MILTON — Jason Barnhill had a daunting task on his hands in lap 19 of the Bay Area Modified Championship Sept. 24 at Southern Raceway.
Barnhill, who started the race on the pole, saw Kyle Rutowski use the high groove to take the opening lap’s lead. Both cars remained in that order until the first caution came out on lap 19 as Russ Harris’ car came to a stop and Pebo Rogers’ car spun.
Then on the first attempted restart, Barnhill battled for the lead and suffered a flat tire, which sent him to the pits and to the back of the field.
In turns one and two, Barnhill had his third mishap of the evening as he tried to make up ground as quickly as possible and ran into the side of Thumper Grice’s car, which spun in front of him and left him nowhere to go.
While Rutowski held off the challenges of Jesse Barnhill and Branden Harris, Jason Barnhill managed to battle his way through the field to finish fourth and claim the Bay Area Modified Championship as well as the International Motor Contest Association title.
Jesse Barnhill ended second behind Rutowski at the end of the race followed by Harris.
Jason Barnhill claimed the IMCA title by just one point over Rutowski.
A second-generation driver put on a show in the NeSmith Street Stock.
J.C. Wilson, a young racer from Harold, Fla., led all 20 laps to claim his first feature win at Southern.
Wilson, who started on the pole, held off some stiff challenges for the lead from Branden Harris and Justin Hamilton during the race.
Following the second caution on lap 12, Frank Wilson, J.C.’s father, managed to move up to second and held on to that spot until the checkered flag few.
Rounding out the top five were Harris, Hamilton and Bo Bailey.
After the race, Bailey’s car failed technical inspection. Due to the infraction, Kyle Kichler moved up to fifth.
In the Street Stock division, Jessica Donaldson recorded her second consecutive feature win as she added to her ever-growing points lead.
While Donaldson held off some early challenges from Lane Heaton and Terry Mayhair, the big race came down to second place.
As the checkered flag was flying for Donaldson, the cars of Chad Robinson, Carl Dodson and Christopher Brown went three wide for second, third and fourth.
After track officials met, it was determined that Robinson won the race to the line, followed by Dodson and then Brown.
Jason Dollar rounded out the top five.
In the Vintage division, Kraig Crossley was better late than never.
Crossley was one of four drivers who had to start at the back of the pack due to arriving after the heat races concluded.
On lap 13, Crossley worked his way to the front of the pack and passed Jamie Mozingo, whose car was fading late in the race.
A spin by Robin Christensen set up a one-lap dash to the checkered flag.
As the cars battled for position on the restart, James War’s car touched wheels with Aleck Alford’s car, sending the 2015 Vintage Series champion’s car headed to the inside wall.
Crossley left the action behind him and drove to the win while John Cody managed to finished second followed by Alford, Chris Bayhi and Mozingo.
This was the second feature win of the night for Crossley, who raced and won the vintage race in Blackmon, Fla., earlier in the night.
Southern Raceway on Oct. 1 will feature the Southern Outlaw Sprints — and a demolition derby to cap off the night’s action. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and racing action is set for 7:30 p.m. See www.southernraceway.com for more information on the racetrack.
Pure Stock Heat 1
1. Christopher Brown
2. Jason Dollar
3. Chad Robinson
4. Tucker Byrd
Pure Stock Heat 2
1. Lane Heaton
2. Tommy Lowery
3. Ronnie Hardy
4. Bennie Kimmons
5. Hunter Lewis
Pure Stock Heat 3
1. Jessica Donaldson
2. Terry Mayhair
3. Carl Dodson
4. Keith Bonga
5. Stephanie Jaye
Pure Stock Heat 4
1. Jake Moore
2. Jacob Myers
3. Gueston Rogers
4. William Davis
5. Austin Nathey
Vintage Heat 1
1. Jamie Mozingo
2. Billy Shaw
3. Randy Chavers
4. Jerry Bohlman
5. Wesley Riddles
Vintage Heat 2
1. Aleck Alford
2. Andrew Findley
3. Mark Rast
4. Tommy Gilmore
5. Justin Scott
Vintage Heat 3
1. John Cody
2. Junior Jordan
3. Kelsey Martin
4. Robin Christensen
5. Logan Nathey
NeSmith Street Stock Heat 1
1. J.C. Wilson
2. Branden Harris
3. Aaron Huffstutler
4. Frank Wilson
5. Blake Salakas
NeSmith Street Stock Heat 2
1. Brandon Kilpatrick
2. Curtis Faircloth
3. Justin Hamilton
4. Kyle Kichler