Elizabeth City, NC
– While it’s been more than a year since he’s visited victory lane, Smithfield, Virginia’s, Brent Robinson returned to the coveted spot after finishing first in the 30-lap Budweiser Allstar Late Models race on Friday at Dixieland Speedway. He started the feature on the pole position and led every lap en-route to the win on Budweiser night. His biggest challenger early in the evening was points leader and defending champion, Billy Hubbard. The eight-time winner in 2019 started the event in third place and quickly followed Robinson to the front. Hubbard mounted a serious challenge on lap one and began an attempt to pass Robinson in turn three. His car lost grip and he spun to the inside of the course resulting in the evening’s first caution flag. He would restart at the rear of the field and spent the night working his way back to the front, ultimately resulting in a fourth-place finish.
With the win, Robinson collected the additional $200 bounty prize for beating Hubbard, who has dominated the 2019 season. Elizabeth City’s Larry Jackson also gave Robinson a run for his money near the closing laps. The two were in a tight battle for first place; however, Jackson could never set up a pass on Robinson.
Jackson finished in second place, and Ryan Steeley earned a season-best of third place.
To clinch the 2019 series title, Hubbard needs to finish third or better in the season finale. Jackson could win the points race if he finishes four places or better than Hubbard.
Another competitor that broke a winless drought on Friday was Elizabeth City racer, Joe Weiss. The 41-year old racer took first place honors at the season-opening event in early May and before this past weekend was yet to back it up with another victory. The driver of the number zero Chevrolet led the entire 20-lap race from the pole position to claim his second win of the season. The event was mired with six yellow flags due to spins and cars contacting the course walls. Points contender and defending champion, Mark Gonzales experienced mechanical problems for the second consecutive race. He would retire to the garage before the event concluded and was credited with a 12thplace finish.
Mark Overman, defending race winner and three-time first-place finisher in 2019, made the most noise in the 20-lap feature by moving from a fourth-place starting position to earning the runner-up spot. Overman was able to overtake points leader and third-place finisher Troy Brickhouse near the conclusion of the event and began to chase down eventual race winner Weiss. Time and laps ran out before Overman could catch the eventual race winner.
To be crowned champion, Brickhouse needs to finish in 10thplace or better this weekend. Mathematically Mark Gonzales still has an opportunity to win the championship, although the Elizabeth City racer would almost need a miracle by having to finish 11 places better than Brickhouse in the finale.
Another defending champion found the checkered flag on Friday in the Little Caesars Super Streets. Kevin Bray of Maple, North Carolina, started on the outside pole and quickly found the top spot on the opening lap. He would go on to lead all 20-circuits to cruise to his second win of the season. Polesitter Dennis Barnes earned second place while Allen Shiflett claimed third in his Chevrolet.
Points leader Justin Pruitt earned fourth place after spending multiple laps unsuccessfully setting up a pass on Shiflett. To win his first title next weekend, Pruitt needs to finish in 12thplace or better.
Dustin Cisco earned the victory in the special Biggs Cadillac Buick GMC Stock Fours 25-lap race that paid $500 to win. The Suffolk, Virginia, racer only led two laps. Friday’s big money race was extended by 10-circuits and attrition proved to be high as multiple cars experienced mechanical issues and dropped out of the race before it ended.
Trevor Battoia and points leader James Hissom, Jr. started the event on the front row. The two would battle for the top spot initially with Hissom being successful at claiming the position. Cisco found himself in a fight for third place with Moyock racer Chris Freemon. Cisco and Freemon traded paint a couple of times on the track and the two eventually made hard contact on the backstretch on lap four, sending Freemon into the wall and ultimately out of the race. Throughout the remaining laps, intensity ramped up for the top position with Hissom increasingly having a harder time holding off a quick charging Cisco. On lap 23, two away from the finish, Hissom broke a transaxle in the front end of his car while leading the race, sending the baby shark painted Acura for a spin in turn one. His night and hopes for winning the big race were doused. Hissom was credited with an eighth-place finish.
On the two-lap restart, Cisco was able to hold off the field to claim his second win of the season. Trevor Battoia finished in second place while Justin Bohn earned third. With the second-place finish, Battoia moved from third in points to regain second place over Kolton Stevens.
To win the championship, Hissom needs to finish in 10thplace or better next weekend.
Rickie Waters won for the second straight race in the R&D Super Fours on Friday. The Virginia Beach native held off past winner Kyle Barnes, who finished in second and points leader Dale Ore, Jr. claimed third place.
Ore needs to finish in fifth place or better next weekend to win the points race for 2019.
Racing resumes for the final time in 2019 on Friday, September 6thand includes a special 40-lap Rapid Ron’s Racing Sportsman event that will pay the winner $1,000. Additionally, Budweiser Allstar Late Models, Little Caesars Super Streets, Biggs Cadillac Buick GMC Stock Fours and R&D Super Fours will compete and earn double points. Friday’s races will mark the last race of the season and five champions will be crowned. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. and the action kicks off at 8:00 p.m. Tickets will be available for purchase in person. For more information, dial 252-771-5151 or visit online at dixielandspeedway.net.
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About Dixieland Speedway:
Dixieland Speedway is northeastern North Carolina’s premier action track. The 3/8-mile dirt oval has hosted exciting Friday night racing since 1983. Long straightaways and tight turns lead to intense on-track action. The clay track is 55 feet wide and turns one and two are banked at 12 degrees, while turns three and four are eight-degrees. Race fans from all over the region have come to witness spectacular side by side racing through the years. The family-friendly facility offers something for everyone as on-track action keeps fans on the edge of their seats all night long. Refreshment and souvenir stands are on site. Tickets for all events are available for purchase in person. Don’t miss your chance to see why they call Dixieland, the track that started it all. To learn more, visit dixielandspeedway.net or follow Dixieland Speedway on Facebook (Dixieland Speedway), Twitter (@DixielandSpdwy) and Instagram (@dixielandspeedway). Information by phone, dial 252-771-5151. Dixieland Speedway is located at 1520 Northside Road in Elizabeth City.