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2014 Southern Shootout Recap

GERSTER WINS WILD MOBILE MUST SEE GO

 

Irvington, AL - April 12, 2014 - Brian Gerster made a clean sweep of the final event of the 3rd annual Southern Shootout Saturday night at Mobile International Speedway. The event was the second event on the 2014 Must See Racing Xtreme Sprint Series calendar. Gerster lowered the Mobile International Speedway track record in the process when he turned a lap of 13.918 seconds around the 1/2 mile speedway.

Gerster after his Must See Racing win at Mobile International Speedway Saturday night. David Sink Photo

 

The feature event was a thriller to say the least with no less than four different leaders during the coarse of the 30-lap feature. Dave Baumgartner got the jump and lead the opening two laps before being overtaken by Jimmy McCune. McCune took the point and lead through lap thirteen. Jo Jo Helberg and McCune put on a furious battle for several laps. McCune refused to give the lead up. Helberg eventually wrestled the lead for good and appeared in control until blowing a right rear tire on lap twenty-two and ending his bid for the victory. Gerster, who had worked his way up front from the tenth starting position assumed the lead and never looked back. The event became a war of attrition, but the huge crowd that was on hand witnessed several battles for position throughout the feature event.

 

 

"It was a good night to start the season off" explained Gerster in victory lane."I started pretty far in the back on a really good race track. RAM Engineering guys did a great job and I'm glad I got to drive the car. Our tires looked good.We got through the night and ran all thirty laps coming from tenth.We didn't have an issue with the tires and they held up great" concluded Gerster.

 

 

Fifteen-year-old Garrett Green mad Must See Racing history for the second consecutive night. Green finished an impressive fifth. Green became the youngest driver to start a Must See event in addition to becoming the youngest driver to have finished in fifth position.

 

 

Heat races were won by Gerster, Todd Fayard, and Helberg.

 

 

A MAIN RESULTS

POS LN # DRIVER LAPS

1 10 50M Brian Gerster 30

2 2 88 Jimmy McCune 30

3 3 22D Troy DeCaire 30

4 6 13 Todd Fayard 30

5 7 3 Garrett Green 30

6 12 18 Jim Sheets 26

7 4 7H Jo Jo Helberg 22

8 5 07W Jacob Wilson 18

9 9 26 Aaron Pierce 16

10 8 07L Ryan Litt 16

11 15 22 Johnny Gilbertson 11

12 13 41 Ty Decaire 6

13 1 38 Dave Baumgartner 4

14 11 81 Sport Allen 1

15 14 15 Richie Orr 0

 

PIERCE WINS FIRST NIGHT OF SOUTHERN SHOOTOUT

Pensacola, FL – April 11, 2014 – Aaron Pierce took advantage of Jo Jo Helberg’s lap five misfortune, inherited the lead, and cruised to the opening night of the 3rd annual “Southern Shootout” Friday night at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL. The event was the first event on the 2014 Must See Racing  Xtreme Sprint Series (MSRXSS) schedule.


Helberg took the lead at the drop of the green from his outside front row starting spot. He began to build a sizeable lead until he blew a tire on lap five entering turn two. It is believed Helberg’s tire went down after being cut by debris picked up off the track. Helberg was able to replace the right rear tire and get back in the race, without losing a lap, to the cheer of the huge crowd on hand.


Pierce became the race leader at the point, and set a torrid pace the remainder of the event. The action was taking place behind Pierce as Brian Gerster was working his way to the front after starting in eight starting position. In addition, Helberg put on a dramatic drive to the front after going to the tail for the tire replacement. Following Pierce to the checkered were Jimmy McCune, Brian Gerster, Ryan Litt, and Jo Jo Helberg rounded out the top five.


In victory lane, a confident Pierce explained he had a car capable of challenging Helberg for the win. ”We had the best car on the race track” explained Pierce. ”We could have run him (Helberg) down. He was really loose. Like I said we had the best car. It was just gonna be a matter of time before we got him and disposed of him”. Pierce wasn’t aware of how big his lead was late in the race. ”I couldn’t tell. The motor was getting hot and I was running it around there three quarter throttle all the way around. I was getting through the traffic good. My Dad was trying to give me signs, but I wasn’t paying any attention to him” laughed Pierce.


Brian Gerster lowered his own 5 Flags Speedway track record during qualifications when ripped off a lap of 13.046 seconds. Heat races were won by Dave Baumgartner, Sport Allen, and Troy DeCaire.


Garrett Green made MSRXSS history by becoming the youngest driver in the history of the series to start an event. The fifteen-year-old finished second in his heat race and finished ninth in the feature event. It was Green’s first visit to 5 Flags Speedway.


The series will now head to Mobile International Speedway in Irvington, AL for the concluding event of the 3rd annual “Southern Shootout” tomorrow night.


FIVE FLAGS SPEEDWAY RESULTS APRIL 11, 2014
1.    Aaron Pierce
2.    Jimmy McCune
3.    Brian Gerster
4.    Ryan Litt
5.    Jo Jo Helberg
6.    Troy DeCaire
7.    Brian Olson
8.    Sport Allen
9.    Garrett Green
10.    Kevin Blue
11.    Jacob Wilson
12.    Dave Baumgartner
13.    Jim Sheets
14.    Ty DeCaire
15.    Richie Corr
16.    Johny Gilbertson
17.    Tim Cox DNS
18.    Todd Fayard DNS

As Xtreme Sprints Invade Five Flags, Gerster Looks to Hold Off Helberg & Co., Improve Track Record Time

By Chuck Corder


Chalk another one up for Five Flags Speedway.


When Californian winged sprints car driver JoJo Helberg first laid eyes on the famed half-mile oval two years ago, he didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.


Sure, the abrasive asphalt gave the track some character, but beyond the surface, Helberg failed to grasp why drivers and racing fans flock to Pensacola’s little bandbox every year from all corners of the world.


A summer spent in North Carolina, working alongside his brother-in-law who is a diehard late model fan changed all of that.


Helberg learned the history of Five Flags, thus the Snowball Derby, and how some of racing’s biggest names used Pensacola’s high banks as a springboard to decorated careers.


“I’m a West Coast guy. We tend to be a little blind to a lotta other tracks and events,” the 23 year old admitted. “But my brother-in law really opened my eyes to how big a deal Five Flags is.”


Helberg hopes to make his third appearance at America’s Favorite Home Track a memorable one Friday night when the Xtreme Sprints Series of Must See Racing kicks off its 2014 season with the third annual Southern Shootout.


The open-wheeled theme continues with Motorcycles, followed by Sportsmen and Bombers features. The gates open at 4 p.m. Friday and admission is $15 for adults; $12 for seniors, students and military; $5 for children ages 6 to 11; and free for kids under 6.


“I wanna do well, especially after not being too happy with the way the last two races went down there,” said Helberg, who finished a respectable fourth last year after a late crashed spoiled things in 2012. “If we could get a win, I’d be really happy.”


He’ll have to contend with a loaded XSS field that also includes the man that set the current overall Five Flags track record last season when the Must See show rolled into town.


Six different drivers held the record at one point during that unseasonably cool March evening last year. When the debris and engines settled, Brian Gerster was on top.


Gerster’s mark of 13.203 seconds equates to a speed of more than 136 mph. It was nothing new for the Fishers, Ind., native who set the track record (12.742) at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2011.


It marked the first time a pavement sprint car had run a qualifying lap of more than 150 mph at any venue in the world.


Gerster backed up the fast time with a win at Bristol, something he wasn’t able to do at Five Flags last year.


“Pensacola is a neat place,” said Gerster, a design engineer by day. “It’s unique — the shape of it, some of the intricacies — it’s not just a perfect oval. It’s tricky to get around it fast.


“I’d really like to get a feature win down there. That’d be pretty cool for me.”


Gerster has extra motivation now that his friend Erik Jones is the two-time defending Snowball Derby champion.


Gerster has served as spotter for several late model drivers and, unlike Helberg, was well-versed in the rich history associated with Five Flags when he arrived last year.


“There’s a lot of prestige that goes into running at Pensacola,” he said. “No matter what, the fans are going to get a great show. They’ll get to see racing they don’t typically get to see.


“I’m very respectful of Pensacola and that’s why it makes racing there so intriguing to me.”


 

Helberg’s appreciation for Five Flags and other tracks of its ilk continues to mature.


He has had struggles in past years, including 2013, at intermediate tracks. There was a small setup change that Helberg’s team didn’t figure out until after they left Pensacola.


A welder, Helberg is confident he has the setup soldered together.


After the expedited education he received on Five Flags, plus other certain amenities the area boasts, the California kid expects the cross-country trip to be well worth it.


“I wouldn’t wanna miss Pensacola,” Helberg said. “We can’t wait to go and get some good, Florida shrimp, some good racing and see good people.”


It might have taken longer than most who fall madly in love at first sight, but JoJo Helberg has become a believer in Five Flags, inside and outside the oval.


All that’s missing now is a win.