MILTON — On a record setting Saturday night at Southern Raceway, United Sprint Car Series and Mini Sprints put on a speed show for the ages.
Nick Snyder, of Marco Island, started on the outside of the front row. By lap six of the 25-lap feature he had taken the lead from pole sitter Kyle Amerson. Amerson, of Matthews, Ala. jumped out to an early lead until lap six. Snyder cruised to an easy win with Amerson a second back. Rounding out the top five were 11-time USCS National Champion Terry Gray, Justin Barger, and Mark Ruel Jr.
Robby Hoffman swept the USCS 600cc Mini Sprint weekend. He started from the fifth spot in a 17-car field. His closest challenger happened to be Jacksonville 14-year-old Trynt Lloyd. Hoffman picked his way through the field and kept Lloyd, second, a safe distance behind. Dirk Miller, Hoffman’s teammate, was third, followed by Mike Magic, and David Hall.
The pure stocks provided more than a 20-lap action-packed race. Josh Howell, running second to Adam Ellison, spun in turn two. Howell had turned his car in the right direction and resumed racing by turn four, but was then over a half a lap down.
As Howell tried to regain his momentum, Ellison quickly closed and tried to put the Milton driver a lap down. Howell’s car got loose again and made contact with Ellison’s.
Both cars spun across the finish line with Ellison’s car crossing ahead of Howell’s. This caused some blood pressures to rise as both drivers were sent to the back of the field on lap 11.
Once racing resumed, John Bryant inherited and kept the lead despite a red flag on lap 19 as Alex Robey and Justin Adams' cars spun in turn four and blocked the racing groove.
Bryant jumped out to a lead, followed by Jessica Donaldson, Brandon Kilpatrick, Ellison and Bubba Fletcher. Bryant’s car was found to have issues during post-race technical inspection. The win was given to Donaldson.
In the Durrence Layne Street Stocks, wily veteran Calvin Cook and younger veteran J.C. Wilson battled for almost 20 laps.
Wilson jumped out to an early lead until lap 10, when Cook took the lead. As Cook came off of turn four for the win, Jim Jarvis took advantage of Wilson’s tires wearing out and made a pass to take second. Wilson finished third, followed by James Patrick and Patrick Hawkins.
Hunter Ward started in back of the pack and worked his way up through the field for the win. He took advantage of front-row starters Robin Christensen and Jay Dotson getting loose and having problems early. The race was pretty much event-free. Chris Bayhi, Ricky Haugen, Chris Brown, and Aleck Alford followed him.
In the open wheeled modifieds, Joe Phillips could not be caught. Nathan Ingersoll was second, followed by Osman Jones, Joey Moxley, and Rusty Cooper.
In the demolition derby, Buckshot Wallace was the last car running out of the six that started the event.
The ladies league was a drama-filled evening of action. Johanna Long took the early lead until lap four, when Jessica Donaldson drove underneath her in turn two. It appeared that Long was surprised by Donaldson’s move, as she spun as Donaldson was moving past her.
Donaldson, a two-time track champion, was not immune to the dirt as she spun in turn four on the final lap. Mallory Gibson took the green as the leader, with Long right behind her.
Gibson was in control of the race until turn four. As Gibson’s car was going left and right across the front stretch, Long made contact and both cars slid across the finish line, wrecking as the checkered flag ended the race. Also in the top five were Tina Johnson, Donaldson, and Savannah Edmondson.
James Roete led all 20 laps in the IMCA Modified feature Friday. He held off several challenges, including several restarts near the midpoint of the race. Kevin Mitchell, Chris Bayhi, Jason Barnhill, and Buster Foley followed him.
In the slingshot, Abbey Cauley continued her dominance. Austin Morris, Lillie Strehlow, Landen Harris and Madyson Tugmon were in the top five. In the early parts of the race, an incident involved three drivers, including Kyndal Kimmons. Kimmons was shaken by it, but returned to race again on Saturday.
In the Stinger, Timothy Witherington led wire-to-wire for the win, despite seven incidents. Tommy Lowery, Kevin Nelson, Steve Sidner, and Josh Douglas were second through fifth.
On May 25 and 26, there will be an Iron Man double header. The drivers in each class with the best average finish will be crowned the Iron Man of their divisions.