Looney Snaps Bad Luck Streak in Franklin Co. Feature Race

By: Andy Marquis
Editor/Content Manager -- RACE22.com

Mike Looney finally overcame the bad luck that's plagued his 2014 season on Monday night and overcame it in style – with a victory in the Wheat Construction Memorial Day Bash at Franklin County Speedway.  Looney took the lead from Johnny Cash with 38 laps to go and never looked back.

"You can't put this in to words after the year that we've had," Looney said in victory lane.  "Billy Martin, my car owner, he's worked his guts out on this car to try to get the problems fixed.  I don't know how many thousands he's fixed so I can start driving and get it right.  I really appreciate it.  It's frustrating to come over and have a car this fast but can't finish.  We fell out of the lead twice this year and was running second the other time we fell out.  The car's sitting here in victory lane broke right now.  The track bar broke on the last lap apparently.  Lady Luck, she missed us by one lap tonight.  I have to attribute that to the Lord's will to win, it's going to happen.  I've been really blessed in my career and blessed to have the opportunity to drive this car."

After the race, Looney reflected on the final few laps as he saw a huge lead begin to disappear in the closing laps.

"I kept thinking they were going to crash and we would have a green-white-checkered," Looney remarked.  "I thought I needed to cool my tires and save for that.  I'd save a little and Johnny Cash would pounce right on me.  I couldn't save any.  I was worried about a late race caution.  There's a lot of bonehead moved that happen here on green-white-checkered finishes so I just wanted to get to the finish on the track in one piece."

Johnny Cash surrended the lead to Looney with 38 laps to go after inheriting the lead when Kyle Dudley dropped out of the race with a broken rear-end panhard rod.

"That car and a half I pulled down the straightaway, that's fun when you're stomping on and push 500 horsepower," Cash said.  "I have to thank everyone who puts this car together, all I do is get in it and ride."

Daryn Cockram, who set the fastest time in qualifying, rebounded from an early race spin and went on to finish third after starting in fifth due to an invert.  

Cockram appeared to have a fast enough car to contend with Looney but he couldn't get around Cash.  After the race, Cockram said Cash was just a little better than him coming off the corner.

Rounding out the top-10 were Brian Sutphin, Brian Pembleton, Nathan Wheat, Bobby Griffin, Libby Privette, Rusty Gaspard and Kyle Dudley.

Griffin started on the pole in the race.  The first lead change in the race came on lap 22 when Pembleton got around Griffin.  The caution came out on lap 26 when Bobby Gillespie dropped off the pace and out of the race.  On the restart, Dudley rocketed to the lead.  Dudley, while sporting a comfortable lead, dropped off the pace and out of the race on lap 55.  Cash inherited the lead when Dudley dropped out of the race but was relegated to second when Looney got around him on lap 62.

Josh Nichols qualified on the pole and led every single lap en route to victory in the second Moonshine Modifieds feature of the 2014 season.  Nichols held off Lauren Edgerton and Joe Scarbrough for the win.

"This is awesome," Nichols said.  "This is by far my favorite racetrack.  I didn't even know they had a modified deal going here until I saw something on Facebook and I'm glad we came today.  We've come here four or five times and won some races.  This is one of the most unique racetracks I've ever been to."

Robert Gibson scored his first career victory in another thrilling race for the Mini-Cup division.  David Burnett started on the pole and led early until Buck Mitchell got past on a restart on the fifth lap of the race.  On lap 14, Mitchell slowed with a mechanical problem allowing Burnett to retake the lead.  Burnett surrendered the lead to Gibson with two laps to go.

"It feels pretty good to win this race," Gibson said.  "I'm just glad I got in and out of the corners like I did.  I'm glad everybody made it through the race okay… hopefully the first win of many more to come."

Brittany Cockram put on a clinic in the Mod-4 division en route to her fourth win of the season and her third consecutive victory.  Cockram's lone loss came in a race that she couldn't even start due to mechanical issues.  Cockram started at the rear of the field but found her way to the lead by lap eight and never looked back.

"The car was pretty right tonight," Cockram said.  "I'm really excited that it's come back this far.  I'm still in shock about the motor and how it blew and now we're back to being where we were at and it's pretty good."

Patrick Janney should have won twice on Saturday night in the U-CAR division but one of his tires fell off while he was leading twice in twin U-CAR features.  Janney got his redemption two days later when he scored the victory in the U-CAR feature.

"I've got to give a big thank you to WJ Altizer, his dad, Larry Dunbar and a big thank you to Brian Wray," Janney said.  "We took the car and put a new wheel hub and ball joint in and I was down there riding four wheelers and they wanted me to race so we got the parts and put it together.  It feels good to put a brand new car in victory lane.  We had problems on Saturday but, we got it today."

JC Morgan took the lead from Andrew Amos in the closing laps of the Street ModZ feature to score the victory over Amos and Todd Arrington.  In the Street Stock feature, Danny Bush took the lead from Ricky Riddle on lap four and never looked back en route to his fourth win of the season.

Franklin County Speedway will be back in action on June 7th with the Cavalier Equipment King of the Bullring with racing for Late Models, Street Stocks, Mod-4, U-CARs, Mini Cups, Street ModZ and the Southern Ground Pounders.





1. #87 Mike Looney

2. #30 Johnny Cash

3. #1 Daryn Cockram

4. #11 Brian Sutphin

5. #00 Brian Pembleton

6. #1 Nathan Wheat

7. #85 Bobby Griffin

8. #53 Libby Privette

9. #23 Rusty Gaspard

10. #51 Kyle Dudley

11. #78 Ricky Gillespie

12. #08 Wesley Thomason

13. #03 Josh Leedy

14. #18 Bobby Gillespie

15. #14 David Sell -- DNS


1. #34 Josh Nichols

2. #7 Lauren Edgerton

3. #93 Joe Scarbrough

4. #03 Jeff Woods

5. #22 Josh Corbridge

6. #32 Brandon Harding


1. #16 Brittany Cockram

2. #1 Matt Slusher

3. #22 Doodle Lang

4. #09 David Duncan


1. #17 Patrick Janney

2. #31 Chad Ricker

3. #51 WJ Altizer

4. #53 JD Spradlin

5. #7 Jeremy Dailey

6. #12 Steve Toombs

7. #8 Cary Thomason

8. #22 Kevin Boose

9. #26 Tony Housman

10. #29 Timothy Wheat

11. #83 Isaac Lavender -- DNS


1. #37 JC Morgan

2. #01 Andrew Amos

3. #3 Todd Arrington

4. #28 Chris Amos

5. #19 Kevin Dillon


1. #2 Robert Gibson

2. #31 David Burnett

3. #4 Justin Manning

4. #17 Jason Quintrell

5. #7 Bradley Simmons

6. #00 Buck Mitchell

7. #77 Rian Wheat

8. #29 Barry Towler

9. #88 Brandon Carson -- DNS

10. #12 Aaron Quintrell -- DNS


1. #10 Danny Bush

2. #71 Jason Warsing

3. #1 Ricky Riddle

4. #6 EL Webb

For more information on Franklin County Speedway, visit the track website at www.fcspeedway.com"like" Franklin County Speedway on Facebook or follow @FranklinCoSwy on Twitter.

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