Tag Archives: LAte Model

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

Defending Champion, Greg Edwards, Wins on Opening Night at Langley Speedway

Hampton, VA – For sixteen months drivers, crews, and fans waited to fill the pits and the stands at Langley Speedway. The speedway sat dormant for the entire 2016 season with some of its drivers being forced to run at different tracks. However, on April 1, 2017, crews and fans returned to their home for some NASCAR Whelen All-American Series returned to the famed Langley Speedway.

Nick Smith set the fastest lap of record earlier in the afternoon during time trial qualifying with a time of 15.987 (88.947 MPH), just one of two drivers to break the fifteen-second barrier. Defending track champion Greg Edwards was the only other car to get down into the fifteen’s. Justin T. Carroll, Danny Edwards Jr., and Tyler Hughes rounded out the starting five for the Taylor Waste Services Late Model feature.

Nick Smith got a great start when Shayne Snider dropped the green flag on the 2017 Late Model season and would lead the first seven laps of the race. Greg Edwards, sporting a brand new wrap, had other plans for his night and took the lead from Smith on lap eight. The first of only two caution periods of the night came early on lap eleven when the #77 of Connor Hall went around in turn two from what looked like contact off the nose of Edwards Jr. Meanwhile, Tyler Hughes pulled his car into his pits nose first – overheating issues for the Maryland driver.

When the cone was displayed it was an all Edwards front row. Greg did get the better start and resumed his position at the front of the eighteen-car field. Mark Wertz was looking to get by the Justin Carroll from Concord, North Carolina, but was slowed by the second and final caution of the evening when Macy Causey went around in four – reports were that she had help but we are not able to confirm if contact was made.

On the ensuing restart, Smith would try his luck in the top groove and took cone. Leaving the Edwards brothers on the low line. When racing got back underway Greg jumped back out to the front of the field leaving Nick Smith to work is way in front of Danny Edwards. Took the field a couple laps to get sorted out and single file but that did not stop the racing from going on throughout the field.

Casey Wyatt and Connor Hall spent a good portion of the race battling back and forth for a top ten position. Mark Wertz came on strong there through the middle portion of the race driving up as high as third on the night, where he would eventually finish. Matt Waltz, who took most of the 2015 season off working and racing in the NASCAR Xfinity series, spent most of the night battling back and fourth with Wertz. Waltz would eventually finish in the fourth position after Nick Smith got up and out of the groove and lost several positions. We caught up with Nick after the race who told us a lapped car was racing him hard and got him out of the groove and he thought he had a tire going down. By the time the crew informed him all his tires were up, he had already fallen back to fifth.

It was nothing but lapped traffic between Edwards and the checkered flag as he took the first win of the 2017 season at Langley Speedway.

“Coming back to Langley Speedway is big,” Edwards said in victory lane. “We won the last one here and we get to win the first one with all that’s been going on in our life with my father passing and our long time crew chief John McMasters passing it was a big deal. I didn’t tell anyone how bad I wanted to win this race but deep down inside I wanted to win this one. The last ten laps of that race were the longest ten laps I have run. I just knew they were going to have a caution or something. I am just so happy to get this win for my father and John McMaster.”

Taking a look into The Weekly Racer mirror ball Edwards felt pretty confident with his car and crew coming back to their home track.

“We are always pretty consistent with this car but it all comes down to luck,” Edwards said. “We have a good running car and it’s just a matter of staying focused and keeping up with the track. I love the 100-lap races,” Edwards said when asked about Langley putting on longer races this season. “I truly love the 150-lap races to tell you the truth. The kind of races you got to sit back and ride. The twin 66 lap races are going to be excited too because you have to be careful in the first race so you don’t mess yourself up for the second one.”

 

Super Streets

Landon Abbott made a daring move into turn one while the field worked lap number fifteen that paid off for the young driver from Richmond, Virginia. Abbott sailed his car into turn one and leaned a little bit on his teammate and used eight tires coming off turn two to take the lead and never looked back from there. The caution flagged waved just a few times in the 40-lap Old Skool Video Games feature and Abbott was able to hold the field off.

Randy Akers, who spent the entire race running in the third position, had his evening go horribly wrong after a restart when he made contact with Calway towards the end of the race and cut down a right front tire. The crew was able to get it changed and have him back on the track without losing a lap but he would finish eleventh.

Bill Eaker used the cone to his advantage a few times throughout the night. Trying to work the high side in to grab a few positions on the start. He tried with everything he had and then some once coming through four as he almost looped it. With the track sitting as long as it did and the storms that came through Friday evening, the racing surface was pretty green, and there just wasn’t enough grip up top to make things work. Eaker was still able to snag a top five finish out the deal and came across the stripe in fourth as the race ended. Sean Calway would end up second while Jason Michaud rounded out the top five.

 

Taylor Waste Services Late Model OFFICIAL Results

1.#97 Greg Edwards; 100
2. #57 Justin T. Carroll; 100
3. #55 Mark Wertz; 100
4. #2 Matt Waltz; 100
5. #12 Nick Smith; 100
6. #33 Colin Cabre; 100
7. #26 Danny Edwards; 100
8. #90 Terry Carroll; 100
9. #03 Brenden Queen; 99
10. #78 Maddie Crane; 99
11. #92 Casey Wyatt; 99
12. #77 Connor Hall; 99
13. #19 Cameron Bowen; 99
14. #25 Craig Estep; 98
15. #91 Justin S. Carroll; 98
16. #33 Macy Causey; 77
17. #12 Dean Shiflett; 24
18. #8 Tyler Hughes; 6

Brenden Queen Turns Almost Nothing Into Something; Crowned Runner-up in 2016 Thanksgiving Classic

Brenden Queen finishes just behind Tommy Lemons Jr in the 2016 Thanksgiving Classic. (Casey Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Brenden Queen finishes just behind Tommy Lemons Jr in the 2016 Thanksgiving Classic. (Casey Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Chesapeake, VA – You know how they say that bad things come in threes? 2016 East Carolina Motor Speedway Late Model Stock champion Brenden Queen was all too familiar with that over the weekend.

Things started off early Friday morning when Queen’s rig broke down on the way to pick up the car hauler. This would effect the time the car would arrive at the track. After securing a new rig, hooking up, and heading down south they discovered a tire going down on the trailer which would effect the arrival time even worse. The issues didn’t stop there however, after arriving more than two hours into morning practice the crew discovered a noise coming from the engine compartment. A bad lifter was the diagnoses from pit road – their weekend was over before it really began.

If we have learned anything in previous interviews with the young Chesapeake, Va driver it’s that Queen Motorsports tends to never give. Team owner Mike Queen and Crew Chief Phil Warren had to go to work and find their driver a motor. Luckily for them fellow competitor Mike Darne had a Ford crate motor he was able to rent the team for the weekend. Spending the rest of the afternoon and evening swapping out motors. Trying to get parts and pieces and their chassis to match up was not the easiest thing they have done. However, when final practice rolled around Saturday morning the driver and crew were ready to roll.

“Really worked on making sure the replacement motor was running good,” Queen said about practice on Saturday. “We couldn’t find any drive off. Just kept working at it.”

Work on it they did as they qualified tenth out of twenty-eight cars that took time Saturday afternoon (31 cars would eventually start the feature). A small victory for a team that has already been through so much in just 24 hours. It proved they had a solid piece with them and with patience and good driving they could be there at the end.

The first half of the race was relatively calm. Drivers getting into their rhythm, figuring out their lines, and trying to save tires. Queen had his work cut out for him the first half of the race trying to work his way up through the field. At one point he had fallen to almost the twentieth position trying to make the high line work on a restart. Doing what he has done some many times throughout his championship run, Queen leaned on the guidance from his crew chief, spotter and mentor – Phil Warren. We asked Brenden once all the dust calmed down and things were back to normal we asked Queen to just put into words his emotions going into the race after having what seemed to be the weekend from hell.

queen3_twrphotos

Working through the afternoon to change motors. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

“To be honest with you it was the same attitude we had Friday that we used in the race,” Queen would answer. “Just kept a never give up attitude. I thought we were going home early after the motor broke Friday afternoon but my dad stepped in and made it happen. Can’t thank him enough for everything he does for my team.

The halfway break occurred around lap 106 where teams could come down pit road and make minor adjustments, add fuel and change up to two tires. The top six drivers were also inverted before they were set loose for the final one hundred laps – or so we thought. Queen knew it was time to get up on the wheel and make things happen as this was going to be the hardest part of the race.

“We never adjusted anything,” Queen commented on the halfway break. “The race started and we were good just couldn’t get the track position. Left it alone at halfway just had to fix damage where the 51 missed a shift. We really kept fighting and worked our way up to about sixth. We got lucky on one of those restarts and ended up getting to third. That last restart there I gave Tommy a run for his money and gave him a little shot going into three on the final lap but didn’t want to spin him for the win. I would hope to be raced the same way if it was the other way around. Congrats to those guys but man we were so close.”

The second place finish would be the highest finish Queen has recorded at Southern National as well as the highest finish in the big post season races of 2016 (10th at Martinsville, 7th at Myrtle Beach) and put a cap on the 2016 season for Brenden. When asked about this season and what it has meant to him and his crew all he could tell The Weekly Racer was it was unbelievable.

“It’s a unbelievable feeling to look back at how far we have come since last December,” Queen went on to explain. “Lots of hard work and dedication. We came into this season with our mind set on one thing, to win a race. Here we are going into Christmas having won four times, earned our first track championship in a Late Model and competing with some of the biggest names on the biggest stages.  I’m very thankful for everything and don’t take it for granite.”

Brenden was not able to give an exact idea on what the plans were for 2017 but one could only imagine after having a break out year like they had in 2016 – who knows what is in store for them when the green flag drops next February.

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