Feature Results: Robinson Wins MAECO Sportsmen 35; Purvis is Modified winner; Moody in Pure Stocksadmin
Purvis Outpaces Field to win Modifieds of Mayhem 50 Lapper; Robinson Cashes in on Sportsmen Spectacular
by Chuck Corder
Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen
Chad Robinson was locked in from the moment he unloaded Friday at Five Flags Speedway.
The Mobile driver set the fast time in qualifying (20.626 seconds) and kept his pole spot after rolling a “1” on the die to set the 12-car field of the MAECO Fabrication Sportsmen Spectacular.
Robinson’s night only got better in the 35-lap The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen Spectacular, as he led nearly every lap en route to the victory and $1,000 that was up for grabs to the winner.
Robinson was driving Lee “Red Dog” Reynolds’ No. 32 Sportsmen and was thinking of asking his close friend for more seat time in the hotrod.
“Me and this car get along apparently,” Robinson said. “It’s always on the money for me. I couldn’t ask for a better piece. It’s the best car I’ve ever sat my butt in.”
Two-time reigning The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen champion Mark Barnhill and Milton’s Jim Pokrant rounded out the podium to continue his strong 2020 that has seen him finish on the podium in all three Sportsmen races.
Modifeds of Mayhem 50
Kyle Purvis hasn’t had a chance to celebrate on the track this year.
With his native Ohio short tracks unable to race because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Purvis made the 13-hour drive to Pensacola and Five Flags Speedway looking to turn the tides.
He got his wish, notching his third Modifieds of Mayhem win at Five Flags in the last two seasons. Purvis took the lead from fast-qualifier Jeff Letson (17.392 seconds) on Lap 6 and none of the other 11 cars could reel him in for the remainder of the 50-lap feature.
“We’re just happy to race,” said Purvis, who won twice in 2019 at Pensacola’s high banks. “We’re happy to come to Pensacola and leave here with a win.”
Korey Ruble and Letson finished second and third, respectively.
Letson had the car to beat early, but when he drifted too high in Turn No. 4, Purvis saw his opportunity to seize control.
The “ground pounders” made their first appearance at the fame half-mile asphalt oval this year, and some seemed more interested in pounding each other than the famed half-mile asphalt oval.
Augie Grill, in John Heil’s Modified, was on the move from the drop of the green flag. His aggressive style, though, cost him a shot at a potential win when he wheel-hopped Doug Moff in the opening laps.
Grill originally tried to make it three-wide in Turn No. 3 with then-leader Moff and another car but thought better of it and backed off. But as the leaders came back to the flag stand, Grill again forced the issue and this time ran out of room.
The right front of Grill’s No. 112 went airborne as he climbed on top of the left rear of Moff’s No. 46. As Grill came down, recovered, and managed to drive away from the carnage he had caused, Moff wasn’t as lucky.
His car went into a tailspin, slammed into the inside wall, and ended up facing the wrong way on the front stretch. Out of his car and visibly frustrated, Moff was looking for a fight with Grill as the field made laps under caution.
The only problem was Grill had already brought his car behind the wall. Instead of waiting for the wrecker to put his twisted piece of metal on the hook, Moff drove off, took a short cut off the apron and sped toward Grill’s pit area.
He pulled directly in front of Grill’s car and Moff got out screaming for Grill, who was still in his car as his team made adjustments, before a sheriff’s deputy diffused the situation.
“It was a little crazy on the start,” Purvis said. “We were lucky enough to stay outta all of that. We were able to keep everything straight, thankfully.”
Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks
Michael Moody was sporting a fresh look Friday night at Five Flags Speedway.
From his healthy beard to the Darrell Jackson white-and-orange No. 8 Pure Stock, Moody looked like a brand-new man.
The only thing that hasn’t changed about the Mobile driver? The man keeps on winning.
After capturing six Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks features last season, Moody scored his first 20-lap feature win in 2020 on Friday at Five Flags.
He broke a two-race winning streak for Daryl McDonald III, who finished runner-up. Jerry Goff Jr., who led much of the race but fell after a poor late-race restart, rounded out the podium.
“This thing was not exactly right tonight,” Moody said. “But we came out here and gave it our best. I hate Goff missed a shift, but it worked in our favor.”
Goff took the lead on Lap 3 and held a strong advantage against Moody until a caution forced the field to reset with 12 laps completed.
When the green flag dropped on the restart, the entire field surged ahead while Goff struggled to get going. Goff’s misfortune was to Moody’s advantage.
He took the lead from Goff and withstood charges from points series leader McDonald to secure the trip to Victory Lane.
The most exciting battles of the night came in the middle of the race as McDonald, Caleb Burkett, and Dylan Courtney jockeyed for third place. The three were nose-to-tail, beating and banging on each other as they tried to navigate around one another.
“Sometimes you don’t have to have the fastest car to win,” Moody said. “As long as some of these guys continue to beat the hell outta each other, maybe I’ll be up here every week.”