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Tully has semi-main win and Cruiser fourth along with crash

 

Last updated 10/13/2006 at Noon



Although the Nova driven by Fallbrook’s Brian Tully went airborne during the Street Stocks main event September 23 at Perris Auto Speedway before landing on its side, Tully also won the semi-main race that night and finished fourth in the Cruiser division main event.

The win in the semi-main was the first checkered flag at Perris Auto Speedway for Tully. “There were three restarts and each time I was able to accelerate,” he said. “The car was just really hooked up nice.”

Tully finished fifth in his Street Stocks heat race, putting him in the 10-lap semi-main in order to qualify for the main event.

Tully took the initial lead in the semi-main and never trailed. Mick Shadduck finished second in that race.

“He did a great job. He held his line well. He kept his head in the game and he did a great job,” said Brandon Davis, who is on Tully’s crew along with Don Arnold and Howard Bymark.

“Don Arnold scaled it for me and we got the cross-weights right,” Tully said. “It really felt good. I thought I was going to win the main the way it was running.”

Tully began the main event in the ninth row and gained five positions in the first three laps. “The car was fast on the outside,” Tully said. “We were moving up.”

Tully would in fact move up in the fourth lap, but up above the ground rather than up any positions. Contact with Shadduck led to Tully’s airborne experience. “I had a run on him coming off of turn four,” Tully said. “I caught his car and I saw it turn into the wall.”

Tully tried to minimize the impact of the contact. “I backed out, but I didn’t back out fast enough,” he said.

One of Tully’s tires went over the side of Shadduck’s car, generating the launch. “I said, ‘This is going to be good,’” Tully said.

“I saw the sky and the wall and the track,” Tully said. “It was kind of like slow motion.”

Tully had purchased the Nova earlier this year from Nick Bartels. The car was built by Zack Forester about five years ago. Forester and his crew built the roll cage which kept Tully intact.

The exact distance into the air could not be measured, although members of the Bartels family said that the Nova was above the Bartels trailer at one point. Tully rolled three and a half times, and the Nova landed on its side. The Nova also caught on fire after it stopped rolling, although that fire was quickly extinguished.

“First time I’ve been airborne like that,” said Tully, who has rolled over twice before in races. “That’s the worst one I’ve been in in a long time.”

Shadduck’s car was upside down when it landed. Both vehicles were propped up, and both drivers were able to exit the cars on their own. “I was hanging in there. I couldn’t get out until they turned it over,” Tully said.

Tully was able to leave the car on his own despite hip replacements in December 2004 and June 2005. The rollover was his first since the hip replacements. “And the last, too, I hope,” he said.

Tully’s only injuries were a scratch and soreness. “I have a seat that’s very tight,” he said. “You don’t move around a lot.”

Tully also noted that his five-point seat belt system was tight enough to keep him from moving during the rollover. “Everything works,” he said. “I’m very blessed and I feel very fortunate that I have God as my co-pilot.”

Tully’s car has a head restraint as well as a five-point seat belt system.

Tully believes that the Nova is still usable and will be ready for the next Street Stocks race October 28. “It needs some repairs,” he said.

The crash may be discussed at Perris Auto Speedway for years to come, but it won’t keep Tully from racing. “It didn’t deter me at all. It just gave me more drive because the car was performing well,” he said.

Tully returned to a racecar later that night for the Cruiser main event. Mike McGlone, who normally drives with Scott Urquhart, was ill that day so Tully took the gas while Urquhart steered the Thunderbird. Urquhart and Tully had finished fourth in the heat race prior to the Street Stocks main event.

Tully had no qualms about driving in the Cruiser main event following his crash. “I believe that you get back on the horse right away,” he said.

“I thought it was real gutsy,” Urquhart said.

Although Urquhart and Tully began the main event in back, they finished fourth in the 15-lap race. “We were actually in a three-way battle for third,” Tully said. “We were going side-by-side.”

Donny Fengler and Phil Holmes were the third-place drivers. “We missed by about three or four car lengths of getting third, so it was exciting,” Tully said.

“We’ve just got a suspension problem slowing us down in the dirt,” Urquhart said. “It was a blast, though.”

Urquhart praised Tully’s driving. “He does a great job on the gas,” Urquhart said.

Urquhart and Tully had finished fourth in the previous main event August 26, so the top-five finish was their second in a row. “It worked out good,” Tully said.

All four Brooktown Racing cars turned out for the Cruiser race. Davis, who had driven in the Cruiser division with Josh Lewis in 2002 and Jason Soledo in 2003, made his Brooktown Racing debut steering the Thunderbird co-driven by Dennis Allen and normally steered by Jim Ramsey, who had a work-related event that night. Davis and Allen finished seventh in the main event.

Kevin and Debbie Martin finished eighth in the main event. They finished third in their heat race and led for the first two laps, the first lead ever for Debbie Martin. The Lincoln Town Car was hit in the heat race by the car of Daniel Henderson and Eric King, providing the first contact with another car for Debbie Martin.

Dave Hill and Allan Naiman were ninth in the main event and fourth in their heat race. Naiman also had his first contact with another car when Jason Shearer and Larry Ingram made contact with the Chevy station wagon during the main event. Before Hill and Naiman exited the track in the 10th lap due to a radiator leak and overheating they also passed the Martins for Naiman’s first pass on the track.

 

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