If you had been watching the racing April 27 at Southern Raceway, you would have sworn it was a full moon over Santa Rosa County.
Just about every racing scenario came to fruition: cars losing wheels, landing on top of one another, and a few more issues that kept the fans on the edge of their seats.
Dylan Hamilton looked poised to repeat his domination of the Durrence Layne Street Stocks. Hamilton, who won his heat, started from the pole, but on lap two over-drove the car going into turn one, and spun.
Veteran Jim Jarvis inherited the lead. Calvin Cook took over the second spot and started to cut into Jarvis’ lead. They were side by side going into turn one. it was a drag race into turn three when Jarvis’ car almost came to a dead stop. One of its wheels was on the track as Cook and the rest of the field blew past the slow car.
Cook took the checkered flag, followed by Hamilton, Toby Reeves, Kyle Kichler, and Derek Gilmore.
In the pure stock, Josh Howell started on the pole and jumped out to an early lead. By lap six Dillon Ussery took advantage of a miscue on a restart. Ussery was out front and held on to the lead, while the drama ended up being right behind him.
Following a caution on lap 17 for a three-car incident, the field bunched up for a two-lap dash to the finish. On lap 18, John Bryant, Adam Ellison, and Josh Howell were involved in a mishap coming off turn two.
While Ussery was leading, Bryant’s car got loose, and as he tried to save it, Ellison closed on the back end of the car, making contact and spinning both cars out. As Bryant tried to regain control in the spin, his front end made contact with Howell and literally peeled the right side sheet metal off the car.
Ussery held on for his first ever feature win at Southern, followed by Jason Jackson; Jacob Myers; Kurt Horne; and Ellison.
In the vintage, James Ward led until lap five. His car smacked the front stretch wall, ending his night.
Hunter Ward inherited the lead ahead of veteran drivers Ricky Haugen and Chris Bayhi. Ward earned the right to victory lane, followed by Bayhi, Haugen, Robin Christensen, and Aleck Alford.
Christensen ironically had a very interesting event to earn the outside pole in the feature. In heat race number two, he and Chris Brown were battling hard off turn four when their cars made contact and Brown’s car ended up on top of Christensen’s.
Brown’s car could not continue due to the damage it sustained.
In the IMCA Open Wheeled Modified, James Roete took an early lead, but it didn’t take long for Bayhi to close the gap and take control of the race, despite a total of five cautions. He took the checkered flag, followed by Roete, Josh Goodwin, Nathan Ingersoll, and Wendy Ward.
In the Durrence Layne 604 Crate Late Model, Joseph Joiner was second fastest in qualifying. He gave a masterful performance on the three-eighths mile dirt track. Rounding out the top five was Bo Slay; Joiner’s brother Johnathon; Steven Jernigan; and Ken Cartwright.
A May 3 double header includes part two of the Friday Night Light Series, with action in the ladies league; the slingshots, stingers, street stock, and IMCA modifieds. Saturday night features are local series of the sportsmen, street stock, vintage, pure stock, stingers, and modifieds.