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Dane Continues G.W. Piece Front Wheel Drive Oval Performance; Ellis Takes Figure 8 Victory

By Ken de la Bastide

(April 9, 2012) –
During the second half of the 2011 season Jerry Dane and Jeff Williams waged some memorable battles in the G. W. Pierce Front Wheel Drive oval division.

Williams is now driving a late model, but Dane continued his sting of impressive performances by winning the season opening feature.

Dane used lapped traffic to his advantage to pass Chris Jennings coming off the fourth corner with two laps remaining to win the G.W. Pierce Front Wheel Drive oval feature.

Jennings took the lead from Ron Phipps on the second lap with an outside pass and pulled away from the pack as Dane worked his way to the front.

Dane passed Kevin Harmon for third on lap four entering the third corner and five laps later passed Phipps down the back straight.

At the finish it was Dane, Jennings, Harmon, Phipps and Andy Jennings.

In the first heat, Paul Phipps inherited the win when Elliott McKinney was black-flagged for turning laps faster than what he qualified at. Following Phipps to the checkers were Kevin Henson, Marshall Clark Jr., Michael Harrold and McKinney.

Donnie Ellis Jr. passed Mike Alley entering turn one on lap 12 to win the G.W. Pierce Front Wheel Drive Figure-8 feature after a spirited battle between the two front runners and Kevin Henson, who dropped out with a mechanical problem.

Alley took the early lead closely chased by Ellis, Harrold and Henson. With Alley holding down the top spot, Henson got outside of Ellis down the back straight on lap eight.

For the next three laps the leaders ran in a tight pack with Henson spinning on the back straight on lap 12 and retiring after briefly taking the lead from Alley.

At the finish it was Ellis, Alley, James Frawley, Henson and Mark Allman.

The heat race was almost a preview of what the feature race would be with the same drivers competing up front. Alley took the early lead but was passed by Henson on lap two and then Ellis moved into second on the fifth circuit.

Henson won the heat race with Ellis, Alley, Allman and Harry LaShure rounding out the top five.