Cook Takes $5,000 Tazewell Payday
TAZEWELL, Tenn. — The Southern Nationals Bonus Series rolled into Tazewell Speedway on Saturday evening for its fifth event of the 2014 season and when all was said and done, Ray Cook drove to the victory and a $5,000 payday.
The win by Cook made him the fifth different winner in five Southern Nationals Bonus Series events so far in 2014 as Cook would inherit the lead after a lap 16 tangle between Vic Hill and Brad Neat put Cook out front.
Hill would take the lead at the drop of the green flag in the 40 lap contest, with Cook, Neat, Justin Rattliff and Bobby Mays giving chase. Rattliff would pressure Neat for third on laps three and four, while Hill and Cook pulled away a bit from the rest of the field. Mays would draw the first caution of the event while still running fifth on lap eight when he looped his machine exiting turn two.
The restart would see Hill and Cook scoot away from the field, but as that pair worked the bottom groove, Neat would get going on the top side and by lap 14 had ran down the lead duo. As the leaders approached slower traffic and began lap 16, Neat and Cook would make a move on Hill for the lead, resulting in the trio going three-wide for the lead in turns one and two. However, Hill would get out of shape a bit and he and Neat would make contact, resulting in Neat spinning down the backchute and Hill receiving a flat left front tire, drawing a caution flag.
This turn of events put Cook on the point, with Rattliff and Ogle now in pursuit of the leader. Cook would pull away from the field once again, while Neat would begin to charge his way toward the front and making his way back into the top five on lap 28.
Two more cautions in the final 10 laps would slow the action briefly, but Cook would not be challenged and would drive to the race victory. Rattliff would settle for runner-up honors, while Ogle would finish in the third position. Neat would wind up in position number four in the final rundown, with Dennis Roberson turning in a great run and completing the top five.
Ray Cook, Justin Rattliff, Chad Ogle, Brad Neat, Dennis Roberson, Bobby Mays, Casey Roberts, Austin Smith, Kenny Collins, Stacy Boles, Vic Hill, Jody Horton, Bo Eaton, Lavon Sparks, Bryan Hendrix, Steve Smith.