With just a handful of laps to go, Corey Gann was doing everything he could to hold off Jason Byrd in the Factory Stocks feature Friday at Columbus Speedway.
Byrd had climbed from sixth to reach Gann’s bumper in the $600-to-win We Buy Junk Cars Mississippi Factory Stock Series race.
Then, coming off turn 2, Gann slowed instantly and Byrd passed him. Gann’s car would come to a rest at the corner of the exit ramp, smoked emitting from the G1 car’s hood.
Byrd eventually won the race, holding off John Johnson over the last few laps.
“I could see [Gann’s car} smoking a bit, but it was all at once,” Byrd said. “I had to dive low to keep from running in to the back of him because we were running so close.
“Corey’s a good buddy of mine. I work on his car a lot. He’s gotten a lot more competitive this year and has been winning races all over Alabama.”
The win is Byrd’s fourth in Factory Stocks this season. He’d actually driven Gann’s car to a $1,000 win at North Alabama speedway earlier this season.
Johnson finished second, while Jamie Sudduth, Cody Chism and Alex Johnson rounded out the top five.
Sudduth won the $100 “hard charger” award, climbing 10 spots to finish third.
Chism made a remarkable climb from 11th place after setting the fast time and starting on the pole, but he fell off the pace dramatically in the early laps. He spun off turn 2 to bring out the race’s first caution, sending him to the back of the field.
John Johnson improved his position by eight places, while Alex Johnson started 14th and cleared nine positions.
The race saw a great deal of attrition around a muddy bottom and tacky race surface. It was particularly treacherous at the entry of turn 1, as anyone not running the bottom was catapulted along the wall.
“The bottom as real wet and muddy,” Byrd said. “Going into (turn) 1, you had water leaking onto the track under the wall. Then you’d have a dry spot, and the middle of 1 and 2, the middle was rough.
“The track wasn’t real good,” Byrd said.”
Lee Ray and Scooter Ware, both of whom started in the top seven, exited the race early. Four of the top seven starters exited the race early.
Ware won the series’ first race at Whynot Motorsports Park, and, with a drop-race available for use, will remain tied with Byrd atop the Mississippi Factory Stocks Series points. Byrd didn’t compete in the first series race.
In other race action, Tony Shelton picked up his fourth 602 Sportsman win of the year, leading from start to finish in the feature. Shelton now has three feature wins at Columbus this season. Chace Pennington, Chad McCool, Chance Inman and Jimmy Anderson rounded out the top five.
Jamie Sudduth sprung to the lead on the next to last lap to win the Street Stocks feature. Sudduth went door-to-door with Brian hollis for two laps after a late re-start and passed Hollis along the middle-bottom.
Hollis and Hayden Moran had battled for the lead for the majority of the race before he hit the wall in turns 3 and 4 and exited the race.
Doug Dodd took third, while Bryan Fortner and Brandon Hill rounded out the top five.
Chase Washington won the All-Star Racing Series 604 Late Model feature. Spencer Hughes, Ashley Newman, Marcus Minga and Ryan Colby rounded out the top five.
Gregg Hollinsworth won the All-Star Racing Series Modified feature. Steve Muilenburg, Noah Daspit, Hunter Willbanks and Chanley Purtteman rounded out the top five. Muilenberg, a Missouri native, maintains in his lead in the All-Star points.
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