Tag Archives: Mason Bailey

Bailey Moves Kyle Wood for Modified Victory; Dan Rogers Picks Up Where He Left Off

Mason Bailey gets a feel of a new car during the opening round of practice Friday, March 29, 2019. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Midlothian, VA– Bailey was one of two drivers, Kyle Wood was the second, pulling double duty on the evening. Both drivers were racing in the Modified division and the Late Model class. Bailey, who was piloting the yellow No. 17 machine we saw end up in victory lane so much last year, once again put it on the pole with a time faster than what he did in the Late Model – 14.550. Kyle Wood, Michael Johnson, Tyler Davis, and Thomas Stinson were the fastest five drivers. Bailey somehow drew another two for the invert handing his pole spot over the Kyle Wood.

Once the race went green Wood took advantage of that top spot and took an early lead. Bailey stayed glued to the rear nerf bar, however, and the two checked out from the rest of the field. As the two clicked off laps we could see the race getting more and more physical. It went from stalking, to a couple of knock-knocks on the rear nerf bar, all the way to one hell of a bump and run, two to be exact. The first one was just a little sloppy and Bailey let Wood collect the car back up so they could go back at it.

Wood did a hell of a job leading the first seventeen circuits and looked to be a real contender for victory lane. However, that second shot Bailey gave him going into one working lap seventeen was just too much. Wood was moved up the racetrack allowing Bailey to take the lead and ultimately the victory. Michael Johnson was able to hold off Thomas Stinson, the two finished third and fourth respectively. Tyler Davis rounded out the top five.

Dan Rogers picked up where he left the Grand Stock division in 2018 – at the top of the leader board and points standings. Rogers was the only driver to break into the fifteen-second bracket during practifying running a 15.824 (75.827 MPH). With the invert rule Southside uses – up to six cars can be inverted for the start of the race, however, the pole sitter earns a bonus point – Rogers took the green flag from the fourth position. This handed the top spot and front row over to Brian Rogers, no relation, and Mike Lowe.

Lowe was able to hang onto the lead for the first seven circuits before surrendering the lead to Chris Sylvester, just as the first of two cautions came out. The second caution coming from Lowe stopping on the backstretch. The lead switched hands one final time on lap seventeen when Rogers was able to get around Sylvester who would ultimately finish second. Rookie of the Year contender Eddie Slagle recovered from an early spin to finish third. Wayne Groome and Jordan Bell rounded out the top five.

 

Modified OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #17 Mason Bailey; 30
  2. #19 Kyle Wood; 30
  3. #38 Michael Johnson; 30
  4. #9 Thomas Stinson; 30
  5. #00 Tyler Davis; 30
  6. #7 Lauren Edgerton; 30
  7. #29 Adam Medek; 30
  8. #43 Warren Lipford; 0

 

Grand Stock Official Results;

  1. #33 Dan Rogers; 30
  2. #5 Chris Sylvester; 30
  3. #58 Eddie Slagle; 30
  4. #08 Wayne Groome; 30
  5. #17 Jordan Bell; 30
  6. #88 Mike Lowe; 29
  7. #44 Brian Rogers; 22

Mason Bailey Dominates Southside Speedway J.M. Wilkinson Opening Night; Snaping Chris Dodson’s Six Race Win Streak

Mason Bailey dives into turn one at Southside Speedway during round two of practice Friday afternoon March 29th, 2019. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Midlothian, Virginia– You could have not asked for better weather yesterday just south of the state capital. Light cloud cover, a nice low breeze and about 70 degrees all day long. Something Southside Speedway was probably owed after dealing with the amount of “The R Word” that came through the state last year. Fans and drivers alike packed the pits and the grandstands to make Opening Night 2019 one for the record books.

Mason Bailey was the fastest man in town in both divisions he raced in last night during the final round of practice, and for those who might not know Southside Speedway uses their final practice round as a form of group qualifying known as “Practifying.” It took Bailey just seven laps to lay down a 14.816 and take the pole position away from 2018 Rookie of the Year, John Goin. Chris Dodson, Howie Disavino, and Bugs Hairfield rounded out the fastest five qualifiers. Only the top two were inverted.

Starting the 40-lap feature on the outside front row was no problem for the young Chesterfield native. He was able to take the lead early from Goin, just before problems arose in turn three involving Howie DiSavino and Chris Johnson. Both cars ended up with some front end damage, however, DiSavino was the only one that did not return to the race. The caution set up the night’s first cone restart where Bailey elected to stay on the bottom, Goin took the chance to go topside but had some issues, and pardon the pun, getting ‘goin.’ Somehow he only fell back to fourth.

That allowed Bailey a clean shot in and out of two, which allowed him to open up a decent amount of space between himself and the rest of the field. Building almost a full second lead over the rest of the field allowing them to battle things out while he drove away. The second official caution of the evening came when Eddie Johnson and Justin Martz make contact, and by contact I mean Martz goes up and over the left front fender of Johnson. Just before that on the other end of the track, however, John Goin was able to get around Hairfield for second, setting up another great restart between two young drivers, so we thought!

Once the green was displayed things went downhill quick for Goin. Both he and Bailey spun their tires, which stakes up the field behind them. However, Goin got the worst end of the deal because he also had a left front tire go down. Once the carnage was cleared Cameron Jarrel found himself facing the wrong direction. Luckily for everyone involved, no one received any serious damage. Bailey once again elected to take the bottom on the ensuing restart but it was called off after race control deemed Hairfield jumped the start.

Once we finally got going again Bailey did a phenomenal job clearing the field and leaving the veterans to battle things out. Dodson was able to clear Hairfield for second but by the time he got some open track to work with, Bailey was long gone and collecting his second checkered flag of the evening and snapping one of, if not the longest, winning streaks in Southside history. Dodson, who had won the previous six J.M. Wilkinson Opening Night’s finished second, Bugs Hairfield, Michael Sutphin, and John Goin rounded out the top five finishers.

 

Late Model OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #05 Mason Bailey; 40
  2. #0 Chris Dodson; 40
  3. #04 Bugs Hairfield; 40
  4. #25 Michael Sutphin; 40
  5. #90 John Goin; 40
  6. #36 Chris Johnson; 40
  7. #29 Andrew Dean; 40
  8. #57 Eddie Johnson; 40
  9. #56 Cameron Jarrel; 40
  10. #09 Michael Rogers; 40
  11. #51 Mike Bender; 38
  12. #22 Justin Martz; 30
  13. #89 Kyle Wood; 18
  14. #11 Woody Ellington; 18
  15. #55 Howie DiSavino; 2

 

 

Ethan Ayers Wins UCAR Opener; Proves Yet Again to be the Division of Excitement

Beejay Anderson was the quickest of thirteen cars during practifying clocking in at 16.553 (72.487 MPH). However, the invert was not on his side once he pulled a six out of the cooler, handing the front row to Ronnie Vance and Joshua Thomas.

Vance again used the invert to his advantage and took off running when the green flag was displayed. Behind him was a completely different story, I am not sure if hornets nest is the right description because they took it three wide early, which cause some contact and damage. Ryan Paul’s No. 5 car probably took the worst of it after getting hit in the back and taking what looked like the front bumper cover of Brookfield with him. Somehow we remained green.

While all that was going on around mid back, Ethan Ayers was on the hunt for the lead. He was able to close the gap and make the pass just past the halfway point of the feature. Ayers had to hold off the rest of the field for a handful of restarts with less than ten laps to go but, he was able to do so and take home the victory

UCAR OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #87 Ethan Ayers; 25
  2. #32 Ronnie Vance; 25
  3. #72 Joshua Thomas; 25
  4. #13 Beejay Anderson; 25
  5. #03 Zachary Lindsey; 25
  6. #12 Jamie Hite; 25
  7. #98 James Gelina; 25
  8. #89 Kyle Bunn; 25
  9. #4 Thomas Stinson; 22
  10. #5 Ryan Paul; 20
  11. #27 Parker Brookfield; 20
  12. #96 Alex Ayers; 18
  13. #8 Richard Sisco; 18

Southside Speedway Gearing Up for Spectacular Season: Celebrates 60th Anniversary This Friday

That’s right ladies and gentleman, Friday night short track racing returns this weekend at the historic Southside Speedway located in Midlothian, Virginia. Southside first opened its doors to drivers and fans back in April of 1959 by J.M. Wilkinson and is currently being run by his daughter, Sue Clements, and granddaughter, Jennifer Mullis. March 29th will mark 60 years at “The Toughest Short Track in the South” and has the potential to be yet another historic event in the tracks already rich history.

Southside currently hosts six divisions of racing — Late Models, IMCA style asphalt Modifieds, Grand Stocks, UCARS, as well as the INEX Legends and Bandolero division — that will typically run each night. Hosting races just about every other Friday night from March to August it allows for teams to compete throughout the summer but also save a little bit of cash from operating week in and week out. Another unique feature about Southside Speedway is they open their season with a bang, J.M. Wilkinson Opening Night is not just a date, it’s not just the start of the season, it’s an annual event that every driver wants to win. Speaking of winning, no modern day driver has done more of that at Southside than Late Model legend, Chris Dodson.

Dodson closed out 2018 strong winning his seventy-second race and winning an impressive ninth series championship. During victory lane and trophy presentation, a very emotional Dodson was unclear of his 2019 plans and if he would return for a full season. If we may speak honestly here, and our readers know we do, Dodson has nothing to be ashamed of if he were to hang his helmet up. Whether you like the guy or hate the guy he will go down as one of the greats at Southside Speedway. Don’t let your hard down to soon, however, because Dodson did hint that he would make an attempt at winning his seventh J.M. Wilkinson Opening Night in a row.

There will be plenty of other drivers to look out for this season and the first one to come to mind is Eddie Johnson. Driving most of the 2018 season in the No. 43 Richard Petty look-a-like and eventually transitioning into the 00, Johnson has been racing at Southside Speedway longer than I have been on this earth and certainly knows how to get around. We haven’t heard yet if Johnson will be driving for another owner or for himself yet. A few other names to look out for; Mason Bailey, Howie DiSavino, and Chris Hopkins. No doubt Bailey struggled last season to find speed in the car but the kid has raw talent and it won’t take him long to find his way back into victory lane. DiSavino is another young driver to keep an eye on. As the season came to an end he came on strong. Hopefully, that team can keep the momentum up and find their way to victory lane. Chris Hopkins, what’s not to say about Hopkins? Running double duty often in the Modified and Late Model towards the end of the year, Hopkins got on a hot streak and never cooled down, expect to see similar results this year.

In other divisions, Dan Rogers is expected to return to the Grand Stock division and defend his title after dominating 2018 in a historic way. Hopefully, we also see the return of Chris Hopkins in the Modified division after such a killer performance last season. The UCAR series, of course, will be nothing less than spectacular. With so many drivers in and out of cars, the championship battle will be one to watch of course. In the INEX Legends series, we expect to see Daniel Silvestri make his return. We are not 100% certain want landing that ride with Burton-Sellers Racing in the Late Model will do to his Legend career, however, Silvestri is our early pick for the Legend Championship. In the Bando’s Layton Harrison, among others, should make their return. With last year’s championship battle coming down to the wire, we can’t even make a prediction on this series.

Front gates are slated to open for fans at 6:00 PM EDT. Qualifying is scheduled to get underway at the same time. The green flag is expected to drop at 7:45 PM EDT. We will have LIVE coverage, as always; on our Twitter feed starting with qualifying and leading into the feature. Please note that we will not be able to cover every division in detail due to the nature of the event.

 

2019 SEASON SCHEDULE

Friday, March 29
Friday, April 5
Friday, April 19 (75-lap Late Models)
Friday, May 3
Friday, May 10
Friday, May 31
Friday, June 14
Friday, June 28
Friday, July 12 (75-lap Late Models)
Friday, July 26
Friday, August 9
Friday, August 23

Chris Dodson Late Race Pass Earns Himself the Win and his Ninth Late Model Series Championship

Top three drivers and Rookie of the Year celebrate in victory lane at the conclusion of the 2018 season at Southside Speedway. Drivers from left to right: John Goin, Mason Bailey, Howie Disavino, Chris Dodson. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Midlothian, VA – Within the last 48-hours everyone here in the Mid-Atlantic area have had their eye on the weather. To be honest with you, Mother Nature has reared her ugly head plenty of time this season.

She tired to put a damper on this evenings championship evening, however, Southside was not going to be denied even after heavy rains rolled through the area ending practice early and ultimately nixing qualifying. During the drivers meeting, the top five in points pulled pills to create the invert and Eddie Johnson lucked out and got the right to lead the field to the green. Rookie of the Year contender John Goin would start to his outside followed by Mason Bailey, Chris Dodson, and Howie Disavino.

Eddie Johnson, the veteran Late Model Stock Car driver that he is, got a great start and led the field down into turn one. Goin, however, did not get going as fast as the rest of everyone else. Mason Bailey and Chris Dodson jumped on the hiccup faster than you could blink your eye, taking the second and third positions respectively. With Eddie Johnson sporting a two-second second lead over Dodson the battle was on for positions three through seven.

While Disavino, Bailey, Martz, Davis, and Hopkins were all fighting bumper-to-bumper and even door-to-door Chris Dodson caught the race leader the hard way – under green. Dodson was able to close the two-second gap from lap eleven down to just a couple of feet with just three laps left in the 2018 season. The pass for the lead actually came in turn four after Dodson looked to use the famous bump and run technique to get by. Johnson had to chase the car up the hill and Dodson down the front stretch looking to return the favor. However, it was not enough, Dodson would go on to take the race win by about two cars lengths. The win, though not needed to win the championship, just helped solidified Dodson’s dominance at the “toughest short track in the south.”

Behind the duo, Chris Hopkins was able to take the third position followed by Brad Davis, and Justin Martz. Though John Goin rounded out the field in the eleventh spot, he was able to earn the Rookie of the Year title.

“Oh man. You deal with time and it eventually runs out you know,” an emotional Chris Dodson in victory lane to accept his trophy. “I know a lot of people don’t like me but I just put everything I ever had. This place has always been very special to me. To have the twelve-year run that we have had when I started we were terrible, Sonny Hutchen told me I would never ever amount to anything if I didn’t stop wrecking. To win nine championships and seventy-two wins its very humbling. I am so blessed to do this, I really am. My guys just work so hard, and Williamsburg Honda, I feel like I am obligated to just race so hard. I know that might step on some people’s toes. But these parents of these of these kids coming up should be really proud.”

Dodson went on to thank more of the people that helped make the season happen. He also made mention that he did not know what 2019 held for him. He did hint that he would come back and make a run for a seventh win in a row from the JM Wilkinson Memorial race that is run on opening night.

Howie Disavino, who has worked his way up from the Arena Racing USA ranks, was able to finish second in the points after a handful of poles wins throughout the season.

“The redraw just wasn’t my friend this year,” Disavino said in victory lane. “We got up there [the front of the field] a couple times but the invert hurt us.” Disavino put up one heck of a fight this year finishing between two drivers that have been behind the wheel twice as long as he has been on this earth. “Congrats to Chris [Dodson] on that ninth championship. Got to thank TORP Chassis for the fast race cars. It was great to race with Chris and Eddie.”

Mason Bailey, who had a very impressive rookie season in 2017, was able to collect at least one win this season and put up solid runs to finish third in the final points standings.

“I wake up blessed to drive these cars every day,” Bailey said. “Shout out to all my guys and all of our business partners.”

 

Late Model Stock Car OFFICIAL Results; 

  1. #0 Chris Dodson; 40
  2. #00 Eddie Johnson; 40
  3. #88 Chris Hopkins; 40
  4. #18 Brad Davis; 40
  5. #22 Justin Martz; 40
  6. #05 Mason Bailey; 40
  7. #55 Howie Disavino; 40
  8. #25 Michael Sutphin; 40
  9. #20 Sonny Allen; 40
  10. #29 Andrew Dean; 40
  11. #90 John Goin; 39

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.

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