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Rattliff runs first in Bluegrass opener

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Kramer, Hagan and Cozzin Jr. also win at Bardstown.

By Michael Despain

Bluegrass Speedway opened its gates for the 2009 season opening event on April 18 and Justin Rattliff of Campbellsville scored the victory in the 44 Auto Mart Super Late Model feature event for his first career victory at the half-mile Nelson County clay oval.

Joey Kramer of Hanover, Ind. won the Modified feature event while Pat Hagan of New Haven saw the checkered flag first in the WBRT 1320-AM Sportsman feature and Mike Cozzin Jr. of Borden, Ind. triumphed in the Street Stock main event.

Michael Chilton grabbed the lead at the start of the 25-lap 44 Auto Mart Super Late Model feature event with Jason Keltner, Rattliff, Terry Casey and Dustin Linville giving chase.

Rattliff charged from his third starting spot to grab second from Keltner on lap 2 with Casey scooting past Keltner for third a circuit later while Tim Tungate drove past Linville for fifth on the same lap.

Rattliff began to pressure Chilton for the top spot and grabbed the lead on lap 5. Keltner and Tungate began to duel for fourth with Tungate taking the spot on lap 7 only to have his night end prematurely one lap later when the air cleaner came off his machine and the caution waved for debris on the track.

The re-start saw Rattliff and Chilton quickly pull away from the field again with Chilton nipping at Rattliff's heels but unable to make a move.

While the lead duo pulled away from the pack, Keltner and Casey settled into a spirited door-to-door battle for the third position.

The leaders began to battle slower traffic on lap 17 while the battle for third heated up even more between Casey and Keltner with Keltner finally winning the battle for the three spot on lap 19.

The final caution flew on lap 22 for a spin by Dylan Preston in turn two that also collected Kevin Colston with both able to continue. The re-start saw Rattliff get a bit of breathing room on the final lap and drive to the win in the seat of the B&W Auto Recyclers/MGL Auto Sales/Cox Wrecker Service/Campbellsville University/The Medicine Centre/Gowen's Auto Glass/Wilson Plumbing/Grant Lee Farms/JET Pressure Washing/Peterson Fluid Systems/AFCO Racing Products sponsored No. 16 Rocket Chassis, Pro Power Race Engines machine. Chilton and Keltner would take second and third with Linville nipping Casey at the checkered flag for fourth.

The remainder of the top 10 would be Ed Behn, Johnny Wheeler, Larry Greer, Bobby Carrier Jr. and Kevin Colston.

Chilton was the top qualifier among 14 entries with a time of 16.012 seconds and would also win the dash while Tungate scored the heat win.

44 Auto Mart Super Late Models (14 entries)

Top qualifier: Michael Chilton (16.012).

Dash: Michael Chilton, Jason Keltner, Justin Rattliff, Terry Casey, Ed Behn, Johnny Wheeler.

Heat: Tim Tungate, Dustin Linville, Larry Greer, Bobby Carrier Jr.

Feature: Justin Rattliff, Michael Chilton, Jason Keltner, Dustin Linville, Terry Casey, Ed Behn, Johnny Wheeler, Larry Greer, Bobby Carrier Jr., Kevin Colston, Dylan Preston, Terry Keltner, Tim Tungate, Joey Rigdon.

 

Modifieds (15 entries)

Top qualifier: Joey Kramer (17.231).

Dash: Joey Kramer, Josh Lucas, Michael England, Benji Lee, Joe Mattingly, Randy Turpin.

Heat: Robbie Gullion, Rocky Wilson, Dion Benningfield, Brad Schlosser.

Feature: Joey Kramer, Michael England, Benji Lee, Randy Turpin, Rocky Wilson, Joe Mattingly, Dion Benningfield, Josh Lucas, Brad Schlosser, Randall Basham, Jeremy Hisel, Sam Huffer, Gary Parks, Joe David Humphrey (DNS-Robbie Gullion).

 

WBRT 1320-AM Sportsman (11 entries)

1st heat: Avral Thompson, Bartley Grant, Jimmy Bryan, Joe Dunbar.

2nd heat: Pat Hagan, Barry Chesser, Roger Cecil, Elton Martin.

Feature: Pat Hagan, Avral Thompson, Barry Chesser, Jimmy Bryan, Elton Martin, Roger Cecil, Joe Dunbar, Bartley Grant, Billy Rigdon (DNS-Paul Lewis Sr., Robbie Settles).

 

Street Stocks (13 entries)

1st heat: Brad Leake, Shane Lafollette, Mike Cozzin Jr., Johnny King.

2nd heat: Timmy Glazer, Roy Skaggs, Johnny Cecil, Jason Bartley.

Feature: Mike Cozzin Jr., Shane Lafollette, Timmy Glazer, Brad Leake, Johnny Cecil, Roy Walker, Terry Bartley, Brian Derringer, Johnny King, Jason Bartley, Steve Thompson, Joe Walker (DNS-Willie Edelen).

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The 12th Annual Spring Sizzler will take place on Saturday featuring the O'Reilly Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series.

The event will feature the O'Reilly Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series Super Late Model division in action as America's most competitive regional series will be highlighted in the evening's 30-lap, $3,000-to-win 12th Annual Spring Sizzler A-Main event.

The Open Wheel Modified and Street Stock divisions will also be in competition as well while the WBRT 1320-AM Sportsman division will have the night off.

The Modifieds will race for $500 to win in their 20-lap main event while the Street Stocks will race a 12-lap main event, paying $100 to win.

The Super Late Model and Street Stock divisions will time trial at this event with the Modified division earning heat race starting assignments via the pill draw.

The pit area will open at 3 p.m. and the grandstand area at 4. A mandatory drivers' meeting will take place at 5 with practice laps set to begin at 5:30. Time trials will get underway at 6 while racing will take the green flag at or before 7.

General admission in the grandstand area will be $15 for adults, $8 for children ages 6 to 12 and children under age 6 are free. A pit pass will be $30.