Stinson prevails in Modified 100
2006 division champ has lots of company in rush to checkered flag
BY WALT AMACKER
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
Published Saturday, April 14, 2007
Friday the 13th unlucky? Not for Southside Speedway Modified Division defending champion Thomas Stinson, even though things looked a little dicey just short of the checkered flag.
Stinson won the division in 2006, although he had plenty of challengers. Mike Rudy topped the list of drivers who gave Stinson a run for his money last year, along with Billy Morris, Lin O'Neil, Chris Hoylman and a number of others. Last night looked about the same.
"These guys are getting tough," Stinson said after the race. "I really had to pick my spots tonight."
Stinson dedicated his victory to the memory of his friend Doug Hunter, who died last week. "Doug was the oldest son of Happy Hunter, who has been on our crew since 1989. He was a good friend for many years, and we'll all miss him."
Stinson started in fifth place with pole-sitter Kyle Wood relegated to seventh after the seven-car inversion following qualifying. Morris began in first, Tiger Williams was second and Rudy started third. Rudy got to the lead on Lap 16 with an outside move on the backstretch, with Morris separating Rudy and Stinson for the next 11 laps.
Morris gave Rudy a love tap on Lap 45, lost control and almost took Stinson out. Stinson wobbled, recovered and decided he'd had enough of third place and overtook Morris, falling in behind Rudy.
Things got interesting on Lap 52 as Rudy and Stinson went door to door for almost a full circuit, but Rudy held on to the lead. All the while, Morris stayed close enough to the top two to take over if the opportunity presented itself.
By Lap 64, Stinson had overtaken Rudy, and the race started to look like a carbon copy of a number of Modified contests at the Midlothian track last year. But a faint ray of hope opened for Rudy as he overtook Stinson on Lap 82 with the help of some timely lapped traffic.
Sparks flew between Stinson and Hoylman between Turns 1 and 2 on Lap 87, and it looked like Lady Luck might have been smiling on Rudy for a change. But Stinson made another of his patented takeover moves on Lap 91, put Rudy in his rearview mirror and rolled into victory lane.
Last year's Grand Stock Division champion, Chris Hott, won the 30-lap GS race. D.J. Watson took the Pro-6 30-lap event, Brad Hancock won the 25-lap Legends race and Darek McCauley finished first in the MACKA 20.
Contact staff writer Walt Amacker at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 649-6554.
Modified (100 laps): 1. Thomas Stinson; 2. Mike Rudy; 3. Tiger Williams; 4. Kyle Wood; 5. Billy Morris; 6. Michael Johnson; 7. David Wheeler; 8. Aubrey Thurston; 9. Lin O'Neil; 10. Chris Hoylman; 11. Neil Culley; 12. Christopher Johnson; 13. Warren Lipford Jr.; 14. Jason Eberth; 15. Ernie Dettbarn; 16. T.J. Guthrie; 17. Ryan Boggs; 18. Mike Tomlin
Grand Stock (30 laps): 1. Chris Hott; 2. Bill Ammerman; 3. Brian Myslivy; 4. Todd Ruggles; 5. Bradley Vaught; 6. Robert Lipford Sr.; 7. Brandon Vaught; 8. Daniel Shelton; 9. Donnie Newman; 10. Fred Key; 11. B.K. Wilson; 12. Mark Jenkins; 13. Justin Brown; 14. Jason Beck; 15. Mike Cole; 16. Richard Skeens; 17. Cory Willoughby; 18. Donnie Jimerson; 19. Woody Ellington; 20. Keith Mackta; 21. Robert Wood; 22. Bo Tuck; 23. Gary Burke
Pro-6 (30 laps): 1. D.J. Watson; 2. Casey Sipe; 3. Timothy Layne; 4. William Mullis; 5. J.B. Sipe; 6. Matt Settlage; 7. Wesley Harris; 8. Bobby Hall; 9. Herman Luck; 10. Warren Smigo
Legends (25 laps): 1. Brad Hancock; 2. Cameron Patrick; 3. Kevin Yeatts; 4. Charles Hudson; 5. Rett Crosley; 6. Scotty Edwards; 7. Tyler Long; 8. Joe Hudson; 9. Michael Edwards; 10. Scott Henderson; 11. Robert French
MACKA (20 laps): 1. Darek McCauley; 2. Chris Johnson; 3. Brad Davis; 4. Josh Tapscott; 5. Warren Smigo; 6. Alex Vasquez; 7. Stan Holmes; 8. Mark Claytor; 9. Michael Webb; 10. Stanley Holmes; 11. Ryland Craze; 12. LeRoy Devore; 13. Ben Hammock; 14. Craig Barthelomew; 15. Rodney Davenport; 16. Alan Purser; 17. Josh Settlage; 18. Dwain Smith; 19. Mike O'Conner; 20. Gabe Sailsburg