Tag Archives: Mason Bailey

Southside Speedway Set to Crown Champions Later This Evening; Will be Without One Late Model Contender as Martinsville is Right Around the Corner

Crew members work on the front end of Mason Bailey’s car during the Thursday night test session at Martinsville Speedway getting ready for the largest race of the young drivers young career. (Photo: Mason Bailey)

MIDLOTHIAN, VA – Friday, September 15 at Southside Speedway is Championship Night and the final race of the season when the track will crown a points champion in each of the six divisions. Eddie Johnson will enter the evening with just a nine-point advantage over Grayson Cullather. Mason Bailey, who was leading the points, took a huge hit when his car was deemed illegal after post-race inspection when he collected his season leading fourth win on August 25th and will not be battling for the win once the race goes green.

With Mother Nature playing spoiler to the original championship night, Southside Speedway added two dates to their 2017 campaign, which moved champion’s night to this evening. For some, it is not an issue. For others who are planning to run the big Late Model race at Martinsville, like Mason Bailey, made decisions tough on both driver and teams.

“We do not have any regrets,” Bailey told The Weekly Racer at the conclusion of the Martinsville test Thursday night. “Just a lot of disappointment. Would love to be out there helping my teammate Sonny Allen in the No. 20 at least. The track put is in a real box with scheduling the championship race on top of the Martinsville test.” Bailey, however, is in a position that many drivers face this week preparing for one of the largest races of the year while we enter championship season.

“We only have one car so we will not be able to make it out to Southside,” Bailey went on to say. “Between the test and the race next weekend, I cannot miss any more classes.”

Bailey was just one of about 90+ cars that converged on the .526-mile paper clip oval this past Thursday evening for the annual test day, or night rather, now that the LED light system is up and running. Bailey was relatively pleased with the handling of the car but admitted their team still has some work to do and speed to find heading into next weekend.

“We are all very pleased with the car,” said Bailey. “Wasn’t as fast as we would have liked on our sticker run but our speed and drivability on old tires were exceptional. It is a tricky track for sure. I left with a decent understanding of it, though.”

With just about a week to go before teams make the return trip to Ridgeway, Virginia for that $25,000 payday, maybe even more importantly, that grandfather clock, we asked Mason what would define a successful weekend or a reasonable goal for the young rookie driver who is one of only a few making an attempt from an “outlaw” track this season.

“To be honest I haven’t really thought about that,” Bailey went on to say. “Making the race will be a challenge due to the format but as long as we get in I would be disappointed if we didn’t finish top twenty.

In addition, Roy Hendrick, son of Ray Hendrick, owner of the famous flying #11 modified coupe will bring the race car to the track and lead the first pace car laps. Come out to watch all of the driver’s race for the lead see who will win the 2017 championship – every lap matters! Front gates open at 6:00 p.m. Qualifying starts at 6:00 p.m. and racing gets underway around 7:45 p.m. If you are not able to make it, The Weekly Racer will have lap-by-lap coverage over on our Twitter handle – @theweeklyracer.com

 

About Southside

Southside Speedway is a 1/3 mile, paved oval track located on Genito Road in Midlothian, Virginia.  The speedway was established in 1959 by J.M. Wilkinson and is currently run by his daughter, Sue W. Clements, and granddaughter, Jennifer Mullis. The speedway hosts twelve nights of racing from April through August.

The family-owned track in Chesterfield prides itself on being a family-friendly venue entertaining generations of fans and continues their 58-year tradition of great local short track racing in Central Virginia. There are six different divisions of cars racing: Late Models, Modifieds, Grand Stocks, UCARs, Legends, and Bandoleros.

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 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.”

eddiemason.png

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

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

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