Tag Archives: LAte Model

Veteran Eddie Johnson Wins Southside Speedway 75-lap Feature Over Rookie Standout Mason Bailey – Jamie Hite Wins UCAR Feature

Eddie Johnson wins 75-lap feature at Southside August 04, 2017. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Midlothian, VA – For the second time in 2017 Southside Speedway ran a 75-lap feature for their premier division that put on a hell of a show for the fans. In a division where the past several year’s drivers have been used to running 30 to 40 lap sprints, Southside Officials decided that two races this year would be more laps – here at The Weekly Racer think both events were amazing. With the amount of young rookie talent mixed in with seasoned racing veterans, it would be a sure show of who could manage tires.

Mason Bailey, coming off his third win of the season last time out, entered the weekend as the new found points leader and was the fastest man in town. Technically qualifying on the pole with a 14.831-second lap of record. Bailey would take the bonus point for the pole and have to start second to Eddie Johnson after the infamous Southside Speedway invert. J.D Eversole, Grayson Cullather, and Andrew Dean would make up the rest of the fastest five cars or the evening’s race.

Once the green flag was displayed to the field, Mason Bailey wasted no time jumping out front of Eddie Johnson, using the outside line mind you and setting a pace he thought was needed to stay out front. The race would surprisingly see only two leaders and three caution periods for minor contact and spins from drivers. Lane Janosik seemed to pull the bad luck straw this weekend because he was involved in two of the three yellow flags after qualifying ninth on the evening. Contact with the number 26 of John Crews out of turn two would ultimately end both drivers’ night early.

Bailey and Eddie Johnson were clearly the class of the field Friday night and it honestly looked like Bailey was going to sneak away with his second victory in a row and fourth on the season as he was strong each restart, clearing Eddie at least by turn three. Eddie, being the veteran racer that he is, did not let this worry him as he seemed to have the better car on the longer runs, putting a full court press on the rear bumper of Bailey about ten or so laps into the run.

Behind them, however, was plenty of action on the tight .333-mile oval. Brad Davis, J.D. Eversole – until he pulled down pit road and ended his night early – and Grayson Cullather were all at one point, either nose to tail or door-to-door battling hard for position. The final caution of the evening would come on lap sixty-two after Andrew Dean and Howie DiSavino made a little contact, which ultimately sent DiSavino around. This happened just after Johnson help persuades Bailey to use the top groove through turn four to take the lead coming to the stripe.

With Johnson and Bailey again lining up on the front row Mason needed to get a good restart if he wanted to power his way back to the lead on the outside. When the green flag was displayed it almost looked like Bailey spun his eight-inch Hoosier tires which were all Eddie needed to cruise to victory. Behind them in the closing laps, however, Michael Sutphin, who was involved in the nights first yellow, had made his way all the way back up to the front of the field in the tire tracks of Chris Johnson – who by the way started in the back of the pack – to earn themselves a top five finish.

“We were a little upset we weren’t able to put our Pearson Dodge on the pole,” Johnson said. “Ended up qualifying second and he [Bailey] drew a two so we ended up starting on the pole. You know a lot of times out here the outside line goes at the start, you got fresh tires and you get a good grip off two. I just settled in there and tried to save my tires but stay close enough to put some pressure on him.”

After the first caution of the race, Johnson elected to take the cone and start on the outside of Bailey to give the top groove one more shot.

“We took off on the outside there,” Johnson mentioned about the first restart of the night. “I was hoping we could get up to him and battle a little bit more there but he was pushing a little bit of water out of his car and it was getting on my windshield plus there wasn’t as much grip on the top as we wanted so I just settled back in. That’s when I noticed my car kinda came back to me a little better than his did.”

With twelve laps to go either Bailey’s car started to fade or the constant pressure of that blue 43 got to the rookie as Johnson was able to finally stick a nose to the inside.

“We got behind him after that second caution, got real close behind him and that’s when he started to really slow down,” explained Johnson. “He was starting to really hold me up and I finally worked my nose under him and we went on to win the race. He did a really good job holding on, though. I was giving him everything I had.”

“I would really like to thing Mr. and Mrs. Hughes for bringing out the 43 Dodge and bringing their car out here for probably as many years as I have been coming out here. This is what they live for, to come out here and race. I am just glad I can do a good job for them. I want to thank Pro Tech Fab, Crazy Greek for bringing some pizza’s out here to eat on race night. All the guys on the crew, my son [Chris Johnson] for helping me set it up and everyone who supports me.”

 

Jamie Hite (#12) was victorious in the evening’s 25-lap UCAR feature. After qualifying second with a time of 17.088 to Ethan Ayers (#87) – 17.062, Hite was the lucky one so to speak when the invert pill was pulled as he got to keep his second place starting spot on the grid when the green flag dropped. Ayers would draw a three, which should have put Korey Lawson (#04) on the pole as he was the third fastest qualifier. However, Lawson and Anderson (#13) had their times disallowed after failing post-qualifying inspection. This would hand the lead over to the #51 of Devenney.

The race would only be slowed by one caution as Jamie Hite went to cruise to victory. Fast qualifier, and eventual second place finisher, Ethan Ayers tried to take the lead on lap fifteen with a power move into turn one but Hite used the classic cross over move to retake the lead out of two. Michael Chapman, who is no stranger to victory lane at Southside Speedway, was running a different car this week and was looking to make things interesting early. However, he would eventually fall back outside of the top five with a little more than five laps to go.

Both the Late Models and UCAR’s will be back in action Friday, August 18th with 40 & 25 lap features respectfully.

 

Late Model OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #43 Eddie Johnson; 75
  2. #05 Mason Bailey; 75
  3. #18 Brad Davis; 75
  4. # 24 Chris Johnson; 75
  5. #25 Michael Sutphin; 75
  6. #22 Grayson Cullather; 75
  7. #29 Andrew Dean; 75
  8. #55 Howie DiSavinso; 75
  9. #09 Sonny Allen; 75
  10. #19 Rusty Wood; 56
  11. #98 J.D. Eversole; 52
  12. #26 John Crews; 35
  13. #79 Lane Janosik; 35

 

UCAR OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #12 Jamie Hite; 25
  2. #87 Ethan Ayers; 25
  3. #03 Korey Lawson; 25
  4. #96 Alex Ayers; 25
  5. #13 Beejay Anderson; 25
  6. #1 Mike Frayser; 25
  7. #97 Michael Chapman; 25
  8. #51 Dillon Devenney; 20

Southside Speedway Back to Racing This Weekend With 75-lap Late Model Feature

Midlothian, VA – Mother Nature got her way last weekend when a lingering cold front washed out most of the racing taking place throughout the eastern part of the Commonwealth, Southside Speedway was included. With clear to partly cloudy conditions all morning and afternoon and a very little chance of that, “wet stuff,” that got in the way last weekend, things look to be a go tonight near the state’s capital.

The Late Model’s, averaging around sixteen to eighteen cars a night, will also make their return for the second and final 75-lap feature of the year. Chris Dodson won this race earlier in the summer holding off some of the youngest drivers – Mason Bailey, Grayson Cullather, JD Eversole – in the Late Model ranks. With the win, Dodson enters this evening one of the heavy favorites along with long time Late Model racer, Eddie Johnson. With the longer laps and smaller tires. it’s a no brainer that experience will come into play tonight. However, rookie stand out’s Mason Bailey, is coming off a thrilling victory the last time these cars were on track after a three wide battle netted him the race lead on a late race caution and eventually earned him his third win of the year followed by none other than Mr. Grayson Cullather. As the race season draws to an end, the temps stay elevated and the memory banks grow larger, we expect tonight’s feature to be a barn burner.

In addition to the 75-lap Late Model Feature, the IMCA style asphalt Modifieds will pick up their epic points battle this evening with a 30-lap feature along with the Grand Stocks. Cody Carlton will look defend his race win and points lead as the INEX Legends and UCAR will be on tap for 25-laps each while the Bando’s will kick off the night with their 15-lap feature.

The Weekly Racer will, of course, have you covered if you are unable to make it out to the speedway this evening. However, I highly recommend packing the kids and the car and heading out to the track because you are not going to want to miss this race. Front gates and qualifying are set to open and get underway at 6:00 PM EDT with the first green flag at 7:45 PM. We will have LIVE coverage of qualifying on our Twitter feed (@theweeklyracer). If you do not have Twitter you can follow along right here on our website. You will see our Tweets on the right side bar they will just be delayed and may require some page refreshing. We are working on a way to bring this same LIVE coverage to those of you without Twitter.

 

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 Diaz Victorious in Rusty Harpe Memorial at Caraway Speedway

Photo: Mason Diaz Racing

Mason Diaz picked up the biggest win of his career to date in Friday night’s Rusty Harpe Memorial at Caraway Speedway.

Diaz qualified second for the race and dominated for much of the event.  First, he got around Ryan Millington and had a big lead before a caution erased his advantage and allowed Ryan Wilson to catch up to him.  After Wilson got the lead, Diaz was able to recapture the top spot late in the race and went on to score the victory over his teammate Mike Darne.

“Mike Darne Racing gave me a good car this weekend,” Diaz said in victory lane.  “It was fast out of the box.  From the start of the race, I knew that I could really beat people and they gave me a phenomenal car this weekend.”

“Me and Ryan Wilson got tangled up but I had to do what I had to do to win.  It was a fun race overall.”

Diaz ran the race with a car that has been a backup car for much of the season.  He credited Mike Darne Racing for the hard work they put in at the shop which allowed Diaz to arrive at Caraway Speedway in peak performance mode.

“This isn’t my primary car but this is the best this car has ever handled,” Diaz remarked.  “Mike Darne Racing really worked on the car and this is the best this car’s ever been.”

Mason Diaz’s victory at Caraway Speedway was his fifth career Late Model Stock Car win and his first win at the 4/10-mile track in Sophia, North Carolina.  Prior to Friday, all of Diaz’s Late Model victories had come at Southern National Motorsports Park, where Diaz will race on Saturday, July 8th as he continues to rack up points in his quest for the track championship.

Diaz entered Friday’s race ninth in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship standings and sixth in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series North Carolina state points.

Mason Diaz is supported by The Sign Shop, Mike Darne Racing, Prince William Marina, Concord Automotive and Convenience Car Care. To learn more about Mason Diaz Racing, check out his website at www.masondiaz24.com“like” Mason Diaz Racing on Facebook or follow @masondiazracing on Twitter.

Eddie Johnson Wins Late Model Feature at Southside Speedway Friday Night

Eddie Johnson enters turn one at Southside Speedway in the iconic Richard Petty No. 43 replica Late Model. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Midlothian, VA – With no rain in the immediate forecast racing returned to the southside of Richmond this past Friday night. With more than two weeks off of racing fans and drivers alike were ready to get back at it with some good ole fashion short track racing. With the sun being out and temperatures being pretty high it slowed the field down just enough to where the top six cars were only separated by a couple hundredth of a second. Eddie Johnson laid down the fastest lap time in the final round of practice with a 15.211 to earn the pole point. Daniel Thomas, Bugs Hairfield, Mason Bailey and Alex Brock rounded out the top five starters. Johnson pulled the number three pill handing the point over to Mr. Hairfield.When it was time get going, Bugs was able to clear the number 99 machine of Thomas down the back stretch to lead lap one and pick up right where he had left off the last time the cars were on the track, at the front of the pack. Daniel Thomas seemed to be the odd man out on the outside line as Johnson was able to get around him on the bottom and eventually bringing young Mason Bailey along with him. Thomas would eventually settle into the fourth position with a hungry Alex Brock and Chris Dodson behind him.

When it was time get going, Bugs was able to clear the number 99 machine of Thomas down the backstretch to lead lap one and pick up right where he had left off the last time the cars were on the track, at the front of the pack. Daniel Thomas seemed to be the odd man out on the outside line as Johnson was able to get around him on the bottom and eventually bringing young Mason Bailey along with him. Thomas would eventually settle into the fourth position with a hungry Alex Brock and Chris Dodson behind him.Took Johnson just nine circuits to work his away around Hairfield for the lead with Mason Bailey really closing the gap. The race was slowed for the first of two cautions on the night when we look back from the leaders and see that Alex Brock and Chirs Dodson had made contact and were facing the wrong way just at the stripe. Both drivers were able to pull away and rejoin the race. However, Brock’s luck would not get any better when he was caught up in another pileup – this time involving Matt Ashworth and Disavino – down the back stretch, pinning his car into the outside wall and causing some damage. Bugs

Took Johnson just nine circuits to work his away around Hairfield for the lead with Mason Bailey really closing the gap. The race was slowed for the first of two cautions on the night when we look back from the leaders and see that Alex Brock and Chirs Dodson had made contact and were facing the wrong way just at the stripe. Both drivers were able to pull away and rejoin the race. However, Brock’s luck would not get any better when he was caught up in another pile up – this time involving Matt Ashworth and Disavino – down the back stretch, pinning his car into the outside wall and causing some damage. Bugs Hairfield was one of the many cars to bring his car to the attention of his crew during that caution period and eventually calling it quits for the night.

Once the track was clean and the cone was set it was back to green flag racing. Bailey, electing to try his luck on the outside for that start got the jump of his life; too good of a jump as a matter of fact. Before race control could do anything over the radio Bailey looked to back off the throttle and give the lead back over to Johnson. The two would make contact into one just seconds later causing the leader to get sideways. Somehow Eddie gathered the car back up and retained his position at the front of the pack.

Once things got settled down Johnson just had to manage his three car advantage over second place while drivers went to work behind him. Daniel Thomas, who posted the second-fastest time of the day had quietly spent all night in the top five and was able to lock down a third place finish. Last years Grandstock sensation and Late Model rookie, Lane Janosik, had his hands full in the closing laps running fourth working to keep Chris Dodson at bay. Once the checkers were displayed, Janosik was successful and took fourth place over the Southside legend.

The victory was Johnson’s first trip back to victory lane since winning the season finale in August of 2016. In addition, Johnson won this exact race just one year ago. The victory over Mason Bailey and Chris Dodson will surely help his efforts in the points.

 

 

Michael Chapman took the lead from Jamie Hite, who started the race from the pole position thanks to the invert, on lap nineteen of the 25-lap feature. Chapman was forced to give up his pole starting position when he drew a number four pill post qualifying. Wasting no time when the green flag was displayed, Chapman was able to make his way up to second by lap ten.Just seventeen laps it took Chapman to reel in the bumper of Hite and make his attempt at the lead. The two spent a couple laps battling hard for position and putting on a great show for the fans in the stands. By lap nineteen the lead was Chapman’s and he never looked back. Hite was able to hang onto the second position 25-laps later. Beejay Anderson would finish right where he started the race in third with Dillon Devenney and Frank Silva – the races biggest mover – rounding out the top five.

Just seventeen laps it took Chapman to reel in the bumper of Hite and make his attempt at the lead. The two spent a couple laps battling hard for position and putting on a great show for the fans in the stands. By lap nineteen the lead was Chapman’s and he never looked back. Hite was able to hang onto the second position 25-laps later. Beejay Anderson would finish right where he started the race in third with Dillon Devenney and Frank Silva – the race’s biggest mover – rounding out the top five.

 

Late Model OFFICIAL Results:

  1. #43 Eddie Johnson; 40
  2. #05 Mason Bailey; 40
  3. #99 Daniel Thomas; 40
  4. #79 Lane Janosik; 40
  5. #0 Chris Dodson; 40
  6. #22 Grayson Cullather; 40
  7. #20 Sonny Allen; 40
  8. #42 Mike Payne; 40
  9. #9 Alex Broke; 40
  10. #09 Jason Barnes; 40
  11. #25 Michael Sutphin; 40
  12. #26 John Crews III;40
  13. #89 Matt Ashworth; 39
  14. #04 Bugs Hairfield; 24
  15. #55 Howie Disavino; 24
  16. #52 Timmy Nice; 17

 

UCAR OFFICIAL Results:

  1. #87 Michael Chapman; 25
  2. #12 Jamie Hite; 25
  3. #13 Beejay Anderson; 25
  4. #51 Dillon Devenney; 25
  5. #92 Frank Silva; 25
  6. #04 Korey Lawson; 25
  7. #96 Alex Ayers; 25
  8. #1 Mike Frayser; 25
  9. #58 Hunter Waldrop; 19
  10. 10 #72 Joshua Thomas; 19
  11. #97 Richard Sisco; 19

Mason Bailey Earns First Late Model Victory at Southside Speedway

Mason Bailey and crew celebrates in victory lane with family and crew after collecting his first Late Model victory. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Midlothian, VA – Sometimes the fastest car does not always win the race. We see this week in and week out from local short tracks to the top tiers of NASCAR. This was not the case this past Friday night as Southside got in their second race of the 2017 season before most of the rain moved into the region. Mason Bailey, competing in his first full season in a Late Model after winning the Modified championship the year prior, set the fastest time of the night in qualifying. The only driver to post a time in the fourteen second bracket, Bailey qualified on the pole with a 14.955 second lap – an average of 80.233 mph around the all but flat .333-mile oval.

After drawing the number three pill Bailey was forced to give the pole over to Grayson Cullather, another young gun in the Late Model community in Richmond, VA. Eddie Johnson, who was a little more than a tenth slower than Bailey, was able to keep his second outside pole starting position when the race went green. He was followed by Daniel Thomas and Mike Payne – to make up the rest of the starting five.

When it was time to go green flag racing it appeared that the three car invert was going to work out well for Cullather. After taking a full lap to clear Johnson Grayson was able to get into a solid rhythm and focus on hitting his marks and clicking off laps. Cullather was able to put a little bit of distance on the field as Bailey worked his way around Johnson for second. Just as he started to reel in the rear bumper of the 22 we were slowed by the nights one and only caution to bunch up the field. Just as Hairfield and Ashworth pulled their cars down pit road and nose first into their stalls, Disavino went for a spin out of four.

Once the track was clear and the line-up was complete race control displayed the cone to the field on the front stretch. For those who may not be familiar with a “Cone Restart” it is very simple – a cone is placed on the track and those drivers on the lead lap and not involved in the caution are able to pick the high or low line. That being said, a car running six can be the first car to take the cone and will restart in the second position. Grayson Cullather and Eddie Johnson both elected to stay down on the bottom while Mason Bailey and Chris Dodson elected to go to the top.

Once the green flag was displayed from flagman Jody Adkins Cullather and Bailey sailed their machines down into turn one, hard! Bailey was able to get the car to stick and take the top spot as they came out of turn two and would be the new leader on lap twenty. Shortly after both Johnson and Dodson were able to get by Cullalther forcing him back to the fourth position. The restart also seemed to help both Alex Brock and J.D. Eversole who were able to take the fifth and sixth postions on the track respectfully.

Mason Bailey was not concerned with any of that however as he settled into a nice rhythm and started to put some distance on the two cars behind him. What made matters even better for the rookie was when Eddie and Chris started racing hard for the second spot. This really allowed Bailey to build up a good lead and take the checkered flag with no pressure. Eddie Johnson was able to hold off Dodson for second while Grayson Cullather and Alex Brock rounded out the top five – very similar results from opening night.

“We unloaded really quick and were top of the board in the first practice on hold tires,” Bailey said after the race. “The car felt really good. We made just a little bit of changes and picked up some more and we were fastest second round and qualified on the pole by a decent amount.”

When the race started Bailey was able to get to the second position pretty quick and track down the leader and start planning his move. Not that Bailey needed the caution to catch the rear bumper of Cullather it sure made things easier and set up the only restart of the race that allowed Bailey to use that outside to his advantage.

“We were going to go to the inside on that restart but I kind of like the outside,” Bailey explained. “In a situation like that the outside always works out for us and I just sent it in there. Now, I wont say it stuck but it stuck just enough to get a nose on him. From there on were able to open a decent lead and get the win.”

We asked Bailey if he felt the caution helped him get around Cullather for the win or if it was just something that was going to happen. He certainly gave credit to Cullather for driving a good race just cited he thinks he had the better car this weekend.

“We felt pretty good then the rain hit,” Bailey said. “I was scared it was going to just kill the track and we were going to lose any advantage we had. I do think that was the case but track position really helped us. We fell in line behind Grayson there who drove a nice race but I just think we had a little bit better of a car. The caution certainly helped us get back up to him and gave us a chance to get around him rather than having to work for it. Right before that caution came out though I was playing around with my line and think I really found something and was catching him a little bit.”

 

Trevor Stinson found himself in victory lane at the conclusion of the 25-lap UCAR feature that went green right after the track was dry. Joshua Thomas was the fastest car earlier in the afternoon however, posting a lap of 16.937 seconds – or an average of just over 70 mph. He was forced however, to give the pole position up to Ethan Ayers – driving the opening night winning car – who qualified third.

Ayers took that advantage and ran with it as he was the leader as they completed lap one. Stinson and Thomas were not going to let him get away to easy and it was an amazing three way battle for the lead while they drove away from the rest of the field. It wasn’t until lap eighteen of the total twenty-five laps that Stinson was able to make his way around the #87 of Ethan Ayers with the help of some contact. Nothing to bad just enough to get Ayers out of shape. Once Stinson was able to get into clean air that was all he needed to create a big gap to Ayers and Thomas who were battling for that second position down to the closing laps. Thomas was able to gain the advantage and would finish second to Stinson. Alex Ayers and Jamie Hite would round out the top five.

Southside Speedway will be back in action on May 12th. All scouts and scout leaders in FULL UNIFORM will get in FREE! Two parents per scout receive a $2 ticket discount. Front gates open at 6:00 p.m. Qualifying starts at 6:00 p.m. and racing gets underway at 7:30 p.m.

 

 

Late Model OFFICIAL Results;

1.#05 Mason Bailey; 40
2. #43 Eddie Johnson; 40
3. #0 Chris Dodson; 40
4. #22 Grayson Cullather; 40
5. #9 Alex Brock; 40
6. #98 J.D. Eversole; 40
7. #99 Daniel Thomas; 40
8. #79 Lane Janosik; 40
9. #42 Mike Payne; 40
10. #55 Howie Disavino; 40
11. #26 John Crews III; 40
12. #67 Cole Walker; 40
13. #25 Michael Sutphin; 39
14. #20 Sonny Allen; 29
15. #89 Matt Ashworth; 19
16. #04 Bugs Hairfield; 18

 

UCAR OFFICIAL Results;

1.#10 Trevor Stinson; 25
2. #72 Joshua Thomas; 25
3. #87 Ethan Ayers; 25
4. #96 Alex Ayers; 25
5. #12 Jamie Hite; 25
6. #13 Beejay Anderson; 25
7. #16 Thomas Stinson; 25
8. #04 Korey Lawson; 25
9. #1 Mike Frayser; 24
10. #3 Zachary Lindsey; 24
11. #58 Hunter Waldrop; 24
12. #51 Dillon Devenney; 9
13. #97 Richard Sisco; DNF

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

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