|FRIDAY - AUGUST 25|
On a night devoted to former track champions at Southside Speedway, it was appropriate that the Late Model Sportsman 100-lap feature race was won by Chris Hairfield.
That's a last name that has been familiar to race fans for decades at the Midlothian track. His grandfather, Ted, won numerous races there and his father, Bugs, was the 1992 LMS champion and still is active in the sport.
Hairfield won't win a championship this year, but he drove like a champ Friday night. He started fourth but moved into first place on Lap 12 and never relinquished the lead, even with division points leader Chris Dodson on his bumper for 81 laps.
"It definitely was a grueling race," Hairfield said. "Chris was trying to get past me down low, but from the center of the track out we had it all the way. The car was a little free [loose], but it's better like that than being tight on this track.
"It's a thrill to race out here where my grandfather and my dad also have won, and I can't wait for next year to get here."
Steve Zuskin and Ray Ashworth were running third and fourth on the 29th lap when they got together on Turn 2 and basically took each other out of the competition. Hairfield, Dodson, Bubba Hubbard and Chris Hopkins formed a leading foursome that pretty much dominated the race, with Hairfield holding on for the win.
Ron Hester took the first 25-lap Grand Stock race, and Fred Key gained the win in the second. Wesley Harris won the 25-lap Pro-Six race, and Rodney Dye took the checkers in the 20-lap Virginia Vintage Race Group event that featured Modified and other hand-made cars from the 1950s and'60s.
On hand for the festivities were a number of former track champions going back to Jimmy Hensley, track champion in 1970 and '71. Also there to meet and greet the fans were Al Grinnan (1973), Bill Dennis ('74, '75, '76, '79), Roy Hendrick ('83, '89, '90, '91), Bugs Hairfield ('92), Shayne Lockhart ('93, '94, '95), Bubba Urban ('97), and Eddie Johnson, who holds the track record with five titles (1985, '96, '98, 2000 and'03).
Johnson began racing at Southside with Street Stocks in 1977 and progressed through every division, winning four Late Model titles and the Modified Division in 2003.
"The track hasn't changed much over the years," Johnson said. "It's a fun track to race on. It's one of my favorites. The amazing thing to see is how much the technology in the cars has advanced, and how the drivers and crews have adapted to the changes.
"It's the same at the [Nextel] Cup level. There's unbelievable technology and unbelieveable drivers. And Southside has kept up with those changes. It also takes a great team effort to win here."
Late Model Sportsman (100 laps): 1. Chris Hairfield; 2. Chris Dodson; 3. Bubba Hubbard; 4. Chris Hopkins; 5. Rob Jenkins; 6. Rusty Ward; 7. Russ Ellis; 8: Dan Clatterbuck; 9. George Pillsbury; 10. Wayne McGee; 11. Joey Bryant; 12. Greg Holt; 13. Brian Larter; 14. Greg Fernandez; 15. Chris Mueller; 16. Ray Ashworth; 17. Jason Pittman; 18. Ed Barrell; 19. Steve Zuskin; 20. Brandon Hendrick; 21. Nate Thomas
Grand Stock #1 (25 laps): 1. Ron Hester; 2. Brian Myslivy; 3. Richard Skeens; 4. Fred Key; 5. Bradley Vaught; 6. Chris Hott; 7. Tony Ingram Sr.; 8.Brandon Vaught; 9. Don Jimerson Jr.; 10. John Mosbey; 11. Tony Ingram II; 12. Todd Ruggles; 13. Mike Ganoe; 14. Gary Burton; 15. Jamie Neely; 16. Chris Willoughby; 17. Robert Wood; 18. Matt Ashworth; 19. Dan Shelton; 20. Pop Lipford; 21. Jeff Arnett; 22. Ryan Boggs
Grand Stock #2 (25 laps): 1. Fred Key; 2. Chris Hott; 3. Brian Myslivy; 4. John Mosbey; 5. Bradley Vaught; 6. Ron Hester; 7. Jamie Neely; 8. Brandon Vaught; 9. Tony Ingram Sr.; 10. Dan Shelton; 11. Tony Ingram II; 12. Mike Ganoe; 13. Chris Willoughby; 14. Todd Ruggles; 15. Matt Ashworth; 16. Gary Burton; 17. Gary Burke; 18. Jeff Arnett; 19. Richard Lipford; 20. Richard Skeens; 21. Ryan Boggs
Pro-Six (25 laps): 1. Wesley Harris; 2. J.B. Poates; 3. Wayne Clark; 4. Matt Settlage; 5. D.J. Watson; 6. Casey Sipe; 7. J.B. Sipe; 8. Allen Purser; 9. Brad Wrenn; 10. Tim Layne
Vintage Cars (20 laps): 1. Rodney Dye; 2. Mack Tatum; 3. Bugs Hairfield; 4. Ricky Pope; 5. Kenneth Smith; 6. Bubba Farmer; 7. Ron Ward; 8. Stuart Guild; 9. David Bentley