Story & photos by Phillip Prichard:
16-year-old Anderson Bowen scored the biggest win of his young racing career on July 12th capturing the checkered flag and the $5000 purse at the Sunoco 125 at Gresham Motorsports Park. Bowen led just two laps – the final two – in winning his first-ever Southern Super Series event sponsored by Schoenfeld Headers.
The Suwanee, GA native stated in Victory Lane. “Those last laps were the first I ever led in the Southern Super Series. Man,that was the most fun I ever had in a racecar”.
Bowen and his No. 29 Copper Creek Hardware Ford Fusion started third in the 23-car field and quickly fell into line behind early leader Bubba Pollard and pole sitter Augie Grill. Pollard looked to be the man to beat before an ignition problem forced him to the pits on Lap 33. He would later return to finish 17th.
2013 Southern Super Series champion Daniel Hemric was blazing through the field from his seventh starting position blasting past both Bowen and Grill just before the 50-lap mark. At the 75-lap Competition Caution break, it was Hemric followed by Bowen, T.J. Reaid, Donnie Wilson and Grill.
Hemric took the lead for final 50-lap dash. Hemric had company as Bowen was all but glued to his back bumper. The pair brought the large Gresham Motorsports Park crowd to its feet on Lap 114 as they both got sideways coming off Turn 4. Hemric appeared to have the race in hand as he bolted away to a five-car length advantage only to have Bowen again close and duck inside on the white-flag lap.
Hemric and Bowen battled the last half mile with Bowen inching ahead in the final turn. At the finish, it was Bowen in one of the closest finishes in GMP history – a scant 0.413 seconds – with Hemric in tow.
Wilson, Reaid and Grill rounded out the Top-5 finishers while Kyle Grissom, Travis Cope, Casey Roderick, Harrison Burton and Landon Cling completed the list of Top-10 finishes.
Augie Grill pocketed $500 for winning the pole position for the event courtesy of Hamner Racing Engines, McGunegill Engine Performance, Progressive Racing Engines, Ford Racing and RW Racing Engines.
In other racing action of the evening, Matt Vassar and Matthew Wragg visited Victory Lane in the GMP Pro Truck and Outlaw Late Model divisions respectively.
Vassar notched a solid win in the 30-lap Pro Truck race and afterward thrilled the GMP crowd by scaling the GMP front stretch fence. Rodney Benefield was second followed by Jamie Weimer, Kristen Wallace and Kevin Vassar.
Wragg had to work hard for his win holding off a determined Lee Langford for the top spot in the 30-lap event. Russell Shore finished third with Marlin Gunter and Shawn Simpson completing the Top-5.
For more information on the Southern Super Series, please access
For more information about Gresham Motorsports Park, please visit
www.racegmp.comThe 31st AnnualWorld Crown 300 will be on August 9th with the stars of the Southern Super Series as well as Super Late Model drivers from across the country battling on the GMP 1/2-mile high banked oval.