By Tommy Bowman
Published: June 25th, 2011
(Winston-Salem,NC) Jeffreys, buried in the season standings for Bowman Gray Stadium's featured Modified Division, revived his fortunes with a victory in the first of two 25-lap races. And season leader Burt Myers — even though he didn't carry a four-leaf clover in his car as did Jeffreys — came out lucky in a random draw and won the second race.
For Jeffreys, the fact that he was lagging in 18th place in the standings after just one top-10 finish in seven previous races led to a surprise in pre-race qualifying. Drivers qualify in order of standings, and Saturday's laps got consistently faster as conditions on a hot and dusty track improved as the evening progressed. That left Jeffreys, getting to go out later than most, in prime position. He capitalized by winning his first pole of the season.
The first 10 cars out failed to crack the 14-second mark on the quarter-mile track, and Jeffreys' lap of 13.580 seconds (66.3 mph) — the slowest time to win the pole in six qualifying sessions this season — was good enough.
He started up front and led the rest of the way.
"We got lucky because the track wasn't good for the first people who went out to qualify," Jeffreys said. "I saw what was going on, and knew we were going out late, so I came back and we adjusted on the car some and got a pretty good lap."
Ronnie Clifton, an eight-time Sportsman Division champion in his first season driving a Modified car, was second fastest in qualifying, and he converted that to a season-best second-place finish.
Jeffreys finished fifth in this season's opening race but had nothing but poor luck afterward — finishing no higher than 18th place in his next six races. He said that his wife, Allison, found a four-leaf clover Saturday and gave it to him.
"Hitting the qualifying was the lucky part about not being up in the points," said Jeffreys, who won for the 17th time at Bowman Gray and now has at least one victory in each of the past five seasons. "Last year we had a good year. This year we've had problems about every week we've been here."
Myers, who worked his way from 18th to 10th in the first race, was rewarded for that achievement when a draw for the inverted start of the second race yielded No. 10, putting him on the pole.
He led all the way for his division-leading third victory of the season and 47th overall. Tim Brown finished second.
"We've really worked hard to get our qualifying down pat … but you go out first and there is dirt all over the track," Myers said. "But it is what it is. You don't have to be the best, just good enough to put yourself in a situation to take advantage of good luck when it comes your way. We were able to finish 10th in the first one and then got the draw."
Myers entered with a 26-point lead in the season standings and left with a 40-point cushion. Tim Brown moved into second place past Jonathan Brown, who got caught in a crash in the first race and finished 18th. Gary Ledbetter survived a wreck-filled, 60-lap race in the Sportsman Division and got his first victory of the season.
Ledbetter took the lead with 19 laps left and managed to stay there, something previous leaders Kenny Bost, Taylor Branch, Barry Edwards and Luke Fleming couldn't do.
Kyle Edwards, who finished fourth, kept his lead in the standings.
Billy Gregg became the first two-time winner in the Street Stock Division this season with his second straight victory in a race shortened to 14 laps by a time limit.
Gregg took the lead for good in the 10th lap from John McNeal, who stayed on top in season points.
Rob Young was the winner in the 15-lap primary race for the Stadium Stock Division.
No races will be held next Saturday at Bowman Gray Stadium, in traditional deference to Independence Day weekend. Racing will resume July 9 with a 100-lap Modified race scheduled as the featured event.