Talladega Kicks off Friday - Duno Leads The Pack

Friday, May 3, 2013 - by Kent Whitaker
- photo by ARCA Racing Media
The race weekend at Talladega Superspeedway kicks off with ARCA Racing Series female driver Milka Duno leading the pack. Duno, in the No. 35 CanTV-Milkaway Toyota, became the first female ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver since 1988 to win the pole at the famed Superspeedway.

The distinction came when the qualifying time of her fellow Venturini Motorsports teammate John Wes Townley was disallowed following post-qualifying inspections. Duno had the second-fastest time in the Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell was announced as the pole winner following the post race inspections.


The Caracas, Venezuela driver is the fourth female to win an ARCA pole award. Others are Patty Moise, Shawna Robinson and Erin Crocker.

"This is fantastic," Duno said following her award. "We have been trying, trying, trying for the pole ever since Daytona. All day, I made my crew chief (Kevin Caldwell) crazy, saying 'what do we need to do?'"

Duno, 41, qualified second behind Townley at the season-opening Daytona International Speedway race and led the first 11 laps before transmission troubles. Townley won the race. Duno had her career-best ARCA finish at Salem Speedway last weekend.

While speaking to the media Duno hinted that her good qualifying runs are not where she wants to focus right now. The driver and her Venturini Motorsports team are not resting quite yet. "We are very competitive," Duno said. "This is great. Now, I must go to my crew chief and talk about being better. I have to run the perfect race."

Local Team Nails Down Top Ten Start

Hixson Motorsports of Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee entered two cars into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Hixson Motorsports driver Drew Charlson, of Bremen, OH, qualified in the 8 spot. Charlson will be behind the wheel of the Number 3 Aluma Aluminum Trailers-J&M Chevrolet. His Hixson Motorsports teammate is Thomas Praytor or Mobile, Alabama. Prater, in the Number 2 Alabama Realtors-Golden Flake Ford, will start in the 25 position while driving the .

Friday's International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250. The race will begin at 4 p.m. (Central Standard Time) and will be broadcast live on SPEED.

_______

(Kent Whitaker is a culinary writer and cookbook author living in Chattanooga. He is the winner of the Emeril Live BBQ contest and winner of an American Authors Association Gold medal. Mr. Whitaker’s books are in bookstores nationwide and are available online. Visit him online at www.thedeckchef.com or twitter.com/theKentWhitaker)

PHOTOS: East Hamilton Girls, CCS Boys Post MLK Wins

UTC Women Host Two SoCon Hoops Games

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s basketball team will host Western Carolina and UNCG this week in Southern Conference action. The Mocs have won 11 consecutive SoCon regular season games and 44 straight home court matchups against the league.   Chattanooga is 9-8 overall and leads the league with a 3-0 mark with wins over Samford, Mercer and ETSU. The Mocs ... (click for more)

Walker Charged With Sunday Night Murder Of Girlfriend In LaFayette

A 29-year-old Walker County man has been charged with murdering his girlfriend, also 29. Sheriff Steve Wilson said David Ryan Walker was charged in the slaying of Candace Ann Hankins. He said she was killed inside a house on Wheeler Road in LaFayette and her body was found in woods behind the house. The sheriff said Walker called relatives to express remorse about the killing. ... (click for more)

Man With Gun Runs From Police At Hamilton Place Mall; Pushes Shoppers Out Of The Way

A man who was found to be armed with a handgun was chased by police early Saturday afternoon. He pushed shoppers out of the way during the pursuit, which included racing down an escalator.   Erwin J. Rogers, 22, of 6111 Nottingham Dr., is facing multiple charges.    Around 1:50 p.m., Chattanooga Police officers working at the Hamilton Place Mall ... (click for more)

Beyond Freedom Of Speech

Yes, most people know about the First Amendment to our Constitution, "The right, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to express beliefs and ideas without unwarranted government restriction."  I being a "deplorable" draw the line when people block traffic, try to disrupt, and even stop an activity through malice and disregard for others. Case being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What Else $3 Can Mean

Orchard Knob Middle School, located on North Highland Park Avenue in Chattanooga, led every other secondary school in the state of Tennessee last year with 6.8 percent of its students expelled. So as people are working feverishly to keep the school from being taken over by the state’s Department of Education, allow me to pose a question. Last Friday during the last period of ... (click for more)