Parker Wins as Top 3 Pro Trucks DQed; Leytham Wins Sportsmen 50; Goff wins Pure Stock 35admin
WCIparts.com Pro Truck Finish Official
Post Race Inspection finds top 3 cars out of specs. Parker Declared Winner
The first 3 finishers in the Pro Truck 50 lap feature were disqualified because of
technical infractions discovered in the inspections following the race. Haskins and
Thompson’s trucks were cited for engines out of specs, and Hamrac for left side weight.
This elevated Molino’s Jarrett Parker to first place, Kody Brusso to second, and Josh Hicks to 3rd.
Haskins Comes Out of Nowhere to Cruise to Pro Trucks Derby Win, later fails Inspection
By Chuck Corder
Sometimes, the less you know the better you’re off.
By his count, Cody Haskins was making just his fourth appearance at Five Flags Speedway on Thursday night. Matching wits with a group of drivers that know all the nooks and crannies of Five Flags to avoid, it appeared Haskins was at an extreme disadvantage as the 52nd annual Snowball Derby got underway.
Haskins was unfazed, though, and dominated the WCIparts.com Pro Trucks Derby 50-lap feature and its pole qualifying session in eye-popping fashion.
The Marietta, Ga., driver set a new track record (18.088 seconds), breaking the previous mark of 18.178 seconds that was set earlier in the session by fellow Georgian Joshua Hicks.
Haskins didn’t stop there, controlling the race and capturing the checkered flag with a nearly 8-second lead against runner-up Grant Thompson.
Haskins was asked if Thursday’s performance exceeded his own expectations coming into the week.
“It’s why we built these things, right?” Haskins answered. “Curt built a great piece. It was sporty and carried on the long run. This team worked their tails off. It’s nice to get a win.”
Even nicer when your lapping more than half the field and there were still eight laps to run. It was a special win for Haskins despite the absence of his wife and 4-week-old newborn daughter Evelyn, who are back home in Georgia.
Thompson capped off his breakthrough season, in which he finished second in points, just one spot shy of an historic victory. At 13, he’ll have plenty more shots to be in the mix during Derby week.
He shared warm, meaningful embraces with family members and crew chief Bubba Gale afterward. The smile plastered across his fair face belied the fact that he finished second and not first.
“It’s a dream come true for us,” Thompson said. “This is one of my home tracks. These fans are incredible and have really supported me out here and on Facebook.”
Donnie Hamrac, a former three-time Modifieds Derby champion, rounded out the podium in third.
“All we needed was five more laps,” Hamrac said.
If there had been five more laps Thursday, chances were pretty good the way Haskins was running that his lead at the end would’ve been closer to 12 seconds.
“This is about the only place in the country we hadn’t won, so this feels great,” Haskins said.
During post race inspection, Haskins, Thompson and Hamrac’s cars were found to be out of specs, and all 3 were disqualified.
|1 4||56R||Darryl Rudd|
Leytham Erases a Season of Frustrations with The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen Derby Victory
By Chuck Corder
B.J. Leytham endured some painful struggles this year.
A decorated short-track driver from Mobile, Leytham hadn’t won much this season and hadn’t sniffed Victory Lane at Five Flags Speedway.
But what better time to get your first feature win than in the last race of the season. And what better setting to celebrate in than the 52nd annual Snowball Derby.
The former three-time Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks Derby champion, Leytham earned his first The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen Derby title Thursday night at Five Flags.
He bounced back following poor restarts to hold eld off hard-charging Chad Robinson and Jason Huffmaster to claim the win.
“Those guys are great,” Leytham said of Robinson and Huffmaster, who finished second and third, respectively. “I’ve gotta thank my guys. We ain’t won one race all year. But, we put it on ’em tonight.”
Leytham led two times Thursday, including the final 10 laps after he reclaimed the lead from Huffmaster.
Robinson made it difficult on Leytham, though. After coming to the pits early for his team to inspect the car for possible tire issues, Robinson had to restart at the tail end of 17-car field. He made a heroic charge to reach the leaders, driving like his head was on fire.
“I knew he was coming,” Leytham said. “I just had to hit my marks because I had enough on him.”
Robinson, who celebrated his birthday Thursday, quickly chewed up and spat out slower cars like they were sunflower seeds.
With five to go, Robinson closed in and forced Leytham to make a daring move that ultimately paid off.
With lapped traffic in front of the leaders, Leytham split three cars like they were traffic cones.
Robinson refused to go quietly, climbing into Leytham’s rearview mirror, as he stalked for the lead. Unfortunately, Robinson didn’t have enough muscle at the end to reach Leytham’s bumper and settled for runner-up honors.
“It was rough having to go to the back and work my way through the field again,” he said.
Lloyds Glass Pure Stocks Official Finish
Goff Wins Pure Stocks…
Michael Moody’s car was disqualified for an engine infraction during
post race inspection. This moved all competitors up one place in the official finish.
Moody Avoids Cautions, Lapped Traffic to Secure Pure Stocks Snowball Derby Initial Win, Later in Tech Car is DQed
By Chuck Corder
Michael Moody’s magical season had one more milestone to master.
The Mobile-area driver had 15 combined feature wins between Five Flags Speedway and Mobile International Speedway this season.
Ultimately, though, Moody knew all those trips to Victory Lane wouldn’t matter as much if he didn’t cap off his year with another win on opening night of the 52nd annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags.
Moody left no doubt, taking control of the 35-lap Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks Derby midway through and handily winning to cap Thursday night’s action.
“This thing was a bear to drive,” said Moody, whose win Thursday gives him seven wins at the famed half-mile asphalt oval in 2019. “The power steering went out early in race, and then it would come and go. But we made it happen.”
Moody was running a close second on Lap 19 when a lapped car caused then-leader Robert Balkum to wreck, and Moody’s silver-and-blue No. 12 assumed P1.
It was a gut-wrenching end to another Derby for Balkum. After winning his second consecutive Pure Stocks track championship at Pensacola’s high banks this year, Balkum set a new track record (21.442 seconds) during Thursday’s pole qualifying run.
He held healthy leads before his undoing with Michael Hurst’s No. 22. Hurst was riding in front of the leaders when Balkum had to make a split decision whether to go low and avoid Hurst while navigating another cluster of lapped cars or to go high and try to squeeze by Hurst on the outside wall.
Balkum chose the latter, but could not get by as Hurst continued up the track. Balkum plowed into Hurst, bringing out the caution and gift-wrapping the lead to Moody.
“Lapped traffic played major role,” Moody said.
Jerry Goff Jr. finished second and Dylan Courtney rounded out the podium.
“That definitely was a race of attrition,” Goff said. “Man, I thought I had Moody, but lapped traffic was everywhere. Some of these guys have to get on bottom and stay there.
“Anytime, you race a guy like (Moody) and finish second, you’ve gotta feel good about it. It has been a long year, but it’s a great way to finish it.”
During post race inspection the car was flagged with an engine infraction.
|1||10||Jerry Goff Jr|
|9||19||Daryl McDonald III|
|1 4||24B||Caleb Burkett|