Tuesday April 23, 2013
First event for southeastern tour since 2008 at Peach State short track.
By Mark Huey
For the first time since May 2008, the Carolina Clash super late models are set to roll into the gates of Gordon Park Speedway on April 27, 2013. 2003 champion “The Gambler” Ed Basey of Evans, GA won the event that year. Basey has won three of the previous four Carolina Clash races at Gordon Park, dating back to 2002. The 2008 and most recent Carolina Clash winner at Gordon Park, “Rambo” Dennis Franklin, currently leads the point standings and will enter the event with the rest of the Carolina Clash faithful to pay tribute to Hall of Fame member and long-time sponsor of the series Mr. Jack Starrette. The third annual Jack Starrette Memorial race is fifth event in the history of the Carolina Clash series and will be the first race at the track since it was downsized in 2011. Beech Island, SC driver John Henderson and Clover, SC driver Johnny Pursley are the two defending winners of this great memorial event. The 2012 race was sanctioned by the BEAST series, which merged with the Carolina Clash during the winter months.
Mr. Starrette, who first began racing in the mid 1950s at Hickory (N.C.) Speedway, died August 22, 2010. After driving race cars himself, he evolved into a car owner. There were many drivers of his team cars and others who were sponsored by Starrette Trucking over the years. Jack Pennington, Ricky Weeks, and Jeff Smith each drove for Mr. Starrette during the early years of super late model racing, each having in their own respects much success with his race team. They won many high-profile races under the support of Mr. Starrette. In addition to these, Randle Chupp and Chris Ferguson, Mike Duvall, Doug Sanders, Anthony Sanders, John Henderson, Ricky Elliott, Steve Phillips, Jeremy Clements, Buckshot Miles, Benji Cole, Casey Roberts and the late Phillip Seifert were all supported by Starrette Trucking. (There are probably dozens of other names that deserve to be on this list and if any were excluded that may should be mentioned, please accept my apologies.) His trucking business, which started in 1959 quickly grew into a fleet of 65 units, afforded him the luxury to support racers great and small over the years. Sponsoring drivers who called asking for support wasn’t Starrette’s method. The tall man who always wore a plaid shirt, work pants and cap typically kept an eye out for struggling drivers or a team that needed a helping hand, embracing them as extended family.
GPS promoter Mr. Brian Stewart is excited about putting this show on. “The track will be ready, the facility will be prepared and race fans need to come ready to see these guys get to work on one of the stoutest little bullrings in the south,” stated Stewart. “Mr. Starrette was a pioneer of racing in our area, all over the place really. He has had his name on a lot of cars over the years and has helped this sport survive and thrive, here in the Augusta area. His name has been and can still be seen on cars in this area, and some other areas of South and North Carolina.”
In addition to the racing, Mr. Stewart commented on the concession facility that has been the topic of many conversations about racing at Gordon Park.
“I feel that we have one of the finest concession facilities in the south! We serve our famous pork chop sandwiches and rib eye steak sandwiches, so when you come to Gordon Park and you leave hungry, then it was your own fault! I would like to take this time to invite everyone to the Jack Starrette Memorial Carolina Clash super late model show on April 27th at Gordon Park Speedway!”
The Jack Starrette Memorial Race will be the fifth race all-time at the “Peach State” track with the series and Carolina Clash race #249 all-time. It will be fourth race of the 2013 season and the first of three races planned for 2013 at the 3/8 mile track.
Other divisions on the card for this weekend’s racing will be the Pro Late Model (Crates), the Super Streets, the Stock V8’s, the Super Stock 4 Cylinders, and the Extreme 4 (UCAR) divisions.
Gates open at 3 pm and drivers meeting will begin at 6:15. Get there early to get a good seat. For more information call Brian Stewart at 706-833-0972.
Pit admission is $30.00 and grandstands admission is $20.00.
Hope to see everyone at “The Park.”
This report was provided by an outside PR source and posted by Mike Neff.
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