#27 Chris Lemons celebrates in victory lane after a very dominating win in the second race of the season at Southside Speedway. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)
Midlothian, VA –Chris Lilly set the fastest time in qualifying earlier in the afternoon with a time of 15.499 seconds – an average of 77.417 mph – and it proved come race time. However, due to that pesky invert that Southside uses, Lilly was forced to start in the third position, handing the top spot over to Daniel Silvestri. The top three cars of Lilly, Carlton, and Silvestri were only separated by two-hundredth of a second. We also need to point out that this past weekend was the first time Silvestri has raced his #97 Legends since moving up from the Bandolero division.
When the green flag was displayed to the field it was very clear it was going to be a three-way battle between the top three cars for the win. Chris Lilly has always shown speed around the .333-mile oval and Carlton has been on a tear in Virginia of top-three finishes since the start of the 2017 season. Silvestri held his own for three laps at the front of the field before Lilly worked his way around and left him to deal with Carlton.
It was a pretty calm race as Chris Lilly opened up a very comfortable lead while Carlton tried to work around Silvestri for the second position. Carlton put on a pretty heavy assault on the rear nerf bar of Silvestri but was not able to make a clean pass and ended up falling back several car lengths. Kevin Yeatts was the only car with a problem when his car slowed way off the pace on lap sixteen. He would limp the car on the apron to finish the race.
Lilly was open up a huge lead while second and third place battled halfway through the race. That was all he needed to secure the win over Silvestri, Carlton, Matthews and opening night winner Strouse. Matthews would be later disqualified.
Legends OFFICIAL Results;
1.#27 Chris Lilly; 25
2. #97 Daniel Silvestri; 25
3. #94 Cody Carlton; 25
4. #4 Ernie Stouse; 25
5. #00 DJ Elzey; 25
6. #33 Colby Flowers; 24
7. #79 David Turner; 24
8. #63 Kris Kurz; 23
9. #27 Kevin Yeatts; 19
10. #51 Ryan Matthews; DQ
Cole Bruce celebrates in victory lane after being sent to the rear of the field and waiting out a rain delay at Southside Speedway on April 22nd, 2017. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)
Franklin Caricofe was fastest in the afternoon’s practifying session, posting a lap of 17.105 (70.148 mph) seconds. After winning the pole, Caricofe pulled the number four pill – a random pill draw invert is something that Southside Speedway still does – to invert the top four positions for the green flag. Giving the #58 of Eddie Slagle the pole position when Jody Adkins displayed the green flag.
Didn’t take long for things to get interesting here at Midlothian, Virginia short track. Caricofe, trying to drive his way back up to the top spot, made contact with Conner Jones who looped the car around. Jacob Putman got a piece of the action and ended up facing the wrong way out of turn two around this flat .333-mile oval. Kenton Case, with nowhere to go out of two clips Putman sending him hard into the inside wall. Jones is able to drive away, while Putman and Case were not, however, they were both able to exit their machines under there own power.
Conner Jones jumped out to the lead when the race got back underway for a brief moment. Eddie Slagle was the reason for the second caution just two laps after getting back under green. With Cole Bruce hot in his tracks, Slagle’s car looped around off turn four bringing out the second caution, race control did move Cole Bruce to the rear of the field for being involved in the yellow.
What we thought was going to be the final restart of the race Caricofe and Jones have a great battle for the lead. Caricofe, who was strong on opening night, looked to have the lead all to himself but a great crossover move from fourteen car allowed Jones to grab the lead. Caricofe had one more shot to snag the win as the field rolled through turns three and four. With the white flag in the air, Caricofe looked to give a shot to Jones. This caused Jones to spin coming off four and Caricofe to hit the wall. Jones was able to drive away but the #33 of Caricofe needed assistance getting off the track.After a brief rain shower brought the cars down pit road for track officials to dry the track, we had five cars answer the call for the green-white-checkered finish. Took two attempts to complete the feature after a single car spin
After a brief rain shower brought the cars down pit road for track officials to dry the track, we had five cars answer the call for the green-white-checkered finish. Took two attempts to complete the feature after a single car spin occurred, in turn, four on the white flag lap. Cole Bruce, however, was able to endure both restarts to end up in victory lane after an interesting night of racing.
1.#31 Cole Bruce
2. #14 Conner Jones
3. #6 Jake Waltman
4. #33 Franklin Caricofe
5. #58 Eddie Slagle
6. #15 Logan Clark
7. #3 Jacob Putman
8. #87 Kenton Case