David Breazeale (top) outlasted Dane Dacus to win the Mississippi State Championship Challenge Series Super Late Model race Friday at Columbus. Photo by: David Miller/Special to The Dispatch Buy this photo.
August 5, 2017 10:13:34 PM
The top line around Columbus Speedway is fast. It also is tough to handle.
Those who ventured up top Friday either smacked their right quarter panel off the wall or backed off the throttle. Either way, the line routinely killed drivers' momentum in the corners of The Bullring.
Things were different for David Breazeale.
Breazeale entered the Mississippi State Championship Challenge Series race with a win and a pair of top-three finishes in the last three series races. Breazeale fought off Dane Dacus by holding the top line nearly the entire race. He later used the line to hold off Brian Rickman's last-lap charge off turn four to win his third State Series race of the year.
"That top line is pretty treacherous, especially when that bottom was as good as it was tonight," Breazeale said. "The high line here is always a momentum line, and it takes a lot of patience because you have to concentrate on hitting the corners just right to carry the momentum. (Dacus) about got me on the (lap 20) re-start because I let off too soon getting into (turn) 1, and I didn't carry enough speed. He was able to pull beside me, but luckily we got back around him in three and four."
Dacus spent the first 20 laps diving hard into the corners, hoping to get enough speed underneath Breazeale to power by him on the exits. But Breazeale's marks were consistent, and he'd extend past Dacus on each straightaway.
"Halfway through the race, I needed his line and just couldn't build up my speed because he was there," Dacus said. "We made more mistakes than I wanted to during the race. The car kept on getting looser and looser, and I started missing my corner entry more than I wanted to. I just tried to keep up the momentum. That was my only chance to stay up with him and get within striking distance."
Breazeale opened a slight gap when Rickman and Dacus began jostling for second late in the race. Dacus said he developed a right rear tire problem after the last caution and couldn't generate as much power out of the corners. Rickman took advantage and made up significant ground in the last two laps, reaching Breazeale's door off turn four as the checkered flag dropped.
"I knew David wasn't going to be very good on the bottom," Rickman said. "He loves this place and running on the outside. I needed it to be 50 (laps) instead of 40. But I'm proud of David. Congratulations to David on his win. He was good. He got it done."
Breazeale said he could hear Rickman as they approached turns three and four on the final lap.
"I tried to put that out of my mind and concentrate on hitting my marks," Breazeale said. "I just got to thank Barry and Lance Wright for building a great race car. They lost their driver (Jonathan Davenport) this week, and everyone is kind of down on them. They're great cars and they fit me. I just enjoy winning in them."
Hunter Rasdon and Chad Thrash rounded out the top five.
Shaw dominates two features
Jeremy Shaw bounced back from a 10th-place finish last week at Magnolia Motor Speedway to win two NeSmith Late Models features Friday at Columbus.
The Millport, Alabama, native weathered a string of early challenges from Scott Ladner in the first of two NeSmith points races, including a tie-up on lap 11 that saw Ladner exit under caution due to damage and Shaw maintain the lead on the re-start.
Noah Daspit, Hunter Carroll, Trey Rickman, and Randall Beckwith rounded out the top five.
Shaw held of Joey Mullenix in the second race. Daspit, Carroll, and Marcus Minga rounded out the top five.
In other action, Chad McCool won the Limited Late Models feature. Darrell Russell, Ricky Rawson, Jackson McCool, and Jimmy Anderson rounded out the top five.
Josh Tomlin won the Street Stocks feature. Eddie Rickman, Jamie Sudduth, Jay Geddie, and TK King rounded out the top five.
Tony Shelton won the 602 Sportsman feature. Jamie Pickard, Kyle Shaw, Allen Simmons, and Joey McKinney rounded out the top five.
Mike Shaw won the Factory Stocks feature. James Stewart and Robby Tilley finished second and third, respectively.
Michael Butler won the Mini Stocks feature. Brandon Barnett, Billy Yarbrough, and Ronnie Guin rounded out the top four.
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