posted March 13, 2001 07:33 AM
Columbus Speedway Has a Night Record Breaking Opening Night!
Columbus, MS-Johnny Stokes opened a new page in the storied history of Columbus Speedway with the 2001 Season Opening event. Stokes has diligently worked on the famed speedway for months making numerous changes to the track layout and banking. There were many who questioned as to why this was done and even more who questioned the outcome. All questions were answered Saturday night as a record breaking field of 41 Super Late Models on hand for a “regular” show would put on a show for the Golden Triangle are race fans.
Action would get underway with a lap that was simply the fastest modern day qualifying lap officially recorded at Columbus Speedway by a Super Late Model. Anthony Rushing of Kosciusko, MS would set fast time during pole qualifying with a 13.59 second lap around the now high banked 3/10’s-mile red clay oval. History was made and the “Kosciusko Kid” made it happen in his Larry Shaw built Rocket chassis racecar. Second fastest qualifier was Winter Classic Champion James Dean better know as “Then Wild Child” from Chunky, MS. The drama would further build, as Rushing would draw a six for the inversion of the field. Rushing would have top back up his time with a strong performance.
Action in the 30-lap Super Late Model main event would see Rushing jump to the high side of the speedway and make quick work of the field, as he would take the lead in the early stages of the event to hold off charges from “Radical” Rick Rickman and James Dean. Rushing would claim the big win as Dean and Rickman slugged it out for second place with Dean Coming out on top of the war. Rick Rickman took home a hard fought third place finish followed by Corinth’s Danny Christian, who is going to be a player at Columbus in 2001, and Ronald Dunn. Rounding out the well-earned top ten finishes were Jeff White, a hard charging Steve Russell, Harvey Tollison, the living legend Jerry Inmon, and defending Track Champion Mark Stokes.
The midsouthracing.com Pro Street victor was Detroit, AL’s Frank Cox. Following Cox across the stripe were Billy Franklin, Steve Smith, Columbus’ Bobby Nichols, and Ed Adkins rounding out the top five.
The Mississippi Modified event was won by Ethelsville, AL pilot Jason Hollis who earned the victory over Terry Gramling, Shane Stephens, Clay Kendall, and Mike Gibson.
Lee Ray of Columbus topped a 25 car field of Street Stocks to pick up where he left off last year as he defending Columbus Speedway track champion visited the familiar victory lane. Ray was followed by Tommy Reed, Jeffery Walker, Jimmy Rogers, and Brian Price. The Street Stock division will have their Spring Championship event this Saturday night.
Joseph Patilla took the Mini Stock win with CW Brewer in second, Mike Minor third, Robert Sanders, and Cedar Bluff’s Scott Gable in fifth. The Pro Four victory was claimed by by Darrell Goins followed by James Blakeney, Ray Taylor, Raymond Blakeney, and Michael Sullivan completing the top five.
Columbus Speedway will be in action both Friday and Saturday night this coming weekend. Friday night’s action will be highlighted by the first event of the 2001 Mississippi Super Late Model State Championship Series. The Magnolia State’s finest dirt racing drivers will be on hand. Columbus Speedway will also have a Full Racing Program on Saturday night highlighted by the Spring Championship for the Street Stock division.
For Columbus Speedway information please visit www.midsouthracing.com or call 662-241-5004.