Winslow Sweeps Night with Faith Chapel Outlaws Win, Track Crown; Young Thompson Gets it Done -By Chuck Corderadmin
By Chuck Corder
Photos by Eddie Richie
Heartbreak got lapped by celebration.
Bubba Winslow had never been stuck in the kind of drought he was faced with when the Cantonment driver unloaded for the Counselman Auto Recycling, LLC Night of Champions on Saturday night at Five Flags Speedway.
The 30-year-old journeyman hadn’t won a race since May 2019 at the famed half-mile asphalt oval. For Winslow, who owns an Outlaws Snowball Derby crown and two Super Stocks track championships (2011, 2013), that felt like an eternity.
But that winless slump vanished without a trace Saturday when he captured the 50-lap feature and solidified the Faith Chapel Outlaws track title in spectacular fashion.
“My guys worked their butts off all year,” Winslow said. “This feels so good. I think it’s the most special one because the class is so tough. I wouldn’t be able to do it without a great owner and group of guys.”
Winslow inherited the lead early when an ugly incident between Turn Nos. 1 and 2 brought out the first of two red flags the 50 lapper would see.
After a stretch of four consecutive runners-up earlier this summer, Winslow was thankful to return to Victory Lane. He shared his unbridled joy with his fans and the Five Flags crowd and took the black No. 92 down the front straightaway, celebrating with burn-outs almost all the way to the start-finish line.
Pace’s Kraig Hall impressed with a second-place finish and Connor Sutton came home in third.
WCIparts.com Pro Trucks
Grant Thompson’s talent belies his age.
Only 14, the Mobile native appears to be on a rocket ship toward a decorated career in short-track racing and, possibly, beyond.
Thompson added to two new trophies to his hardware collection Saturday night at Five Flags Speedway. He scored his fifth 30-lap feature win of the season and also clinched the WCIparts.com Pro Trucks division track championship.
And in typical teenager fashion, Thompson celebrated by showing off his flossing dance moves much to the delight of his many fans and admirers.
“We won it, baby!” he shouted in Victory Lane. “I’m so thankful to win a championship here.”
After a 90-minute rain delay, Thompson took the lead on Lap 15 and never relinquished it the rest of the way.
Allen Carter finished runner-up and Cooper Hightower rounded out the podium.
“We knew from the beginning we had to get to the front, and get to a good position,” Thompson said. “We figured out what we needed to do after that red flag and performed well in this race.”
The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen
Pensacola’s Jim Pokrant made a valiant effort Saturday night at Five Flags Speedway, but Mobile’s Chad Robinson wouldn’t be denied.
While James Patrick, another Mobile drive, made big news by winning his first career feature, it was Robinson securing The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen track championship that stole the headlines.
Robinson edged Pokrant by five points in winning his first career track title. He delighted the Five Flags faithful with a series of donuts from the exit of Turn No. 4 all the way to the flag stand where the crown awaited him.
“This is a long time coming,” Robinson said. “We got it dialed in pretty good. Man, this is great. This one means the most. I bust my tail on this car.”
Brannon Fowler finished second and Pokrant finished third, a spot ahead of Robinson.
Robinson came into Saturday with a narrow, four-point lead against Pokrant. He padded that cushion to seven points when he ran the fast time in qualifying (20.433 seconds).
Pokrant needed to finish four spots ahead of Robinson in the feature for Pokrant to reclaim the lead he held for much of this season and claim the title for himself.
Unfortunately, Pokrant never got far enough ahead of Robinson and had to settle for bridesmaid honors for the second time in the last five years.
Pokrant’s troubles started from the drop of the opening green flag when it appeared as though he missed a shift and fell back through the field immediately.
Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks
Daryl McDonald III was at a loss for words.
The teenager and his loyal crew members burned the candles at both ends this season for the No. 19 machine to be the dominant car in the Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks division.
All that hard work paid off Saturday night at Five Flags Speedway. While finishing second to friendly rival Jerry Goff Jr. in the 30-lap feature, McDonald had a sizeable points lead to work with and wrapped up his first track championship at the famed half-mile asphalt oval.
“I can’t believe it,” said McDonald, known as D3. “We’ve worked hard to get this car back running right this week. I really can’t explain how much this means to me.”
McDonald won five times this season and never finished lower than third in all 11 features this season.
Goff was right on his heels all season. His win Saturday in a caution-filled feature was his fourth victory of the year. If not for a poor result earlier in the year, it might have been Goff hoisting the title instead of McDonald.
“I wish it would’ve been a closer race for the championship,” Goff said, “but I take my hat off to Daryl and his whole team. They did what they needed to do. We came out not knowing we couldn’t win the championship tonight, so we wanted to win the race.”
Austin McDuffie, who had the top qualifying lap (21.489 seconds), finished third.