Kyle Wood and Mike Rudy Split a Wild Night of Twin Modified Racing at Southside Speedway – Austin Dodge From Worst to First in Grand Stock Race

Kyle Wood (#19w) wins the first 25-lap feature at Southside Speedway August 4, 2017. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Midlothian, VA – To help make up some of the lost races due to rainouts, Southside Officials made this weekends IMCA style asphalt modified race into twin 25-lap features. Michael Johnson took the bonus point earlier in the afternoon setting the fastest time in group qualifying with a 14.845-second (80.827 MPH) lap. He would later pull a number five pill, essentially inverting half of the field. This would put rookies Adam Medek and Matt Morgan on the front row while Johnson and Mike Rudy would start fourth and fifth.

Things got interesting, for the lack of better terms, from the drop of the green flag when a shifter rod broke on the racing machine of Matt Morgan semi stacking the field up into one. Luckily Morgan was able to get the car to the topside and allow the field to get around him. He would limp that car back around to the pits where his crew tried to make the fix and get him back out. Ultimately, he was only able to complete four laps.

Medek would lead the first four circuits around Southside Speedway before Kyle Wood could stick a nose under his #29 modified and take the lead off turn two just five laps into the twenty-five lap event. Medek would get hung up to dry on the outside and have to settle for fifth. The race would be slowed by three cautions, one of which saw Lauren Edgerton slowly barrel roll once on the backstretch with the help of Salomone. The two made contact coming down the backstretch after it looked like Medek had to check up and chase his car out of two. Tyler Davis and Warren Lipford also got a piece of the action; Davis was the only one to be able to continue.

Mike Rudy’s bad luck train continued to roll right on down the tracks at full steam when a right front tire started going down with just five laps to go in the race. Luckily for him and his crew, the night’s second caution flew allowing him to come down pit road and change tires. No one appeared to have anything for Kyle Wood in the first race as he went on to win by just under a half second over Michael Johnson. Tyler Davis would bounce back and finish third while Rudy would have to settle for fourth. Adam Medek finished out the field as the last car running in fifth.

The top three finishers would invert for the start of the second and final race of the evening in the Modified’s. This handed the front row over to Tyler Davis and Michael Johnson who didn’t wait long to get a little physical. Turn four of the opening lap the two make contact sending Davis around. Race control would call for a complete restart with the two involved in the yellow to the rear.

That was just what Wood and Rudy wanted to see as it set them up for a front row restart and the opportunity for Rudy to use that top groove to take the lead. Rudy would have his work cut out for him, though, having to hold off the field on three different cone restarts from some pretty physical racing.

Rudy, however, was able to leave Wood, Johnson, and Morgan in his rearview for most of the race to battle for position behind him to finally earn a trip to victory lane. Rookie Matt Morgan was able to power his way through the hornet’s nest into the second position, his best finish of the year. Michael Johnson eventually found his way around the likes of Kyle Wood and Tyler Davis to earn himself a third place finish. Race one winner, Kyle Wood, would have to settle for fourth while Tyler Davis crossed the stripe in the fifth position.

We caught up with Mike Rudy after the races to talk about finally getting in victory lane and plans for the rest of this year and next.

“It feels real good,” Rudy said about finally getting the win. “The crew has really been working hard. We made a motor switch this last week. Came over here and practiced. This motor is actually our out of town, our big track motor, it’s probably got 550 horsepower or better. Too much for this track but I used it to get in front of Kyle there.”

Rudy was very thankful and appreciative of his crew for giving him the car to win and his family for letting him do something he loves.

“I had a great car thanks to my crew chief Jerry and all my crew, my wife, and son,” Rudy said. “They couldn’t be here for that second race because they went home to get ready to go to Dover tomorrow because I also drive for the Rusty Wallace Experience. Every time I win my son is not able to see it so I am really hoping we can get that done. I like coming here and running, it’s a fun little short track.”

 

Austin Dodge had to start the 30-lap feature at the rear of the field after qualifying on the pole due to Southside “Two Win Rule.” Dodge would also pull a five after qualifying, which would invert the fastest five drivers and handing the front row over to Mike Lowe (#88) and Todd Ruggles (#40).The invert would prove to play in Ruggles favor has he took the lead early and appeared to never look back. Teammate, Austin Dodge (#07) seemed to have different plans on how he wanted the race to end, working his way up to the second position by lap twenty-three of the thirty lap feature. Dan Rogers (#33), who has found his way into victory lane a couple times this year, tried to make things difficult on Dodge as he worked his way up through the field but appeared to burn the tires off his machine and bring out the races final caution after spinning in turn four.

The invert would prove to play in Ruggles favor has he took the lead early and appeared to never look back. Teammate, Austin Dodge (#07) seemed to have different plans on how he wanted the race to end, working his way up to the second position by lap twenty-three of the thirty lap feature. Dan Rogers (#33), who has found his way into victory lane a couple times this year, tried to make things difficult on Dodge as he worked his way up through the field but appeared to burn the tires off his machine and bring out the races final caution after spinning in turn four.The restart would set up an epic race between Dodge and Todd Ruggles, which saw the two door-to-door coming to the white flag. A small hiccup from the 40

The restart would set up an epic race between Dodge and Todd Ruggles, which saw the two door-to-door coming to the white flag. A small hiccup from the 40 car out of two would end his hopes of stealing a victory in 2017 with just a handful of races left. Mike Lowe, Bobby Curtis, and Shannon Smith would round of the top five.

 

 

Modified Race 2 OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #19w Kyle Wood; 25
  2. #38 Michael Johnson; 25
  3. #00 Tyler Davis; 25
  4. #8 Mike Rudy; 25
  5. #29 Adam Medek; 25
  6. #02 Rip Salomone; 21
  7. #7 Lauren Edgerton; 21
  8. #43 Warren Lipford; 21
  9. #98 Matt Morgan; 4

 

Modified Race 2 OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #8 Mike Rudy; 25
  2. #98 Matt Morgan; 25
  3. #38 Michael Johnson; 25
  4. #19w Kyle Wood; 25
  5. #00 Tyler Davis; 25
  6. #29 Adam Medek; 25
  7. #43 Warren Lipford; 1
  8. #02 Rip Salomone; DNS

 

 

Grand Stock OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #07 Austin Dodge; 30
  2. #40 Todd Ruggles; 30
  3. #88 Mike Lowe; 30
  4. #15 Bobby Curtis; 30
  5. #21 Shannon Smith; 30
  6. #33 Dan Rogers; 30
  7. #36 Mark Simpson; 29
  8. #39 Tony Hull; 29
  9. #41 Cameron Ruggles; 23

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