By Lonnie Wheatley
BAYTOWN, Texas (September 17, 2011) – With the Smiley’s Racing Products ASCS Gulf South championship hanging in the balance, Ray Allen Kulhanek picked a prime opportunity to snare his second series win of the year in Saturday night’s 30-lap main event at Royal Purple Raceway.
Kulhanek gunned into the lead at the outset from the pole position and fought off Kolt Walker over the latter stages of the race to pick up the $3,000 victory aboard David Miller’s Don Ott-powered Miller’s RV Park/B&M Jr. No. 21T J&J.
After entering the night one point behind Tommy Bryant in the championship chase, Kulhanek carries a 39-point edge over Bryant into the series season finale at Battleground Speedway on October 1 as he seeks his third ASCS Gulf South championship and second in a row.
Running one-two throughout from the front row, Kulhanek and Walker battled side-by-side for the point for a full lap after a lap 23 restart with Kulhanek surging ahead to deny Walker his second straight Gulf South score at Royal Purple.
Kulhanek posted his 12th career ASCS Gulf South win in front of Walker, with Channin Tankersley advancing from several rows deep to claim the show position. Kevin Ramey picked up Hard Charger honors by racing from 21st to fourth, with Bean Elliott rounding out the top five.
Brandon Corn climbed from 19th to sixth, with Aaron Reutzel, John Pate, Michael McNeil and Tommy Bryant completing the top ten.
Brandon Berryman, Pate, Travis Elliott and Bean Elliott topped heat race action for the 32-car field, with Corn winning the “B” Main.
Smiley’s Racing Products ASCS Gulf South Results from Royal Purple Raceway:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 31-Brandon Berryman, 2. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 3. 88-Scottie McDonald, 4. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 5. 93-Chris Sweeney, 6. 69-Larry Howery, 7. 8tw-Kent Lewis, Jr., 8. 7w-Dustin Welch.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 36-John Pate, 2. 25m-Michael McNeil, 3. 17-Terry Monroe, 4. 10-George White, 5. 3-Gary Watson, 6. 30-Brandon Corn, 7. 11-Justin Melton, 8. 20-Chad Wilson.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 15T-Travis Elliott, 2. 12b-Logan Bledsoe, 3. 2-Wes Miller, 4. 71-Channin Tankersley, 5. 19-Klint Angelette, 6. 54-Evan Pardo, 7. 24-Brandie Jass, 8. 15-Andrew Van Blarcum.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. 30x-Bean Elliott, 2. 45k-Kolt Walker, 3. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 4. 28-Tommy Bryant, 5. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 6. 35-Greg Rilat, 7. 51s-Beau Smith, 8. 52-Roger Oakes.
“B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 30-Brandon Corn, 2. 54-Evan Pardo, 3. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 4. 19-Klint Angelette, 5. 35-Greg Rilat, 6. 69-Larry Howery, 7. 11-Justin Melton, 8. 51s-Beau Smith, 9. 20-Chad Wilson, 10. 8tw-Kent Lewis, Jr., 11. 24-Brandie Jass, 12. 52-Roger Oakes. DNS: 7w-Dustin Welch, 15-Andrew Van Blarcum.
“A” Feature (30 Laps): 1. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 2. 45k-Kolt Walker, 3. 71-Channin Tankersley, 4. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 5. 30x-Bean Elliott, 6. 30-Brandon Corn, 7. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 8. 36-John Pate, 9. 25m-Michael McNeil, 10. 28-Tommy Bryant, 11. 54-Evan Pardo, 12. 10-George White, 13. 2-Wes Miller, 14. 19-Klint Angelette, 15. 17-Terry Monroe, 16. 3-Gary Watson, 17. 35-Greg Rilat, 18. 31-Brandon Berryman, 19. 12b-Logan Bledsoe, 20. 15T-Travis Elliott, 21. 88-Scottie McDonald, 22. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 23. 69-Larry Howery, 24. 93-Chris Sweeney (DNS).
Smiley’s Racing Products ASCS Gulf South Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Ray Allen Kulhanek 2,461, 2. Tommy Bryant 2,422, 3. George White 2,384, 4. Brandon Berryman 2,340, 5. Chris Sweeney 2,242, 6. Channin Tankersley 2,221, 7. Travis Elliott 2,210, 8. Greg Rilat 2,153, 9. Michael McNeil 2,041, 10. Beau Smith 2,018.