Rose Wins Thrilling Opening Night Feature at Gas City

By TJ Buffenbarger, image courtesy of Jim Fisher (from 2000, not this date)

Gas City, IN — (04/28/2000) — Bill Rose was able to capitalize on a last lap mistake by Eric Shively, and beat Tony Elliott by inches at the line to win the opening feature of the 2000 season at the Gas City I-69 Speedway. For Shively, it was a heart breaker as the he almost picked up his first Gas City win by leading almost the entire event and spinning between turns three and four in the final corner. Rose was back in the car owned by his family, sponsored by Rose Excavating, and was aboard Hoosier Tires.

Shively and Rose started on the front row for the 25-Lap feature event. Shively jumped out into the early lead with Kevin Thomas and Rose in tow. The on lap two Thomas got sideways in the middle of the corner, and bunched up the cars behind him. Ande Possman, who had been one of the fastest cars all weekend, got caught and dropped from the fourth position back into the pack.

Rose then started to work on Shively for the lead, pulling a wheelstand down the backstretch. Rose again looked under Shively for the lead on lap five, but once again Shively held onto the top position. Behind them John Wolfe was starting to make a charge and was battling with fast qualifier Tony Elliott for the fourth position. On lap six Rose tried to drop under Rose, but lost momentum and allowed Kevin Thomas to pull along side. Then Thomas put serious pressure on Shively for the top position, but then Rose was able to pull along side and take the second position.

Then on lap 10 the caution flag came out when Jonathan Venard spun in turn four. Vennard was able to restart the event at the tail of the field.

On the restart John Wolfe jumped up to the top of the racetrack and put serious pressure on Thomas and Rose. This allowed Shively to open up a small advantage. Rose, Wolfe, and Thomas were involved in a knock down, drag out battle that allowed Tony Ellott to close in and join the battle. Thomas moved into second again and started to put the heat on Shively. Elliott disposed of Wolfe and worked his way into fourth on lap 18. Lap 19 then brought a series of wild three wide racing with Rose, Thomas, and Elliott for the second position. Rose and Elliott dropped Thomas back, and they raged the battle for second.

The feature then took on a whole new completion on lap 20 when Mike Miller spun out in turn four. Elliott and Rose were battling hard for second, and actually made minor contact trying to avoid Miller. Miller restarted at the tail of the field.

On the restart Rose jumped to the top of the racetrack and went after Shively for the lead. Then going through turns three and four Rose lost ground and allowed Thomas and Elliott to close. The trio went through turns one and two and down the backstretch three wide for the second. Elliott was able to slip by, and was trying to track down Shively. Just then, Shively slipped through turns three and four. This created a tight five-car battle for the win with Shively, Rose, Elliott, Thomas, and John Wolfe, who closed on the pack. Elliott continued to challenge Shively at the bottom, while Rose gassed his car up to the top of the racetrack. Each time Shively was able to lead at the stripe, holding off Elliott’s advances.

The trio came to the white flag almost three abreast. Again through turns one and to Elliott ran down on the bottom with his left front in the air, barely clipping the infield marker tires, with Rose on the gas hard around the top. Then entering turn three Shilvely got sideways and spun in front of the field in the middle of the corner. Rose went around the extreme high side of Shively, while Elliott was on the bottom. They raced to the line with Rose just edging Elliott by half a car length at the finish. Thomas, Wolfe, and Possman ended up rounding out the top five.

Elliott set quick time over the 50-car field with a lap of 13.337 seconds around the ¼ mile oval. Elliott, Possman, Jack Hewitt, Mike Mann, Jason Robbins, and Miller won the heat race events, while Tony Jarrett and Terry Pletch won the B-Main’s. Jason Gregg and Travis Welpott got upside down during the second B-Main, but were not injured.

Next week at Gas City I-69 Speedway features more great traditional sprint car action along with the UMP Modifieds and the Street Stocks. Hot laps start at 6:00 with racing at 7:30 p.m. EST.


Time Trials:

Car # Driver/Team Name Best Lap
1 66 Tony Elliott 13.337
2 12 Ande Possman 13.492
3. 34 A.J. Anderson 13.645
4. 3B Kevin Thomas 13.740
5. 6 Bill Rose 13.756
6. 55 Eric Shively 13.825
7. 29J Tony Jarrett 13.888
8. 3M John Wolfe 13.904
9. 45 Jim Mills 13.943
10. 47 Justin Marvel 13.977
11. 66H Ed Hassler 14.002
12. 29P Trerry Pletch 14.006
13. 88 Scotty Orr 14.015
14. 68 Greg Dillion 14.019
15. 75 Jason Gregg 14.052
16. 30P Brandon Petty 14.064
17. 96 Jason Robbins 14.105
18. 9r Derek Davidson 14.126
19. 42G Bart Grider 14.156
20. 18 Kenny Lacey 14.166
21. 16 Jack Hewitt 14.173
22. 37M Mike Mann 14.197
23. 3W Jeff Wilson 14.208
24. 82 Mike Miller 14.208
25. 36 Joe Roush 14.218
26. 54 Jonathan Vennard 14.255
27. 5H Ricky Hayden 14.322
28. 10 Mark Clark 14.336
29. 66 Corey Smith 14.338
30. 4u Ricky Shelton 14.355
31. 31 Chuck Wilson 14.379
32. 8L Jimmy Laser 14.420
33. 86 Eric Burns 14.440
34. 4m Scott Mills 14.517
35. 73 Bob Williams 14.528
36. 7 A.J. Jordan 14.554
37. 27 Aaron Mosely 14.563
38. wee3 Travis Welpott 14.573
39. 4r Greg Roudebush 14.671
40. 97J Jeff Hartjoy 14.839
41. 77 Dustin Smith 14.847
42. 13 Dennis Veach 14.920
43. 8h Lance Hayden 15.022
44. 61 John Popejoy 15.278
45. 11c Perry Clark 15.326
46. 17He Mary Hery 15.340
47. 17 Frankie Hamm 15.755
48. 2d Tony Davis 15.840
49. 99 Brian DeFord 16.031
50. 44 Tom Davies 16.081

Heat #1 (8 laps, 3 Transfer): Elliott, C. Wilson, Roush, Jarrett, Orr, Grider, Mosely, L. Hayden, DeFord.

Heat #2 (8 laps, 3 Transfer): Possman, Dillion, Vennard, Laser, Wolfe, Lacey, Popejoy, Welpott, Davies.

Heat #3 (8 laps, 3 Transfer): Hewitt, Anderson, Burns, Mills, R. Hayden, Gregg, Roudebush, P. Clark.

Heat #4 (8 laps, 3 Transfer): Mann, Marvel, Thomas, M. Clark, Petty, Mills, Hartjoy, Hery

Heat #5 (8 laps, 3 Transfer): Robbins, Rose, Hassler, C. Smith, J. Wilson, D. Smith, Williams, Hamm

Heat #6 (8 laps, 3 Transfer): Miller, Roudebush, Shively, Pletch, Shelton, Jordan, Veach, Davis.

B-Main #1 (12 Laps, 2 Transfer): Jarrett, Petty, C. Smith, Orr, Lacey, Williams, R. Hayden, Laser, D. Smith, Mills, P. Clark, L Hayden, Roudeush, Mann.

B-Main #2 (12 Laps, 2 Transfer): Pletch, J. Wilson, Shelton, M. Clark, Jordan, Grider, Hery, Davis, Davies, Veach, Welpott, Mills, Gregg, Hartjoy

A-Main: Rose, Elliott, Thomas, Wolfe, Possman, Marvel, Anderson, Mann, Pletch, Dillion, Petty, Davidson, Hassler, Robbins, Wilson, Roush, Burns, Vennard, Shively, Miler, Hewitt, Jarrett.