It's No.7 for Stinson
Local knowledge leads him to victory in Rolling Thunder
BY WALT AMACKER
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
Published Sunday, August 19, 2007

FRIDAY - AUGUST 17, 2007
SOUTHSIDE SPEEDWAY
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There was thunder and lightning at Southside Speedway on Friday night, but it was on the track and not in the skies.

The Rolling Thunder Modified Tour series made a stop at the Midlothian track for the first time in a number of years, but local drivers grabbed the asphalt and held on against the visitors who showed up to compete.

The thunder - obvious. It came from the 23 monster engines that push upward of 475 horsepower through the gangly-looking cars.

The lightning - well, it took two drivers to provide that.

Mike Johnson spun out Irvin Bell between Turns 1 and 2 on Lap 42 of the 50-lap Modified race. Bell took exception, aimed his car at Johnson's and the two faced off front bumper to front bumper and burned so much rubber that the two racers were enveloped in smoke, much to the delight of the 2,000 fans.

Sideshow aside, it was a good race with - you guessed it - Thomas Stinson taking the checkers at Southside for the seventh time this year.

"A lot of these guys have never raced here before. I like the competition," said Stinson, who also races in the RTM series, "but the locals might have had a slight advantage."

Stinson was followed in second place by John Thorpe, who has raced at Southside before. Mike Rudy - who has the only other Modified win at Southside this year - came in third.

Rudy started on the pole after a six-driver inversion following qualifying, with Stinson - who won the qualifying pole - relegated to sixth. But Stinson had made his way to third place by Lap 20 and passed Thorpe and Rudy to take the lead. After that, it was business as usual - though Thorpe pushed Stinson hard all the way to the end.

Ron Hester became the eighth Grand Stock race winner at Southside this season, leading the 50-lap race from start to finish. He had to survive a side clip from a lapped car in the final five laps to get the victory.

"I've been racing out here since 1998, so I've got a little experience on some of the guys in the field," said Hester, who has one track championship under his belt. "I was worried on that little clip that put me into the wall near the end, but fortunately I was able to hold on."

Cameron Patrick won the 25-lap Legends race, Casey Sipe took the 30-lap Pro-Six event and Chris Johnson crossed the finish line first in the Macka 20-lapper.

Contact Walt Amacker at (804) 649-6554 or wamacker@timesdispatch.com.

RESULTS

MODIFIED (50 laps): 1. Thomas Stinson; 2. John Thorpe; 3. Mike Rudy; 4. A.J. Winstead; 5. Doug Paasch; 6. Robert Conner; 7. Ryan Boggs; 8. Chris Johnson; 9. Michael Jordan; 10. David Sheeler; 11. Chris Hoylman; 12. T.J. Guthrie; 13. Ryan Wilbourne; 14. Andy Kemp; 15. Stacy Wilbourne; 16. Irvin Bell; 17. Lin O'Neil; 18. Aubrey Thurston; 19. Warren Lipford; 20. Kyle Wood; 21. David Winslow; 22. Tim Maxey; 23. Larry Penny

GRAND STOCK (50 laps): 1. Ron Hester; 2. Keith Mackta; 3. Chris Hott; 4. Fred Key; 5. Donnie Newman; 6. Richard Skeens; 7. Gary Burke Jr.; 8. Brian Myslivy; 9. B.K. Wilson; 10. Tony Ingram Sr.; 11. Daniel Shelton; 12. Justin Brown; 13. Pop Lipford; 14. Alan Purser; 15. Bruce Shackelford; 16. Tony Ingram II; 17. Woody Ellington; 18. Timmy Nice; 19. Bradley Vaught; 20. Richard Lipford

LEGENDS (25 laps): 1. Cameron Patrick; 2. Casey Wyatt; 3. Kevin Yeatts; 4. Sparky West; 5. Jamie Laine; 6. Michael Edwards; 7. Robert French; 8. Jimmy Heavlow; 9. Scotty Edwards; 10. Rett Causey

PRO-SIX (30 laps): 1. Casey Sipe; 2. D.J. Watson; 3. Wesley Harris; 4. Wayne Clark; 5. Timothy Layne; 6. Matt Settlage; 7. Josh Settlage; 8. J.B. Sipe; 9. Warren Smigo

MACKA (20 laps): 1. Chris Johnson; 2. Brad Davis; 3. Mitch Bartholomew; 4. Darek McCauley; 5. Cameron Wood; 6. Josh Sutledge; 7. Alex Vasquez; 8. Dwain Smith; 9. Pete Fones; 10. Gabe Sailsbury; 11. Alan Purser; 12. Ben Hammock; 13. Ryland Craze; 14. Mike Webb; 15. Craig Bartholomew; 16. Stanley Holmes; 17. Stan Holmes; 18. Mark Claytor; 19. Dave Thomas; 20. Leroy Devore; 21. Brian Orvine; 22. Warren Smigo; DQ: Jason Higgenbotham