Steve Barnett Captures His Second Lee Fleetwood Memorial Victory
By: Chris Nunn
Steve Barnett, of Franklin, In. made his 199th career victory a big one, as he scored his second victory in the Lee Fleetwood Memorial at the Brownstown Speedway.
Barnett would start on the pole of the 40 lap affair with Steve Casebolt, Jr. and Dan Sturgeon in tow. Barnett would quickly shoot to the more preferred bottom groove where he would start to put some space between he and Casebolt. Just a few laps later, a caution would fly for the cars of Mark Barber and Ernie Barrow, wiping Barnett's early advantage away. When the green flew once again, Barnett would shoot back to the bottom groove, with Casebolt riding the middle in second. Behind Barnett, Greg Johnson was starting to make waves as he would shoot around Sturgeon for third. Johnson would then set his sights on Casebolt for the second position. Barnett, at this point was pulling away from Casebolt, but Casebolt was not pulling away from Johnson. Johnson caught Casebolt and got around him for second. Casebolt wasn't done fighting for his positioning, as Sturgeon would challenge him for third to no avail. Meanwhile, back at the front, Johnson was starting to catch up to Barnett, little by little, on the high side. Johnson would get to breathe a sigh of relief as a caution would fly for an incident involving Tim Prince, Barber, and Brad Sturgeon. During the yellow, Barnett's crew members motioned for him to move up into the high groove, which is exactly what he did on the restart. Barnett would start to put some distance between he and Johnson, who would be having his own battle with Casebolt for second. Johnson would hold his positioning as he would try to make one last effort for the point. Barnett, with just 10 laps remaining, was cruising along with a half straightaway lead on Johnson. Johnson would see a couple of chances to close in on Barnett, as Barnett would have a little trouble getting around a couple of lap cars. In one instance, Barnett would have to slam on the brakes to avoid a car that was exiting the track in front of him. Barnett would overcome the obstacles, however, and complete the flag to flag journey to win the 4th Annual Lee Fleetwood Memorial. Follwing Barnett to the checkers were Johnson, Casebolt, John Gill, Sturgeon, Doug Ault, Steve Godsey, Mike Bechelli, Brad Barrow, and Jason Setser would round out the top ten. The "Franklin Flyer" is sponsored by Tony Stewart, JD Byrider, Spears Auto Parts, GRT RaceCars, AFCO Shocks, and K-Motion Engines
The Super Stock feature would see Jay Deckard of Brownstown, IN pick up his third win of the season by holding off Mike Fields by almost half a car length. Deckard started the 20 lapper on the pole with Fields, Matt Boknecht, and Keith Deppe follwing behind. Fields would stay on Deckard's back bumper throughout the race, with the two occasionally doing the rub down. Fields made one last ditch effort coming out of turn four, but Deckard was able to hold him off by a narrow margin. Fields, Todd Gilpin, Deppe, and Boknecht would round out the top five.
Jim Ruddick would see victory lane for the fourth time this season in his C&O Auto Parts, KMI Engines, Bedel Transmissions, NAPA Auto Parts #0 entry. Ruddick would lead the first lap of the race and hold on to the spot for the first few ciruits. Larry Harris would then make a move on Ruddick for the point coming out of turn four, and take the spot. A three wide battle was taking shape for the fourth position with Clifton Barron, Bobby Gardner, and Matt Cummings. Cummings had started 11th and had made his way to fourth at this point. Harris would have the lead until Ruddick would take it back with a handful of laps remaining. Ruddick would cross the line first with Harris, Robert Walters, Barron, and Cummings rounding out the top ten
Fast Qualifier: Steve Barnett 16.1
HEAT 1: Steve Barnett, Greg Johnson, Shannon Reed, Mike Bechelli, Frankie Coomer, Scott Graham, Dennis Boknecht, Cale Kern, Brad Sturgeon, Christian Rayburn
HEAT 2: Steve Casebolt Jr, Mark Barber, Doug Ault, Tim Prince, Brad Barrow, Jason Setser, Josh Allison, Robert Earl, Gary Hardin, Anthony Hiner
HEAT 3: Dan Sturgeon, John Gill, Mike Jewell, Steve Godsey, Ernie Barrow, Denny Bailey, Greg Ault, Todd McKinney, Brian Wilhite, Rick Sowders
CONSI TOP FIVE: Jason Setser, Dennis Boknecht, Scott Graham, Brad Sturgeon, Greg Ault
4TH ANNUAL LEE FLEETWOOD MEMORIAL: Steve Barnett, Greg Johnson, Steve Casebolt, John Gill, Dan Sturgeon, Doug Ault, Steve Godsey, Mike Bechelli, Brad Barrow, Jason Setser, Frankie Coomer, Shannon Reed, Ernie Barrow, Dennis Boknecht, Greg Ault, Tim Prince, Brad Sturgeon, Mike Jewell, Scott Graham, Mark Barber