Racing to the end: Final fair grandstand event a showstopper


For The Tribune


Cooler temperatures graced the Jackson County Fairgrounds on Saturday night, attracting a large crowd of fairgoers to take in the festivities on the final day of the weeklong event.

The Jackson County Grand Champion Fair Race headlined the final grandstand event of the week, with Super Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks and Pure Stocks on the racing program.

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Twenty-six Super Late Models signed in for the fifth annual Paul Crockett Memorial, bidding for the $2,500 payday.

Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Year contender Hudson O’Neal was in attendance, as the Lucas Oil-sponsored national series was off for the weekend.

O’Neal would trip the qualifying clock with the quickest time around the quarter-mile dirt oval.

Seymour’s Adam Bowman flexed muscle early in the evening, winning his heat race by a half-track margin putting him on the pole position for the 25-lap main event.

Chad Stapleton and O’Neal won their respective heat races.

Bowman and Stapleton fired from the front row for the annual event conducted in honor of late racing legend Paul Crockett.

Stapleton made quick work of Bowman on the start, using momentum from the top line of the racing surface to take the lead. Bowman and O’Neal followed.

O’Neal found his groove and moved Bowman to third and began his pursuit of Stapleton.

Lapped traffic came into play, and O’Neal used a slower car as a pick, passing Stapleton for the lead.

The race would then be for second through fifth, as Stapleton, Bowman, Devin Gilpin and Marty O’Neal wagered for position.

Gilpin rolled the middle line of the racing surface to advance to second position over Stapleton and Bowman.

Marty O’Neal put his name in the mix as he moved Bowman to the fifth position and put pressure on Stapleton for third.

Up front, it was all 16-year-old Hudson O’Neal, as he cruised to victory, claiming his first Paul Crockett Memorial win.

“What a joy being home tonight,” O’Neal said in victory lane. “Brownstown is such a good racetrack. I was very pleased with it tonight. I can’t thank everybody enough for being here.”

Bowman collected a $100 bonus courtesy of the Crockett family for finishing fifth.

Seymour native Jamey Wilson took his familiar No. 45 to victory lane for the ninth time of the season at Brownstown in the Super Stock division.

Randy Petro, who made his first visit of the season to Brownstown, finished runner-up behind Wilson.

“Randy is one of my all-time favorite drivers, and to be able to beat him is a pretty big deal,” said Wilson, who also is leading the national points standings for the UMP Sportsman division.

Sweeping both Thursday and Saturday night’s events, Gilpin scored his eighth Modified feature win of the season at Brownstown, dominating the 20-lap event.

The Brownstown Speedway Hall of Famer currently leads the Modified points standings at the speedway.

Kevin Applegate snagged his second win of the season in the Pure Stock division, besting efforts from Seymour’s Jason Combs in the closing laps.

Combs found momentum on the top side of the racing surface and pulled alongside Applegate as the drivers swapped the lead back and forth.

“That was a good one. I had to change my mind just a little bit when I saw him pull up alongside me,” Applegate said.

Brownstown’s next event will be Aug. 5, as the Schaeffer’s Oil Iron-Man Championship Late Model Series makes its inaugural visit to the speedway.

Indiana Pro Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks and Pure Stocks also are on the racing program for the evening.

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