Todd Gilliland Becomes Youngest Driver to Win LMS Event at GPS
By: Reese Fant, GPS Staff Writer
A native of Sherrill's Ford, N.C., and only 15-years-old, Todd Gilliland made big news not long ago when he became the youngest driver ever to win an ARCA race. He had been 15, and eligible to race in the series, only two days when he saw the checkered flag wave.
Saturday night at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, Gilliland made even bigger news.
He became the youngest driver ever to win a Late-Model Stock Main event at the historic half mile.
His victory wasn't easy, and it wasn't really apparent to the many race fans who watched the 100-lap special event.
Gilliland, who is a third-generation driver, is the son of David Gilliland, who is currently racing in NASCAR's top division, and the grandson of Butch Gilliland, who competed in both Cup and Winston West racing.
And Saturday night's victory was anything but easy. Throughout the 100-lap event, Gilliland kept his Ford right at the front of the pack, but not in front. He was running second much of the race, staying very close but unable to pass the car that eventually took the checkered flag.
But the other car's victory did not stand. The first caution flag of the race came when a race car dropped a 58-pound chunk of lead in the middle of the first turn, and at the end of the race, the winner's car was 58 pounds light.
Then, when tech officials were going to check the engines on the top three cars, that driver's car owner declined to participate in the inspection.
His disqualification put Gilliland in Victory Lane, and by winning, he replaced Trey Gibson, who had owned the title of being the youngest GPS winner.
The win by Gilliland, and his own second-place finish, gave Simpsonville's David Roberts a push towards his second GPS driving championship.
Roberts has led the points standings most of the season and with only one regular Late-Model Stock race scheduled before Championship Night, Roberts still has a strong grip on retaining the championship.
Jeremy Burns finished third, with Cody Haskins in fourth. Brandon Fox was fifth and Ryan Walker took sixth.
Emilee Riley was seventh, ahead of Dylan Hall, Kason Plott, and Dale Dove.
Jamie Tate followed Dove, with Andrew Cordell, Rodney Howard Roger Powell, Tasha Kummer and Eric Stokes completed the field.
There was one other unexpected disqualification during the evening's races. The car that took the checkered flag in the renegade main event were deemed to have an undersized torque converter . This DQ vaulted Parker Jameson into the winner's circle. Shane Hill was second and Brad Burns took third. Alexx Brazeale and Bobby Emory were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Larry Nabors, Colt Smith, Wendell Smith, Daniel Jameson and Greg Manley completed positions sixth through 10 and Matt Hale, Black Gregory, Eddie Ray, Roger Ellison and Terry Hawthorne rounded out the field.
The Super Renegade main turned back into the Sams Show, as Tim Sams took his 12th checkered flag of the season in 17 starts. Son Josh Sams, finished third as Joe Satterfield was second. Phillip Peters was fourth, Danny Gilbert fifth and Chris Meinders sixth.
Jason McGrew collected his seventh victory of the year in Pure/Street Stock and Michael Mote finished second. Chris Harvell was third and Michael Webster was fourth. Freddy Hale, Jr., finished fifth as Ray Mullinax, Hank Hutto, Charlie Meinders, Ashley Granata and AJ Davis rounded out the field.
In Four Cylinders, Travis Shelton grabbed the victory with Michael Cross in second. Danny Esco, Chad Tavernia were third and fourth, respectively and Don Tavernia was fifth.
Isaac Powell, Chad Redding, Manuel Molleda, Barry Gonsalves,Sandra Tavernia and Casey Finley completed the field.
Greenville-Pickens Speedway's next event is scheduled for September 12th, 2015.
Southeast Super Truck at Greenville-Pickens Speedway
By Reese Fant, GPS Staff Writer
The innovations, the completely new aspects of stock car racing, Greenville-Pickens Speedway style, continue to come wave after wave. Race fans at the historic half mile NASCAR oval show up week after week, never knowing what near promoter Anthony Anders has planned to make each race program both a surprise and a success.
Saturday night the Southeast Super Truck Series visited and while fans came expecting to see a good show, they had to be especially thrilled at several unusual things that happened during the evening.
The Southeast Super Truck Series is a traveling division in racing, going from one track to another to establish a series winner at the end of the season. While there are always drivers entered from throughout the country, it's usually the local drivers, the standout veterans of years and years, that put on the show for the fans.
Saturday night, it was local driver and former track champion Randy Porter who showed the quick way to get around the track. But while Porter was proving he was the class of the field, there were plenty of complications.
With the Southeast Trucks, according to the qualifying times, a top driver with good equipment can complete three laps in just a few seconds over a minute. That's THREE LAPS in just over ONE MINUTE.
Break that down, and it comes to something like a 90 mile per hour average.
A 75 lap race without a caution period, should be completed in something like 30 minutes.
Such was not to be for this race.
While Porter was flexing his muscle, several other local guys, both with considerable power, were battling for the top spot.
Another former track champion, Kenneth Headen, was also right there at the front, along with Tim Lollis.
The caution flag flew two-thirds of the way through the race, and fans were stunned to see Kenneth Headen, who was not involved in the accident, to go roaring into the garage area, At the same time, Headen's support team was desperately trying to get the attention of the ambulance, as hard as they could.
Headen had spent most of last week in the hospital with blood pressure problems, and while friends and fans were asking him not to race, he was right there in the car. As one huge fan of racing said, "Racers are going to race, no matter what. That's what we love about them."
While EMS technicians were working with Headen, another driver suddenly collapsed. It was exhaust fumes that overcame this driver, and the race was on hold until the situations were resolved. Headen was not able to continue the race.
Porter had started the race on the pole, with Headen directly behind him, and Lollis right there too.
At the end, it was Porter in Victory Lane, and Lollis placing second. Lee Tissot was third, and area driver Jamie Tate was fourth. Kevin Leight took fifth.
Porter, always gracious in Victory Lane, talked about how good the race was at the start, when everyone was fighting hard for position, "The last time we raced here, I started eighth, and tonight I had an amazing truck. I have to thank the people who work on it, constantly, to make it what it is. Kenneth and Lollis were both up on the wheel and it really was a good race.." Porter said he was having leg cramps near the end, and was glad it was just 75 laps instead of a longer race. And he ended his comments with heartfelt concern that Kenneth was going to be OK.
Luke Sorrow was sixth and Tal Davidson seventh. Cole Glasson took eighth, and Austin Northcott as ninth, Ricky Bowers was tenth.
The next five finishers were Dakota Slagle, Bennie Davis, Houston Sullivan, Ed Surrett, and Tony Black.
Shawn McIntyre was 16th, in front of Headen, with Terry Seay, Keith Norville, Jamie Alton and Pete Porter completed the field.
Although the Southeast Super Truck travel with their own supporting divisions, the Legends race was also dominated by a local driver.
Greg Porter, a popular GPS veteran, brought out his Candy-Apple Red Chevelle and drove it right into Victory Lane. "I won 36 races in '77 and '76 with a car identical to this one, and then I sold it to Jimbo Mann, who won 16 or 18 races with it. He sold it to Doug Noe, who also made regular trips to Victory Lane driving that car," Porter said.
It was the Renegades race that was really drawing all of the pre-race attention, as promoter Anthony Anders had posted a terrific purse for the top three positions.
Through 35 laps of intense racing, Eddie Ray took the checkered flag with Greg Darnell in second and Brad Burns in third. Points-leader Bobby Emory finished fourth and Alexx Brezeale in fifth.
Parker Jameson was sixth and James Johnson was seventh. Jackie Foster, Colt Smith and Blake Gregory rounded out the top ten.
Larry Nabors, Wendell Smith, Daniel Jameson, Roger Ellison and Greg Manley completed the top 15, and Steve Guthrie Shane Hill, Dale Stancil, Shawn Campbell, Brad Davis and Joe Allen completed the field.
For much of the race, Steve Guthrie, who had debuted a completely new car, was the class of the field, jumping out front and racing along without any problems whatsoever. But, two-thirds of the way through the event, there was a planned caution period where crews would have two minutes to make adjustments for the final dash at the money.
When it came time to restart the race, Guthrie's car would not start, and since it had an automatic transmission, it was not possible to push him off. So Guthrie, instead of continuing with his dominating performance, had to be pushed into the pits, where he praised the efforts of the GPS employees for their efforts at trying to get his car restarted.
In Victory Lane, Eddie Ray said, "I saw the name Travelers Rest on a map, and I told myself I had to live there. I do, too, and tonight is my greatest race, ever. I need to thank my dad and Rabbit, for helping me get the car where it is right now. This is my very first victory, and I will never, ever forget it."
Spencer Darnell was the winner in the Pure Street Stock division, and Freddy Hale, Jr. placed second. Michael Webster was third, with Hank Hutto, Ashley Granata, and Jason McGrew rounding out the field.
Jason Leatherwood was the winner in the Southeast Super Trucks support division, with Fredy Sawyer second. Steve Carver was third, and TJ Lollis fourth. Scott Franklin was fifth, Clint Watkins sixth, and Nick Thunder seventh. Gregory Burgess Danny Gilbert and Greg Bohanan rounded out the division.
Regular Late-Model Stock racing returns to Greenville-Pickens Speedway on Saturday, the 15th, with a 150-lap program scheduled.
After this race, only two Late-Model Stock races are scheduled. They are on Saturday Sept. 12th, and Championship Night on Sept 19, when the 2015 Track Champion will be crowned.
Former champion David Roberts took the point lead early and has maintained it all season. He has a slim lead over Trey Gibson as the season rapidly winds down. Crowning the champion, complete with the wall painting ceremony, is one of the highlights of the season.
Friday August 7th, 2015
Greenville-Pickens Speedway Presents
$20 Advance Ticket
$25 General Admission day of the event
Cover bands for Journey, AC/DC, and Guns & Roses
Gates open at 6pm. Concert starts at 7pm.
Get your tickets here:
Shane Gentry Race Night at the Historic Half Mile
By Reese Fant, GPS Staff Writer
When Greenville-Pickens Speedway promoter Anthony Anders decides to pitch a Benefit Race for a worthy cause, he pitches a terrific evening.
And when Shane Gentry gets an entire race thrown for him, he is just as terrific at accepting the honor.
All in all, the Shane Gentry Race at the historic half mile was an evening race fans won't soon forget.
Back in the early part of this season, Gentry was a regular racer at GPS, running his black 8 in the Pure/Street Stock division. But it wasn't anything new or unusual for Gentry.
He's been a race car driver for decades, and owns Charger championships. Years ago, he was so good at winning the big races, GPS Marketing Director at the time started calling him 'Big Show' because every time the track held a big race, there was Gentry standing in Victory Lane.
He's been Big Show ever since, and won races earlier this season. But Gentry noticed something happening a few months ago he knew wasn't usual.
Gentry, started noticing he was having some problems with his right side that he didn't think was right, so he went in for a checkup. That checkup led to another, and then tests were run. The results of these tests weren't something the Gentry family was hoping for.
Gentry was suffering a form of cancerous brain tumor that is treatable, but not curable. Gentry, never one to just sit around and wait on something, decided he needed to call in the big guns. He needed to add horsepower to his treatment, so he got in touch with both Emory University Hospital and Duke University Hospital, and was seeking a second opinion.
"I can just stay here and take the treatments, and doctors could patch me up, but I really think the doctors at Duke can fix me" Gentry said.
So when Anders heard, he decided to do something special.
He offered a percentage of every ticket to go to the Gentry family and collected of stock car memorabilia to be sold in a silent auction during the race.
And the very first race of the evening saw Gentry's car sitting on the front row, inside, to start the evening's show.
Gentry wasn't in it, he was sitting in a golf cart, watching, as his best friend, neighbor, and engine builder drove the car. No, there weren't three other drivers, all of these just happen to be Greg Dodgens. Who also knows a thing or two about how to get around GPS in winning form. Dodgens jumped out front when the green flag fell, and he just drove off and left the competition. In Victory Lane, Dodgens commented on what an honor it was to be able to drive his friend's racer in this combination.
Jason McGrew appeared several times to be pulling up to Dodgens, but was never able to get close enough to challenge for the victory. Spencer Darnell finished third, with Jimbo Mann fourth and Freddy Hale, Jr., finishing fifth.
Ashley Granata was sixth and Matthew Lockee was seventh. AJ Davis was eighth, with Ray Mullinax and Charlie Meinders rounded out the top 10th. Tommy Davis, Jr., was 11th.
Trey Gibson added another victory to his Late-Model Stock string by finishing ahead of Jeremy Burns. Gibson, already the youngest driver ever to win a Late-Model Stock race at GPS, notched another win. Gibson finished ahead of his aunt, Tasha Kummer and points leader, David Roberts, finished fourth . Kason Plott was fifth.
Ryan Walker took sixth, with Andrew Cordell was seventh. Emilee Riley was eighth, as Rodney Howard and Jamie Tate rounded out the top ten.
Jamie Tate, Brandon Fox and Jeremy Drummond rounded out the field.
There was an extra full slate of cars for the Renegade race, with Greg Darnell taking the win and Blake Gregory finishing second. Steve Guthrie was third and Bobby Emory took fifth. lake Galloway was sixth with Alex Brazeale seventh. Scotty Tyner, Shane Hill Larry Nabors rounded out the top ten.
Colt Smith was 11th, followed by Daniel Jameson, Parker Jameson, Wendell Smith and Brandon Segare in the top 15. Roger Ellison, Greg Manley, Chris Meinders, Brad Burns David Cepek and Troy Carnes completed the field.
Tim Sams worked his way back into Victory Lane in the Super Renegade race, with Andy Norris taking second. Danny Gilbert was third with James Johnson, Joe Satterfield, and Josh Sams completed the field.
In 4 Cylinders, Travis Shelton was the winner, with Michael Cross in second and Don Tavernia was third. Danny Esco was fourth and Chad Tavernia took fifth. Isaac Powell was seventh and Manuel Molleda, Travis Barbare, and Barry Gonsalves rounded out the top ten.
Derek Fowler, Michael Posey , Sandra Tavernia and Jack Hooper were the final four cars.
This Saturday night the historic half mile holds a regular Late-Model Stock program, with racing in all divisions before welcoming back the Southeastern Supertruck Series on August 8th.
Wheels of Destruction Saturday July 18th
This Saturday, July 18th!
Head to Greenville-Pickens Speedway to see Tim Chitwood and Chris Morena performing live!
Chris Morena has been in the car stunt business for over 18 years. He has spent 9 years touring with Hollywood Stunt Show, 10 years stunt driving for Lights, Motors, Action Stunt Show at Disney World. He has preformed at Charlotte Motor Speedway as pre-race entertainment. He has done car stunts for the Knights of Destruction Thrill Show and spent 2011 on a Summer Tour in Australia racing monster tucks and crashing cars. Total, Morena has done over 700 car crashes!
Chris Morena has done stunts for Transformers: Age of Extinction, Selfless, Sabotage, Footloose (2011), Breaking Bad, Burn Notice, Banshee, Homeland, Revolution, Army Wives, and American Daredevils.
Check Chris out on Twitter at @Mostunts, Facebook, or on Instagram at Mostunts_Enterainment.
Tim Chitwood has been in the car stunt business for over 50 years! He was the Owner, Manager, and Lead stunt driver for the Joie Chitwood Thrill Show for 35 years. He was the winner of the 1980 International Stunt Driving Competition and the Co-coordinator/stunt driver of 5 years for Mosunts Entertainment.
Chitwood has been in 42 motion picture credits including, James Bond Live & Let Die, Smokey and the Bandit, Chips, Miami Vice, Robocop 3, Batman Forever, Walker Texas Ranger, and Rocky and Bullwinkle.
Gates will open at 12pm, show will start at 6pm. Tickets are $20 for adults, Children 6-12 are $10, and Children 5 and under are free. Parking for backstretch is $10 and grandstand area parking is free!
Information and Photograph courtesy of Chris Morena, Tim Chitwood, and Mostunts Entertainment.