Bailey Picks Up First Win
by Jeff Bartlett
On a night of remembrance for the events of 20 years ago, Mason Bailey had a night that he will never forget after he parked his Geico of Fredericksburg Late Model in victory lane, picking up his first win at Dominion.
Bailey has had a long and frustrating year at times considering he has finished second three times and third five times. He has led laps, had great cars, but had not been able to put it together until Saturday night when it all came together for him. Peyton Sellers, who won the pole, picked the number four pill which put Bailey on the pole to start the first of two twin 60 lap features. That was all he would need as he survived five caution laps and led flag to flag to pick up his first checkered flag at Dominion. When asked how it felt to finally get the weight off his shoulders about the first win, Bailey said “It’s such a relief. We come out here every week, my team gives me really fast race cars that are capable of winning and to finally pull it off just feels awesome”. Sellers, the current points leader, overcame a spin five laps into the race to come back and finish second. Doug Barnes rounded out the top three.
The second feature saw the mandatory invert of the top eight which put Chase Burrow on the pole and Bailey in eighth. Sellers, who was looking to help his national points title had to start at the back of the field in 20th due to changing a tire in between features. Burrow was able to run up front for about 15 laps before coming back to the field where eventually Barnes would take over the lead. The only caution of the feature set up a green, white, checkered flag finish that saw Barnes hold off Landon Pembelton for the win. Bailey came home third.
The Truckin Thunder Virginia Racer division ran twin 35 lap features and Ryan Matthews, who has been dominant all season at Dominion, had a potential opportunity to close out the national points for the Advanced Auto Parts Weekly Series Division III. If he had finished no worse than second in both races, it would have helped tremendously and put him in a good spot to wrap it up.
The first feature saw Matthews roll off third behind pole sitter Eddie Slagle and Chris Donnelly. Matthews got around Donnelly and rode behind Slagle for over half the race and with only 12 laps left, gave Slagle a little bump in turn one, sending Slagle up the track just enough for him to take over the lead. With nine laps to go a caution came out and reset the field. Three laps after the green flag, Matthews and Slagle tangled coming out of turn four and Mike Ganoe was able to drive by and into victory lane for his first win in the Virginia Racer series. Rounding out the top three were Andrew Lang and Richard Storm. Slagle was able to pick up the win in the second feature.
In other action Saturday night, Tommy Jackson won in the INEX Legends division, and Kenton Case won in the INEX Bandolero division. Tyler Warriner took the checkered flag in the Mini Cup division and Michael Frayser held off Mike Chapman to win the Alcova Mortgage UCAR feature.
This coming Saturday the Southern Modified Auto Racing Tour, Smart Tour modifieds, come to Dominion for the first time ever. Some of the drivers in this series include Bobby Labonte, Burt and Jason Myers and Jonathon Brown. Come out and see which ones are here at Dominion this weekend. Also running are The Geico of Fredericksburg Late Models with twin 60 lap features, Dominion Stock, UCARs, Any Cars and the Southern Ground Pounders. Gates open at 5 and racing starts at 7 pm