Season opener gets intense at Southern

Posted on March 18, 2016 by Bill Gamblin

Southern Raceway postponed its 2016 season opener until Sunday afternoon due to the stormy forecasts for the night of March 12.
Despite the delays a strong car count resulted in some intense racing action.
The largest class of the field was the pure stock division with over 30 cars competing for a spot in the evenin’gs final feature.
Tally Warwick took the lead heading to the caution flag on lap two from Mike Emmons, but it was Emmons who capitalized on Warrick’s loose race car late in the 20 lap feature to finish ahead of Warrick.
Rounding out the top five finishing order were Christopher Brown in third followed by Jake Senterfitt in fourth and Jason Dollar fifth.
Prior to the pure stock feature, the last chance qualifier saw Colton Lyendecker hold off a hard challenge from Carl Dodson as both drivers earned berths in the pure stock feature. Also earning berth in the pure stock feature were Zack Barwick and Billy Wilde.
Brandon Sidner charged in a two lap shoot-out to finish third, but was later disqualified giving the final transfer position to Wilde.
In the street stock division Sean Goodwin was the class of the field as he survived a race full of drivers swapping metal and their cars finishing with fewer parts than they started with.
The first accident on lap six collected the cars of Bo Slay, Curtis Faircloth and the car of Jesse Smith.
Smith’s car received most of the damage and was left dragging its front fender.
After the loose sheet metal was removed Smith started at the back of the pack and then went to work picking off the opposition.
While Goodwin dominated the race it was Smith who put on a show moving his way through the field to finish second followed by Brandon Kilpatrick, Curtis Faircloth, and Joe Richburg.
The vintage series appeared to be a repeat of the 2015 season as Blake Martin and James Ward were battling in the top two positions.
Martin had pulled away from the field until he spun in turns three and four on lap five. Martin then headed off the track to make repairs but was disqualified for leaving the track via the track entrance.
On the restart it was Ward leading the field followed by John Cody, Bo Slay Kenneth Tarter and Donald Hall.
With two laps to go Slay was getting very close to the bumper of Ward’s car when coming off of turn two he executed a perfect bump and run move for the lead and later the win.
As Ward attempted to challenge for the lead back, he spun and got regulated to the back of the pack on a one lap restart.
Cody finished second followed by Tarter in third.
Ward made his way around In Hall to finish fourth and Hall was regulated to fifth.
In the open wheel modified division, Ryan Fowler was the class of the field as he held off the early challenge of Mike Lane and Joe Phillips for his second win on the three-eighths mile dirt.
A lap five restart saw a spin that collected Greg Hopkins and Lucas Morris.
Lap seven spin saw a spin by Joel Wyatt bring out a caution that collected Tyler Allen.
Allen left the track through the track entrance for repairs in the pits but was disqualified.
On lap 18 Lane spun in one and two. He left the track after the spin and returned while gesturing that he was spun by a competitor. After not getting his spot back Lane left the track.
When racing resumed it was Fowler dominating the race followed by Phillips, who was battling an ill handling car finishing one and two.
Rounding out the top five were Todd Neiheiser, Shawn Pitts, and Greg Hopkins.
Saturday night, March 19 will be the first race in the first season of the Six Shooter Series.
Drivers in the pure stock and street stock divisions will competed in six races split between Southern Raceway, NW Florida Speedway in Blackmon, and Flomaton Speedway in Flomaton, Ala.
Each track will host two races with the drivers counting their five best point finishes for the series championship.

Pure Stock Heat 1

1. Mike Emmons
2. Christopher Brown
3. Bobby Suarez
4. Larry Day
5. Gueston Rogers

Pure Stock Heat 2

1. Jason Dollar
2. Kurt Horne
3. Hunter Ward
4. Matt Ikner
5. Hunter Adams

Pure Stock Heat 3

1. Travis Hollaway
2. Zac Morris
3. Heath Ostriker
4. Wayne Plunkett
5. Tracey LeBrun

Pure Stock Heat 4

1. Tally Warwick
2. Jake Senterfitt
3. Jessica Donaldson
4. Williw Peak
5. Troy Williams

Vintage Heat 1

1. Blake Martin
2. James Ward
3. Kenneth Tarter
4. Rickey Cawthon Jr.
5. Jason Roper

Vintage Heat 2

1. Donald Hall
2. John Cody
3. Andrew Locklear
4. Aleck Alford
5. Bo Slay

Open Wheel
Modified Heat 1

1. Ryan Fowler
2. Lucas Morris
3. Joseph Phillips
4. Todd Neiheiser
5. Thumper Grice

Open Wheel
Modified Heat 2

1. Michael Lane
2. Greg Hopkins
3. Shawn Pitts
4. Osman Jones
5. Michael Rogers

Street Stock Heat 1

1. Brandon Kilpatrick
2. Mickey Trosclair
3. Bo Bailey
4. Curtis Faircloth
5. Michael Rhodes

Street Stock Heat 2

1. Jesse Smith
2. Howie Reeves
3. Sean Goodwin
4. Bo Slay
5. Joe Richburg