Haden Duncan won the Sportsman Late Model feature Friday at Columbus Speedway. Photo by: David Miller/Special to The Dispatch
July 7, 2018 10:21:16 PM
Haden Duncan led every lap Friday night to notch his sixth-consecutive victory in the 602 Sportsman feature at Columbus Speedway.
Duncan, a Muscle Shoals, Alabama native, made his first appearance at Columbus since last summer and held off Jamie Pickard and Tony Shelton for the win.
In his second year racing Late Models, Duncan has parked his Mastersbilt car in victory lane nine times. He also has two second-place finishes. He has won 16 Sportsman races in two seasons.
"We got a new car this year, and we're winning 'em," Duncan said. "We've won at every track we've been to."
On a night where rain -- or the threat of it -- affected the overall car count, Duncan said he'd planned to race Columbus and Whynot Motorsports Park Saturday in Meridian to chase Durrence Layne points. He's sixth overall but leads Durrence Layne's Sportsman standings in wins. The series tallies points from drivers who race at tracks across the Southeast that are affiliated with Durrence Layne.
The only issue Duncan had Friday was with Steens driver Tony Shelton. He said Shelton's driving style "needs to be addressed" by track officials.
"I got the whole side tore out of my car on the first start," Duncan said. "I guess it happens too often. We had an altercation here last year. It's all good, though. Racing's racing. All that matters is we got the win here tonight."
Shelton, who finished third and is ninth in Durrence Layne points, said Duncan tried to "put him in the wall twice" after the green flag dropped. Shelton said Duncan has "sort of an attitude" and that "a lot of tracks don't want him back."
"He got suspended 30 days for what he did here last year," Shelton said. "He's been suspended by NeSmith (now Durrence Layne) several times. North Alabama, Moulton - they've suspended him. Columbus didn't want him back, but when he pulled up and asked (Columbus promoter) Rod (Taylor) if he could race, Rod told him not to start anything.
"I told him on the infield, 'You're trying to do the same thing you did last time.' He knew what he was doing, but I wasn't going into the wall."
For the second-straight night, Shelton raced a MasterSbilt Gen-Xtra car owned by Roman Ponds after rolling his MastersBilt Gen-X car last week at Columbus. He also planned to race it Saturday at Whynot, although he's not officially chasing Durrence Layne points.
"Roman had just bought it, and it's similar to the chassis I have, so it helps get it set up for him," Shelton said.
Shelton said he anticipates being back in his car next week after Jay Burchfield straightened the frame this week. He'll replace the body and scale the car this week.
Shelton said that while his roll wasn't as scary as Bryan Fortner's tumble in the Street Stocks race last week, he's thankful he had a full-containment seat, as he was trapped upside down momentarily before safety crew could get him unlatched.
"That was my first flip," Shelton said. "I couldn't get my belts unlatched, and blood was starting to rush to my head. Once they got me unlatched, I hit my head and came crawling out, but I was fine. I have a spot on my knee and elbow, but I'm surprised I wasn't sore."
n In other action, Lee Ray won the Street Stocks feature. Jeff Daniel won the Outlaw Street feature. Corey Gann won the Factory Stocks feature, while Johnny Pannell and Cody Chism finished second and third. Brandon Barnett won the Mini Stocks feature.
Taylor announced on Facebook that Mini Stocks racer Sam Ramsey was "released from the hospital" after a wreck that "sent him into the wall" Friday. Taylor said Ramsey will wear a neck brace and won't be able to race for a week.
Columbus returns to racing Aug. 3.
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