Chris Dodson Back to Victory Lane After Leading Wire to Wire at Southside Speedway

Dodson WinMidlothian, VA – Heading up towards the capital city of Virginia for some Friday Night action under the lights. Southside Speedway hosted six divisions of racing as they near the end of their 2016 campaign. Eddie Johnson was the fastest car in qualifying as the sun set over turn four. However, its not always the fastest car that wins the race at the end of the night. This is especially true in the heat of the summer and at a track that inverts up to the top six.

Johnson would earn the bonus point for setting the quickest time but would pull a number three pill out of the bag putting seven-time track champion Chris Dodson on the pole. Mason Bailey, making just his second start in a Late Model, just about snagged the pole position but would have to settle for the outside pole – even after the invert. Steve Zuskin and Bugs Hairfield would round out the starting five. Zuskin would be forced to start shotgun on the field after failing post qualifying technical inspection.

Dodson wasted no time when the green flag was displayed, using the invert to his advantage; he opened up a pretty commanding lead early. Eddie Johnson was also able to get around Bailey early to take over the second position leaving Mason Bailey, who had already run a 30-lap feature in the Modified division, to deal with veteran driver Bugs Hairfield. Bailey did a great job holding off the #04 of Hairfield for quite some time.

The races first and only caution came just past lap twenty-nine when the car of David Stevens goes around in turn two. Did not see if Stevens had any help going around as we watched other battles on the speedway. Certainly not what Dodson wanted to see but it was the break that Eddie Johnson needed.

In one of the more bizarre restarts I have seen since tracks adopted the cone rule, the two veteran drivers lead the field of sixteen to the green with just eleven laps of racing to go. Dodson elected to restart on the bottom with Johnson going topside. Throw in a row of lapped cars – we learned after the evening it is the tracks rule that they do not put lapped cars to the rear until it is less than ten to go – then it was the combo of Mason Bailey and Bugs Hairfield.

Once back under green flag conditions Dodson jumped back out front with Johnson trying to stay hot in his tracks. Bailey, who had done such a great job running in the top five had huge problems shortly after the restart as something sounded to go incrediably south in the motor. He would be forced to pull of the racing surface and end his night early. This allowed Hairfiled to take the third spot once again.

One thing the yellow did was set up one hell of a three-way battle for the fourth spot. Daniel Thomas, who the previous week had the entire side of his car ripped off, was back in full form trying to hold off Greg Fernandez and Steve Zuskin for a top five finishing position. Fernandez would eventually get under and around the 99 of Thomas to grab the fourth position. Zuskin, as we mentioned above, was able to drive back from starting shotgun on the field to a sixth place finish.

Dodson in victory lane couldn’t have been more pleased with his car, his crew and the new Billy Banks power plant under the hood. Dodson also made mention that the car was just a little more of a handful than usual with all the power under the hood. He also thanked Eddie Johnson for running him clean there at the end saying he wouldn’t have wanted to have anyone elese there at the end of the race than Eddie because he knew he would race him hard but clean. With Dodson’s win and Zuskin finishing outside the top, Dodson would leave the night with sole possession of the points lead.

 

Late Model Results:

P1. #0 Chris Dodson; 40
P2. #43 Eddie Johnson; 40
P3. #04 Bugs Hairfield; 40
P4. #02 Greg Fernandez; 40
P5. #99 Daniel Thomas; 40
P6. #71 Steve Zuskin; 40
P7. #50 Raymond Pittman III; 40
P8. #42 Mike Payne; 39
P9. #22 Grayson Cullather; 39
P10. #4 Chris Sylvester; 39
P11. #55 Howie DiSavino; 39
P12. #1 Doug Mundy; 39
P13. #21 David Stevens; 38
P14. #20 Mason Bailey; #31
P15. #18 Brad Davis; 20
P16. #11 Woody Ellington; 13
P14. #67 Cole Walker

 

Grandstocks

JanosikWin

Lane Janosik, who has been so dominate this year in the Grandstock division over came the invert again Friday night to land him self in victory lane. This time the fastest car in the day did win the race. Janosik was the fastest car in qualifying earlier in the after noon but pulled the five pill – inverting the top five cars on the start.

The best action, other than Janosik working his way to the front, actually came from the battle for the seventh position. Todd Ruggles, third in points, and Ethan Ayers, seventh in points and leading the Rookie of the Year race, spent a good portion of the feature battling door to door. If they were not side-by-side they were exchanging a little bit of paint with the bumpers or crossing each other up. Ayers would ultimately gain the advantage and the spot from Ruggles.

It took most of the 30-lap feature for Janosik to get up to the front. The battle for the lead was on with 10 laps to go. It looked like Dan Rogers was going to be able to hold Janosik off by making his car really wide. It was a small slip off turn four that did it in for him. Janosik was able to get by and steal the win. Janosik was able to extend his already dominate point lead over James Neely as the season comes to a close.

 

Grandstock Results:

P1. #79 Lane Janosik; 30
P2. #33 Dan Rogers; 30
P3. #77 James Neely; 30
P4. #4 David Blankenship; 30
P5. #25 Michael Sutphin; 30
P6. #69 Ethan Ayers; 30
P7. #40 Todd Ruggles; 30
P8. #88 Mike Lowe; 30
P9. #84 David Fontaine; 27
P10. #61Ervin Dickerson; 23
P11. Landon Abbott; 2

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