Barnes returns to victory lane after winning Firecracker 200 at Salem Speedway PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 15 July 2009 00:00
    Chuck Barnes Sr., who was making his first Salem Speedway start of the 2009 season, emerged victorious Sunday in the 20th annual Firecracker 200 presented by Paoli Pizzaria.
    Barnes, the all-time Salem Speedway win leader, led the final 26-laps around the .555-mile oval to record his second consecutive Firecracker 200 win and 51st career victory on the famed high banks.
    Barnes, who started 18th in the field of 34 cars, was able to avoid numerous crashes, which slowed the race on several occasions.
    The veteran Louisville driver worked traffic to perfection all race long and stayed in the top five for much of the race before taking the lead for good on lap 175 when leader Scott Neal pitted under caution.
    Neal of Sulphur Springs, Ind., who led a total of 66-laps in the race and finished second, looked to be on his way to victory after building a sizeable lead with about 40 laps remaining.  
    Neal, a former ARCA RE/MAX Series winner at Salem who started 31st Sunday, was unable to mount a series challenge for the top spot after his late race fuel stop.
    Brian Hopkins of New Castle, Ind., who finished second to Barnes in the 2008 Halloween 200, turned in another fine performance with a third place finish.  John Collins of Sellersburg, Ind., and Casey Heavrin of Jeffersonville rounded out the top five.
    The second five was made up of Beau Hendrich, Blake Hillard, Craig Rogers, Ricky Estes and Brian Moore in that order.
    Chris French led flag-to-flag in winning Sunday’s Freedom 40 for the Lucas Oil Super Stocks.
    The victory, French’s first of the season at Salem, propelled the Vine Grove, Ky., driver in to first place in the season standings, one point in front of Skeeter Crum and three ahead of Frank Kimmel II.
    Shawn Smith of Louisville finished second in the Freedom 50 with Crum of Jeffersonville third.
    Racing returns to the high banks of Salem Speedway on Saturday, July 18, as the ASA Late Model Series pays a visit to the famed oval for “The Trials 200”.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 July 2009 12:40