CALLAWAY, VA :: After a wild finish in the most recent Late Model Stock Car feature at Franklin County Speedway, the points situation is the tightest it has ever been in the 45 year history of the speedway with bad blood boiling over and a breakout driving standing atop the standings heading in to Sunday’s Old Dominion Auto Salvage Pick-N-Save 200.
The points lead is a statistical tie between Brian Sutphin and Josh Hale, both with 95 points, while three-time and defending track champion Kyle Dudley sits third in points, one point behind Sutphin and Hale. Hale sits atop the standings in his first full season at Franklin County Speedway.
“It’s been good fortune on my part we have the points lead otherwise we would be third or fourth,” Hale said. “I’m very pleased to be leading the points. I hope we can keep it going if we stay out of trouble and have good fortune on our side. We’ve had a lot going against us this year. It’s just me and a couple other guys but we’re working real hard to keep the points lead.”
“It’s early in the season still for the championship,” Sutphin stated. “We’ll just take it race for race and go from there. As far as I’m concerned, everything is worked out with Kyle. I have nothing against him but I’m sure he’s got something against me but he’ll be there every race right in the front.”
“Points? We’re keeping points this year? It should be interesting is all I can say,” Dudley remarked.
The close battle between Sutphin and Dudley sparks interest after the two drivers clashed in the Spring Sizzler back on April 27th. Dudley was leading the race and appeared to have the win in hand on the last lap when he and Sutphin got together allowing Devin Steele to inherit the victory. Dudley and Sutphin both sustained heavy damage in the incident.
Behind Hale, Dudley and Sutphin, Johnny Cash sits fourth in points only four points behind Sutphin and Hale and Bobby Gillespie is also within striking distance in fifth, five points back. Cash also sits atop the Mod-4 standings over Matt Slusher. Danny Bush, who has a bounty on his head in Sunday’s Street Stock race, sits atop the Street Stock standings by three points over Dillon Crouch. Chris Amos’ two wins have him atop the Street ModZ standings by two points over Chad Burnopp and four points over JC Morgan. Chad Ricker leads WJ Altizer in the U-CAR division standings by two points and Buck Mitchell is sporting a three point advantage over David Burnett in the Mini Cup standings.
The action in Sunday’s Old Dominion Auto Salvage Pick-N-Save 200 will get underway with the green flag set to wave at approximately 3pmwith an All-Star shootout-style Late Model event with the format still to be announced, 30 laps for the bounty hunters converging on Franklin County Speedway chasing a reward of up to $1,000 if they can beat Danny Bush, 25 laps for Mod-4, Street ModZ, U-CARs and Mini-Cups and 10 laps for the Beginner Mini-Cup race. Tickle, from the Discovery Channel TV series Moonshiners will serve as the grand marshal and the sky will light up with a spectacular daytime fireworks show.
General admission tickets are $25 per carload, $10 for adults, $5 for kids 6-10 and kids five and under admitted free.