Mason Bailey and Eddie Johnson Share Wins at Southside Speedway

Midlothian, VA – Fourteen late models took to the “Toughest Track in the South” just outside of Richmond. Twins were on the schedule since there have been some canceled races this season and they are out of makeup days. Chris Dodson found some speed and set a 14.953 second lap in practifying to grab the pole point for the night with rookie and points leader Mason Bailey missing the top time by .003 seconds. With the invert of three the second year driver, and former RotY, Grayson Cullather led the field to the green flag.

Bugs Hairfield was be the biggest mover early on moving from fourth to second by the eighth lap, just in time for the first caution of the night for Michael Suthpin spinning out. Under the caution Daniel Thomas’ engine woes continued as he pulled in nose first to end his night. Bailey decided to try the high line on the restart and it paid off for him. The next caution didn’t take long with Bugs clipping the boilerplate and spinning out on lap 14. This time Dodson tried the outside on Bailey but it doesn’t work out as Cullather is able to get by him for second place. On the final lap of the race Grayson drove really deep into the corner to get Mason out of the bottom line but Mason is able to hold on and took the checkers.

We caught up with Mason after the races. “Really thought we had a piece to put on the pole, just missed it, and knew we had a piece in race trim and we went out there and stayed patient.” Talking about his winning strategy, “I think what got us the race is we made the passes on those starts, taking the high line a lot of people are scared or what but they just don’t like that high line and I really like to take advantage of it and I think we did and we are able to get around Dodson and Cullather and that put us into the lead.”

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The invert for the second race was the same as the first which put Dodson in first. Bailey is able to slide into second by Cullather three laps in and Eddie Johnson was the next to put pressure on the 22 car. Bugs again tags the boilerplate but this time down the front stretch and a couple laps later and Lane Janosik spins around with his right rear completely destroyed. On the restart Dodson and Bailey raced side by side until it came out again, and Dodson runs Bailey up into the marbles once its already flown. On the next start Dodson this time makes contact with Bailey and he nails the plate, he tried to resume racing but was blacked flagged with something broken and dragging on the track.

On lap eight the green flag racing resumes with Eddie outside and beats him to the line on lap nine but couldn’t make it stick and fell back in line. Just six laps later and Johnson was able to get his nose to Dodson’s car and clears him out of two. Farther back and Bugs takes fourth from Chris Johnson after starting from the rear. Eddie cruised to the win in the second race and Grayson Cullather got his second top three finish on the night.

After getting through post race tech I caught up with the second race winner. “The first race all four of us were real close and we were just a teeny bit off and I knew I needed a little better grip in the middle of the corner and a little more grip off the corner so I talked to my chassis expert, my son, and we decided on a few little changes to make and we made a few little changes.” He also talked about how the 43 car takes to those changes, “This car here is still a good car and it reacts to a small change and it was just a little bit better. After ten laps I knew we were gonna be pretty good I didn’t know how good, then we got a little further in the race and I was like ya we are in good shape.”

After talking about the win I also asked Eddie about how competitive and big the field has been this year and what he thinks is setting it up, “These rules that they have here have been in place for 5-6 years, the motor rules are so easy. You run anything you want as long as its a cast iron head, cast iron block, and wet sump pan. The only thing you have to check on the motor is the carb. The motor rule has been left alone for 5 or 6 years and look what ya got, you got the best racing here of any track around, as far as weekly racing.” If you haven’t had a chance to check out the racing at Southside this year, they still have five race nights left including a 75-lap special for late models on August 4th.

Race 1 Results
1. Mason Bailey 30
2. Grayson Cullather 30
3. Chris Dodson 30
4. Eddie Johnson 30
5. Chris Johnson 30
6. Alex Brock 30
7. Matt Ashworth 30
8. Lane Janosik 30
9. Howie Disavino 30
10. Sonny Allen 30
11. John Crews III 30
12. Michael Suthpin 30
13. Bugs Hairfield -1
14. Daniel Thomas -22

Race 2 Results
1. Eddie Johnson 30
2. Chris Dodson 30
3. Grayson Cullather 30
4. Sonny Allen 30
5. Bugs Hairfield 30
6. Michael Suthpin 30
7. Howie Disavino 30
8. Alex Brock 30
9. John Crews III 30
10. Daniel Thomas 30
11. Chris Johnson -10
12. Mason Bailey -18
13. Matt Ashworth -22
14. Lane Janosik -23

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