Trackside Now: UARA-Stars Thompson Metals 150 at Bristol
UARA Joined By Pro Challenge, NHRA Stars & More In "Thunder Valley"
Saturday, 11:10pm ET - Matt DiBenedetto called his battle with Alex Yontz “the hardest I've ever driven.”  Saturday night in the Thompson Metals 150, DiBenedetto’s hardest was just hard enough.  The 16-year-old DiBenedetto passed early dominator Yontz on a lap 128 restart and withstood Yontz’s challenge over a final restart to claim his third-career UARA victory.

Yontz followed in second, followed by Cliff Daniels, Darrell Wallace, Jr. and Caleb Holman. 

We’ll have reaction from all the drivers that played a role in the exciting finish next week here on Speed51.com

Thompson Metals 150
Unofficial Finish
1.  Matt DiBenedetto
2.  Alex Yontz
3.  Cliff Daniels
4.  Darrell Wallace, Jr.
5.  Caleb Holman
6.  Curtis Truex, Jr.
7.  Richard Boswell, II
8.  Roger Lee Newton
9.  Jamie Yelton
10.  Scott Turlington
11.  Brandon McReynolds
12.  BJ Mackey
13.  Joey Bryant
14.  Scott Andrews, Jr.
15.  Paddy Rodenbeck
16.  Garrett Campbell
17.  Brent Raymer
18.  Thomas Hartensveld
19.  Jamey Caudill
20.  Clay Greenfield
21.  Jake Crum
22.  Clint Mills
23.  Ross Furr
24.  Brad Sams
25.  Andrew Carlsen
26.  Kyle Moon
27.  Lance Gatlin
28.  Stephen Gahagan, Jr.
29.  Daniel Pope II
30.  Steve Blackburn
31.  Nate Monteith
32.  Corey LaJoie

Saturday, 10:30pm ET - Matt DiBenedetto has won the UARA-Stars Thompson Metals 150 at Bristol.  Stay tuned for more.

Saturday, 10:12pm ET - YELLOW is out for the spun car of Scott Turlington in turn four on lap 140.  That means we'll have a dash to the finish. The field has gone RED with eight to go to ensure a green-flag finish.

Matt DiBenedetto retook the lead from Alex Yontz on a lap 128 restart after the YELLOW flew for a spin in turn one on lap 120.  DiBenedetto had been checking out on Yontz, but this caution negates the lead.

It's DiBenedetto, Yontz, Daniels, Darrell Wallace, Jr., and Caleb Holman in the top-five.

Saturday, 9:55pm ET - YELLOW is out on lap 105 as second-place running Jamey Caudill has broken a wheel.  An intense green flag run since the lap-67 restart saw the leader Alex Yontz battling his way through lapped traffic.  The traffic allowed Matt DiBenedetto and Caudill to close to the leader's bumper.  Second-place was swapped between DiBenedetto and Caudill on lap 96.

The leader Yontz nearly got caught up by cars fighting to stay on the lead lap when he approached Brandon McReynolds and Scott Andrews, Jr. tangled.  Yontz had to check up, but all parties continued on unscathed. 

The driver on the move throughout the event has been Cliff Daniels.  Daniels now runs third behind Yontz and DiBenedetto under this yellow.  There are just 45 laps remaining.  Stay tuned for the finish.

Saturday, 9:39pm ET - YELLOW for the spun car of Thomas Hartensveld on lap 60.  No changes among the top-10 during that most recent short green flag run.

Saturday, 9:30pm ET - YELLOW is out on lap 48 for the #27 of Steven Gahagan in the turn one wall. 

Matt DiBenedetto had shown the way since the previous restart, but under the green flag run, he was getting increasingly looser and looser.  That allowed Alex Yontz to get a run on him down the frontstretch on lap 40 to take the lead in turn one.  Yontz now leads DiBenedetto, Crum, Caudill and Clint MillsJamie Yelton runs sixth.

Saturday, 9:15pm ET - YELLOW is back out for the second time on lap 18 as Corey LaJoie has broken a wheel.  On the previous single-file restart, the top-five remained the same and were running single-file when the caution flew.

Saturday, 9:10pm ET - Matt DiBenedetto took the lead on the outside groove at the start and has led the first seven laps before the YELLOW flag flew for Steve Blackburn's spin in turn four.  DiBenedetto leads Alex Yontz, Jake Crum, Jamey Caudill and Jamie Yelton.

Saturday, 8:59pm ET - The UARA-Stars Late Model Stock Car tour's drivers are strapping in for the Thompson Metals 150.  The facilities for live updates here at Bristol aren't ideal because computer stations are not in easy viewing of the racetrack.  But, under every caution period, we'll update what's going on.  We'll hook you up as best we can, guaranteed.

Saturday, 8:25pm ET - Not many of the NHRA stars in the field of the NHRA Circle Track Challenge had any oval track experience, but Doug Kalitta was an exception.  Kalitta is a former USAC Sprint Car National Champion and he put that oval track experience to good use in the Street Stock event.  Kalitta smoked Ron Capps and third-place Antron Brown to the checkered flag.  Now the regular Street Stock drivers are taking over after an inversion for the remainder of the race.

Saturday, 8:00pm ET - For the first 25 laps of the 30-lap Pro Challenge Series race, Terry Horak was the dominant force.  Horak led from the drop of the green flag, but when third-place Trevor Edwards broke, bringing out the caution flag, Horak's straightaway-length lead was nullified.  On the restart, Horak had to hold off Devon Haun on his outside and J.L. Snowden on his rear bumper for his first-ever Pro Challenge Series victory.  Snowden got by Haun on that final restart to claim second.

PRO CHALLENGE OFFICIAL FINISH
1.  Terry Horak
2.  J.L. Snowden
3.  Devon Haun
4.  Kyle Wilson
5.  Chris Brown
6.  Trevor Edwards

Saturday, 7:28pm ET - The traffic backup outside Bristol Motor Speedway has cleared itself up and we're going racing here in Bristol.  The first feature of the night is the 30-lap Pro Challenge Series event.

Saturday, 7:05pm ET - The festivities are held up about a half hour due to the late-running of the NHRA event right next door.  Opening ceremonies will come around 7:30pm.

Saturday, 6:45pm ET - The NHRA stars are taking a few practice laps in their Street Stocks right now.  In just a few short minutes, pre-race festivities will kick off with feature events to follow shortly thereafter.

Saturday, 6:02pm ET - The top-30 on speed were locked into the field, with two points provisionals going to Clay Greenfield and Bryan Dauzat to make up the 32-car starting lineup for tonight's Thompson Metals 150.

Lance Gatlin was the last car to lock in on time, while Keith Stiltner was the first car to come up short on time.

Saturday, 5:44pm ET - Alex Yontz backed up his quick time in qualifying with the Sunoco Pole during qualifying.  Matt DiBenedetto was second-quick once again.  Officials are going over points to determine the starting lineup, which we will have shortly. 

Our Speed51.com Trackside Now office is being moved to another locale in the BMS infield, so we'll be back in just a little bit with all the feature action.

1.  Alex Yontz 15.796
2.  Matt DiBenedetto 15.856
3.  Jake Crum 15.855
4.  Jamey Caudill 15.875
5.  Jamie Yelton 15.883
6.  Scott Andrews, Jr. 15.911
7.  Paddy Rodenbeck 15.914
8.  Clint Mills 15.924
9.  Caleb Holman 15.950
10.  Cory LaJoie 15.982
11.  Brent Raymer 16.017
12.  Cliff Daniels 16.025
13.  Andrew Carlsen 16.065
14.  Kyle Moon 16.070
15.  Darrell Wallace, Jr. 16.094
16.  Brandon McReynolds 16.132
17.  Curtis Truex, Jr. 16.139
18.  Roger Lee Newton 16.177
19.  Stephen Gahagan, Jr. 16.177
20.  Richard Boswell 16.182
21.  BJ Mackey 16.188
22.  Nate Monteith 16.190
23.  Scott Turlington 16.199
24.  Brad Sams 16.213
25.  Ross Furr 16.222
26.  Steve Blackburn 16.227
27.  Garrett Campbell 16.257
28.  Daniel Pope II 16.284
29.  Thomas Hartensveld 16.293
30.  Lance Gatlin 16.339
31.  Keith Stiltner 16.353
32.  Casey Holt 16.354
33.  Joey Bryant 16.373
34.  Matt Lofton 16.389
35.  Clay Greenfield 16.390
36.  Vic Hill 16.406
37.  Brad Kurth 16.469
38.  Dillon Smith 16.493
39.  Nick Howell 16.567
40.  Ryan Salomon 16.726
41.  Bryan Dauzat 16.774
42.  Payne Pickles 16.819
43.  Wayne Hale 17.130

Saturday, 5:19pm ET - With just a few cars remaining to take time, here are a few updates from thus far in qualifying.

Defending UARA Champion Ross Furr was struggling with the handling on his #25 car in practice, so the team rolled out a backup car for qualifying.

The only major incident during qualifying was when last August's UARA Bristol pole winner Payne Pickles broke a wheel on his #05 car and slammed the turn-two wall.  Pickles was uninjured, but his car is junk.  This is the second report of a broken wheel here today, meaning teams are having a hard time countering the load that this track puts on the car and the wheels.

Saturday, 4:30pm ET - We're five cars deep into Sunoco Pole Qualifying.  Each car will receive three timed laps.  If a driver wants to scuff the first one, that's fine.  If they want to go full-speed all three laps, that's fine too.  Three laps are counted and the best time of those three laps will be the lap of record.

Saturday, 4:25pm ET - Just about set for Sunoco Pole Qualifying for tonight's Thompson Metals 150 here at Bristol.  Scott Turlington and Andrew Carlsen will be the first two cars to hit the track.

Behind the BMS oval track, the rumble of dragster engines is almost as loud as the stock cars' here at the track.  Some of the top NHRA drag racers will be running Street Stocks here in a 25-lap feature before the UARA race later on tonight.  The drag racers will start the race, run the first 12 laps and then the field will be inverted as the Street Stock's regular driver at Lonesone Pine will take over for the final half of the race.  Here's how they'll start as determined by an online vote.

NHRA Driver / Street Stock Driver
1.  Jack Beckman / Freddie Taylor, Jr.
2.  Justin Humphreys / Robert Austin
3.  Allen Johnson / Jon Cook
4.  Doug Herbert / Doug Austin
5.  Jeg Coughlin / Gene Griffey
6.  Antron Brown / Jared Bruner
7.  Ron Capps / Jeff Williams
8.  Gary Scelzi / Chris Tunnell
9.  Doug Kalitta / Jeff Counts
10.  Cory McClenathan / Roger Neece
11.  Tony Schumacher / Duke Bare
12.  Greg Anderson / Tim Robinson
13.  J.R. Todd / Terry Stone
14.  Kurt Johnson / James "Moonshine" Mills
15.  Jason Line / Greg Stephens
16.  Morgan Lucas / TBA

Saturday, 4:05pm ET - Myrtle Beach, SC's Terry Horak has set quick time for the 30-lap Pro Challenge Series feature.  He and Trevor Edwards, son of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitor Wayne Edwards, were the only drivers to run in the 17-second bracket.

PRO CHALLENGE QUALIFYING
1.  Terry Horak 17.515
2.  Trevor Edwards  17.997
3.  J.L. Snowden  18.025
4.  Devon Haun  18.038
5.  Kyle Wilson 18.185
6.  Chris Brown 20.170

Saturday, 3:35pm ET - Next up on the track is qualifying  for the three-quarter-scale stock cars and trucks of the Pro Challenge Series.  Only six Pro Challenge cars are on site, as the developmental series is chock full of drivers under the age of 14 and that’s the cutoff age for competition at Bristol.  

Many drivers not eligible to compete at Bristol today have already competed in a makeup-point event at Lanier National Speedway (GA), a race won by Nick Stroupe.  Many of the "underage" drivers are also in competition tonight at Lanier in a non-points event.

Saturday, 3:30pm ET -Our apologies for the delay, as we've experienced some technical difficulties here at BMS.  We should be good to go now.  Since we last joined you, UARA practice has wrapped up.  To little surprise, Alex Yontz was the quickest with his #55 machine, timing in at a lap of 15.867.  2007 UARA Rookie of the Year Matt “Guido” DiBenedetto was second-quick.

UARA Practice
1.   Alex Yontz 15.867
2.  Matt DiBenedetto 15.972
3.  Paddy Rodenbeck 16.041
4.  Caleb Holman 16.052
5.  Darrell Wallace Jr. 16.064
6.  Jamie Yelton 16.067
7.  Jake Crum 16.097
8.  Corey LaJoie 16.119
9.  Jamey Caudill 16.130
10.  Cliff Daniels 16.159
11.  Andrew Carlsen 16.204
12.  BJ Mackey 16.219
13.  Brandon McReynolds 16.220
14.  Brent Raymer 16.220
15.  Scott Andrews, Jr. 16.235
16.  Stephen Gahagan, Jr. 16.243
17.  Clint Mills 16.259
18.  Kyle Moon 16.287
19.  Garrett Campbell 16.293
20.  Curtis Truex, Jr. 16.374
21.  Casey Holt 16.382
22.  Brad Sams 16.389
23.  Lance Gatlin 16.399
24.  Ross Furr 16.406
25.  Daniel Pope II 16.408
26.  Scott Turlington 16.466
27.  Steve Blackburn 16.476
28.  Keith Stiltner 16.499
29.  Clay Greefield 16.505
30.  Thomas Hartensveld 16.517
31.  Nate Monteith 16.524
32.  Joey Bryant 16.535
33.  Matt Lofton 16.556
34.  Roger Lee Newton 16.572
35.  Brad Kurth 16.612
36.  Dillon Smith 16.665
37.  Nick Howell 16.672
38.  Vic Hill 16.680
39.  Payne Pickles 16.706
40.  Bryan Dauzat 16.789
41.  Ryan Salomon 16.801
42.  Wayne Hale 16.573
43.  Justin Boston 17.938
44.  Joe Pellegrino 26.792
45.  Richard Boswell 26.816

Saturday, 2:25pm ET -Only 30 minutes remain in the sole UARA practice of the day.  So far things have been fairly incident-free, except for some motor issues on the #08 of Justin Boston and a scrape-up of the wall by the #36 of Thomas Hartensveld due to a broken wheel. 

Saturday, 1:40pm ET -The UARA cars have hit the track for their practice session from 1:15pm to 2:55pm.  As mentioned, 45 cars are on site.  Here's a roster in the order that they will qualify in time trials at 4:15pm.

1.  48  Scott Turlington
2.  98  Andrew Carlsen
3.  1  Jake Crum
4.  97 Bryan Dauzat
5.  03 Dillon Smith
6.  10 Wayne Hale
7.  8  Jamie Yelton
8.  13  Lance Gatlin
9.  2 BJ Mackey
10.  30  Cliff Daniels
11.  28 Brandon McReynolds
12.  9  Brad Kurth
13.  81 Paddy Rodenbeck
14.  55  Alex Yontz
15.  22  Casey Holt
16.  33 Roger Lee Newton
17.  79  Nick Howell
18.  11 Joey Bryant
19.  52  Brad Sams
20.  88  Curtis Truex, Jr.
21.  00 Ryan Salomon
22.  44  Matt DiBenedetto
23.  36  Thomas Hartensveld
24.  50  Jamey Caudill
25.  76  Darrell Wallace, Jr.
26.  27  Stephen Gahagan, Jr.
27.  77 Clint Mills
28.  69  Steve Blackburn
29.  85 Brent Raymer
30.  21  Keith Stiltner
31.  12  Garrett Campbell
32.  05  Payne Pickles
33.  74  Caleb Holman
34.  25  Ross Furr
35.  16  Daniel Pope II
36.  71  Corey LaJoie
37.  41  Nate Monteith
38.  84  Clay Greenfield
39.  18  Scott Andrews, Jr.
40.  19  Kyle Moon
41.  90  Joe Pellegrino
42.  08  Justin Boston
43.  72  Richard Boswell II
44.  07   Matt Lofton
45.  5  Vic Hill

Saturday, 1:15pm ET -It’s a beautiful, sunny day here in “Thunder Valley” Tennesee, home of the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile,” Bristol Motor Speedway.  The track will host the “Thompson Metal 150” for the UARA-Stars Late Model Stock Car Tour this evening, the series’ first of two events here at Bristol.  Forty-five UARA teams have unloaded in the infield at Bristol, which is an increase of three from the 42 that showed up for the first UARA race at Bristol in 2007, an event held in July won by Alex Yontz

Joining UARA today is the Pro Challenge Series, as well as a strong bunch of Street Stocks and Charger cars from the nearby ASA-sanctioned Lonesome Pine Speedway in Coeburn, Virginia.  Later tonight, stars of the NHRA drag racing circuit, in town for the Thunder Nationals at Bristol Dragway right behind the oval track, will strap into full-fendered racecars here at BMS for a special NHRA Round Track Challenge in those cars.  There’s also some pretty cool “gimmick races” throughout the night that we’ll inform you on as well.

There’s a bunch of interesting stories here in Bristol’s infield and we’ll bring them all to you throughout the day.  Here’s a schedule for the day. 

11:15-noon – Pro Challenge Practice
Noon-1 p.m. – lunch
12:30 p.m. – Drivers Meeting, All Divisions
1-1:15 p.m. – Street Stock practice
1:15-2:55 p.m. – UARA practice
2:55-3 p.m. – Street stocks drive to Dragway, led by pace car
3-3:30 p.m. – Charger Division practice
3:30 p.m. – Street Stocks return to round track
3:45 – Pro Challenge qualifying
4 p.m. – Charger Division qualifying
4:15 p.m. – UARA qualifying
6:15-6:45 – NHRA Round Track Challenge Practice
7 p.m. – Invocation and National anthem
7:05 p.m. – Pro Challenge 30-lap feature
7:25 p.m. – NHRA Circle Track Challenge
(NHRA drivers run first 12 laps, then caution, then red... street stock drivers take over and finish the 25 lap race, field is reset with everyone back on the lead lap)
8:00 p.m. – Charger Division 25-lap feature
8:15 p.m. – Thompson Metal 150 UARA Stars 150-lap feature
9:30 p.m. – Appliance race
9:45 p.m. – War Wizard bus crush
10 p.m. – Fireworks


UARA-Stars / Pro Challenge
Thompson Metals 150
May 17th, 2008
Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol, Tennessee
DISCUSS THIS RACE IN THE SPEED 51 SHORT TRACK FORUMS AT MOTORSPORTS LOUNGE  (CLICK HERE)
Right behind the frontstretch of the Bristol oval, the cars and stars of NHRA are at Bristol Dragway this weekend.  (51 Sports Photo)
Alex Yontz won the opening Bristol UARA race in 2007.  Yontz is back here this weekend with a black car instead of the orange #55 he won with last year.  (51 Sports Photo)
Alex Yontz set quick time in practice.  (51 Sports Photo)
Matt "Guido" DiBenedetto was second-quick in practice.  (51 Sports Photo)
Corey LaJoie won the Pro Challenge race at Bristol last year (top), now he's here in the UARA Late Model this year. (51 Sports Photo)
The Chase Pistone, Inc. team assessess the mechanical problems on Justin Boston's car. (51 Sports Photo)
Terry Horak was the quickest Pro Challenge driver in qualifying.  (51 Sports Photo)
Casey Holt's team suffers through the heartbreaking job of loading up after not qualifying for the race.  (51 Sports Photo)
Randy LaJoie (left) gives NHRA star Doug Herbert a few oval-track tips.  (51 Sports Photo)
NHRA Pro Stocker Allen Johnson (left) and his Street Stock co-pilot Jon Cook.  (51 Sports Photo)
An "Appliance Race" is one of the special attractions for tonight's festivities.  All of these washers and dryers will be strapped onto Street Stocks and the last car on the track with both of its appliances still on it will be the winner. (51 Sports Photo)
After pounding the wall, a pile of parts was all that was left of Payne Pickles' piece. (51 Sports Photo)
Terry Horak (left) celebrated his first-ever Pro Challenge win with crew chief Neil Cantor (right).  (51 Sports Photo)
Horak (#28) had to hold off a hungry pack on the final restart to get the Pro Challenge win..  (51 Sports Photo)
Matt DiBenedetto climbs from his winning #44 in Bristol's victory lane.  (51 Sports Photo)
Even though his name was misspelled on the winner's check, no one can deny Matt DiBenedetto his victory.  (51 Sports Photo)