History? Michelle Willingham Looks
To Become First Woman Champion In Co-ed Division
by Chris Stefi
MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – Southside Speedway’s final night of the season will be Friday night, August 29. But history could be made before the final checkered flag falls. Three of the six division’s points battles have first and second place separated by less than one point and a fourth division is only separated by 5 points. Never has there been so many division titles undecided heading into the season finale.
The one everyone will have their eye on will be the U-Car division. Rookie, David Clay holds a one point advantage over Michelle Willingham. There have been some great women drivers at the speedway in the past. If she wins the championship this friday, it will be the first time a woman has won a championship in a 'co-ed' division. Both David and Michelle each have two victories this season and the race to the finish line will be, let’s call it “30 years in the making.” Both drivers grew up less than 2 miles from each other and David turns 30 years old on Sept. 3rd and Michelle is right on his bumper turning 30 on Sept. 4th. It’s setting up to be an exciting 25 lap showdown and throw in third place runner, Cory Bradley, who is only 7 points out of the lead, it’s really anyone’s championship to take home.
Kyle Wood is giving Thomas Stinson a run for his money in the Modified division. Wood trails Stinson by only one point after Wood’s victory in last Friday night’s races. In the Street Stocks, either driver would be thrilled with a one point lead. Alex Ayers and Ryan Paul will head into Friday night all tied up and the highest finisher will be this year’s champion. Chris Hopkins, with a 5 point advantage, has a little breathing room in the Late Model points standings compared to the U-Cars, Modified and Street Stocks. Steve Zuskin and Joe Scarbrough are not ready to throw in the towel, because Zuskin trails Hopkins by only 5 points and Scarbrough is only 9 points out of the lead with Friday’s 30 lap feature to decide the outcome.
The only 2 championships that have pretty much been decided are in the Grand Stocks and Legends. Austin Dodge has had a dream season in the Grand Stocks and has a 38 point lead. Daniel Thomas appears to have second sewn up, but Dan Rogers and Lane Janosik are only separated by a point for 3rd. In the Legends, Tommy Jackson, Jr. has a 12 point cushion over Chris Lilly.
The attention this Friday will turn to the track as all 6 divisions, the Late Models, Modifieds, Grand Stocks, Street Stocks, U-Cars and Legends will be ready to go to battle when the Green Flag falls. After the races are complete, there will be trophy presentations to crown the 2014 champions. Gates open this Friday at 6:00 pm, Practice / Practifying also starts at 6:00 pm and racing gets underway around 8:00 pm.