Mike Southard - Bailey's 200 Feature Winner

Old Dominion Speedway / June 8, 2002

Southard Plays It Cool; Takes Home Second Win In A Row……..

Mike Southard ran the race of his career Saturday night, taking home the win in the Bailey’s 200 lap feature for the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Late Model Stock Cars Presented by Dodge. Southard played it cool throughout most of the 200 lap event, then made his charge to take over the top spot in the latter stages. For the second week in a row, Southard led qualifying, posting a lap of 15.666 in his Posner Industries / ARDEX Chevy. Mark McFarland in the Popeye’s Chevy posted the second quickest lap of the night with a 15.892 lap, while 5 time track champion Danny Fair was third quickest in his Chevy, circling the 3/8 mile oval in 16.170 seconds. Stan Owens led the field to the green on the near perfect Saturday night for racing, as the 25 car field set sail into turn one. Owens led until Fair made his move, taking over the top spot. From that point on, Owens and Southard elected to ride behind the veteran Fair. Owens began to fade, as he was passed by one car after another. Eventually he spun and brought out the final caution period of the night after spinning coming out of turn 4. This set the stage for an exciting finish, as Southard then began to pressure Fair, finally passing him with just a handful of laps to go. McFarland, who had dropped back to as low as tenth during the event, was also on the charge, taking over the second spot late in the event. McFarland, just as it was the previous week, was able to keep pace with Southard, but was not able to challenge him over the remaining laps. Southard crossed the stripe 4 car lengths ahead of McFarland, as Fair held on for third, another few car lengths back. "Two poles, two wins, in two weeks", said Southard. "It amazing, I could point this car in any direction I wanted it to, and it would stick." He added. The win moved Southard into a fourth place tie with Fair in the points chase.
Willard Lawrence played the waiting game as well, and it paid off as he picked up his second win of the 2002 season in the 50 lap Redman Fleet Service Grand Stock division feature. The initial battle shaped for the top spot shaped up much like it has most of the season, with Chris Donnelly, piloting the Donnelly Concrete Chevy, leading the event, with point leader Jimmy Hardin hot on his heels. The two veterans battled nose to tail, with Mark Miller in the Battlefield Ford entry, and Lawrence in his Covenant Mortgage Pontiac close behind. Coming out of turn four, contact was made between the two leaders with just a few laps remaining, which resulted in Donnelly spinning wildly, and slamming into the front straight wall. Donnelly was unhurt, but his car was severely damaged. As a result, Hardin was put to the rear of the field, which handed the lead to Miller. But with just two laps to go, Lawrence made his move to the inside of Miller on the front straight, and completed the pass in turn two. Lawrence then held off Miller for the reamining circuit for the win. Following Lawrence and Miller was Jerry Black, Jim Todd Jr., and John Tolliver.
Vince Langan from Centreville Va. picked up win number 2 this season in the 30 lap Mini Stock feature. Langan had to hold off the charges of defending track champ Sean Dawson from Stephens City Va. for the win. Mike Carte, Colt White, and James Pack rounded out the top 5 finishers. Les Miranda in the Russell's Store Chevy, became the sixth different winner this season in the Gaston Automotive Speedway Sportsman division as he took over the lead early in the event, and held off point leader Jeff Sisak for the win in the 25 lap event. Finishing third was Jamie DeMattio, followed by Ray Miller, and James Lucas.
The Champs and Mini Cups were also on the schedule, and Brian Correll from Lorton Va. picked up the win in the Champ Kart division, while David Smith from Sterling won his third Saturday night feature in a row in the Mini Cup division.
Next Saturday night the Late Models compete in a 75 lap feature. Also on the schedule will be a 50 lap Grand Stock feature, a 30 lap Mini Stock feature, and a 25 lap Speedway Sportsman feature. Qualifying begins at 5:15 PM, with racing action set for 7:00 PM.

Feature Winners From 6/8/02
Willard Lawrence, Vince Langan, Les Miranda