posted May 01, 2001 08:28 AM
HODGES TAKES VICTORY
Article by Harvey Simpson April 28, 2001
CORDELE, GA - If there were any "bugs" in the new race car David Hodges Jr.
just purchased, it didn't take long for him and his pit crew to work them
out. In only his second race in the red Car 16 that replaced his old yellow
mount bearing the same number, Hodges convincingly won Saturday night's
30-lap late model feature at Cordele Motor Speedway.
A six-time winner in last year's abbreviated schedule at the track, Hodges
posted his first win of 2001 by 10-12 car lengths over Americus' Steve
Lashley. At the halfway mark, though, Hodges only owned a two car length
lead over Lashley whose earlier qualifying time of 16.03 was second only to
Hodges' 15.94. Cordele's Jay Carpenter finished third in both the main
event and in time
trials with a 16.31 clocking. Woody Calloway of Bonaire and Earl Boyette of
Bainbridge came in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Woodard gets first win
Perry Randy Woodard turned out to be another first-time winner on the
evening when he led the hobby feature from start to finish in a race
initially scheduled for 20 laps but cut to 15 due to several spinouts and
crashes. Woodard never held a lead of more than 3-4 car lengths over
Macon's Allen Rowland in a race where the checkers were eventually waved
under caution. The win was Woodard's first here since July 18, 1998, when
he posted a second victory that year in the super street division. Rounding
out the top five behind Woodard and Rowland were, in order, Wayne Bradley of
Sylvester, Donald Rumney of Macon and Jimmy Chancey of Kathleen.
Talley stays on a roll
En route to his third super street win of the season - all within the last
three weeks, Hawkinsville's Troy Talley moved into second place on lap four
and took the top spot from Bronwood's Allen Flournoy on lap five. Ten laps
later, Talley owned over Cordele's Gary Youngblood an eighth-lap advantage
that was erased moments later by a caution flag. Talley still wound up
winning by 6-8 car lengths over Youngblood who ran second for over half the
race and eventually finished 5-6 car lengths in front of Macon's Dennis
McDaniel who came in third. Jimmy Berube of Valdosta took fourth and
Flournoy placed fifth.
Etheridge blisters track
On his way to a seventh win in eight races this year, only once did Doerun's
Tal Etheridge see the back bumper of a pure stock car running in the same
lap with him. After taking the lead from Warwick's Craig Shiver on lap two,
he literally and figuratively ran away and hid from the rest of the field.
Etheridge's lead over Shiver of an eighth-lap after five trips around the
three-eighths mile paved oval grew to one-fourth lap by race's end. Macon's
Pam Bird came in just 2-3 car lengths behind Shiver and the same margin in
front of Sylvester's Leon Childs, who placed fourth. Kenny Thomas of
Smithville wound up fifth.
Huge enduro field competes
On a night where more cars (29) showed up to run for considerably less money
than the $1,000 they had battled for the week before, the enduro field put
on another position-swapping, crowd-pleasing show. Lizella's Frank Johnson
led the first six laps before yielding the point position to Macon's Arty
Bird for the next eight laps. With the lead cars weaving their way in and
out of lapped traffic in the middle part of the race, Macon's Sam Odom took
the top spot on lap 15 and went on to beat Bird to the checkers by only a
2-3 car length margin. The victory was his first of the year. Johnson
finished third while Buddy Hayslip of Cordele came in fourth and Myron
Chastain of Pavo took fifth.
Icard domination continues
Continuing to share the track lead in 2001 victories (seven) with pure stock
competitor Etheridge, Bonaire's Josh Icard made it five mini-stock wins in a
row with another dominating performance. He came in an eighth-lap ahead of
Cordele's Jason Richardson, who was involved much of the night in a see-saw
duel for the runner-up spot he eventually claimed. Ft. Valley's Justin
Edwards was just a car length behind Richardson in third place at the
finish. Banks Perdue of Dahlonega and Gene Self of Americus took the fourth
and fifth spots.
Pilgram reigns in legends
A seven-time winner in 2000, Suwanee's Dwight Pilgram became the first
driver to post two legends division wins this season. In doing so, he ran
only a car length behind Lake Park's Randy Howell for the first 13 laps
before forging ahead as time wound down. Pilgram finished just 2-3 car
lengths in front of Howell, who beat Lawrenceville's David Odell to the
checkers by only half a car length. In the closest overall finish of all
the features, just a car length separated fourth place finisher Terry Mathis
of Cummings and fifth place holder Chad Brown of Anderson, S.C.
Future programs revealed
Track officials will hold a regular show this weekend when legendary
77-year-old Harvey Jones of Tallahassee plans to make a second late model
race appearance. On May 12, the track will host a special 50-lap,
$1000-to-win pure stock feature sponsored by Southwestern Chevrolet of