"LIGHTNING" STRIKES AT THE CONCRETE CASTLE’S SEASON OPENER.

May 11, 2014

By Tom Cummings

 PURVIS AND LIPPOLIS ALSO COLLECT OPENING DAY WINS

Tioga Center, NY  - On a beautiful early spring Sunday, "Lightning," Tony Hanbury that is, had to fend off a strong challenge from Paul Johnson to collect the Sportsman Modified win in the season opener at Shangri-La II Motorspeedway. 2013 Four Cylinder Stock champion, Gene Purvis collected the season opening day win for the second year in a row. Glenn Lippolis survived several lead changes in the Pudgies Pizza Street Stocks, driving a car that most thought was totally destroyed just one year ago, and claimed victory.

The traditional season lid lifter has been held on Mothers Day the past four seasons and was treated to a refreshing early spring day with loads of sunshine. Alan Blackwell, from Waynton, Oklahoma is back at Shangri-La II for the second year in a row. Blackwell works hard on the multiple natural gas projects in the region, and likes to play harder. He took the lead on the drop of the green flag by chief starter Ray Robbins. Blackwell used the inside lane to remain out front of Purvis for the first six laps, until Purvis was able to capitalize on a small handling problem for Blackwell. The Blackwell number 3 pushed up off of the bottom lane just enough coming out of turn four for Purvis to sneak by. Purvis held off Blackwell by a carlength at the checkers. Pole sitter, John Maynard fell to third at the end of lap one, and finished third. For Gene Purvis, it was career win number eleven at the track.

Paul Johnson has come a long way in gaining experience in the Sportsman ranks at Shangri-La II. Johnson led the Sportsman field to the green flag, flanked to his outside by Tony Hanbury. The first of two cautions came on lap one as rookie Nick Morich spun his new ride coming off turn four. Morich acquired the former Tom Shiner car. As the field was coming to the green flag, T.J. Zacharias spun in turn four. Both cars were able to continue. Johnson and Hanbury ran wheel to wheel for a lap until Hanbury grabbed the front spot coming off of turn two.

Read more: "LIGHTNING" STRIKES AT THE CONCRETE CASTLE’S SEASON OPENER.

   

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