Monthly Archives: April 2016

Dodson Cruises in Late Model Feature at Southside Speedway

Dodson Win

Dodson and crew in victory lane. (Shawn Dulin/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Chesterfield, VA – Twelve late models would line up to race Friday night at “The Toughest Track in the South”, Southside Speedway. Chris Dodson set the fast time with a 14.582 second lap in the euro qualifying session. Dodson pulled a three on the invert so he would start in third behind Brad Davis and Greg Fernandez.

Coming to the green flag Fernandez would show too much eagerness beating Davis to the start line and forcing a restart to the race. This time one lap would get in the books before Tyler Daniels would spin out on the back stretch.

The cone would come out with Davis and Dodson taking the inside lane with Fernandez and Zuskin up top. Brad got a great start pulling away from the field leaving Dodson to battle hard for second. Chris would clear Fernandez and set his sights on Davis. It would only take two laps for the 7-time track champion to get under Brad and take the lead from him. Fernandez and Davis would go side by side for a lap until the third caution of the night would come out.

At the restart Dodson would start to check out while Davis would fight hard on the high side with Fernandez. It took three laps for Greg to clear the 18 of Davis. Zuskin started to put some pressure on Davis until the fourth caution of the night flew for Kyle Wood dumping Daniel Thomas, Wood got an end of the longest line penalty. While the yellow was out Michelle Willingham’s car overheated and she parked it for the night.

On the ensuing restart Zuskin would get ahead of Fernandez for second before the fifth caution of the night flew for Cole Walker spinning out. Fernandez goes to the inside and Zuskin would pull to the outside of Dodson with the cone out. Zuskin would get down in front of Greg and the race would finish without any more stoppages.

After the race Dodson said he knew the car was strong enough to win, he just had to get out in front after the invert. He said he also plans on testing at Dominion Speedway soon and racing their next 4 tire race.

Grayson Cullather had a season best fifth place finish on the night. The rookie late model driver of the #22 Clearwater Pools and Spa Chevrolet said after the race that “The car was really loose, just fought a really loose car all night”. He is now tied with Tyler Daniels in points and for rookie of the year,

Race Results
1. Chris Dodson
2. Steve Zuskin
3. Greg Fernandez
4. Brad Davis
5. Grayson Cullather
6. Daniel Thomas
7. Doug Mundy
8. Tyler Daniels
9. Cole Walker -1
10. Irving Cook -1
11. Kyle Wood -7
12. Michelle Willingham -18

Dirt Track Saturday Night Equals Exciting, Heart Pounding Racing at Virginia Motor Speedway

Victory Pro Late Models Battle Side-by-Side at VMS (Photo Credit: Al Goulder/ Al Goulder Photography)

Victory Pro Late Models Battle Side-by-Side at VMS (Photo Credit: Al Goulder/ Al Goulder Photography)

Jamaica, VA –  After a very successful opening night to the 47th season at Virginia Motor Speedway all four Aaron’s Dirt Series Championship divisions are set to be back in action this Saturday April 30th for Dirt Track Saturday Night. The evening will feature the Victory Lap Pro Late Model, Truckin Thunder Sportsman, Budweiser Modified and Collision One Limited Stock Car divisions in some exciting side by side action.

The Weekly Racer will be getting dirty once more this season as we make our inaugural trip up to the 1/2 mile dirt track. Though the past couple years we have primary focused our attention to the asphalt tracks, there are still plenty of people who pay visit our site that enjoy some dirt racing. That being said, we want to take you along with us. We will pick up LIVE coverage over on our Twitter feed, @theweeklyracer powered by East Carolina Motor Speedway, at approximately 6:30 PM right along with Hot Laps. If everything goes well with no hiccups, our goal is to provide coverage for all four races (listed bellow) of the night.

In opening night action Davis Lipscombe of Mechanicsville, VA held off Walker Arthur of Forest, VA for the victory in Victory Lap Pro Late Model action while Brian Maxey of King George, VA brought home the win in Budweiser Modifieds, Matt Ashworth of Mechanicsville, VA took home the checkers in Truckin Thunder Sportsman action and Ryan Hutchens of Providence Forge, VA grab the win in Collision One Limited Stock Cars.

Competitor gates for Saturday April 30th will open at 4pm with spectator gates opening at 5pm. On track activities will begin at 6:30pm with hot laps.

Divisions scheduled to race on Saturday:

● Victory Pro Late Models (30 Laps)
● Budweiser Modifieds (25 Laps)
● Truckin Thunder Sportsman (25 laps)
● Collision One Limited Stock Cars (20 laps)
All divisions will run Hot Lap Time Trials and Features.

Admission price for Adults $12, seniors (60+) $10; military (active/retired w/ proper I.D.) $8, students 11 – 17 years old $6 and children 10 and under admitted free. Pit passes will be $20.

To enhance the fans racing experience the speedway has installed a short wave FM transmitter and all of the evening’s action can be heard at 95.5 FM. So bring your portable radio headset and enjoy hearing all the action.

Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway is a ½ mile dirt oval track is located on U.S. Route 17, eight miles north of Saluda, VA and 25 miles south of Tappahannock, VA in Jamaica, VA. The speedway is just a short drive from Richmond, Fredericksburg, Southern Maryland and the Hampton Roads area.

Race fans can go to www.vamotorspeedway.com to view the complete schedule Virginia Motor Speedway’s 2016 season, find detailed event information, get the latest news, and get complete ticket and camping information. In addition, fans can get social with Virginia Motor Speedway by following @vamotorspeedway on Twitter, clicking “Like” at www.facebook.com/VaMotorSpeedway and on www.youtube.com/VaMotorSpeedway.

Matthews Wins Pole, Burbage Capitalizes on Start – Jesse Council Back in Victory Lane at East Carolina.

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Thomas Burbage celebrates in victory lane this past weekend at East Carolina. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Robersonville, NC – For the second weekend in a row we were down south visiting the high-banked, 3/8th mile, D-Shape oval that is East Carolina Motor Speedway. Eleven other Late Model Stock Cars joined us for what was looking to be a nice sunny day. Newcomer Brenden Queen was looking to make it two in a row after getting his first career Late Model win in the previous week. However, some of the regulars had something different to say.

A little bit of a monkey wrench was thrown into the mix this weekend as a small rain shower came through the area just as cars hit the speedway for their second round of controlled practice. Dumping water on the track for about forty-five minutes washing away any rubber that was laid down during the morning test and the first round on practice. Tyler Matthews, who mind you is riding one hot streak so far this season, went out and set the fast time early once qualifying came around. A time of 15.440 (87.435 MPH) was all Matthews needed to secure his spot at the top of the speed charts.

Tyler may have had a quicker lap during qualifying but it was very clear Burbage had the better reaction come drop of the green flag. By the time the field made their way down the front stretch the #9 of Thomas Burbage had cleared the field by turn one looking for the advantage down the backstretch. Matthews was able to stay strong early, gives a little bump to the leader as they exit two but Burbage was able to keep the car under him and in front of Matthews.

The nights only caution came early as Tyler Horne, who recently made the move to Late Models had issues with his car and coasted down the backstretch and ultimately came to a stop in turn three. After the race we learned it was a rear end that took Horne out of competition. “This was the first time we have had power to the car,” Horne told us post race. “We will get it fixed and come back.”

Burbage, the control car on the ensuing restart, wasted no time getting back to the gas in the restart box – clearing the field once again in turn one. Brenden Queen also with a good enough jump to get around Matthews into the second position. It looked like the triplet of Burbage, Queen and Matthews were going to be the class of the field as they all opened up a pretty large lead over the rest of the field.

It took about twenty-five laps for the handling to go away under Queen’s car. Allowing both Matthews and Louis White to make up some major ground all while Burbage slowly opened up his lead lap-by-lap. The battle for the second position was really the highlight of the night. Queen, who actually looked to be holding the field up, was only able to hang on to second till just past half way before surrendering the spot to Matthews, who left the door open for Louis White

Field stayed pretty strung out as Burbage worked on putting some of the slower cars a lap down. We didn’t see out next real “battle” so to speak till lap 52 when Louis took a look under Matthews out of four and completed the pass out of two as the field was working lap 53. That was about all she wrote, with the exception of Mercer catching and passing Queen to take the fourth position on the racing surface. No one had anything to offer Burbage this past weekend as tire selection and rain seemed to help the nine car out. Will point out this was the second week your winner lead the race wire to wire.

East Carolina will take two weeks off and return to action May 14th with Late Models, Street Stocks, UCAR, Super Street, and INEX Bando’s. Registration will open at 2:00 PM, Grandstands and practice starting at 3:00 PM, Green flag approx. 7:00 PM

 

Results

P1. #9 Thomas Burbage; 75
P2. #7 Louis White; 75
P3. #63 Tyler Matthews; 75
P4. #25 Kenneth Mercer; 75
P5. #03 Brenden Queen; 75
P6. #16 Rusty Daniels; 75
P7. #12 Wesley Johnson; 75
P8. #01 Jeff Shiflett; 74
P9. #77 Malik Koonce; 74
P10. #6 Evan Horne; 20
P11. #28 Tyler Horne; 2

 

Street Stocks

 

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Though the full moon was the night before, Jesse Council came into the weekend looking for redemption from setting on the pole and coming up second the week before. There must have been some residual effects in the air or some magical Full Moon dust floating around the track. Mix in another class of cars, a competition caution at lap ten, and another yellow to get safety personal from inside the track to outside the track, it seemed as if the deck was stacked against Council this past weekend.

Council set the fast time earlier in the afternoon in their one lap qualifying session with a time of 16.499. One thing was sure this past weekend; Council was not playing around from the moment the team rolled the car out of the hauler. However, things were not made easy for Council, not only having to worry about Travis Roberson in his rear view mirror but some very strange odds and ends during the race.

Dodging cars both on fire and slower off corner exit, Council and Roberson had their hands full the first ten laps before the Bomber class – a lower class with just three cars making the trip – was taken off the speedway. Once the track was clear and the Street Stocks were able to get back to work, the race started to heat up good between Roberson and Council – who for the second week in a row were in a league of their own. Not to mention some good racing between Scotty Lawrence and Kevin Benton for third.

On the final restart of the night Council was able to clear the field through one and started working to put some distance on last weeks race winner. Trying to close the gap was last week’s winner, Travis Roberson. However, a little bit of a slip off turn two with about five laps to go was the final nail in the coffin for the #3 car. After building a brand new car and struggling with the notebook all last year, it was a very emotional win for Council. Letting the fans know that he was extremely proud of his team and very thankful of his family who have been behind him.

 

Results

P1. #00 Jesse Council; 30
P2. #3 Travis Roberson; 30
P3. #83 Scotty Lawrence; 30
P4. #55 Kevin Benton; 30
P5. #99 Kenneth Willis; 18
P6 #10 Frank Riegal

Chris Flowers Takes the Checkers at East Carolina in Grandstock Season Opener

IMG_7951We are two weekends into the season now at East Carolina Motor Speedway in Robersonville, NC and two Langley drivers have won races from the pole and lead every lap. Chris Flowers qualified with a 17.025 second lap beating out 2015 Langley Speedway champion Mark Frye by three hundredths of a second. Thomas Marks, Tim Wilson, Shawn Scovel, and Paul Lubno complete the lineup.

On the first lap Flowers almost lost it coming out of turn four causing the field to chec up. Everyone kept their cars going in the right direction. Lap six would be the first caution of the race with Marks getting into the back of Scovel and sending him around.

The field would stay close together and run green flag laps until lap eleven when Lubno gets around coming out of turn four by himself, a tough corner most of the night for the drivers.

On the ensuing restart Frye would get way loose coming out of turn two allowing Marks, Scovel, and Wilson to all get by him. Marks would keep the quick pace up and was able to get up to Flowers bumper on lap 16 and lap 22 but couldn’t hang with the leader’s enough to get under him on the tight 3/8th mile track.

A scary wreck would happen on the next lap with Paul Lubno having a right front go down simultaneously with his thorttle sticking coming through turn three and nailing the armco barrier in turn four. Lubno would put down the driver’s net quickly and was able to get out of the car under his own power. The red flag would come out for 31 minutes while the track officials repaired the damaged barrier. At this point they decided to cut the race five laps short.

Before coming to the green flag Frye and crew would take a chance to hit pit road and make some adjustments to try and make a final push.

The restart would allow Marks to get a decent run on Flowers coming out of turn two but his momentum was squashed by a pinch from Flowers. At this point Chris checked out on the field and left Marks and Scovel to battle for second place. Scovel would work his way by Marks on lap 27 and Marks would pull off a crossover to get second back for the last couple of laps.

In victory lane Flowers said he really enjoyed the track and appreciated East Carolina for hosting the series and said he plans on returning in a couple weeks for the next event.

Results

1. Chris Flowers
2. Thomas Marks
3. Shawn Scovel
4. Tim Wilson
5. Mark Frye
6. Paul Lubno

Thomas Burbage Capitalizes On Start – Leads Flag to Flag at East Carolina

Burbage celebrates the victory at East Carolina Motor Speedway (Justin Kern/The Weekly Racer)

Burbage celebrates the victory at East Carolina Motor Speedway (Justin Kern/The Weekly Racer)

Robersonville, NC“This is amazing,” Burbage said after the race. “I cant even put it into words.” Burbage, who qualified on the outside pole earlier in the afternoon after putting down a lap of 15.463 – just two hundredths of a second off of eventual pole winner Tyler Matthews. We should point out that drivers took to a green track for qualifying time trials. A small, fast moving cell came through the area around 4:00 PM just as drivers were about to hit the speedway for second practice. Putting down plenty of water onto the racing surface. Luckily, thanks to the banking and warmer conditions earlier in the after, track drying efforts only took about an hour.

As mentioned above Tyler Matthews would claim the pole with the time of 15.440. Thomas Burbage, Brenden Queen, Louis White, and defending track champion, Jeff Shiflett would complete the starting five.

When asked if the rain had played any role in the setup for the race, knowing the track would be green, Burbage let us know he thought the rain actually helped free his car up. “I think it actually freed my car up,” Burbage told us. “We have been struggling with stagger the past two races and just had to much in the front end and the car got tight. We finally got a set of tires that were much better on stagger. I really think the rain helped us.”

Burbage wasted no time taking the lead from Matthews as flagman Terry Bullock displayed the green flag to the field. Burbage took off from the top groove like he was shot out of a cannon and had the lead by the time the field entered one. “Most of the time I am watching that flagman and the moment I see him raise that hand I’m gone,” Burbage said in victory lane. “Most of the time it works out for me. I was hopping it would work there and it did. I am not sure if Tyler spun the tires there or what but once we got out front that was it.”

Unlike last week, when Burbage started on the outside pole and used the car up to quick, the crew made the right adjustments and with the right tires, the race played in his favor. “We just used up our tires to early last weekend trying to put pressure on Brenden trying to make him make a mistake,“ Burbage said. “It just never happened and we burned up our stuff. On the initial start I pushed the car as hard as it would go, just to get an idea of what I had. After I got a good pace going and a good gap over second I actually backed off and started riding a little bit trying to find that happy medium, and the rest was history!”

We also asked Burbage how he felt after the race with the Late Models making the move to the two-tire rule. Especially after struggling early on with getting the right set-up under the car. “The money is great,” Burbage mentioned. “You’re not spending that $650 compared to the $425. It’s a whole different ball game. It’s a luck of the draw but Mark has been doing a great job and keeping things pretty even with the tires.”

Burbage had to thank his sponsors Oakridge Industry, PPG, Grafix Unlimited for giving him the car to win. Also had to thank his crew who help prepare the car week in and week out along with his family. He also thanked the Perry’s for giving him an affordable place to race. Louis White, Tyler Matthews, Kenneth Mercer, and Brenden Queen would make up your top five finishers.

Full recap and results to follow. Stay tuned for more stories from this past Saturday night at East Carolina Motor Speedway.

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