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James, Bailey teaming up

SoVaNow.com / March 10, 2009
Jody James, son of legendary stock car builder and crew chief Steve James, was recently named crew chief for Jonathan Bailey of Buffalo Junction.

Bailey returns to James Racing for the 2009 season after leaving in mid-season of 2008 to drive for Frank Deiny Jr.

The younger James appeared to be quite excited about the move. He is certainly no stranger to the job of crew chief. James has had successful cars that he prepared for Jon Denning, Dude Gibbs, and Matt Lofton. He has had input on cars of a number of other teams.

The 32-year old James is certainly familiar with both the driver and cars that he will prepare for Bailey. He worked out of the same Clarksville, Va. shop, when his father Steve was preparing the cars for Bailey for the past two seasons. Jody has also worked with Bailey in the Limited Series.

The veteran, 11 times mechanic of the year, Steve James will be turning the wrenches this year as crew chief for newcomer Laura Hayes.

The Bailey car will continue to be powered by engines prepared by Clark Automotive of Reidsville, N.C. (Fans remember the Clark name from the Late Model driver Ravon Clark. Clark has given up driving to become a successful engine builder).

James will be preparing the two cars already owned by Bailey. One will have a chassis built by Hedgecock of High Point, N.C. The other car, an older car has a Townsend chassis.

Bailey’s Cigarettes (S&M Brands, Inc.) owned by Mac Bailey, father of Jonathan Bailey will once again continue to be the primary sponsor on the Bailey-blue number-89 car.

The Bailey team will be looking to improve on Jonathan’s success last season. Bailey finished fifth in the points standing just one point behind Dude Gibbs in fourth and was voted the Most Improved Driver Award for the ‘08 season.

This season will be the fourth for Bailey in the Late Model cars. Prior to racing the Late Models, Bailey was a standout in the Limited Sportsman Division. He was the South Boston Speedway track champion in 2004 in that division.

Though this racing deal was just recently put together, it is not like starting from scratch. All parties are familiar with each other and it is just a matter of putting the parts together. Fans can count on this team to be in top form for the opening race March 12 at South Boston Speedway.

Jonathan Bailey, the affable 30 year old wheelman of the #89 entry , when asked about his working relationship with Jody stated that “theirs was one of mutual trust and confidence”, citing “prior success when Jody crewed their 2004 Limited Series championship”.

While discussing experience and his on track maturity in the highly competitive Late Model Series Jonathan responded “that it’s all a part of making the right track decision, not using the car up too early and taking care of the equipment. It’s all about being consistently competitive”.

The talent laden complement of driver and teams competing at the 3/8 mile South Boston Speedway layout promises to be an exciting new season and the Bailey/Jody James team counts to be a combination worthy of watching victory lane.



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