivers highlighted by his sons’ first ever Feature Win in dramatic fashion over his teammate Slocumb, a Two-Time ASALMS South Feature Winner in 2007!
Slocumb finished second to move into second place in the ASALMS Southern Division Points Standings heading into the next race; The North VS South Shootout/World Cup 200 at the i-70 (Mo) Speedway, located East of Kansas City in Odessa, Missouri on Saturday and Sunday September 22-23, 2007.
Chris Fontaine couldn’t maintain the pace set by Townley and Slocumb, but did come home with a career high third place finish over Cope who finished fourth. 18-year-old Cody Smith, running for 5K Motorsports over the Georgia Doubleheader Weekend, rounded out the Top Five with a career high Fifth.
ASALMS Southern Division Overall and Rookie of the Year Points Leader, Jeff
John Wes Townley climbs out of his car after his first-career win.
Choquette, hot off his first career ASALMS Feature Win the night before the South Georgia (GA) Motorsports Park, finished Sixth and will carry a 97-point lead (Unofficially) over Beau Slocumb heading to the I-70 Speedway.