Story by: Corey Latham ~ [email protected]

Winston-Salem, NC(May 13, 2011) — The Sportsman division was back in action again at Bowman Gray last Saturday for twin 20’s, a regular event for the cars known at most other tracks as Limited Late Models.

After having to qualify the first week out, this week saw the blind draw being the only way the cars would set the field, so being lucky is a key before the race. Even with the draw and a hefty field of 23 cars, it seems the cream always rises to the top. That couldn’t of been more true on Saturday as two of the most winningest drivers of the division took home the wins.

In the first 20 lapper Taylor Branch would start from the pole with Tommy Neal to the outside and Zack Clifton along with Todd Gray right behind. Branch would hold the lead into turn one on the green as he and Neal make contact with Neal getting the good bite off turn two and shoving himself into the lead in front of Branch before they get to turn three. At other tracks that sounds aggressive, at Bowman Gray it really was tame and expected.

Neal and Branch immediately begin to pull away from Clifton in second but Kevin Neal is charging and disposes of Gray quickly for fourth then gets under and by Clifton for third on lap three before we have our first caution of the night. Ronnie Barron had tried to follow Kevin Neal through the hole under Clifton when he makes contact with the Clifton machine cutting down his right front tire.

After a few more quick cautions Tommy Neal gets to show his horsepower up front as he simply drives away from the field with Branch barely able to keep contact in second. Kevin Neal was ten cars back in third and Gray was nearly half a lap behind in fourth, it was one of the most dominating wins seen at Bowman Gray in the Sportsman division in some time. Tommy Neal would grab his 82nd Sportsman victory in his quest to beat the all-time Bowman Gray winner Jimmy Johnson with 99 as Branch, Kevin Neal and Todd Gray followed behind.

Just as the modifieds do, the second race of the night is set up by an invert that the first race winner picks out of a bag. The second 20 lapper would see veteran Barry Edwards start from the pole with John Lain, Kyle Edwards, Zack Clifton and Derek Stoltz rounding out the top five.

Barry Edwards would take the lead easily from Lain at the start, matter of fact before Lain can even get to turn three he gets freight-trained on the inside by Kyle Edwards, Stoltz and Luke Fleming putting him back to fifth before we complete lap one. Kenny Bost would make the move around Lain a few laps later as the four leaders had drove off into the distance.

Lain would continue to have problems as cars passed him in wholesale fashion to the inside until lap ten when he spins off turn two. Since he was running the outside line banging off of cars, he spins back across the track right in front of the field as Ronnie Barron t-bones him hard in the side with David Adams coming wide open into the back of Barron. A red flag would ensue for nearly 15 minutes as Barron is careful removed from his car conscious and alert and transported by ambulance out of the stadium.

After another immediate caution involving Lain again and others in the back of the pack we get back to racing with Barry Edwards setting the pace once more. Kyle Edwards would give it a valiant effort but had nothing for his older brother down the stretch as Barry Edwards wins over Kyle Edwards, Derek Stoltz and Luke Fleming. “Old-School” was once again in victory lane, as Edwards is a crowd favorite with his handlebar mustache, open-faced helmet and dirt track era window net, definitely one of the coolest characters at the stadium.

Race 1:
1. Tommy Neal
2. Taylor Branch
3. Kevin Neal
4. Todd Gray
5. Evan Duggins
6. Michael Adams
7. Bryant Robertson
8. Kenny Bost
9. Robbie Brewer
10. Derek Stoltz
11. Luke Fleming
12. Kyle Edwards
13. Zack Clifton
14. Mitch Gales
15. John Lain
16. Barry Edwards
17. Ronnie Barron
18. David Adams
19. Mike Evans
20. Jeff McCrary
21. Danny Cornwell
22. Jeff Garrison
23. Kyle Southern

Race 2:
1. Barry Edwards
2. Kyle Edwards
3. Derek Stoltz
4. Luke Fleming
5. Kenny Bost
6. Bryant Robertson
7. Robbie Brewer
8. Michael Adams
9. Tommy Neal
10. Kevin Neal
11. Evan Duggins
12. Taylor Branch
13. Zack Clifton
14. Jeff Garrison
15. Mike Evans
16. Jeff McCrary
17. Danny Cornwell
18. Todd Gray
19. John Lain
20. Kyle Southern
21. Ronnie Barron
22. David Adams
23. Mitch Gales