posted June 17, 2002 10:18 AM
Boland Rumbles to Second Win in a Row!
Columbus, Mississippi-Fans at Columbus Speedway were treated to some of the most ferocious racing of the 2002 season with fabulous racing all night long. Another large contingent of 127 racecars was on hand for a beautiful Saturday evening at Johnny Stokes’ house of hardcore racing. The new Columbus Speedway two-seater Super Late Model made it debut as two lucky fans won rides on the high banks with racing legend and track manager Johnny Stokes as well.
The Super Late Model event was on intense as it gets with testosterone flowing like the Tennessee Tombigbee River as the wicked playground for the drivers this evening was not for the meek. Action would get kicked off the twenty-four car field with The Pontotoc Pirate Steve Russell taking MidSouthRacing.com Pole Qualifying honors with a bonsai lap tripping the lights with a 14.23-second lap on the 3/10’s mile oval. Russell would draw a “0” for the field inversion factor setting up a starting line up with four of the hardest charging drivers in the nation with Russell flanked by “The Kosciusko Kamikaze” Anthony Rushing and with “The Ragin’ Rebel” David Breazeale and six-time Mississippi State Champion Mike Boland on the second row. The stage was set for a “get down” affair.
Russell jumped to a quick lead with Rushing all over the leader as the two high flyers were rim riding and cushion chasing with sparks flying as they would graze the wall in turns one and two while the field behind them fanned out in two and three wide order. The leaders reached lapped traffic by lap 6 as the lead pack weaved and dived through traffic with abandon while setting a torrid pace. A lap 12 caution would bunch the leaders up and Mike Boland would start “hulking up” as Boland made a fabulous move diving to the bottom groove quickly moving from fourth to second and start the chase on Russell for the lead, only to have to fend off Breazeale who would also go to the bottom looking for the lead himself as a three way dog fight for the point was unleashed. The field would bunch up again for a lap 19 restart after a caution and Boland went to the well one more time and found the lead as he jumped to the bottom and passed Russell for the lead as Russell now was left hounding Boland the win.
A lap 27 restart would see mayhem resume and ensue as Russell made contact with Boland at the top of turn four and Russell damage mount collected fourth place running Anthony Rushing with cars flying everywhere. Russell and Rushing would be sideline for the evening and Shawn Edwards would also retire with engine problems, ending another consistent top five run the current points leader. Action would finally get back underway as Boland of Cuba, Alabama would go on to lead the final three laps once under green to take his Boland Performance and Ware Construction sponsored Keith Craft powered Warrior Taurus to Victory Lane for the second consecutive week. David Breazeale would come home second again as he was pressuring Boland at the stripe with “The Weir Wolf” Tombo Callahan making the major move of the night into third from twelfth starting position to have a podium finish. Mark Edwards from Leland made his first appearance of the year and used the bottom groove to take a strong fourth place run as he and young hard charger Josh Fuller waged war with Fuller making the tow up from Marion pay off with another top five run and a fifth place finish.
The Pro 4 division competed in their Mid-Season Showdown and it was the Jimmy Beachelr show as he went flag to flag in the 15 lap event that only saw one caution flag fly for the unlimited 4 cylinder powered class. Beachler of Reform, Alabama would set fast time during MidSouthRacing.com Pole Qualifying in his Ford powered mount with an quick time of 17.42-seconds and never be challenged as he dominated the event. Following Beachler was points leader “Jammin” James Blakney of Carrolton and Colby Glasgow completing the top three in their Championship main event. Rounding out the top five was David Goins of Northport with Lynn Walker of Aliceville taking home the fifth place finish.
The Mississippi Open Wheel Modified class once again provided their exciting brand of racing and the winner of the race overcame a hard road to Victory Lane as “Flying” Brian Rickman had to come from the tail of the field after suffering damage and not finishing his qualifying race. Rickman of Columbus needed a lot of skill and a little bit of racer’s luck to take the win. Rickman had charged up into second place by lap 7 and began to move in on the leader Jason Hollis. The caution flag flew on lap 9 and while under caution Hollis would pull to the pits with mechanical issues allowing Rickman to inherit the lead. Rickman would lead the remainder of the event with “The Midnight Rider” Matt Price running a strong second and Columbus’ Lee Ray taking yet another top three finish and staying on top of the CSWRS points chase. Brian Hollis had to battled his way to a fourth place finish using various lines to work the competition and Woody Shivers from Richland earned a fifth place finish in one of his first outings of the season at Columbus Speedway.
The Street Stock main event was no different that usual…it was marvelous. The competition week after week in amazing with the parity laden field and it was “The Wanted Man” Lee Ray taking an extremely hard fought win as Ray took the lead on lap 11 from race long leader Harold Trimm of the 12 lap thriller. Trimm would finish second in an event that would see the leaders battle two and three wide and maneuver lapped traffic with many anxious moments as Jonathan Edwards of Vernon survived to manage a fine third place finish in the huge field of twenty-six entrants. Richard West would finish fourth at the finish after taking a wild ride down the front stretch coming to the checkers after running second most of the night with Steve Crowell making his first visit to top territory with a fifth place finish. Scott Stripling maintains his points lead after finishing eighth.
The Mini Stock brigade was not to be outdone and put on a super race for the Father’s Day weekend crowd as Buddy Glover and Jacky Pendley would go side by side for the lead lap after lap as Glover worked on the inside of Pendley for the lead with Robert Sanders being the man on the move as he joined the fray for the lead by lap 7. The race raged on and by lap 10 Sanders moved into to second and pressured Glover only to come up a car length short at the stripe as Glover would take home the victor’s share of the purse back to Sulligent. Sanders would take the second place honors with Bankston, Alabama’s Pendley completing the top three. Keith McCool ran a steady race and finished fourth with Mike Minor finishing the evening with a fifth place run for the Jenna, Alabama driver. Points leader Scott Gable had a rough night after barrel rolling down the front stretch in his heat race but still managed a thirteenth place finish as Tommy Dove graciously allowed Gable to borrow his ride for the main event.
The Pro Street division was once again dominated by “The Grave Digger” Thomas McReynolds as he took the Holley Spec powered Pro Street Camaro to its fourth consecutive trip to the Winner’s Circle. Frank Cox of Detroit, Alabama was strong as always with another second place finish along with taking over the points lead while Bobby Nickoles rode his way to take a third place finish. Randol Harlow finished in fourth position with Sulligent’s Jason Brock rounding out the top five.
The Cruiser division did their best to live up to their reputation for providing action at every corner and they stood and delivered with team of Craig Murray and Kenneth Roach of Columbus taking the win and sitting atop the heap in the division’s track championship chase. The past couple of races has seen the Week’s team running up front in their battered mount and this week was no different as Joe and Rose Weeks of Columbus challenged the Murray tam for the win but ended up second in the carnage filled 10-lap feature race. David Taylor and Robbie Kelley claimed one of their better finished with a third place finish as perennial hard chargers Josh Edwards and Brady Sanders battled their way up to finish fourth. Jimmy Brasfield and Joe Fondren of Steens would cross the stripe fifth in the field of twenty-four hardcore Cruiser racing teams.
Columbus Speedway will host two complete shows this weekend as Columbus Speedway will be in action this Friday and Saturday night as part of NAPA Mississippi Mayhem Weekend. The weekend will consist of two nights of racing, featuring two complete shows. Action will get kicked off with a complete show on Friday night with the Mississippi Super Late Model Championship Series in town for the double points 40-lap main event. Adding even more excitement to the extravaganza will be the Goddard Performance/ Boland Performance Mississippi Modified Championship 2002 Tour with a Championship main event plus the hardcore Columbus Speedway local divisions for what should be an intense night of racing. Then on Saturday night the Super Late Models will tee it up again for another big money $3,000 to win 40-lap main event in the “NAPA Full Force 40” plus all local divisions. The weekend is expected to draw many top drivers from across Mississippi and the bordering states for the two complete shows on tap.
Event information for Friday and Saturday night has grandstand gates open at 5pm with the driver’s meeting at 6:30; practice at 7:30pm; and racing at 8:00pm. Adult grandstand admission is $15 with children under 11 admitted free each night. Additional Columbus Speedway information can be found on the Columbus Speedway Internet home at www.midsouthracing.com or by calling the Columbus Speedway event hotline at 662-241-5004.