Dodson rises in points race
Saturday July 1, 2006

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John Eversole showed the heart of a veteran and the car of a winner in last night's 100-lap Late Model Sportsman race at Southside Speedway. He's a driver who knows every nook and cranny of the one-third-mile Midlothian track.

Starting third behind pole-sitter and division points leader Russ Ellis and Steve Zuskin, Eversole quickly moved onto Ellis' bumper and stayed there for 87 laps until he gently nudged past Ellis on Turn 2 of Lap 88. Eversole then took off and left the pack to win by at least 10 car-lengths.

Ellis and Eversole provided several laps of door-to-door racing. Fighting for the lead, the two were side by side for at least 20 laps as Chris Hopkins ran third and Chris Dodson finished fourth.

"Russ drove one heck of a race," Eversole said. "He drove me clean, he drove me hard, he gave me the line a number of times, but I just couldn't take it. I had to get into him on that lap where I passed him, but that's short-track racing.

"I'm 99 percent sure we had the fastest car tonight. . . . I just had to work it to get there. I kind of felt that if I could run Russ long enough that his car was going to give out and I could get him at the end.

"I slipped up once and let Chris [Hopkins] get past me, and I had to put the ol' Earnhardt move on him and go back by so I could take off after Russ one more time."

It was an exciting race, but certainly not an easy one. Thirteen caution flags flew to stop the action, and a number of cars experienced mechanical problems. And it was proper that a veteran driver who has raced in several different classes at Southside took the checkered flag.

Kevin Wilson won both of the 20-lap U-CAR races, and Chris Johnson won the 20-lap MACKA race. The 50-lap Street Stock race had not finished in time to make late editions.

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