Cotner wins before rain falls on track
Rural Hall driver moves further ahead in points race at Bowman Gray
By John Dell/JOURNAL REPORTER
Matt Cotner is having his best season at Bowman Gray Stadium in the Street Stock division. He proved that in a big way last night, winning a 20-lapper that increased his lead in the points race.
Before a rainstorm came through the area and halted most of the racing, Cotner won his race and Jeff Garrison won a 20-lap Sportsman division event.
But when the storm hit at 9 p.m., the rest of the racing, including the Tucson 100 in the Modified division, was postponed.
The Tucson 100 will be run Saturday with the same lineup. Tim Brown and Jonathan Brown will be in the front row after a blind draw.
Jason Myers had the fastest time in qualifying for the Tucson 100, posting a lap of 13.324 seconds on the quarter-mile track.
It was the first pole of his career in the Modified division, but with the blind draw to determine the order, Myers will start 10th on Saturday.
Cotner has now won two weeks in a row, thanks to a disqualification last week that gave him the victory.
Last night's win was a little sweeter.
"It's a lot better to win on the track," said Cotner, who is from Rural Hall.
On the third lap, Cotner overtook Daniel Fishel and held the lead for the rest of the way.
"It worked out good for us," Cotner said of the restart on the third lap. "We got a clean restart and a good pass and just held on for it.
"The car handled great tonight, and the crew did an outstanding job.
"We just coasted through."
Cotner had to endure three cautions during the short race, but each time on the restart he found the right groove.
"Once we got a clean track we were able to run our own line and our own pace and not worry about the heat, and the car ran great," Cotner said.
Cotner said he is ecstatic at how his season has progressed.
"Everything's been good for us," said Cotner, who has reached the halfway point of the Bowman Gray season with a 46-point lead on David Sumner. "I just hope we can keep the momentum up.
"This is by far my best season. Last year I finished fifth in points, but we've won two and we can't be any happier."
Garrison, who nipped Mitch Gales by a half a car length, won for the first time at Bowman Gray and was so shocked he had trouble rattling off his sponsors.
"They know who they are," Garrison told the crowd.
Garrison started last night 17th in the points race, but moved up a spot with the victory.
"I might not get another one of these," he said of the win, "but I got one now."
Even though the Modified division didn't run, Myers had an eventful night. After turning the fastest lap in qualifying, Myers left the track to go to Winston-Salem State to watch his 5-year-old daughter, Emma, in a dance recital. He made it back in time for the award during the pre-race festivities.
"It was awesome," Myers said of getting to watch his daughter. "I made it back to get to the award so I'm on top of the world. … I just wished we could have raced tonight."
With the 16-week racing season at the halfway point, Myers said he has a load of confidence.
"It's definitely a confidence booster," Myers said. "These guys have been working hard all year and you work hard for poles and wins, and we got the pole out of the way."
Myers is now sixth in points with eight weeks to go.
"All the guys who work on the car, and for myself especially, it means a lot," he said. "When you sit on the pole out here you've done something."
Rain checks from last night's race will be honored at Saturday's races
MODIFIED LINEUP FOR "TUCSON 100"
1.#83 Tim Brown
2.#53 Jonathon Brown
3. #40 Brad Robbins
4.#3 Terry Gaither
5.#71 Dean Ward
6.#28 Mike Adams
7.#75 Robert Jefferys
8.#77 Lee Jefferys
9.#99 Kevin Powell
10.#4 Jason Myers
11.#78 Susan Harwell
12.#5 Randy Butner
13.#69 Jr. Miller
14.#72 Brent Elliott
15.#45 Lee Stinsons
16.#50 Micheal Cliffton
17#1 Burt Myers
18.#33 Matt Caldwell
19.#31 Gene Pack
20.#79 Teddy Christopher (Ronnie Silks sub.)
21.#13 Chris Fleming
SPORTSMAN DIVISION 20-LAP RACE
Driver (Hometown) Money
1. Jeff Garrison (Winston-Salem) $280
2. Mitch Gales (Lexington) 180
3. Luke Fleming (Mount Airy) 140
4. Gary Ledbetter (Lexington) 110
5. Ronnie Clifton (Walkertown) 170
6. Mike Evans (King) 85
7. Keith McMichael (Belews Creek) 75
8. Daniel Beeson (Kernersville) 65
9. Bryant Robertson (Lexington) 55
10. Barry Edwards (Pinnacle) 50
11. Tommy Neal (Walkertown) 95
12. Kyle Edwards (King) 40
13. Taylor Branch (Lewisville) 35
14. Derek Stoltz (Walkertown) 30
15. Darin Redmon (Walkertown) 25
16. Steven Berrier (Germanton) 25
17. Scott Hall (Walkertown) 25
18. David Sell (Winston-Salem) 25
19. Michael Adams (Yadkinville) 25
20. Robbie Brewer (Winston-Salem) 25
21. Kenny Bost (Kernersville) 25
22. Chad Brooks (Winston-Salem) 25
23. John Gregg (Winston-Salem) 25
24. Shaun Cockerham (East Bend) 25 .
STREET STOCK DIVISION 20-LAP RACE
Driver (Hometown) Money
1. Matt Cotner (Rural Hall) $160
2. Donnie Martin (Wallburg) 110
3. Daniel Fishel (Greensboro) 80
4. Joseph Brown (Winston-Salem) 65
5. David Sumner (Trinity) 55
6. John McNeal (Winston-Salem) 45
7. Reggie Doub (Germanton) 40
8. Allen Henkel (Trinity) 35
9. Richard Reeves (Cooleemee) 30
10. Jerry Helms (Winston-Salem) 25
11. Doug Wall (Pfafftown) 25
12. Jody Fritts (Winston-Salem) 25
13. Johnny Arnder (Mount Airy) 25
14. Michael Nichols (Trinity) 25
15. Zack Clifton (Walkertown) 25
16. Kevin Gilbert (Mocksville) 25