Grill DQ’d, Hemric Wins Southern Super Series At 5 Flags

Daniel Hemric, seen here from earlier action, inherited the Southern Super Series victory Friday night after apparent winner Augie Grill was disqualified in post-race tech.  Photo by T. Spackman

Daniel Hemric, seen here from earlier action, inherited the Southern Super Series victory Friday night after apparent winner Augie Grill was disqualified in post-race tech. Photo by T. Spackman

Augie Grill took the checkered flag at the PepsiMax 125 on Friday night at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL in the Blizzard/Southern Super Series race.

However, he was disqualified in post-race inspection for having unauthorized fuel.

The DQ means Daniel Hemric was awarded the victory, his first in a Blizzard Series race at the track and his first in the Southern Super Series.

Grill had not won a Blizzard race since June 2011. And it was to be his fourth win this season in the Southern Super Series, but it was not to be following the DQ.

Following Hemric in the order was Bubba Pollard, John Hunter Nemechek, Mike Garvey and Casey Smith. Johanna Long, in her first Super Late Model race at her home track this season, finished 12th.

When the race restarted following the 10-minute competition after 75 laps, Nemechek was leading, but he chose to restart on the outside.
That was all Grill needed. He stayed low and quickly passed Nemechek for the lead and held it easily the rest of the way.

Pollard was the fastest qualifier for the second Blizzard race this season, but he started fifth on the invert. That put Chris Davidson on the pole, but it was Grill, who started on the outside front row, who took charge.

The two-time Snowball Derby champion took the lead on the start. Nemechek closed in second place as the race began to shake out.
On lap 31, Pensacola driver Scott Carlson spun as he tried to get past a lap car. Donnie Wilson spun to avoid hitting Carlson and as the two drivers sat there, another car slowed too late and slammed into Wilson, who pinballed off Carlson.

The damage to Wilson’s car ended his race, while Carlson was able to continue.

One lap after the restart, Nemechek ducked low in Turn 1 and took the lead from Grill on lap 32. He held it for 43 laps until the 10-minute competition on lap 75.

Pollard used that time to change his transmission in that 10-minute span.

“It was a tough night for us,” Pollard said. “The car wasn’t very good. We were fortunate to get back out there.”


An extra 10 laps and extra money to win the Sportsman feature.
The only thing that wasn’t different was the winner.

Steve Buttrick scored his sixth feature win of the season.

Normally, 25 laps, the race was lengthened to 35 laps with the winner receiving $1,000, more than double what it normally pays.

Buttrick collected the cash, passing Brannon Fowler on Lap 13 and holding him off on four consecutive restarts.

But Buttrick said it wasn’t his toughest race to win.

“Brannon actually did all the work,” he said. “He passed the 3 car (Mark Barnhill) and I just followed him through.”

Fowler, who trails Buttrick in points, took the lead on lap 5, but Buttrick passed him in turn 1 on lap 13 and quickly began to pull away.

The first caution came out on lap 28 and it was followed by three more on consecutive laps.

But with the extra laps in the race and the extra laps during the caution periods didn’t affect Buttrick’s car.

“My car is a long-term car,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s 25 laps or 100 laps. I use the same setup. But I didn’t like those cautions.”

After the race, he did his usual tradition of giving the winner’s trophy to a child in the grandstands.

Fowler took second, while Donald Crocker took third.


Grabbing that first feature win of the season for Bomber points leader Michael Nelson was more than just taking the checkered flag.

The 21-year old Pensacola driver had to dodge lap traffic on the track and in victory lane.

But on the track, he held off five-time winner Tracy Soles to finally score a win.

“It had been frustrating,” he said, “but it feels nice to finally get that win.”

Nelson took the lead from Soles on lap 5 on the backstretch. The caution came out a lap later when Jimmy Day slowed on the track and had to pit. That would come into play later.

Shortly after the restart, Nelson and Coles came up on a lap car on the backstretch. Nelson went high and almost got trapped on the wall. Soles went low and took the lead.

“I swear I was going to hit the wall,” Nelson said. “I thought he was going to go low and he never did.”

But Nelson took the lead one lap later and held it the rest of the way. Except in Day’s mind.

He came back out on the track, thinking he was still on the lead lap. He passed Nelson in turn 4 on the final lap, but track officials said he was a lap down.

Soles finished second, while Hunter Ward took third.


Pensacola motorcycle star Rob McLendon made easy work of the Expert division, leading all 12 laps in the feature. John Cohorn was second and David Link was third.

He won despite no front brakes and the shifter broke.

Dennis Cejas of Mobile won the Novice division. Coltrane Williams of Pensacola was second, while Nick Nguyen of Pensacola was third. All three transferred to the Pro race.

5 Flags Speedway – Pensacola, FL
Race Results – June 21, 2013

Southern Super Series
Super Late Models
1. Daniel Hemric
2. Bubba Pollard
3. John Hunter Nemechek
4. Mike Garvey
5. Casey Smith
6. Hunter Robbins
7. T.J. Reaid
8. Bobby Knox, Jr.
9. David Rogers
10. Scott Carlson
11. Johanna Long
12. Dennis Schoenfeld
13. Chet Morrison
14. Allen Karnes
15. Mason Massey
16. Junior Niedecken
17. Chris Davidson
18. Trey Gibson
19. Donnie Wilson
20. D.J. VanderLey
21. Logan Boyett
22. Troy Grisaffi
23. Clint Folsom
24. Rusty Sanford

1. Steve Buttrick
2. Brannon Fowler
3. Donald Crocker
4. Shanna Ard
5. Mark Barnhill
6. Randy Thompson
7. Gary Goodwin
8. Jimmy Goodwin
9. Justyn Lynn
10. Dayton Sidner
11. Tina Davidson
12. Kenny Williams
13. Lee Reddog Reynolds
14. James Resmondo
15. Brandon Burks
16. Michael Couture
17. Jim Pokrant
18. Kris Pierce

1. Michael Nelson
2. Tracy Soles
3. Hunter Ward
4. Robert Balkum
5. Leonard Craig, Jr.
6. Courtney Rodrigues
7. T.J. Williams III
8. Ryan Worsham
9. James Beal, III
10. Jimmy Day
11. Corey Pitman
12. John Kevin Merritt
13. Tally Warrick
14. David Johnson
15. Brandin Sidner


About Chuck Corder