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Fiery night at SBS

South Boston News
Dean Jones climbs over the infield retaining wall at South Boston Speedway as he made certain that his son, Mike Jones was out of the car following a fiery crash Saturday. (Ken Childs photo)
SoVaNow.com / June 18, 2018

South Boston Speedway featured a fiery night of late model race action, more Philip Morris domination; and two new faces to watch in the limited sportsman division.

Morris is well on his way to another NASCAR Whelen All-American late model series national crown. He has owned Victory lane this season - it already bore his name - and he is at the top of his game at this level.

Morris started near the rear of the field and hardly waited to get back into contention. At the end, he had his fourth straight win at SBS.

Morris already earned a 505-363 lead over second place driver Adam Lawless, who races in California at Kern County and Irwindale. Morris knows the season is still early and many things can go awry, but at this point it’s clear Morris has the favorite’s role in the latest national title hunt.

Morris won the pole and then defeated Peyton Sellers by 2.123 seconds in the hunt for Victory lane. Austin Thaxton took third, but trailed Morris by 4.237 seconds. The fourth and fifth place finishers, Jason Barnes and Thomas Scott, were six seconds in arrears. The last driver on the lead lap, Stuart Crews, lagged 10 seconds back.

And Morris started near the back of the field in the 100-lapper. He’s also well on his way to the 2018 SBS track title.

“I think I was sitting in a pretty good seat there. I had a really good car,” he said.

Meanwhile, the classy Sellers family emerged from a behind the scenes medical issue, and the hard-charging veteran continues to press away. “We’re still a second place car. Every week, we’re missing something,” said Sellers.

Sellers said the team is running well so far. But he said he has to be better.

Thaxton had a good run and was strong the last 45 laps.

“Philip and Peyton, those guys really got it figured out this year. They’re pretty much in another zip code,” said Thaxton.

Thaxton is committed to improvement, but he showed the frustration of trying to haul in Sellers and Morris.

Thaxton still believes he can get a win before the end of the year.

SOLID HUSTLE: Dean Jones showed courage and the natural instincts of a father in his reaction to a fiery crash involving his son, Mike.

Jones bolted for race car by sprinting over the wall after Mike Jones got caught up in one of the most frightening incidents in recent memory.

Jones and Matt Bowling got caught up in a front stretch crash. Jones’ car took an especially intense hit, and burst into flames.

Dean Jones made sure his son was out of the car before returning to the pit area.

Both Jones and Bowling escaped, and the track safety crews deserve a bow with immediate response to the incident.

Jones and Bowling finished 14th and 15th, respectively in the late models.

NEW FACES IN LIMITED SPORTSMAN: Jessica Dana is a new competitor to watch in short track action. She slammed past Ross ‘Boo Boo’ Dalton in the second 25-lapper after Trey Crews fell off the pace in limited sportsman.

Dana also finished second to Crews in the first 25-lapper for the limiteds. Another newcomer, Karl Budzevski, took third in that race.

Budzevski found trouble in an incident in the second race and finished ninth in the second 25-lapper, completing 21 of 25 laps.

“It’s amazing. We finally got the win, my team has worked so hard to get me here,” said Dana.

Dana made a late pass to claim the checkered. Her team kept telling her to “drive my heart out, don’t leave anything on the table. That’s what I did. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the team putting a great car underneath me.”

Dana picks up sportsman win in first start at SBS

Jessica Dana, a Washington State racer making her first start at South Boston Speedway, passed Trey Crews with one lap to go to capture a 25-lap Limited Sportsman Division race Saturday night.

Dana, who now lives in Charlotte, N.C., finished second to Crews in the first of the twin 25-lap Limited Sportsman races.

She started fifth in the second race, worked her way to Crews’ bumper late in the race and then grabbed the lead coming off the fourth turn on lap 24 and held off Ross “Boo Boo” Dalton for the win.

“It’s amazing … we finally got the win,” said Dana “I’ve really got to thank my dad. I wish he were here today, but he’s 2,500 miles away in Washington. My crew just kept telling me to drive my heart out and that’s what I did.”

J.D. Eversole finished third in the second Limited race with Crews in fifth after he ran into problems on the final lap.

Philip Morris kept his winning ways rolling in the Late Model division, picking up the win in the 100-lap event.

Because he had won back-to-back races last week, he had to start the race deep in the field per track rules. But by lap 25 he was back in the top five and slipped by Peyton Sellers for the lead on lap 46 and never trailed again. It was his sixth win in eight South Boston starts this year.

Sellers finished second followed by Austin Thaxton, who recorded his best finish of the season, Jason Barnes and Thomas Scott in fifth.

Just past the halfway point Mike Jones and Matt Bowling got together on the front stretch running in the top five. Both slammed into the inside wall. Jones ricocheted off the inside wall and his car erupted in flames. Jones was able to escape unscathed.

Kevin Currin captured a wild Hornets race to break a four-year drought. Hornets points leader Cameron Jarrell worked his way back through the field to finish second in the 15-lapper after being sent to the rear after a crash with Tyler Crute on lap seven. Ty Stanley finished third.

Pure Stock points leader Johnny Layne was able to pad his lead with a victory in the 30-lap Pure Stock race. It was his third win of the season. Daniel Shelton finished second and Harrison Walker was third.

Chris Lamb captured the USAC Eastern Midgets 35-lapper with a win over Jessica Bean, who is the series’ points leader.

There were two winners in the Southern Ground Pounders vintage race, with Dwight Sauls taking the overall and Modified victory in a 1939 Chevrolet coupe while Christopher Werner finished second overall and was the top Late Model Sportsman finisher in a 1970 Chevrolet Nova.


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