Kyle Busch wins Southside Speedway race
BY JILL ERWIN
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
Published Friday, May 2, 2008
NASCAR Sprint Cup star Kyle Busch, fresh from his superspeedway victory in Talladega, Ala., won the 175-lap feature race tonight at the 1/3-mile Southside Speedway.
In a 27-car field that featured many of the track's best drivers of the last 20 years, Busch took the lead for good on lap 116 and steadily pulled away from second-place Chris Hopkins. Eddie Johnson finished third, Denny Hamlin fourth, Roy Hendrick fifth and Curtis Markham sixth.
The race was named the Denny Hamlin 175 in honor of Hamlin, a former Chesterfield County resident who raced at Southside on his way to becoming a Sprint Cup star. NASCAR legend Bobby Allison was on hand to serve as grand marshal for the packed-house event.
Busch said that in some ways, winning on a short track like Southside is as important as taking the checkered flag in a major event like the Talladega race.
"You never know when your last chance to win a race is," Busch said. "It doesn't matter if it's a big track or a small track, Cup, Busch, Nationwide or Truck, Late Models or whatever. It was just fun for us to come out here, have a good time, and support the Denny Hamlin Foundation."
The race was the first event to benefit Hamlin's new foundation, formed to aid the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and other child-oriented charities.
Busch turned the fastest qualifying lap and donated the $100 prize to the foundation as well. Busch started seventh under Southside's starting-grid system. The race was typical of Southside, with plenty of bumping and banging, tempers flaring and close competition.
In the 50-lap Grand Stocks race, Chris Hott held off Todd Ruggles through several late restarts. There were three cautions in the final eight laps, and Ruggles got closer on each restart. But Hott had just enough to become the fourth driver to win in the division's four events.
Contact staff writer Jill Erwin at email@example.com or (804) 649-6490.
Late Models (175 laps): 1. Kyle Busch; 2. Chris Hopkins; 3. Eddie Johnson; 4. Denny Hamlin; 5. Roy Hendrick; 6. Curtis Markham; 7. Russ Ellis; 8. Rob Jenkins; 9. Scott Turlington; 10. Bugs Hairfield; 11. Chris Mueller; 12. Brandon Hendrick; 13. Wayne McGee; 14. Greg Fernandez; 15. Brad Davis; 16. Wayne Patterson; 17. Sonny Allen; 18. J.B. Poates; 19. Chris Dodson; 20. Shannon Marano; 21. David Mooney; 22. Billy Morris; 23. Alan Purser; 24. Mike Greathouse; 25. Jason Pittman; 26. Chris Smith; 27. Bubba Hubbard.
Grand Stocks (50 laps): 1. Chris Hott; 2. Todd Ruggles; 3. Fred Key; 4. Bill Nixon; 5. Jason Beck; 6. Joey Bryant; 7. Jamie Neely; 8. Brian Myslivy; 9. Mike Cole; 10. Donnie Newman; 11. Daniel Shelton; 12. Cory Willoughby; 13. Michael Moore; 14. Donnie Johnson; 15. Justin Brown; 16. Wayne Cole; 17. Robert Lipford; 18. B.K. Wilson