Fredrick Moore Steers Clear for Anderson GAS Victory
Two-Time GAS Champ Capitalizes on Kevin Stephens’ Missed Shift for Second Win of the Year
Fredrick Moore in victory lane at Anderson, which is a not-so-unfamilar place to him (51 Photo)
Over the years, Fredrick Moore has become the Georgia Asphalt Series’ master when it comes to sliding around the tough Anderson Motor Speedway (SC) the fastest. Moore ended a personal winless streak with a dominating performance at Anderson in 2006 and followed it up with a podium finish in the second Anderson race last season.
On Friday night, Kevin Stephens appeared to have the best chance at ending Moore’s hot streak at Anderson, but the early leader had transmission issues on a lap-50 restart of the “Upstate 100” GAS event. When Stephens stacked up the field behind him, Moore was able to narrowly escape by on the low side to take the lead and the two-time GAS champion would not look back for his second series victory of the 2007 season.
“I like these old, wore-out racetracks,” said Moore in victory lane. “I can’t explain it. A couple more tracks we race at are wore-out and I like them a lot. I’ve got a little experience here, but I just like this place. It just suits my driving style, I guess.”
While many drivers were slipping and sliding on the slick Anderson surface, Moore and Stephens had the two smoothest cars throughout the 100-lap event. Stephens led from the pole after the top-six qualifiers were inverted and checked out early during a long green flag run. Moore started fourth, but quickly worked his way up to second on lap 43 and began his pursuit of Stephens.
A lap-49 caution proved to be the race’s turning point for both Stephens and Moore.
On the ensuing restart, Stephens failed to come up to speed as the green flag dropped. The field stacked up behind him, including Moore, who pounded the rear bumper of Stephens’ car. After the contact, Moore was able to slide under Stephens on the frontstretch and took the lead.
As Stephens came up to speed in the first and second corners, he settled into second and laid a bumper to Moore trying to get back up to the lead. That turned out to be the closest that anyone would get to Moore for the rest of the night.
Kevin Stephens (#52) and Russell Fleeman (#98) both came up short in the race to the flag.
“We shifted there and it wouldn’t go,” said Stephens. “It was a problem and it cost us first and second here tonight. We had a problem with the transmission at Cordele and I think we broke a gear going between gears there. We found a bolt bent and we had to cut it out to get the shifter fixed. We thought we had the problem fixed, but obviously it isn’t.
“Me and Fredrick are tough competitors. He’s a hard racer just like I am. The only reason I hit him there was because I was trying to get back down to the bottom. If you get up high here, you’re screwed. I tried to get back down and I got into him. I got into him trying to get down. I guess he thought it was intentional and it got him sideways.”
Like Stephens, Moore understood that the contact was a product of hard racing that the tight Anderson Motor Speedway is notorious for.
“He just missed a shift, but heck, I almost messed myself up because I ran in the back of him. I started looking up the track on the restart instead of looking at him and I got into him. We went into the corner and he gave me a shot in the back and I didn’t appreciate that. But you know, he didn’t mean to. He was just trying to gather his stuff up. There was some beating and banging there, but everybody settled down afterwards.”
Transmission issues on another late-race restart cost Stephens second-place, as GAS points leader Russell Fleeman made it by at the drop of the green with 10 laps remaining. Fleeman then began his pursuit of Moore, but the leader was not going to be denied.
“Russell’s leading the points this year and he’s not leading because he’s slow,”
said Moore. “I knew he was coming on because I knew he got by the #52 car (Stephens).
The crew told me he was getting a little loose off the corners, so I just tried to stay as straight as I could and try to bring it home.”
Moore hung on for his second victory of the 2007 season. Fleeman padded his points lead with a second-place finish, while Stephens soldiered on through the transmission problems to finish third. Joey Senter finished fourth, while leading Rookie of the Year candidate Kyle Fowler rounded out the top-five.
The Georgia Asphalt Series will return to action on Saturday, July 21st at Peachstate Speedway in Jefferson, GA.
Georgia Asphalt Series
Anderson Motor Speedway
1. Fredrick Moore
2. Russell Fleeman
3. Kevin Stephens
4. Joey Senter
5. Kyle Fowler
6. Kevin Perry
7. Bubba Pollard
8. David Elliott
9. Mike Alexander, Jr.
10. Michael Pope
11. Michael Massey
12. Shane Nalley
13. Jimmy Garmon
14. Gary Greenwood, Jr.
15. Michael Phelps
16. Mitch Cobb
17. Larry Jordan
18. Dakota Stroup
19. Tony Clark
20. Greg Motes