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MIDLOTHIAN, VA – Chris Dodson started on the pole in Friday night’s race at Southside Speedway after an invert and led wire-to-wire to score the victory and take sole possession of the points lead.

Johnson would earn the bonus point for setting the quickest time but would pull a number three pill out of the bag putting seven-time track champion Chris Dodson on the pole. Mason Bailey, making just his second start in a Late Model, just about snagged the pole position but would have to settle for the outside pole – even after the invert. Steve Zuskin and Bugs Hairfield would round out the starting five. Zuskin would be forced to start shotgun on the field after failing post qualifying technical inspection.

Dodson wasted no time when the green flag was displayed, using the invert to his advantage; he opened up a pretty commanding lead early. Eddie Johnson was also able to get around Bailey early to take over the second position leaving Mason Bailey, who had already run a 30-lap feature in the Modified division, to deal with veteran driver Bugs Hairfield. Bailey did a great job holding off the #04 of Hairfield for quite some time.

The races first and only caution came just past lap twenty-nine when the car of David Stevens goes around in turn two. Did not see if Stevens had any help going around as we watched other battles on the speedway. Certainly not what Dodson wanted to see but it was the break that Eddie Johnson needed.

In one of the more bizarre restarts I have seen since tracks adopted the cone rule, the two veteran drivers lead the field of sixteen to the green with just eleven laps of racing to go. Dodson elected to restart on the bottom with Johnson going topside. Throw in a row of lapped cars – we learned after the evening it is the tracks rule that they do not put lapped cars to the rear until it is less than ten to go – then it was the combo of Mason Bailey and Bugs Hairfield.

Once back under green flag conditions Dodson jumped back out front with Johnson trying to stay hot in his tracks. Bailey, who had done such a great job running in the top five had huge problems shortly after the restart as something sounded to go incrediably south in the motor. He would be forced to pull of the racing surface and end his night early. This allowed Hairfiled to take the third spot once again.

One thing the yellow did was set up one hell of a three-way battle for the fourth spot. Daniel Thomas, who the previous week had the entire side of his car ripped off, was back in full form trying to hold off Greg Fernandez and Steve Zuskin for a top five finishing position. Fernandez would eventually get under and around the 99 of Thomas to grab the fourth position. Zuskin, as we mentioned above, was able to drive back from starting shotgun on the field to a sixth place finish.

Dodson in victory lane couldn’t have been more pleased with his car, his crew and the new Billy Banks power plant under the hood. Dodson also made mention that the car was just a little more of a handful than usual with all the power under the hood. He also thanked Eddie Johnson for running him clean there at the end saying he wouldn’t have wanted to have anyone elese there at the end of the race than Eddie because he knew he would race him hard but clean. With Dodson’s win and Zuskin finishing outside the top, Dodson would leave the night with sole possession of the points lead.

 

Late Model Results:

1. #0 Chris Dodson; 40
2. #43 Eddie Johnson; 40
3. #04 Bugs Hairfield; 40
4. #02 Greg Fernandez; 40
5. #99 Daniel Thomas; 40
6. #71 Steve Zuskin; 40
7. #50 Raymond Pittman III; 40
8. #42 Mike Payne; 39
9. #22 Grayson Cullather; 39
10. #4 Chris Sylvester; 39
11. #55 Howie DiSavino; 39
12. #1 Doug Mundy; 39
13. #21 David Stevens; 38
14. #20 Mason Bailey; #31
15. #18 Brad Davis; 20
16. #11 Woody Ellington; 13
14. #67 Cole Walker

Article by: The Weekly Racer

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