Taylor Satterfield Breaks Into GAS Victory Lane at South Alabama
Dominating Performance for Satterfield Comes Over Stout Field at Newly-Paved Track
Slatterfield's winning #40 machine (51 Photos)
Young Taylor Satterfield was able to use all of his experience, while still a relative beginner in the Georgia Asphalt Series Pro Late Model ranks, in his dominating performance at South Alabama Speedway on Saturday, April 7th. Satterfield led the final 65 laps at the freshly re-paved track in Opp, AL, to claim his first GAS victory.
“I don’t really know what to say,” said Satterfield in victory lane. “We’ve been running a different kind of setup. I got my old crew chief back, and we went haywire on the setup of this thing. Since then it’s been a totally different racecar when we got to the track. It was amazing. I can’t ask for any better of a weekend.”
Satterfield, a native of Commerce, Georgia, made it look easy from the moment his team unloaded off the truck midday Saturday. After posting the fastest times in multiple practice sessions, he quickly established himself as the man to beat.
In addition, Satterfield, the first driver on the clock in GAS time trials, could not be outdone there either. He posted the fastest time in that session over Greg Motes, last week’s winner at Watermelon Capital Speedway Korey Ruble, and Georgia Asphalt Series points leader Russell Fleeman.
Satterfield drew a four as the number of cars to invert, putting Fleeman on the pole. However, as the green waved, it looked like another driver was going to walk off with the trophy. Korey Ruble made a daring pass on the outside early in the race to get past Fleeman and eventually extended the lead to five car-lengths.
For many drivers, their first race win can be a struggle to obtain. Most drivers have to overcome a combination of tough fields and their own inexperience before they can break into victory lane. But when enough experience is garnered on the racetrack, eventually it will be enough to get into the win list.
that the field was able to catch back up to Satterfield. By that time, however, Satterfield had lapped every driver but the top six.
Bubba Pollard, who ran third-place most of the night, tried to catch the top two, but the young Georgian had to settle for third at the checkered flag.
“We had the wrong gear in the car and were hitting the chip too early,” said Pollard. “It hurt us getting off of the corner so I tried to drive it in deeper to make it up. Korey and Taylor were running pretty good. I think if we got another caution or two I might have been able to get second, but I think running third was about as quick as we were going to get with those longer runs.
Slatterfield hoists his hardware in victory lane.
The complexion of the race changed on a lap-30 caution period. That provided Satterfield the opportunity to close back up on the back bumper of Ruble after patiently working his way to second. The two fought a spirited battle for the lead on the ensuing restart.
“I’ve raced with Korey a bunch of times for first and second, especially at Cordele and places like that,” said Satterfield. “He came down on me a couple times, but that’s okay; it’s just racing. He wasn’t blocking, he was just racing. That’s the way things go, and we both had good, clean fun racing. It was a lot of fun, it really was.”
Ruble admitted that his car was not handling as well as Satterfield’s, but was driving as hard as he could to stay in the lead.
“Taylor was better than me there,” said Ruble. “He was just being patient, and his car was just unreal. When we were going for it, trying to stay up there in front, one lap he was actually just pushing me down the length of the backstretch, so I let him go.
“I thought he was going to fade later, but he never did. I’ve never driven a car so hard for 100 laps and still get pulled on. We were just a little too tight, and we can definitely improve on it for the next time, but it wasn’t quite enough tonight.”
Satterfield claimed the lead for himself on lap 35 and pulled away from Ruble by half a straightaway. He then focused on getting through lapped traffic on a long run midway through the race. It wasn’t until a lap-77 wreck between Andy Pugh and Jimmy Garmon
Satterfield held on to win by a margin of about two seconds over Ruble. Pollard, Michael Pope, and Sanders rounded out the top-five. For Satterfield, the night was nearly flawless except for one part, the victory celebration in which he attempted at a burnout on the frontstretch.
“I went down there, and I guess I was just a little over-excited,” said Satterfield. “I popped the clutch and burnt the clutch before it even started to spin. I guess that’s just the way things happen.”
If he continues to be as good as he was Saturday night, he could get a lot of practice at it in the future.
The Georgia Asphalt Series now has a couple weeks off before returning to the track for its fifth event of the season, a 100-lap race at Lanier Nat’l Speedway on Saturday, April 21st.
Georgia Asphalt Series
April 7, 2007
South Alabama Speedway
1. Taylor Satterfield, 100
2. Korey Ruble, 100
3. Bubba Pollard, 100
4. Michael Pope, 100
5. Ronnie Sanders, 100
6. Greg Motes, 100
7. Russell Fleeman, 99
8. Kevin Stephens, 99
9. Kyle Fowler, 99
10. Sam "Shanky" Smith, 98
11. Brandon Odom, 96
12. Tony Clark, 96
13. Shane Nalley, 94
14. Mike Ezell, 88
15. David Elliott, 80
16. Jimmy Garmon, 78
17. Andy Pugh, 76
18. Jeff Smith, 39
19. Frederick Moore, 30
20. Larry Jordan, 22