Wednesday, August 18, 2010
by John McLeod

Race fans are in for a real treat this Friday at Southside Speedway as the track will host Fan Appreciation Night, brought to you by Coca-Cola.

The night will consist of lots of giveaways and a chance for the fans to meet the stars and cars of “The Toughest Short Track in the South.”

And to add to the evening, 5 divisions will be in action including a special 75-lap main event for the Late Models and 2 30-lap main events for the Modifieds.

Shayne Lockhart will top the drivers entered in the Late Model main event. Lockhart held off Chris Hopkins at the line to pick up his fifth win of the season last Friday. He also closed to within 260 points of division points leader Chris Dodson. Lockhart had trailed Dodson by 340 points heading into last Friday’s event.

Other drivers to watch for this Friday night include Hopkins, who is still seeking his first win of the season and currently sits third in the points. Eddie Johnson is looking to pick up his third win of the season and close the 200-point gap between himself and Hopkins with only 3 races remaining. Steve Zuskin rounds out the top five.

Thomas Stinson has all but wrapped up the 2010 Modified Championship after picking up his 7th win of the season last Friday night. But the battles to watch for this week in the 2 30-lap segments are from second through fifth in the points. Mike Rudy moved into second place in the points, just 20 ahead of Johnson after finishing second last week in the 50-lap main event. Johnson came home sixth.

Michael Johnson and Kyle Wood are currently having their own points battle. Both are tied for 4th in the points and are also still looking for their first win of the season.

David Kerns heads into this Friday’s 25-lap main event in the UCAR series 120 points ahead of second place Mike Chapman. Austin Dodge is third in the points and looks to hold that spot with 3 weeks left in the season. Jamie Hite made the biggest gain in the points, moving up 2 spots to fourth after capturing his 3rd win of the season last Friday. Frank Silva rounds out the top five, just 20 points back from Hite.

Mike Ganoe will be the one to beat in the Street Stock’s 50-lap main event. Ganoe took another step in grabbing the Street Stock championship last Friday as he posted his 5th win of the season and grabbed the points lead while then-points leader Brian Smith had mechanical problems which forced him out of the event. Smith fell from 1st to 4th in the standings behind Justin Groome and Ricky Stotler. Jason Beck is currently tied with Smith for 4th place.

Heading into this Friday’s CHAMP Kart 20-lap main event, the championship outlook could change. After coming into contact with eventual race winner Jason Higgenbotham and crossing the line second backwards in last week’s CHAMP Kart race, Brad Davis actually moved forward in the points standings. Davis’s second place finish combined with points leader Buzz Moore’s 11th place finish moves Davis to within 80 points of the lead with 2 races left. JD Eversole and Randy Emory are separated by 100 points in 3rd and 4th with Clint Gunn rounding out the top five.

Gates open at 6pm this Friday night with racing kicking off at 7:30pm. Ticket prices are Adults $12, Seniors (60+) & Military are $10, Ages 6-11 are $5 and Ages 5 & under are FREE. The first 300 paid fans receive a free hot dog. Race fans are encouraged to get there early for the Meet and Greet with the drivers.