by John McLeod

It’s been almost 2 years since Late Model veteran Eddie Johnson has been to victory lane at Southside Speedway.

This past Friday night, the multi-time track champion finally rolled the #43 Richard Petty colored car to victory lane after holding off Steve Zuskin in the final laps.

“Now I know how King Richard Petty feels”, said Johnson, who began driving the #43 car this year. “This is a good win for this team.”

Johnson started from the outside pole and held the second spot until the later stages of the race when he moved past Chris Hopkins for the top spot on lap 38. Johnson moved out to as a much as a 7 car length lead until the final laps when lapped traffic helped Zuskin catch up and allowed him to make a pass on the high side of Johnson going into turn 2. But Johnson closed him off and held on for the win.

“I knew Zuskin was coming and I knew the lapped cars were going to be an issue,” said Johnson. “The car just handled good for me all race long and we were able to finally move through the traffic and hold Zuskin off at the end.”

Zuskin came in second with Chris Dodson placing third. Chris Hopkins and Michael Solaimani were fourth and fifth.

Buzz Moore held off Brad Davis on the final lap to pick up his second win of the season in the CHAMP Kart division. Davis made a last lap attempt to pass Moore heading into turns one and two, but Moore was able to hang on at the line for the win with Davis coming home in second. Stanley Holmes, David Emory and Stan Holmes rounded out the top 5.

Brian Smith picked up his first win of the season in the Street Stock main event race, holding off James Groome at the line. Ricky Stotler placed third with Gary Turner and James Loving rounding out the top five.

Thomas Stinson led all but 1 lap and took home his 3rd win of the season in the Modified division. Chris Johnson came in second with veteran Rusty Wood placing third. Chris Holyman and Ryan Wilbourne were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Southside Speedway will resume racing action on Friday, June 4 with the Robbie Robertson Chesterfield 150 featuring the Late Models in a 150 Lap main event. The Grand Stocks, U-Cars and Champ Karts will also be in action that night.