Tag Archives: Chris Dodson

Mason Bailey Earns Third Victory of 2017 at Southside Speedway in a Thrilling Late Model Finish

Midlothian, VA – The month of July & August are statistically the hottest months of the summer in the Mid-Atlantic. When it’s hot outside there is one thing you can all but guarantee around the world of short track racing and that is a slick race track and short tempers. Throw in an interesting race or two where certain drivers feel they owe something to someone and just sit back and enjoy the show.

Chris Dodson was once again the fastest qualifier in the afternoon’s very hot final practice/qualifying session. Dodson’s lap of record was set in just his fourth circuit around the flat track coming in at 15.059 (79.679 MPH) seconds. Eddie Johnson would post a lap just six-hundredths of a second slower than Dodson. Rookie Mason Bailey and Lane Janosik posted the third and fourth fastest times while Bugs Hairfield rounded out the fastest five. Dodson would pull a number four pill, handing the front row over to the two rookies.

Sixteen Late Models came to life down the front stretch when flagman Jody Adkins unfurled the green flag. Mason Bailey wasted zero time working his way around Janosik as the field rocketed out of turn two and down the backstretch. Fast qualifier, Chris Dodson, had the same idea and got around Janosik using the outside groove. The race saw its first of five cautions early on lap two after Janosik and Eddie Johnson appeared to get hooked together going into the turn. It would cause a six car pile up as Brock, Thomas, Payne, and Hairfield were all caught up in the mess.

Once the race was back under green flag conditions, Dodson picked back up on his assault on the rear bumper of Bailey. The rookie did an amazing job hold off the onslaught that Dodson was putting on. The lead would eventually change hands after the third restart of the evening. Dodson appeared to get back to the throttle just a little bit quicker than Bailey, which allowed him to stay even with the 05 machine. A small slip from Bailey the following lap in two allowed Dodson to grab the lead.

Dodson would lead the way for several laps while some amazing racing between Bugs Hairfield – who was making his way back through the field before ending his night on lap 36 – Howie Disavino, Chris Johnson, and Grayson Cullather. Just as things looked to be in the bag for Chris Dodson, who was lifting at the start finish and holding onto a two-second lead, the yellow flag was displayed for the fourth final time. Michael Sutphin was around down the backstretch.

This set up one of the most exciting finishes of the year when Chris Dodson elected to keep his position at the front of the field. Bug Hairfield decided to try his luck on the outside line while Mason Bailey lined up on the inside behind Dodson. The three would eventually end up three wide all the way down the back and into turn three. Bailey down low, Dodson in the middle and Hairfield up top. The trio almost made it all the way through the corner like that but, Dodson ended up going around in turn four and would bring out the evenings final caution. There was some talk that Chris Johnson would be sent to the rear of the field after contact was made with Dodson’s car while he was sideways. Johnson, after some deliberation between officials in the tower and on the track, was able to keep his position on the track.

For the restart, it was Mason Bailey and Chris Johnson on the first row. When the green flag was displayed Bailey was able to clear Johnson and retake the lead with less than two laps to go. Grayson Cullather, who qualified seventh and stayed pretty quiet in the top five all night, was also able to get around Johnson to take the second position. Though the top three cars were figured out at the white flag there was some hard racing behind them which caused a big pile up back in turn one once again. Sonny Allen, who has been running up towards the front all night made hard contact with the outside wall all but destroying his car. The driver was able to hop out under his own power once the race was complete.

“I think thrilling is the word for both the fans and the drivers,” Bailey said after the race. “We struggled all day with the car in practice. We are usually first or second and we stayed around fourth or fifth all day, that’s just not good for us. After getting taken out last week we had to completely disassemble this car and put it back from scratch. It’s amazing we got it back as close as we did but still has a lot of kinks to work out. It certainly had some speed it but it was hard work on that wheel.”

We asked Mason about the three wide run there into three that ultimately got him the lead and the race win and what was going through his mind

“I know we only had two wins on the season and we really needed to be at three wins,” explained Bailey. “I knew we needed to park it so that’s what we did. Just got a good restart and stayed on him [Dodson]. The three of us and I think they just got together, Chris slid up and Bugs got down and got together, I saw some daylight and went for. I’m not much of a steering wheel holder, I like to call myself a driver, so I just went in there for better or for worse and it just happened to work out. That was all luck there, that’s all that was.”

“I am just glad we came out on top. This team, my car owner Chris Phillips, CR Phillips Electrical, Commonwealth Plumbing, Damn Yankee Hot Sauce, Hernandez Construction, and so much more, they just deserve this.”

 

Austin Dodge was the winner of the 30 lap Grand Stock feature early in the evening. Dodge was the fast qualifier earlier in the afternoon but was forced to start fifth when the green flag was displayed due to the invert. Shannon Smith inherited the lead and did a fine job holding off the field till about lap ten and eventually retiring from the race with mechanical issues. That is how long it took for Dodge to make his way back up through the field. The race witnessed only two cautions and three different leaders. However, one Dodge was able to take the lead around lap nine, even the late race restart could not trip him up, Austin Dodge would take home the hardware.

 

Late Model OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #05 Mason Bailey; 40
  2. #22 Grayson Cullather; 40
  3. #24 Chris Johnson; 40
  4. #18 Brad Davis; 40
  5. #20 Sonny Allen; 40
  6. #55 Howie Disavino; 40
  7. #43 Eddie Johnson; 40
  8. #9 Alex Brock; 40
  9. #25 Michael Sutphin; 40
  10. #0 Chris Dodson; 40
  11. #26 John Crews; 40
  12. #79 Lane Janosik; 40
  13. #04 Bugs Hairfield; 36
  14. #99 Daniel Thomas; 25
  15. #19 Rusty Wood; 15
  16. #42 Mike Payne; 2

 

Grand Stock OFFICIAL Results;

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

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

Dodson Holds off Young Guns for Feature Win

MIDLOTHIAN, VA – The officials at Southside Speedway announced that this year they would run two 75 lap late model races instead of only their normal 40 lap features. With a strong car count so far in the year, the increased laps proved to be exciting in the first long distance race of the year.

Mason Bailey set fast time in practifying with a quick 14.836-second lap with Chris Dodson and Grayson Cullather both running a 14.927, Grayson would get the spot for running the lap first. The pole setter pulled a four on the invert putting Alex Brock on the pole to start the feature.

Brock would lead the first three laps until the caution flew for Sonny Allen and Lane Janosik spinning out while trying to get around the slow car of Chris Savage. Howie Disavino would get some damage to the left side of his car trying to avoid the accident.

Dodson opted to go high on the restart and it paid off for him quickly as he took the lead on the restart. Cullather got bumped by Bugs Hairfield and would slip back to sixth. Once Bugs got by Grayson he quickly chased down Mason Bailey and put himself into third place. At this point, he was running faster laps than Dodson and Brock. By the 27th lap, everyone was stretched out aside from the top-3. About ten laps later Eddie Johnson started knocking on the door of Bailey but the 2016 modified champion is able to fend him off.

The leaders started approaching heavy traffic with twenty-five laps to go and Brock was still keeping up with Dodson. Brock’s best chance would happen through traffic but Dodson would fend him off with a little bit of contact. A little farther back Cullather gets Bailey completely sideways and Bailey was able to save it coming off of turn-2, with Mason slowed down Johnson is able to slide by him.

With ten laps remaining Janosik runs hard into Allen and they start wrecking, Bugs is able to slow down quick enough to avoid ending his night. Unfortunately while under caution Bugs blew a hose off his radiator and had to end his night. The track went under the red flag as the cleanup crew tried to clean up what seemed to be more than just water on the track, possibly some oil too from the hot motor.

Getting the green flag all the cars make it through the slick entrance of turn-1 as the drying agent flew all over. Dodson kept control of the lead but rode high through turn-4 and Cullather tried to apply some pressure. Caution would fly again on lap-68, this time for Johnson getting hard into Brad Davis.

The green flew for the last time and Brock looked to dive hard into the corner but it turned out that he had a tire go down and didn’t have much control of the car. Brad Davis got his front end tore off but the rivets held it strong alongside his car, he was black flagged and did not come down the pits resulting in a penalized finishing position. Dodson ended up cruising to the win by a half second over Mason Bailey.

 

Late Model Results

  1. Chris Dodson
  2. Mason Bailey
  3. Grayson Cullather
  4. J.D. Eversole
  5. Eddie Johnson
  6. Andrew Dean
  7. Sonny Allen
  8. Brad Davis
  9. Lane Janosik -1
  10. Michael Sutphin -2
  11. Alex Brock -4
  12. Bugs Hairfield -10
  13. John Crews III -37
  14. Howie Disavino -49
  15. Raymond Pittman III -67
  16. Chris Savage -71
  17. Daniel Thomas DNS

Chris Dodson in Familiar Place on Opening Night at Southside – Victory Lane. Dan Rogers Wins Wild Grandstock Opener

Chris Dodson along with family and crew celebrate an opening night victory at Southside Speedway, Friday, April 7th, 2017. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Midlothian, VA – It was a chilly Friday, April evening in the Mid-Atlantic but that did not stop the action from warming up on the racing surface. Southside Speedway, coined as the toughest short track in the south, opened its gates for their 58th season this weekend. One of the few “Outlaw” tracks in the Commonwealth that run a short track program – and by outlaw tracks we mean those who are not NASCAR sanctioned. On a second side note, for a complete list of race tracks in Virginia and their schedule, head over to the brand new website, www.racingvirgnia.com, powered by Richmond International Raceway for schedules and track information.

Of course, with cooler temperatures on race day, it made for some incredibly fast lap times around the flat .333-mile flat track. So fast, in fact, the top twelve cars all recorded laps in the fourteen-second bracket during the last round of practice, which at Southside is their group qualifying session. Chris Dodson, who has dominated Southside Speedway for years now, put down the fastest time of the afternoon recording a 14.591 (82.234 mph) second lap. Mason Bailey, who only ran a handful of races last year in the Late Model division while winning the Modified championship, was second fastest. Keeping with the rookie them, Lane Janosik, a staple of the Grandstock division, recorded the third fastest time followed Bugs Hairfield and Grayson Cullather to round out the top five. However, because Southside uses an invert system, Dodson drew a three which handed the front row over to Bailey and Janosik.When the green flag waved Janosik found himself in trouble early with a big slip out of turn two. Had to chase the car up and down the track but kept it straight and off the wall but would lose plenty of positions in the mean time. This would allow Bailey to have

When the green flag waved Janosik found himself in trouble early with a big slip out of turn two. Had to chase the car up and down the track but kept it straight and off the wall but would lose plenty of positions in the mean time. This would allow Bailey to have the sole procession of the lead on lap one with Dodson right in his tracks. The race was slowed a couple times early for cars spinning and such which put a halt to some great racing between rookie and veteran drivers.

Two of the night’s cautions came from the debris off the #43 of Eddie Johnson. Once in turn two and finally in turn three. Sections of Johnson’s nose cone had fallen off the car due to some hard racing through the tight corners of Southside. The damage did not seem to slow the car down however as Johnson was able to drive home to a top five finish. Bugs Hairfield ran into a couple issues throughout the night’s 40-lap feature. Once from a spin in four after racing Cullather hard and second after a small pile up, in turn, two around after the halfway point with several cars. The second spin looked to be the final straw that broke the camels back for Hairfield.

With cautions come restarts and with the cone restart rule in effect at Southside it set up for some interesting restarts. Bailey was the control car for most of the restarts trying to do everything he could to get away from Dodson to run his line. A couple times, from our vantage point and just our opinion, it looked like Bailey was playing games with Dodson trying to get any advantage he could. Bailey would eventually relinquish the lead to Dodson after a small slip out of two and that was about all she wrote for the zero car.

The racing really started to get good behind the leader however with Cullather and Brock coming on strong towards the end of the race. It seemed like Brock had a little bit more tire and used the topside on a restart to his advantage to take the third spot. He was able to catch the bumper of Bailey and initiate a battle for the second position just ran out of laps. Grayson Cullather was able to hang onto the fourth spot while Eddie Johnson finished fifth.

 

 

Dan Rogers celebrates a very hard fought victory after setting the fastest time in qualifying at Southside Speedway. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Dan Rogers was your winner in the 30-lap Grandstock feature from the outside pole position on the grid. Rogers was the fastest car in qualifying early in the afternoon with a time of 15.826 (75.817 mph). Things were not made easy for Rogers who ended up with some pretty extensive left side damage after contact with several cars, in turn, one at the drop of the green flag.

Where we were sitting the in press box we were not able to see the entry of turn one but when we caught the cars going into two Rogers, who started the race on the outside pole due to the invert, and Austin Dodge were dirt tracking it through the corner with Bobby Curtis powering through them down on the apron. Race control through the caution as things looked to get bad, luckily all cars were able to drive away and return to the race. A complete restart was ordered from the tower.

The contact would benefit Mark Simpson who would lead the race for several laps. That is until Rogers was able to get to his bumper and get around him on lap twelve. Austin Dodge was the night’s biggest mover, as hard as that is to believe, after driving back to the top five with ten laps to go. Ruggles was also able to catch and pass the #36 machine of Mark Simpson who just honestly looked like he ran out of tire. Dodge was also able to get by to grab a podium finish on opening night after his night looked to be over before lap one was on the board.

Michael Chapman was your winner in the 25-lap UCAR feature over Trevor Stinson, Alex Ayers, Jamie Hite and Beejay Anderson.

Michael Chapman wins first UCAR race of the 2017 season at Southside Speedway. Excited to be in a really fast car. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

 

 

Late Model OFFICIAL Results

1.#0 Chris Dodson; 40
2. #05 Mason Bailey; 40
3. #9A Alex Brock; 40
4. #22 Grayson Cullather; 40
5. #43 Eddie Johnson; 40
6. #50 Raymond Pittman III; 40
7. #98 J.D. Eversole; 40
8. #79 Lane Janosik; 40
9. #25 Michael Sutphin; 40
10. #42 Mike Payne; 40
11. #20 Sonny Allen; 40
12. #29 Andrew Dean; 40
13. #26 John Crews III; 40
14. #04 Bugs Hairfield; 31
15. #99 Daniel Thomas; 18
16. #89 Matt Ashworth; 11
17. #71 Michael Hayes; 3
18. #9 Jimmy Brock; 3
19. #55 Howie Disavino; 1
20. #18 Brad Davis: DNS

 

 

Grandstock OFFICIAL Results
1.#33 Dan Rogers; 30
2. #40 Todd Ruggles; 30
3. #07 Austin Dodge; 30
4. #36 Mark Simpson; 30
5. #15 Bobby Curtis; 30
6. #88 Mike Lowe; 30
7. #21 Shannon Smith;
8. #41 Cameron Ruggles;
9. #55 Justin Brown; 16
10.#39 Tony Hull; 1
11. #01 Chris Holt; DNS

Southside Speedway Releases 2017 Season Schedule – Opening Night April 7th

southside-speedwaySouthside Speedway, which has been coined the “Toughest Short Track in the South,” will open its gates to competitors and race fans for the 58th season the second weekend of April 2017. The family-owned track located in Chesterfield, Virginia will continue to operate on Friday nights hosting twelve events over the summer from April through August. Two dates are still up in the air for Southside Speedway during the month of June, however, it has been confirmed the track will only run one of those nights, not both.

Speaking with co-race director Chris Stefi, it appears there will be no major changes to the divisions or rules packages going into 2017. “I don’t expect any major rule changes,” Stefi told The Weekly Racer once the schedule was released. “We are still trying to work on a few details and some things to come in 2017.” Late Models will continue to be the tracks “premier” division so to speak as they will continue to run as an outlaw facility – in other words not under the NASCAR banner. A point, that some will argue, would actually hurt local short track running in the Mid-Atlantic region. We on the other hand here at The Weekly Racer can prove that to be a myth as Southside had some of the better car counts throughout the region running on Friday nights.

The open wheel modifieds should also be making their return to Southside Speedway in 2017 where there will be room for a new champion. The Weekly Racer confirmed with 2016 Modified champion Mason Mailey that he will, in fact, be making his return to Southside next year, however, just not in the modified division. “We will be returning to Southside Speedway next year for sure,” Bailey said. “We are building a new car and will be out there all season to make Chris Dodson defend his track championship.”

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Preview of Bailey’s 2017 Late Model courtesy of Mason Bailey

Of course, your other support divisions like the Grandstocks, UCAR, Legends and Bando’s are all expected to return to the Friday night schedule. Grandstands look to open at 6:00 PM, just as qualifying is set to get underway, during the 2017 campaign with the green flag set to wave on the first feature at 7:30 PM. Track management has built in three rain dates throughout the season just in case, those dates will be April 14, July 17 and August 11. For more details on tickets or how to register to race please visit the track’s website at http://www.southsidespeedway.net

 

2017 Season Schedule

April 07
April 21
May 12
May 19
June 02 or 09 – TBD
June 23
June 30: Driver Meet & Greet
July 14
July 28
August 04
August 18: Driver Meet & Greet
August 25: Championship Night

Eddie Johnson Wins Finale but Chris Dodson Takes the Title

DSC_1002Midloathion, VA — Nineteen late models rolled in to the Toughest Short Track in the South for the season finale on a hot Friday evening outside the state’s capital. Steve Zuskin came into the night sitting second place behind Chris Dodson by four points.

Dodson set fast time in practifying with a 15.185 second lap time with  the always fast Eddie Johnson tying him on the last lap of the session. The pole, and the single point for winning it, was given to Dodson based off of series points. Steve Zuskin qualified ninth after having to do some repairs to his car from earlier in the day. They pulled a three car invert putting Bugs Hairfield out in front of the field.

Early on there would be a wreck involving a few cars and Zuskin would narrowly miss it and would improve his position up to sixth. On the restart Bugs would have to fend Eddie off of the top line where he has been able to run well this season. By the ninth lap Johnson would get in line and start applying pressure to Bugs’ bumped. Eddie gets by him and Bugs falls to third while the caution comes out on lap 17 for Woodie Ellington spinning in turn 1.

Barely a lap after the restart Andrew Dean got turned around in turn 3 smashing in some fenders of other drivers. Bugs took advantage of this caution to try and get a grip on his ill-handling car. The top-5 at this point was Eddie, Dodson, Brad Davis, Zuskin, and Rookie of the Year Grayson Cullather. Another lap of racing and another caution flag would fly, this time for RotY runner up Daniel Thomas getting spun out.

Eddie Johnson had the restarts locked down all night, easily clearing Dodson by turn one. Thomas and Zuskin pulled in to end their nights on a lap 21 caution after a couple green flag laps, giving Dodson the series championship.

On lap 27 Dodson started to put some pressure on the rear of Eddie and even while racing hard for the lead they were still clearing the field pretty well. Caution flies again on lap 31 for Rusty Wood spinning out of turn 4. With five laps remaining Raymond Pittman and Cullather get together putting Greg Fernandez and Andrew Dean into the top-5.

Eddie kept on top of the restarts and would cruise to the checkered flag to cap off a very successful partial season that he ran in the 43 car. Fernandez gave all he had to Davis but could not get around him for third place.

Chris Dodson won his 8th track championship with 6 wins on the season and Steve Zuskin wrapped up second on the season while Greg Fernandez finished in third in his final season of racing.

This season the late model division grew large at Southside Speedway with lots of new drivers and a couple of the old drivers coming back out. Next season should be pretty competitive as some of the young guns come back with a year of experience under their belts.

Results:

1. Eddie Johnson
2. Chris Dodson
3. Brad Davis
4. Greg Fernandez
5. Andrew Dean
6. Mike Payne
7. Michael Suthpin
8. Cole Walker
9. Rusty Wood
10. Raymond Pittman III
11. Grayson Cullather
12. Woddy Ellington
13. Doug Mundy
14. Matt Ashworth
15. Bugs Hairfield
16. Steve Zuskin
17. Sonny Allen
18. Howie Disavino
19. Daniel Thomas

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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