Stinson Claims Victory
BY WALT AMACKER
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
Sunday, May 14, 2006

FRIDAY - MAY 12
SOUTHSIDE SPEEDWAY
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Different car, different division, same driver, same results.

Defending two-time Modified track champion Thomas Stinson ran 99½ more laps Friday night at Southside Speedway than in his last start almost a month ago. And he ended up in victory lane in the 100-lap feature race.

On April 14 in the first Modified race of the season, Stinson ripped up his front end on the first lap and had to be towed to the pits, his night over.

Friday, Stinson qualified first but through the luck of the redraw wound up starting fourth. His car showed strong at the beginning of the race and stronger at the end. He avoided eight caution flags, stayed with the leaders and watched them peel off one by one until there was no one left to pass.

"I know I got into some other cars," Stinson said. "But it certainly wasn't intentional. I apologize to the other cars' crews, but I really didn't do anything wrong. Things just happen on the racetrack."

Billy Morris started on the pole and held first place until he went out with mechanical problems on Lap 57. At that point, Stinson was in second and Mike Rudy was third, and it looked like it was going to be a two-car race from that point. But Rudy went to the pits on Lap 68, and it was Stinson's race to lose.

Chris Dodson and Rudy got together on Turn 2 of Lap 35 and Dodson, then running third, got loose and fell back to sixth. At the same spot on the next lap, Dodson's car showed some obvious rear end problems, and he lost a few more spots to the rest of the field. By Lap 40, Dodson was pulling into the pits, his night done.

Dodson and Stinson also did some bumping and grinding, causing Dodson to lose a portion of his side panel. At one point later in the race, Dodson tossed a piece of the panel onto the track as Stinson rolled down the frontstretch during a caution.

Track chief co-steward Gary Fox did not immediately disqualify Dodson, who officially finished 18th. But Fox was reviewing the incident and said he would announce Tuesday what his ruling will be on "penalties related to the incident regarding conduct detrimental to the sport of stock car racing at Southside Speedway."

John Thorpe finished second and brought a ray of sunshine - or full moon - to the feature race. At one point, he was sent to the back of the pack after a spinout and made his way back to finish behind Stinson.

"This car got almost totaled last week at River Valley," Thorpe said. "And I'd really like to thank Bret Hamilton for helping get it put back together for this race."

J.B. Poates and J.B. Sipe won the twin 20-lap Pro-Six races, Devin Wilson took the U-Car race, and Kevin Yates won the Legends event.