South Boston Bailey's 300 race report

Ward takes challenge in the showdown at sundown, as Deiny captures Bailey's 300. (South Boston, VA) Packaging all the action of a major racing weekend into one exciting day, really fired up the fans for the Bailey's 300 Hometown Challenge. ...

Ward takes challenge in the showdown at sundown, as Deiny captures Bailey's 300.

(South Boston, VA) Packaging all the action of a major racing weekend into one exciting day, really fired up the fans for the Bailey's 300 Hometown Challenge. With over $40,000.00 on the line for a driver and fan, Dean Ward of Winston-Salem (NC) took the Bailey's Bonanza Challenge. Ward, who qualified second, chose to give-up his front row starting position to pursue a chance at a $15,000.00 bonus and $10,000.00 gift for a fan, by starting at the rear of the field. Ward's fortunes faded away as Frank Deiny Jr. posted his third post season victory and pocketing the $15,000.00 top prize. Deiny successfully defended his home turf and held the hometrack rights as Champion of the Bailey's 300 Hometown Challenge at Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway.

"We've worked real hard all season long and it's really paid off in a big way, " says a jubilant Deiny, "After winning at Martinsville, I thought that win would be the biggest of my career, but to come into South Boston and face these guys at my hometrack, I knew I had a challenge on my hands. I wanted to take the Bailey's Bonanza Challenge, but Dean (Ward) out qualified me and took it. I don't blame him, but I told my guys not to worry, we had a great car and I was just waiting to make my move. We saw Richard (Landreth) slip up and I knew it was my time to go", he continued, "I worked to the front and got bunched up it traffic. Man, that was some traffic. I touched all the lapped guys to let them know I was their, they knew if I had to touch 'em again that it wouldn't be pretty so they moved over. I have to respect them for that, they did give me the room and we used it to post our biggest victory of the year. The joy of this whole thing is that I can go home and watch it on SPEED (Channel) in a couple weeks."

Deac McCaskill (#08 Benson, NC) claimed the RACERAP.com Pole Award with a lap of 15.885 sec. declined to take the challenge in the rear and led a full 36 car field to the green flag. Action lit up in the first turn as several cars checked up on the start. Many cars headed to pit road for repairs as green flag racing resumed on lap six. As drivers worked to settle in, Ward had gained 12 positions (36th to 24th) and was gunning for the Top 20. With 25 laps on the scoreboard, Bobby Griffin (#92, Eden, NC) turned sideways coming out of the fourth turn. Several cars slowed as the caution waved right in front of the leaders. As the field lined up under caution, Dean Ward sat in 21st for the lap 31 restart.

Several more cars sustained damage in a lap 33 incident involving Eddie Johnson (#59, Ashland, VA) and Scott Worley (#88 Long Island, VA). Both drivers started outside the Top 20, but had worked into the 16th and 17th position before the caution. Ward posted in 15th on the restart. Orange County Speedway Champion, Timothy Peters (#77 Providence, NC) pitted for a chassis adjustment, surrendering his Top 10 position on the track. With a strong run off turn two, Richard Landreth (#21 Pine Hall, NC) powered around McCaskill on lap 44 to claim the lead. Landreth led for 10 laps before lap traffic became involved in another incident.

Directly in front of the leaders, Bobby Griffin (#92), Nathan Buttke (#66), and Randy Taylor (#6 Madison, VA) sustained damage, which also collected David Triplett (#00 Durham, NC). Triplett was running in the Top 10. After 10 laps of caution, Landreth launched back to the point followed by McCaskill, Mark McFarland (#17 Winchester, VA), Frank Deiny Jr. (#4 Mechanicsville, VA), and Brandon Bulter (#29 Petersburg, VA) on lap 65. With Landreth opening a lead, prompted McFarland to make a move around McCaskill. As McFarland completed the pass, Deiny and Butler followed to better their track position. With 80 laps in, Eric Sartin (#40 Kermit, WV) made hard contact with the frontstretch wall. As Sartin came to rest, Matt McCall (#23) backed into the already wounded Sartin Chevrolet. With the red flag out for clean-up, drivers lined the backstretch, while track safety crews prepared the racing surface. On the restart, Ward charged from just outside the Top 10 in 11th. Jay Godley (#25 Charlotte, NC) experienced mechanical problems onboard his Godley Construction machine bringing out a caution on lap 86.

Landreth maintained the lead after 100 laps, as Deiny worked on McFarland for second. Wayne Grubb (#16 Mechanicsville, VA) worked around Southampton Speedway Champion Woody Howard (#30 Chesapeake, VA) for seventh, while Dean Ward raced into the Top 10, after contact with the lap car of James Ramsey (#12 Fallston, MD). With a restart on lap 105, battles began to wage for position in the Top 10. McFarland challenged for the lead, while Peyton Sellers (#26 Danville, VA) worked for fifth. Deiny worked under McFarland, as Butler looked to also gain position. With halfway nearing, Ward worked up to eighth, while Landreth began to feel pressure from Frank Deiny. With just over a car length separation, Deiny worked to close the gap on lap 130. Landreth worked traffic to maintain his advantage, as caution waved when the lap machine of Ramsey ran Ward up to the wall, causing Ward to spin, lose a lap, and the eighth position. As the competition caution waved on Lap 150, Ward saw his chances at a $30,000.00 payday dwindle away, while Ramsey was parked by the NASCAR officials for the incident.

After the caution period, drivers took their adjusted machines back to the battle grid with Landreth leading the way. Only two laps after the break, Frank Deiny blasted around Landreth for the lead, as McFarland attempted to follow. Landreth slammed the door as Wayne Grubb made a move around Butler for third. Butler began to have handling problems, as Woody Howard and Peyton Sellers took track position around Butler (5th and 6th place). Ward, mired in traffic and one lap down, worked to stay ahead of Deiny. Deiny turned on his smoking light and burned up through the field to put 26 cars a lap down. With only 10 cars on the lead lap, Deiny found traffic a formidable opponent with Landreth trying to put out his fire. Lead machines intermingled with lap traffic as 200 laps shown brightly on the board. On lap 215, all hopes for Ward faded, as Deiny put him another lap down.

Polesitter, Deac McCaskill fell to Deiny's charge on lap 230, as Barry Beggarly (#82 Pelham, NC) fought to maintain his position on the lead lap. As Beggarly refused to go a lap down, Landreth caught Deiny and began to challenge for the lead. Deiny finally moved around Beggarly on lap 245 and set his sights on Hamlin the next lap. Deiny's quest for the Bailey's title left only eight cars on the lead lap with under fifty laps remaining. As he cleared lap traffic, Deiny's lead stretched to more than 10 car lengths by lap 260. As lap 269 turned, so did Wayne Grubb. Woody Howard made contact with Grubb causing a caution amidst a long green flag run. With the green waving on lap 273, Landreth could not challenge for the lead as Deiny scooted to a quick five car lead. Peyton Sellers tangled with Rodney Childers (#5 Mooresville, NC), in a fight for position, and came to rest against the inside retaining wall. Childers made contact with Sellers in a battle for the fifth position. 281 marked the restart, as only six cars remained to challenge Deiny's second half dominance. As McFarland challenged Landreth for runner-up, Deiny looked at a clear raceway for his third big victory of the post season. Childers made contact with Dean Ward on the backstretch bringing out the caution and sending Childers to pit road for a rough driving penalty. As Childers answered his black flag on the restart, Jerry Burr looped his machine on lap 293. With only six laps remaining, all five lead lap machines lined up behind Deiny in their final shot at victory. Deiny pulled away, as Mc Farland and Landreth fought for second best. Deiny pulled the win, with Landreth, McFarland, Howard, and Grubb rounding out the Top 5.

HEAT RACES AND LAST CHANCE RESULTS

Wayne Grubb (#16 Mechanicsville, VA) pulled his Terex machine to the early lead of the Mike's Hard Lemonade 30 lap heat race with Ryan Gray (#90 Raleigh, NC) taking second. Maurice Hill (#07 Rougemont, NC) followed in third with two Bailey's drivers fighting for the transfer spot. Tink Reedy (#75 Roanoake, VA) trying to hold off Steve Stallings (#8 Danville, VA), made contact causing others to make contact and get airborne. Ronald Hill (#7 Rougemont, NC) launched across the hood of Mark Parks (#36 Forest, VA) causing the first caution. Stallings went back to work on fellow Bailey's driver Tink Reedy battling inside and out for the final transfer spot in the first heat. Beating and banging in every corner, Stallings finagling gained the spot on lap 15. Reedy bumped to the outside, quickly faded as the freight train tried to track down Stallings. Grubb led the field to the stripe followed by Gray, Maurice Hill, and Steve Stallings.

The 3M heat race posted Eric Sartin (#40 Kermit, WV) on the pole, as contact in turn one turned advantageous for Tom Elliott (#15 Emporia, VA). Elliott dove under Sartin and Jerry Burr (#01 Asheboro, NC) coming out of turn two, completing the three-wide pass on the backstretch. Burr back tracked to fifth, as Randy Taylor (#6 Madison, VA) and Eddie Johnson (#57 Ashland, VA) moved into contention for the transfer positions. Caution waved for a backstretch, single car incident on lap 10, while the field bunched up behind Elliott. On the restart, Elliott led Sartin and Taylor, while Johnson began to press for third. With the Top 4 making the cut to the 300 feature, Johnson settled in; however, Ryan Francisco (#81 Nathalie, VA) took a hard frontal impact to his ride, bringing out another caution on lap 15. Francisco fared well after the incident; however, his James Racing Chevrolet was diagnosed as done for the day. With Elliott leading, Johnson went to work on Taylor again. Caution waved again with three laps to go, Johnson followed Taylor, Sartin and race winner Elliott to the checkered flag.

Just Born Candies headlined the third heat, with 2000 Late Model Rookie of the Year, Scott Worley (#88 Long Island, VA) leading the way. Worley a two time winner in 2002, yielded the front spot to Mike Darne (#99 Warrenton, VA) in the first turn, but caution waved before the second lap was in the books. Mike Southard (#5 Nikesville, VA) slammed the outside wall in turn one, ending his chances for the feature. On the restart, Jonathan Bailey (#89 Keysville, VA) drove headstrong into turn three coming to an abrupt stop after impacting the wall. Bailey walked away, as Darne led Worley, Matt McCall (#23 Denver, NC) and Nathan Buttke (#66 Randleman, NC) for the transfer spots in this 30 lap heat. With 10 laps in, Kenny Leo Grande (#07 Lynchburg, VA) blew an engine on the frontstretch laying down fluids across the asphalt. Darne paced to the restart, as Buttke closed on McCall. The Top 4 settled in at halfway, but McCall looked inside Worley with 10 to go for the runner-up position. Worley held his line and the position, as Darne pulled towards victory towing Worley, McCall, and Buttke. As the white flag waved and the leader was in turn four, caution waved off the checkered flag with a spin by Edward "Dude" Gibbs (#7 Seaford, VA) on the backstretch. With the green-white-checkered restart, Bobby Griffin (#92 Eden, NC) made a bold move for the final transfer spot under Buttke. Side by side for the final two laps, Buttke fought to the outside and captured the position by inches at the line.

Last chance qualifiers would decide the fate of six drivers with the Top 3 from each event getting a transfer position. In the first event, James Ramsey (#12 Fallston, MD) took his MBNA to the front early in this 25 lap scrambler, but Bobby Griffin (#92) took the battle to the outside, as Denny Hamlin (#20) made it a three-way tussle. Hamlin pulled inside for second, as Griffin faded to third. Ramsey went on to win, followed by Hamlin and Griffin.

Jerry Burr (#01) blazed into the second last chance event, as drivers went sliding around the speedway for their final opportunity to make the main event. Travis Sharpe (#28 Stanleyville, VA) and Jason Gullie (#01 Durham, NC) looked to transfer; however, Greg Davis (#14 South Boston, VA) interrupted Gullie's chances by making contact with his bumper causing them both to spin. Ronald Hill (#7), who had went airborne earlier in the day, inherited the third position on lap five. Hill, not content to finish third, charged to Sharpe's bumper, but was unable to make a serious challenge to finish third behind Sharpe and race winner Jerry Burr.

In other notable happenings at the speedway, former car owner Dan Krupp of Moneta, VA. attempted to establish another great food tradition by applying his Maynard's BBQ to a glazed donut. In the shadows of the world famous bologna burger and racing traditions that reach into the Winston Cup garage and throughout NASCAR, time will tell if this ever catches on at Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway.

The Bailey's 300 Hometown challenge will be broadcast to a national audience including over 70 million on November 23rd at 2:00p.m. and again on November 25th at 5p.m.

This event puts the finishing touches on the most aggressive season at "America's Hometown Track". 2003 Season Passes are available for only $150 until March 1st. For more information contact the speedway at: 1-877-440-1540 or by logging to: www.southbostonspeedway.com

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Nathan Buttke , Richard Landreth , Jay Godley , Mark McFarland , Timothy Peters , Jonathan Bailey , Peyton Sellers , Matt McCall