Warrens take two at SMS Friday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Staff report

Phil Warren took the lead on lap 117 and held off Anthony Peters’ furious late-race rally to score his third victory of the season in a controversial finish Friday in Southampton Motor Speedway Late Model stock car racing.

Peters started on the pole, and he and Mike Shearin fought it out for the first four laps. Tommy Cherry and Warren slipped past Shearin by lap seven.


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Under the event rules, each driver was required to make a green-flag pit stop between laps 25 and 125. The first wave of drivers headed onto the pit lane at lap 26, including Cherry, Warren, and Shearin. Five laps later, Peters slowed to pit. As he rolled onto the pit lane, however, trouble was breaking out behind him as Brian Carter and Bob Shreeves tangled in Turn 2. With the yellow flag flying, Peters hustled through the pits and rejoined the field. Still in the lead, Peters caught a break when officials picked up Morty Buckles as the new leader. As a result of this miscue, the results of Friday’s race have been deemed &uot;unofficial&uot; until SMS consults with NASCAR.

Lining up for the restart, Buckles headed the field. Peters, meanwhile, was deployed near the rear of the pack – almost a lap ahead of the field. When the race resumed, on lap 43, he immediately slowed and came to complete his green-flag stop. His misplacement in the lineup during the caution period allowed him to make his stop without losing a lap. Buckles paced laps 44-50, then made his pit stop. Shreeves led lap 51 before turning onto the pit lane, completing the pit cycle and passing the lead to Peyton Sellers. On lap 55, Cherry motored under Sellers in Turn 4, taking the lead out of Turn 2 on the next circuit. Warren followed five laps later, taking over second place. The second and final caution flag appeared on lap 74 when Sellers slammed the outside wall. Sellers bounced off the wall and collected Peters, stripping the right-front fender and passenger-side door from Peters’ car. Peters drove away from the scene and made a series of three pit stops during the ensuing caution period, returning to the track ahead of the pace car each time to stay on the lead lap.

With the field circulating under caution, the lights in Turns 3 and 4 suddenly went dark. Drivers were red-flagged to a halt in Turns 1 and 2 for about 30 minutes until power was restored. When the race resumed, Cherry and Warren sped away from the pack. Passing the 100-lap mark, Warren closed in on Cherry’s rear bumper, peeking high and low for an opening. On lap 115, Warren drove to the outside of Cherry on the backstretch. Warren nosed ahead to lead for the first time on lap 117, finally clearing Cherry in Turn 4 on lap 119. In the meantime, Peters had closed to within two car-lengths of Cherry.

Moving in, Peters slipped by Cherry for second on lap 129. The shuffle allowed Warren to stretch his lead to four lengths. By lap 136, Peters and Warren were nose-to-tail. Working in the high lane, Warren held Peters at bay until lap 149. Coming to the white flag, the two went side-by-side for a lap. With the checkers in sight, Warren forged ahead and beat Peters back to the line by 154-thousandths of a second – about a car-length.

1. Phil Warren

2. Timothy Peters

3. Tommy Cherry

4. Bob Shreeves

5. Morty Buckles

Phil’s son Anthony completed the family sweep in Late Model competition, moving out front on lap 23 and rolling to his second straight victory. Robbie Babb of Chesapeake started on the pole and led the first five circuits before giving way to Gary Weeks, who had quickly moved to the point. Ken Rountree and Warren slipped by Babb on lap nine, and Weeks bolted to a three-length lead.

Warren grabbed the runner-up spot from Rountree on lap 12 and set off after the leader. Balluzzo nosed ahead of Rountree for third on lap 19 as the handling on Rountree’s car began to go away. By lap 22, Warren had erased Weeks’ lead, and drew even with Weeks on the frontstretch. Warren completed the pass for the lead on the back straightaway on the following circuit.

Weeks was able to stay within a car-length of Warren for a handful of laps. Little by little, though, Warren pulled away. At the finish, his margin of victory had grown to four car-lengths.


Anthony Warren


Gary Weeks


Shawn Balluzzo


Ken Rountree


Jeff Sampson

Wayne Ezell took the point on lap 20 and led the way to the checkers as the Pro-Six Series made its SMS debut. Thomas Barden started on the pole and set the pace for the first 19 laps. Ezell shadowed Barden until lap 15 when a slip in Turn 2 allowed Barden to open a four-length advantage.

On lap 20, Barden suddenly spun in Turn 2, the victim of left-rear tire problems. As the caution flag waved, Ezell assumed the top spot with J.B. Sipe moving up to second. On the ensuing restart, Sipe failed to come up to speed immediately and Tim Layne grabbed second place as Ezell stretched his lead to five lengths. Over the closing circuits, Layne shaved a couple lengths off of Ezell’s margin. It wasn’t enough, however, as Ezell drove to a three-car-length victory.

1. Wayne Ezell

2. Tim Layne

3. J.B. Sipe

4. Steve Rudd

5. J.B. Poates

Here are the results for Langley Speedway’s May 21 events:

Late Model Sportsman 35 (First Twin)

1. Mark Wertz

2. PaulLubno

3. Danny Edwards

4. JeffShiftlett

5. Dalford Briley

Late Model Sportsman 35 (Second Twin)

1. Danny Edwards

2. Mark Wertz

3. Danny Harrell

4. Shawn Balluzzo

5. JeffShiftlett

Super Street

1. Geoff Wallace

2. Mike Ganoe

3. Scott Finch

4. Steve Dill

5. Andrew Wroten

Super 8 Motels Grand Stock

1. Brandon Hinson (First Win)

2. David Gray

3. Ricky Derrick

4. Chris Roberts

5. Donnie Brown


1. Craig Firman

2. Bill Wallace

3. Evan Van Leeuwen

4. Michael Farmer

5. Robert Rusinyak

Mini Trucks

1. R.J. Davis

2. NeilSipe

3. Hugo Belfiore

4. Craig Brown

5. Bobby Dean


1. Woody Howard

2. Cameron Patrick

3. Dale Lemonds

4. C.E.Falk

5. Brian May