Talladega Kicks off Friday - Duno Leads The Pack

Friday, May 03, 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: Lookouts Celebrate Winning Second-Half Title

Four weeks ago, no one would have expected the Lookouts would be even close to winning the second-half title. An 11-game winning streak put them into the race and when they swept the Tennessee Smokies Sunday they had concluded an incredible comeback. The Smokies were still in a position to win before Chris O'Brien's pinch-hit triple plated Corey Seager and O'Koyea Dickson with ... (click for more)

Phillips, Thompson Win FCA Races At Chattanooga State

Geno Phillips and Dean Thompson didn’t have much competition Monday morning in the FCA races at Chattanooga State. Phillips was victorious in the 10K with a time of 35 minutes and one second as he beat runner-up Andy Highlander by almost two minutes.   Highlander was timed in 36:48. Thompson was the winner in the 5K with a time of 17 minutes, two ... (click for more)

Bradley, 24, Charged In Death Of Boy, 3; Child Had Numerous Injuries After Left With Boyfriend; Mother Was In Workhouse

Justin Dale Bradley has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of a three-year-old child, who was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday and later died. Police said Dakota James Arndt had numerous injuries over his body. Authorities said Bradley, 24, is the boyfriend of the child's mother, Brianna Kwekel, who was in the Workhouse at the time. Ms. Kwekel was serving 48 ... (click for more)

Helen Burns Sharp Asks Recovery Of Legal Fees In Successful Black Creek TIF Lawsuit

Helen Burns Sharp, citizen activist who sued to try to stop a $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and won, is seeking to have her legal expenses paid by the city and the developers. Ms. Sharp said in a court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka are $74,427 thus far. Chancellor Frank Brown ruled in favor of Ms. Sharp, saying the Sunshine ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)