TThe Southern Superstars and the Huntsville Speedway held the final campaign the 2011 season Sunday night as the 23rd Annual World Classic ran and a 24 car field took the green flag and when all the smoke had cleared John Wilkinson III of Hueytown, AL., scored the win and the trophy.
Wilkinson started in the fourth spot alongside fast qualifier Brad Lemley of Grant, AL., who rolled a three for the inversion and started 3rd with the front row being held down by Jeff Letson of Madison, AL., on the pole and Johnny Brazier of Lickskillet, AL., on the outside pole.
Letson moved into the lead at the drop of the green flag and was pulling away and looked to be wanting to add another win to his resume in the same night as he won the earlier modified race. Letson was cruising out front while Brazier had to hold off Lemley for the first few laps of the race until Lemley got under Brazier with Wilkinson right behind, Brazier who would later fall
back father in the field as lapped cars boxed him in and dropped him back to the 10th spot before he got back in line.
Letson, Lemley and Wilkinson were now the three at the top spots and all three had fast cars, then the trio ran upon the lapped cars of Phillip Norton and Kenny Andrews down the front stretch. The cars of Letson and Lemley weaved their way around the lapped cars as Wilkinson dove inside and crossed the line first giving him in the lead. Then they entered turn one and the cars of Andrews, Letson and Lemley were three wide when Letson and Lemley made contact spinning Lemley out. Letson continued in his second spot and Lemley would have remained in the third spot if he did not have to go the pits and remove the front body work as the wreck was charged to lapped cars and all drivers were getting their spots back.
On the restart Wilkinson then drove a steady clean race working the lapped traffic in the turns and keeping the car of Letson just far enough behind him to have a comfortable lead. Letson meanwhile got a late race challenge from Keith Cahela of Boaz, AL., who was battling for the fifth spot with Chase Oliver for a long time till he got around Oliver and then closed the gap on the top two spot, but just did not have enough laps at the end.
Wilkinson can now add his name to the list of the winners for the World Classic as went on to take the win, with Letson finishing in the second spot, third to Cahela, fourth to Johnny Brazier who came back from dropping all the way to 10th and fifth to Chris Whorton who also recovered from a clip of the front stretch wall knocking the air out of the tire for a fifth place finish.
Finishing in the sixth spot was Chase Oliver or Crossville, AL., seventh Lee Hansard of Tyrone, GA., eighth to the 2011 and first back to back Southern Superstars Series champion Mark Day of Clarksville,TN., ninth to Phil Renfroe of Maysville, AL., and tenth to Hunter Spivey of Decatur, AL.
The 2011 AR Bodies Rookie of the Year went to Chase Spradlin of Bessemer, AL., who overheated late in the race and finished 17th.
For more information concerning the Southern Superstars Series visit us at www.superstarsracing.com
OFFICIAL FINISH 23RD ANNUAL WORLD CLASSIC:
1.John Wilkinson III
22.John Henegar Jr