Trackside Now:  UARA-Stars at Bristol Motor Speedway
Yontz Wins Bristol For Second Win Of The Season
Saturday, 10:25am ET - The Thunder Roadsters have completed their final practice of the day, turning the track over to the UARA-Stars drivers for their final practice, running until 12:30 pm.

Saturday, 10:15am ET - The UARA-Stars race day has officially begun here at Bristol Motor Speedway.  While the temperature outside is a comfortable 71 degrees, it is overcast and a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms throughout the day have some nervous but hopeful to get in the racing action.

This race is not only important for the UARA series drivers and teams, but many eyes are looking upon this event as it will be the first race on the track since it's resurfacing.  Earlier this week NASCAR Busch Series and Truck Series drivers attempted to get practice laps on the track to get a feel for how fast the new surface is as well as put rubber down on the track, but weather cancelled most racing activity this week making today's UARA race important for all.

Along with the UARA-Stars series, a 30-lap Thunder Roadsters event will also take place today.  There are 14 Roadsters here ready to race their feature event.

Today's on-track schedule starts with the Thunder Roadster practice from 9:00am - 10:00am with UARA-Stars practice to follow until 12:30 pm.  The Roadsters qualify at 1:00 pm with UARA to take their two laps at 3:00 pm.  The Roadster race kicks off at 4:30 pm with the UARA-Stars 150-lapper to follow.

Yesterday the UARA-Stars drivers practiced throughout the day.  Justin Hill and Alex Yontz were the fastest two drivers overall.  Below are the practice speeds for the day.
Pos
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Car
45
55
38N
96
20P
47G
41
16
74
40
27
23
91
84
33M
53
4
9K
22
25
Name
Justin Hill
Alex Yontz
Marty Ward
Wade Day
Deborah Renshaw Parker
Stephen Gahagan Jr.
Matt DiBenedetto
Daniel Pope II
Lance Gatlin
C.E. Falk
Mark Setzer
Matt Leicht
John Gottsacker
Clay Greenfield
Matt McCall
Lee Tissot
Nate Monteith
Brad Kurth
Casey Holt
Ross Furr
Fast Time
17.013
17.069
17.093
17.123
17.145
17.163
17.165
17.179
17.198
17.227
17.26
17.273
17.276
17.279
17.282
17.305
17.319
17.323
17.372
17.42
Pos
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39

Car
22S
87
28
44
12M
21
57
11
81
0
91W
69
92
91H
39
99
29
32
19H
Name
Keith Sitltner
Travis Wilson
Mikey Kile
Robert Ferguson
BJ Macky
Lucas Ransone
Zeke Shell
Barry Andrews
Jason Grant
Scott Bishop
Clint Watkins
Steve Blackburn
Jake Crum
Les Howell
Steve Carver
Dennis Queen
Josh Hale
Kevin Leicht
Wayne Hale

Fast Time
17.441
17.454
17.46
17.497
17.498
17.549
17.611
17.624
17.64
17.656
17.674
17.683
17.698
17.759
17.832
17.875
18.084
18.241
26.223
As mentioned, this is the first time that competitive laps will be turned at the newly-resurfaced Bristol Motor Speedway.  Don't call it a repaving, as the surface is concrete still, not asphalt.  The track is still a tough, fast .533 concrete surface, but everything about the actual track itself is brand-new.  There's an all-new 36-degree banking in the corners.  Fans may say that Bristol had 36-degree banking before, but it's commonly known inside racing circles that it was actually more like 26 before.  Plus, the outside groove of the track was especially tricky because it actually had less banking than the inside groove, making for a sometimes one-groove racetrack. 

All of those problems are no longer an issue with the resurfacing, however.  The corners are every bit of 36 degrees and the transitions from both grooves in the corners to the straightaways are smoothed out, which should make for exciting two-wide racing.

We'll see how the resurfacing project goes when the UARA machines hit the track tonight (Mother Nature permitting, of course).  Speed51.com will have reaction from the UARA drivers on the resurfacing project in our post-race coverage.
Saturday, 12:40pm ET - UARA practice has concluded and Brandon Dean set quick time with a lap of 16.492.  Keith Stiltner was second quick, followed by Clint Mills, Matt DiBenedetto and Matt McCall.  Full practice results coming momentarily.

Saturday, 11:35am ET - Sure enough, it was only a brief rain delay and the green flag is back out for the remainder of UARA practice, which is scheduled to end at 12:30pm.

Saturday, 11:15am ET - The skies have opened up with a light sprinkle over Bristol Motor Speedway.  The garage area is quiet as cars sit beneath tarps.  Looking at the radar, while there is a chance for rain throughout the day, this sprinkle is likely to come and go quickly so that we can resume UARA practice as scheduled.
The tow trucks test out the new surface at Bristol as they also dry the track from a brief shower.  (51 Photos)
Saturday, 1:05pm ET - Minus the brief delay for a rain shower early on, the 2.5-hour UARA practice session went off relatively unscathed.  Only a few minor incidents brought out the yellow flag.  ASA Late Model standout and son of former NASCAR driver Rick Wilson, Travis Wilson spun his #87 on the frontstretch and made ever-so-slight contact with the inside retaining wall.  Legends Car graduate John Gottsacker had an O-ring on the bell housing leaking oil, causing his #91 to smoke heavily.  Gottsacker reports his engine is okay as his team prepares for qualifying.

Qualifying for tonight's UARA 150-lap feature will hit the track at 3:15.
John Gottsacker's #91 shows a little smoke in practice.
Pos
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
Car
9
22S
77M
41
33M
55
92
96
20P
47G
84
23
40
32
74
21
28
38N
91H
91
27

Name
Brandon Dean
Keith Sitltner
Clint Mills
Matt DiBenedetto
Matt McCall
Alex Yontz
Jake Crum
Wade Day
Deborah Renshaw Parker
Stephen Gahagan, Jr.
Clay Greenfield
Matt Leicht
C.E. Falk
Kevin Leicht
Lance Gatlin
Lucas Ransone
Mikey Kile
Marty Ward
Les Howell
John Gottsacker
Mark Setzer

Fast Time
16.492
16.563
16.578
16.624
16.625
16.629
16.636
16.637
16.709
16.712
16.734
16.794
16.813
16.822
16.833
16.860
16.866
16.867
16.883
16.892
16.895

Pos
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
Car
53
4
91W
33
12M
99
9K
57
5
25
69
45
29
0
87
16
22
44
11
81
39

Name
Lee Tissot
Nate Monteith
Clint Watkins
Roger Lee Newton
B.J. Mackey
Dennis Queen
Brad Kurth
Zeke Shell
Vic Hill
Ross Furr
Steve Blackburn
Justin Hill
Josh Hale
Scott Bishop
Travis Wilson
Daniel Pope II
Casey Holt
Robert Ferguson
Barry Andrews
Jason Grant
Steve Carver

Fast Time
16.919
16.937
16.94O
16.949
16.953
16.954
16.956
16.974
16.979
16.995
16.999
17.027
17.030
17.034
17.041
17.062
17.096
17.115
17.329
17.341
17.407

Several Pro Cuppers are here trying to get a first-look at the new surface before their race here in August.  Southern Division driver Wade Day is here in his #96 machine.  Chase Pistone, who once led the Southern Division points standings this year, is in attendance working on John Gottsacker's car.  On the ASA front, Travis Wilson is here getting some notes on the track for when he returns with his Greg's Motorsports team in the ASA Challenge Series.  Some other big names here include former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Deborah Renshaw Parker.  With a weekend off from Late Model racing at South Boston Speedway (VA), C.E. Falk is here with his #40 machine.  Also, former Yates Racing Development Driver Matt McCall is here with his #33 car.

Teams are aligning their cars on  pit road in preparations for qualifying, but the rain has started falling again.  Because time trials don't start until 3:15, everything's still on schedule as planned despite the rain. 

Saturday, 3:02pm ET - It's still raining here at Bristol.  It's not a hard rain by any means, but it's just hard enough to be a nuisance and to keep the cars off the track.  Bristol Motor Speedway is using this event as a rubber-laying session for when the NASCAR teams show up next month, so it's a fairly low-profile event, meaning no jet dryers.  Once the rain subsides, they'll be drying the track the old-fashioned short track way, by having tow trucks and ambulances circle around.

There's no official word from UARA Management, but Speed51.com has learned from a series official that the series will be re-evaluating their position at 4pm.  If qualifying can not begin at or around 4pm, it will be scrapped.  The top-20 in UARA points would be locked into the show, with the final 12 starting spots going by date registered for the event.

We'll be following the situation as we go along.

Saturday, 2:01pm ET - Tonight's UARA 150 at Bristol begins a busy stretch of short track series hitting the new surface to prepare it for the August NASCAR events here.  Next week, the ASA Late Model Challenge Series will be here.  UARA will be back on August 11th along with the always-exciting Aaron's Pro Challenge Series.  Then, to kick off the Cup weekend, the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series will have their traditional date at Bristol on August 22nd.
Jesse Bunnell of Monroe, NC has scored the pole for the 30-lap Thunder Roadster feature.
Matt McCall's #33
Saturday, 6:41pm ET - A late race caution set up a two-lap dash to the checkered flag in overtime, but nothing the track, the weather or the other drivers could throw at Alex Yontz would deny him of the victory.

Settling for second behind Yontz was Mark SetzerB.J. Mackey crossed the line in third with Ross Furr and Clay Greenfield rounding out the top five.  A full field rundown will be coming soon.

Saturday, 6:25pm ET - The caution has come out on lap 131 when Jake Crum spun off turn four while in the second position.  He has brought his car to pit road to the attention of his crew.  His spin moves Setzer to the second position, followed by Mackey and Furr.

Saturday, 6:20pm ET - Alex Yontz worked on the back of Jake Crum for numerous laps and finally worked his way under him in turn one, taking the lead on lap 117.  Crum fell to second with Setzer, Mackey and Furr in tow.

Saturday, 6:05pm ET - A few sprinkles in the air can be felt here and there, but not enough to put out the yellow flag.  At lap 75, the top five are Jake Crum, Alex Yontz, Mark Setzer, B.J. Mackey and Ross Furr.

Saturday, 5:58pm ET - It has been difficult to get many green flag laps.  Three more quick cautions have come out involving spins on the track.  Some involved over the last three cautions are Steve Blackburn, Marty Ward and Lucas Ransone. 

Saturday, 5:45pm ET - Following a restart, Jake Crum showed his muscle by taking the lead from Mackey.  Yontz positioned himself in the second position while Mackey was hung on the high side.

Saturday, 5:39pm ET - After the restart, Mackey continued to lead by a few car lengths as the positions behind him shuffled.  Before the drivers could get a good amount of laps under their belt, the caution came out for the second time on lap 24 when Mike Kile, Dennis Queen and Matt DiBenedetto all made contact in a massive pileup in turn one.  All three have severe damage and are out of the race.

Top five are B.J. Mackey, Jake Crum, Alex Yontz, Ross Furr and Roger Lee Newton.

Saturday, 5:29pm ET - It took only five laps for the first caution to come out as Les Howell got into the wall coming off turn four, collecting C.E. Falk and Lance Gatlin.  Howell's car hit hard and appears to be significant damage to the car.  Falk spun and received some damage but might be able to continue as well as Gatlin.  Current top five are B.J. Mackey, Ross Furr, Matt DiBenedetto, Lee Tissot and Jake Crum.

Saturday, 5:17pm ET - Jesse Bunnell has won the Thunder Roadster race.  Officials are not wasting any time to go green with the UARA race.  Engines have fired and the green flag is moments away.

Saturday, 5:00pm ET - It has stopped raining and the track is dry enough for the Thunder Roadsters to hit the track for their 30-lap feature.  As long as it doesn't start raining again, the UARA field is set by points and entries for a 150-lap feature that will take the green flag ASAP after the conclusion of the Thunder Roadster race.

Saturday, 4:32pm ET - The UARA-Stars officials have just held an impromptu driver’s meeting inside the infield meeting room here at Bristol.  No decision has yet to be made about whether the race will be held tonight.  If the race is to be held tonight, the field will be set by points and entries.  The top-20 in UARA points are locked into the field, and the next 12 not-top-20 drivers to file entries will make up the 32-car field.
If the race is to be held Sunday, then qualifying events would be held as scheduled beginning at 1pm.  But, of course, no decision has been made about the plan just yet.

While the rain still spits down, track drying is underway.  Some progress has been made, allowing the Thunder Roadster drivers to begin getting ready for their race.  INEX, the Thunder Roadsters’ sanctioning body, is hoping to take the green flag for that 30-lap feature in the next 15 minutes.

If the race is held tonight and the field is set by points and entries, that will leave some big names out of the race.  Matt McCall, a former UARA champion, would be the first driver not to make the show.  Also, Brandon Dean, who was fastest in this afternoon’s practice session, would be out of the show too because of not having an entry in until Wednesday.  Wade Day, Nate Monteith, Deborah Renshaw and Travis Wilson all would not make the show, either. 

Wade Day is in danger of not making the show.
Pos
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
Car
12
53
25
41
27
33
55
32
84
92
21
11
99
16
44
23
28
57
22
91
91
39
69
81
38
19
29
5
22
40
91
74

Name
B.J. Mackey
Lee Tissot
Ross Furr
Matt DiBenedetto
Mark Setzer
Roger Lee Newton
Alex Yontz
Kevin Leicht
Clay Greenfield
Jake Crum
Lucas Ransone
Barry Andrews
Dennis Queen
Daniel Pope II
Robbie Ferguson
Matt Leiicht
Mikey Kile
Zeke Shell
Casey Holt
Johnny Gottsacker
Lee Howell
Steve Carver
Steve Blackburn
Jason Grant
Marty Ward
Wayne Hale
Josh Hale
Vic Hill
Keith Stiltner
C.E. Falk
Clint Watkins
Lance Gatlin

Points/Entry Date
pts
pts
pts
pts
pts
pts
pts
pts
pts
pts
pts
pts
pts
pts
pts
pts
pts
pts
pts
pts
July 5th
July 17th
July 17th
July 17th
July 17th
July 18th
July 18th
July 19th
July 19th
July 19th
July 19th
July 20th & pts

UARA STARTING LINEUP (Set by Points and Entry Dates If Necessary to Race Saturday Night)
Points/Entry Date
July 20th
July 20th
July 20th
July 20th
July 20th
July 23rd
July 24th
July 25th
July 26th
July 26th
July 27th

Did Not Qualify
Matt McCall
Stephen Gahagan
Scott Bishop
Clint Mills
Wade Day
Nate Monteith
Deborah Renshaw
Brandon Dean
Alton Satterfield
Brad Kurth
Travis Wilson

Saturday, 7:38pm ET - Alex Yontz has now swept the two biggest Late Model Stock races at the two most prestigious racetracks that those cars visit.  Fresh off last fall's victory in the Bailey's 300 at Martinsville Speedway, Yontz has won the UARA 150 at the newly re-surfaced Bristol Motor Speedway.

Yontz took the lead on lap 118 from Jake Crum, who had dominated much of the event.  As Yontz checked out, Crum settled into second before spinning out of the runner-up spot on lap 132.  That moved Mark Setzer to Yontz's bumper, but on the restart, Yontz pulled ahead.  The young driver even had to withstand a final green-white-checkered restart to score his second win of the 2007 UARA-Stars season.  We'll have reaction from the winner, the losers and reaction from BMS officials on how their new project performed down the road here on Speed51.com. 
Yontz's (#55) move around Jake Crum on lap 118 (top) allowed him and his team into Bristol's victory lane.  (51 Photos).
UNOFFICIAL FINISH
Pos
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
Car
55
27
12M
25
84
33
16
22S
23
91
44
69
19H
11
32
22
29
38N
5
81
92
21
57
91H
53
39
28
99
41
91W
40
74

Name
Alex Yontz
Mark Setzer
B.J. Mackey
Ross Furr
Clay Greenfield
Roger Newton
Daniel Pope II
Keith Stiltner
Matt Leicht
John Gottsacker
Robert Ferguson
Steve Blackburn
Wayne Hale
Barry Andrews
Kevin Leicht
Casey Holt
Jsoh Hale
Marty Ward
Vic Hill
Jason Grant
Jake Crum
Lucas Ransone
Zeke Shell
Les Howell
Lee Tissot
Steve Carver
Mikey Kile
Dennis Queen
Matt DiBenedetto
Clint Watkins
C.E. Falk
Lance Gatlin