Stinson passes Rudy when it counts most
Saturday, June 10, 2006

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Last night's Modified feature race at Southside Speedway came down to almost a photo finish between Thomas Stinson and Mike Rudy. It had a screaming crowd of fans on their feet after 100 laps and the tales of two race cars.

Stinson finished first during time trials, but after the redraw, was relegated to starting in eighth place. Kyle Wood was on the pole and Rudy beside him. And to top off that redraw bad luck, Stinson spun out his car on Lap 2 and dropped to next to last in the 14-car field.

But the veteran driver and defending 2004 and '05 Modified Division champion showed why he earned those titles.

By Lap 20, Stinson was back to eighth place, seventh by Lap 22, sixth by Lap 33 and fifth by Lap 35. Meanwhile, Wood and Rudy looked to be the class of the field. They roared around the track in first and second, passing lapped traffic with no problems and keeping the chase very close.

Stinson was in fourth place by Lap 45 and in third by Lap 49, and the crowd sensed that maybe the track champ was going to have a say in the final decision after all.

On Lap 52, Rudy went wide on Wood, and Stinson was right on his bumper. That's where he stayed until just before the two drivers crossed the finish line, with Stinson in the lead by half a car length.

"He [Rudy] sure made me work for this one," Stinson said. "It was a close race and a clean race, and I got very fortunate right at the end. The closer I got to the front during the race, the tighter things got. It was a good thing this was a 100-lap race. I'd never have been able to get that far in a 50-lapper.

"Mike had a fast car, but I was able to push it just enough to nose him out. I tried to push him a little on the straight-aways, but he had a strong car too."

Bradley Vaught vaulted up the points list with a win in the 30-lap Grand Stock race. D.J. Watson and Kevin Yeatts took victories in the 25-lap Pro-Six and Legends races, respectively.

Contact staff writer Walt Amacker at or (804) 649-6554.


MODIFIED (100 laps): 1. Thomas Stinson; 2. Mike Rudy; 3. Kyle Wood; 4. Jason Eberth; 5. Chris Hairfield; 6. Lin O'Neil; 7. Aubrey Thurston; 8. Chris Hoylman; 9. Michael Johnson; 10. Page Harrison; 11. John Thorpe; 12. A.J. Winstead; 13. Russ Ellis; 14. Edward Moore

GRAND STOCK (30 laps): 1. Bradley Vaught; 2. Mark Jenkins; 3. Todd Ruggles; 4. Fred Key; 5. Jason Beck; 6. Chris Hott; 7. Richard Skeens; 8. Brian Myslivy; 9. Mike Ganoe; 10. Daniel Shelton; 11. Woody Ellington; 12. John Mosby; 13. Jamie Neely; 14. Brandon Vaught; 15. Tony Ingram II; 16. Tony Ingram Sr. 17. Robert Lipford Sr. 18. Donnie Newman; 19. Ryan Boggs; 20. Keith Mackta; 21. Ron Hester; 22. Donnie Jimerson; 23. Chris Willoughby

PRO-SIX (25 laps): 1. D.J. Watson; 2. Wesley Harris; 3. J.B. Poates; 4. Casey Sipe; 5. Brad Wrenn; 6. Timothy Lane; 7. J.B. Sipe; 8. Allen Purser Jr.; 9. Matt Settleage; 10. John Eversole

LEGENDS (25 laps): 1. Kevin Yeatts; 2. Brad Arthur; 3. Cameron Patrick; 4. Patrick Molesworth; 5. Mike Solaimani; 6. Derek Miller; 7. Brad Hancock; 8. Chris Lemonds; 9. Scotty Edwards; 10. Robert French; 11. Jeff Harms; 12. Tyler Long; 13. Bo Triplett; 14. Scott Henderson; 15. Tony Epps; 16. Addison Rogers