Wild Finish Highlights Junie Donlavey Tribute Night at Southside Speedway
The biggest race of the season had one of the wildest finishes ever at Southside Speedway on Friday night. On a night that paid tribute to NASCAR legend, Junie Donlavey, Timmy Langford drove his #39 Chevrolet to the high side of two wrecking cars to pickup his second career win and his first since June 2004.
Langford had luck on his side from the start as fastest qualifier, Billy Morris, drew a six on the redraw and put Langford on the pole to start the 150 lap race.
The cone restarts and several lead changes throughout the night lead to the wild finish. Early in the race, Eddie Johnson, Chris Dodson, Jeff Oakley, Nick Smith, Chris Johnson and Billy Morris traded positions back and forth numerous times before the final few laps started to unfold. Rookie, Andrew Dean spun in turn 2 on lap 146 to bring out the caution and put the race into overtime. Eddie Johnson led Chris Dodson, Lin O’Neill, Timmy Langford and Jeff Oakley. On the cone restart, Johnson appeared to spin the tires and he and Dodson got together as they crossed the start / finish line. Johnson spun and Dodson was black flagged for debris hanging off his car. That put O’Neill on the point for the final green / white / checkered. On the final lap, Chris Johnson spun in turn 1 as Lin O’Neill led the field off of turn 2. Point’s leader, Jeff Oakley made a bonsai run under O’Neill going into turn 3. As the two cars washed up the track, Lin O’Neill tried to turn back under Oakley. Coming off of turn 4 Oakley’s car broke loose and came across in front of O’Neill’s familiar number 1. The two cars collided and O’Neill’s car climbed on top of the left front fender of Oakley’s car as they spun toward the finish line. With just feet to go, Timmy Langford drove by on the top side to pick up the win. After reviewing the tape for the finish, the official finish order included Timmy Langford first, Raymond Pittman second, the sliding cars of Jeff Oakley and Lin O’Neill third and fourth respectively and Billy Morris rounded out the top 5.
Mike Chapman continued his winning ways in the 25 lap U-Car race by picking up his third win of the season. He drove his orange number 87 to the win ahead of Frank Silva, Jamie Hite, Tyler Davis and Jason Marshall.
Stanley Holmes lead the Champ Karts across the finish line, but Jason Higginbotham was credited with the win as Holmes’ kart was disqualified for failing post race inspection. David Emory came home second, Justin Emory third, Buzz Moore fourth and Trey Williams finished fifth.
Next Friday night, September 23, 2011, Southside Speedway will crown 3 champions on the last Friday night race of the season. The races, originally scheduled for Sunday, September 25, 2011, will be the final races of the year for the Late Models, Modifieds and Grand Stocks. Along with the trophy presentations for those divisions, the Street Stocks, Champ Karts, Legends and U-Cars will all be on hand. Back Gates will open at 3:00pm, Front Gates open at 6:00pm, Qualifying at 6:30pm and racing gets underway at 7:30pm. Go to www.southsidespeedway.com for more information.