STEVE BARNETT CAPTURES 200TH CAREER VICTORY AND POINTS TITLE AT BROWNSTOWN
Brownstown, In: Steve Barnett of Franklin, IN took home the double whammy at the Brownstown Speedway, winning the feature and claiming the 2002 Track Championship by just 41 points over Mike Jewell. It was Barnett's second track championship, his first came in 1990.
The final feature of the year for the Late Models would see Barnett lead the field to the green flag. Behind him, a three way battle for second would erupt behind him coming down the backstretch between Brad Barrow, Frankie Coomer, and Jason Setser. Setser would ride the rim around the two to take the second position. Barnett would start to put some space between he and Setser by lap six. At the ten lap mark the top five were Barnett, Setser, Barrow, Coomer, and C.J. Rayburn. Looking through the field at the four men who had mathematical chances of winning the points, we seen Barnett in the lead, Jewell in sixth, Dan Sturgeon in eighth, and Mark Barber in ninth. Jewell would advance a spot shortly after lap 14 as he would get by Rayburn for the spot coming out of turn two. At this point up front, things were starting to get interesting, as Setser would begin to reel in Barnett. Setser obviously had found something on the rim, as he looked immaculate in moving around lap cars to get to Barnett. Behind the leaders, a battle for the sixth was taking shape with Sturgeon, Doug Ault, and Rayburn. Rayburn would come out the winner on that exchange, with Sturgeon falling to seventh, Ault eighth. Meanwhile, back up front, Setser had closed in on Barnett's back bumper with just nine to go. Setser would throw everything but the kitchen sink at Barnett, while trying to get by on the high side. Barnett's line around the middle of the turns was enough to keep Setser at bay while he was on the rim. Setser would see that, and try the bottom groove in the turns for the next few circuits, still trying to get around Barnett. Setser would not have it easy, however, as he and a lap car would make slight contact allowing Barnett to pull away just a bit. Setser would then go back on the prowl, climbing back up to the top groove. Within a couple of laps, he had caught back up with Barnett, who at this time would start throwing more lap cars at Setser. Setser would have some trouble getting around some of the lappers, as Barnett was cruising on. With just a few laps to go, Setser would get around the lap cars, and set sail for Barnett one more time. At the white flag, Barnett could hear Setser coming. But he wasn't coming hard enough, as Barnett would cross the line in first, for the 200th time in his career ahead of Setser, Barrow, Coomer, Jewell, Rayburn, Sturgeon, Ault, Steve Godsey, and Barber 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 go to Mike Fields as he sat in victory lane for the third time this year, padding his points lead going into the final race on September 14th. Fields started on the pole and darted off to the early lead. Chris Deweese would move to the top side to see if he could get a run on Fields, but Fields had too much on the bottom side for anyone. Behind Deweese, a battle for third place between Keith Deppe and Mike Cawood would take place. Cawood ended up on top of that battle, sending Deppe to fourth. At the halfway point it was Fields, Deweese, Cawood, Deppe, and Jay Deckard rounding out the top five. Deckard would advance one more position before the checkers fell by getting around Deppe for fourth. But no one was catching Fields, as he would cross the line a full straight ahead of Deweese, Cawood, Deckard, and Deppe would finish the top five.
You can not say enough about the Bomber division. These warriors are guaranteed to put on a show for the fans. Numerous close finishes, three to four wide racing, and bumping & banging was the norm in this division in 2002. The final battle of the year went to Jason Combs who notched his first career Bomber feature victory. The race had a little bit of trouble getting started, as two cautions would fly before one lap would be complete. The first was for Ray Godsey, Sr., and the second was for Matt Cummings. When the green finally flew, Combs would shoot to the lead with a pack of cars three to four wide behind him. Jim Ruddick and Clifton Barron would fight it out for second. Ruddick would take the position, holding Barron to third. The man on the move at lap 8 was Godsey, Sr. as he was up to fifth from the 16th position. Barron would shoot back around Ruddick for the second spot with just five to go. You could throw a blanket over the top six cars as they were all over each other trying to advance positions. Barron would then move up and try to give Combs a challenge for the point. He and Combs would run door to door with a battle for third brewing behind them. Godsey would make the pass on Matt Cummings for third. But Cummings would come right back and take the spot from Godsey. The action was not over yet, as a three way battle for the fourth spot ensued with Godsey, Ruddick, and Robert Walters. Godsey would get away from that battle and once again move up and pick off Cummings for third. The racing was so close, that Godsey had threw himself up in the mix for the lead as well, moving in with Barron and Combs. Combs and Barron would pull away just a bit from Godsey, who would lose his third spot to Cummings. Combs would hold on to win the event, followed by Barron, Cummings, Ruddick, and Godsey would round out the top five. The bomber points chase was wrapped up as well with Matt Cummings taking home his first track championship.