Stacy Puryear put his car on the pole for the Rodney Cook Classic at Ace Speedway on Saturday October 7, 2017. Unfortunately the race was rained out before it could start. Corey Latham Photo

Rain Postpones Rodney Cook Classic After Puryear Sets Pole

Persistent rain showers throughout Saturday afternoon and evening forced officials at Ace Speedway to postpone the 4th running of the Rodney Cook Classic.

After a brief rain shower temporarily halted on-track activity at around 12:00, five different divisions took to the track to practice and qualify for a night of close quarters racing, which saw Tim Brown and Stacy Puryear set blistering pole speeds in the Modified and Late Model divisions respectively. However, shortly after the command to fire engines was given for the first Modified race, a rain shower from the South halted on-track activity for a second time.

Several attempts to dry the track were made, but every time there was a break in the weather, another small rain shower would force the track crews to start over again. Although the radar showed clear skies after 7:45, a light mist returned to the track at 8:30, followed by another shower fifteen minutes later. Track officials determined that it would be too late to start the event, and made the decision to postpone the event shortly after 9:00.

Officials at Ace Speedway will announce a rescheduled date for the Rodney Cook Classic on Monday afternoon, along with any updated qualifying and race procedures.

Late Model veteran Stacy Puryear had earned the pole for the 4th annual Rodney Cook Classic at Ace Speedway after posting a fast time of 15.850 on his first lap of qualifying. Puryear is coming off an eighth place finish in the 2017 ValleyStar Credit Union 300 after starting on the outside of the front row and leading several laps, and is looking to carry the momentum from Martinsville over into Ace Speedway on Saturday evening.

Moncks Corner, South Carolina native Robert Powell qualified on the outside pole alongside Puryear in the #34 Paragon Construction Late Model, which was originally scheduled to be driven by Justin Snow, who won the inaugural Rodney Cook Classic in 2014. Kyle Dudley was set to line up third with CARS Tour championship contender Anthony Alfredo and BooBoo Dalton rounding out the Top five.

2017 ValleyStar Credit Union 300 winner Timothy Peters struggled to find speed early on in practice, as he recorded the slowest time of the 25 cars that participated in the first practice. However, Nelson Motorsports helped Peters find some speed in the final practice session, as he was fifth fastest of the 26 cars that took time. Despite making those improvements, Peters will have to come from 10th place if he wants to win his second prestigious Late Model event in a row.

Lining up behind Peters in 11th will be former Ace Speedway track champion RD Smith, who rebounded to post a time of 16.009 after spinning coming to take the green flag in qualifying. Smith is the defending champion of the Rodney Cook Classic and will be the only driver in the Late Model field who will attempt to become the first repeat winner in the event after Justin Snow withdrew. Smith will also be looking for a strong finish after being swept up in a big crash in the second half of the ValleyStar Credit Union 300.

Other notables include Jake Crum, who was a late entry to the Rodney Cook Classic qualified seventh after starting on pole in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300. Thad Moffitt, the grandson of 7-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Richard Petty, is also entered in the event and will line up in the 13th position. Modified veteran Burt Myers is making a rare Late Model appearance this weekend, but he will have to come from deep in the field if he wants to bring his #51 ToyotaCare care home in victory lane for owner Kyle Busch.

Starting Lineup:
1 – 17 Stacy Puryear
2 – 34 Robert Powell
3 – 4 Kyle Dudley
4 – 8 Anthony Alfredo
5 – 50 BooBoo Dalton
6 – 4m John Moore
7 – 01c Jake Crum
8 – 18 Jason York
9 – 77w Trevor Ward
10 – 12 Timothy Peters
11 – 16 RD Smith
12 – 8 Thomas Scott
13 – 46 Thad Moffitt
14 – 59 Heath Causey
15 – 22 Eric Winslow
16 – 2 Dennis Holdren
17 – 9 Brad Kurth
18 – 7 Dylan Ward
19 – 51 Burt Myers
20 – 31 Thomas Beane
21 – 77 Blake Stallings
22 – 01 Jeff Shiflett
23 – 24 Colin Garrett
24 – 71 Dean Fogleman
25 – 37 Speedy Faucette
26 – 07 Kevin Neal
27 – 45 Gary Young Jr.
28 – 9 Holden Kurth DNQ
29 – 25 Justin Taylor DNQ

Ace Speedway officials have yet to determine the makeup date and if the cars would re-qualify when they return or stand on the times from Saturday’s qualifying session.

Race22.com had all the updates from the action that did get to take place from practice to qualifying with our Jumpstart Motorsports RACEDAY Live Coverage presented by After Dark Diesel.


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Brandon White