TOP: Jack Sullivan won the COMP Cams Super Dirt Series feature Saturday at Magnolia Motor Speedway. Photo by: David Miller/Special to The Dispatch Buy this photo.
May 15, 2017 11:51:49 AM
An unpredictable and unforgiving surface Saturday at Magnolia Motor Speedway forced Jack Sullivan into an unconventional approach.
After extended periods of rain throughout the day and night Friday, the "Black Ice" never quite dried out and slicked off for the COMP Cams Super Dirt Series headliner.
"You throw all that mud up and it's like glue," Sullivan said. "It just piles up under the car and you're right-side heavy. We've done things tonight I haven't done in years ... just freeing up, moving bars, trying different springs I've never run before to try and keep from shoving up the race track. You still end up stabbing the brake to try and keep her down."
In a race that saw only nine cars finish, Sullivan started second and led every lap before clinching his fourth COMP Cams feature win of the year and maintaining his place atop the points chart.
"I thought it might (dry up) after we timed in," Sullivan said. "I watched the first couple of heats, and I got where I couldn't pass a lap-car in the heat race and knew we'd be around the tires the rest of the night. At that point, I was just trying to make a circle around those tires and not push it."
Sullivan, an Arkansas native, held off Eric Cooley on five re-starts throughout the 35-lap race, routinely powering down the front stretch and extending a comfortable lead.
"You're just trying to get a good entry into (turn) one," Sullivan said. "I didn't want to start too early and have to turn twice to get down the straightaway. (Cooley) could figure out when I was going to go, but I knew if I could get through one and two unscathed, it would pull down the back straightaway and I could get a good lap and be OK."
Cooley said he was satisfied with his finish given the conditions of the track and the fact he had to switch to a backup motor after parts failure at Whynot Motorsports Park in Meridian a week ago. Cooley started on the pole Saturday, just his third race of the year. He won April 29 at Magnolia.
"(Sullivan) had a lot bigger motor than I had," Cooley said. "He just had so much more power to pull off the corners. I was surprised we timed and ran as well as we did. Once I got built up in a run and keep momentum, I think I was as good he was.
"I kind of timed the last (re-start) just right, got on the gas just perfect when he did. He kind of checked up on me and I had to hit the brake a little bit. He just killed me coming off the corners."
BJ Robinson, Kyle Beard, and Tanner Kellick rounded out the top five. Lowndes County natives Brian and Rick Rickman started third and fourth, respectively but didn't finish.
Rain washed out Friday's features at Columbus Speedway and the COMP Cams feature at Greenville Speedway.
Hughes wins NeSmith race
Spencer Hughes started on the pole and won the NeSmith Late Model feature, his second-straight win at Magnolia.
Chase Washington and Jeremy Shaw, who've won the other NeSmith races this season at Magnolia, finished 14th and 13th, respectively, after exiting the race early.
Hughes wasn't challenged in the race.
Craig Barham finished 10th after his No. 48 car flipped twice in turn two. Barham was taken to the emergency room at Baptist Memorial Hospital, where he received a CT scan. Barham announced via his Facebook page Sunday that his "car is junk" and that he felt like he'd been woken up "with a baseball bat." He said he'd miss a week of work and wished everyone a happy Mother's Day.
Barham's wreck was the second major roll of the night. Austin Arnold tumbled in turn three in a Super Late Model heat race. He walked away from his wreck.
Evan Ellis, Tim Dees, and Henry Pullen rounded out the top five.
In other race action, Lee Ray won the Street Stocks feature. Bryan Fortner, Jamie Sudduth, Doug Dodd, and Brent Mitchell rounded out the top five.
Scooter Ware won the Factory Stocks feature. Tyler Castle, Brandon Whitley, Ellie Hughes, and Bill Sudduth rounded out the top five.
Chance Inman won the 602 Sportsman feature. Tony Shelton, Zack Shelton, Hunter Carroll, and Allen Simmons rounded out the top five.
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