North Santa Rosa

Donaldson and Cody win tightly contested points battles

Southern RacewayFour more champions were crowned on Saturday night at the South’s Finest Dirt Track.

Two first time champions claimed titles after highly contested point battles in the pure stock and vintage division.

Jessica Donaldson, who claimed the pure stock title Saturday night, had a rough night during her coronation.

While leading the season finale, the 22 year old from Ft. Walton Beach spun coming off of turn four.  

When the dust had settled Donaldson and Carl Dodson, who was running in second at the time of the spin, restarted at the back of the field thus giving the lead to Lane Heaton who battled Billy Arnett the rest of the feature.

This was just one of seven interruptions to the racing action which included two red flag situations.

One of the red flags involved a big accident on lap 12 and involved the cars of Nick Chesser, Stephanie Jaye, and Austin Nathey.

As the cars were exiting turn four Jaye’s car turned sideways and struck the front stretch wall.

The final caution came out on lap 14 and involved the cars of Henry Bailey, Gueston Rogers, Jake Moore and Donaldson. As the incident occurred coming off of turn four, Donaldson had nowhere to go and was collected.

This final caution set up a green, white, checkered finish.

When the checkered flag dropped Billy Arnett took the checkered flag followed by Lane Heaton, the 2015 champion Bubba Fletcher, Huck Gibson, and Chad Robinson.

During technical inspection following the race the cars of Heaton and Gibson were disqualified and the final finishing order was Arnett, Fletcher, Robinson, Dodson, and Wayne Plunkett.

The other highly contested point’s battle was in the vintage series between John Cody and Blake Martin. Cody clinched the title by starting, but that was the high point of his evening as a multi-car crash ended his night as well.

Ten cautions slowed the race as the feature turned into a game of survivor.

On lap nine a red/yellow situation occurred involving the cars of John Cody and Chris Bayhi.

Bayhi would rebound from the mishap and challenge Martin for the lead during the numerous starts and restarts.

Then on lap 17 the big one occurred on the backstretch involving the cars driven by Wayne Murphy, Tommy Gilmore, Junior Jordan, Kelsey Martin, Levi Plato, Aleck Alford, and Cody.

Bayhi held on to the lead after the final restart with Martin finishing a close second.

Rounding out the top five were Levi Donaldson, Kraig Crossley, and Tommy Gilmore.

Bo Bailey turned the NeSmith Street Stock feature into his own victory parade as he claimed his second consecutive title.

Bailey dominated from the drop of the green flag and quickly disposed of Brandon Kilpatrick, who was later involved in an incident on lap 13 while battling in the top five with second place J.C. Wilson.

On lap 19 two other contenders were eliminated when second place Frank Wilson was collected by the third place car of Aaron Huffstutler going into turn one on the last lap.

Bailey led the race back to the checkered flag followed by Ricky Haugen, Adam Ellison, Kyle Kichler, and Branden Harris.

Due to a strong first half of the season Ryan Fowler ran away with the Open Wheel Modified title as he did Saturday night’s feature on the three-eighths mile dirt.

In a feature that saw only three cautions Fowler checked out and started lapping the field in quick order.

When the checkered flag flew Lucas Morris finished second followed by Johnathon Joiner, Osman Jones, and Shawn Pitts.

Coming up at the South’s Finest Dirt Track will be a huge weekend of racing on Oct. 27-29.

The “Big One” will include the return of the Southern 100 and a total of racing in eight classes over three nights and the appearance of drivers like former NASCAR driver Kenny Schrader and late model champion Bubba Pollard.

When Fowler learned of Schrader’s announced appearance at Southern Raceway he said, “He better eat his Wheaties.”

Also one NeSmith Street Stock driver could walk away with an extra $1,500 if they can win both the Friday and Saturday night features at the South’s Finest Dirt Track.

For more information on the Big One and the last racing weekend at Southern Raceway go to or check out the track on its Facebook page.


Heat Races

Pure Stock Heat 1 – 1. Lane Heaton, 2. Jake Moore, 3. Nick Chesser, 4. Hunter Lewis, and 5. Greg Burton.

Pure Stock Heat 2 – 1. Chad Robinson, 2. William Davis, 3. Dusti Burger, and 4. Jason McDaniel.

Pure Stock Heat 3 – 1. Huck Gibson, 2. William Arnett, 3. Henry Bailey, 4. Wayne Plunkett, and 5. Stephanie Jaye.

Vintage Heat 1 – 1. Bill Blum, 2. Justin Scott, 3. Junior Jordan, 4. David Spears, and 5. Caden White.

Vintage Heat 2 – 1. Kylan Nathey, 2. Martin Cuevas, 3. Wesley Riddles, 4. Levi Plato, and 5. Randy Chavers.

NeSmith Street Stock Heat 1 – 1. Aaron Huffstutler, 2. Tim Fowler, 3. Kyle Kicher, 4. Ricky Haugen, and 5. Blake Salakas.

Open Wheel Modified Heat 1 – 1. Jonathon Joiner, 2. Britt Cole Eisenhut, 3. Sean Hickerson, 4. Ryan Sullivan, and 5. Shawn Pitts.

Posted by on Oct 19 2016. Filed under Local, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *