Cody Chism (33) holds off Levi Aldridge in a Factory Stock feature at Magnolia Motor Speedway. Chism will compete in a $2,500-to-win feature Saturday at Columbus Speedway. Photo by: David Miller/Special to The Dispatch
June 21, 2018 10:29:23 PM
By DAVID MILLER
Special to The Dispatch
So much for a transition period.
Cody Chism spent the greater part of 18 years racing go-karts across the state and competing on the national stage in unlimited karts.
But as participation in the sport dwindled and tracks began to shut down, Chism was keen to find an economical and convenient racing fix. This year, he opted to return to Factory Stocks, a division in which he competed for just a year when he was 14 years old.
After five feature wins across three different tracks and six other top 3 finishes, Chism has quickly become a favorite for the big-money races in the sports entry-level division. Chism, who started 18th and finished second in the $2,500-to-win Summer Sizzler at Jackson on June 10, hopes to pocket $2,500 in the Factory Stock Madness feature Saturday at Columbus Speedway.
"We had some mishaps at Jackson - started fifth in the heat after the guy in first spun us out," Chism said. "We get hit and hung up and tore a good bit up, so I just hope to come out with a clean car; our first goal is to survive and don't tear up anything."
Chism has been on a roll lately - outside of his runner-up finish at Jackson, he's won two of his last three races at Magnolia Motor Speedway and hasn't finished any lower than third there this year. But he was also fast out of the gate, winning his first race of the year at the Frostbuster at Columbus Speedway.
"I knew we would be pretty decent, and I could at least finish top five everywhere," Chism said, "but I wasn't expecting winning the first race we went out. And ever since then, we've stayed on top of the car and have done real well."
Chism said his karting background helped him acclimate quickly to racing cars this season.
"The biggest difference is in karts is you have one line," Chism explained. "You hope the guy in front of you messes up so you can get by him. In cars, you have multiple lines. Other than that, I just try to drive like I'm in a kart - try not to slip and drive straight through the corners as best I can."
Chism drives the white No. 33 Monte Carlo, a car previously driven by Logan Lux, who moved up to Street Stocks this year. He chose Factory Stocks over Street Stocks, but, if all goes well the rest of the year, he'll consider moving up next season.
"Factory Stocks have grown a lot over the years, and to me, it's getting bigger and bigger each race," he said. "It's a good entry for someone's first time getting in a car - there's a few drivers who have some learning curves, but there's people moving down classes trying to get back into the Factory Stocks for the competition and car counts.
"We've talked about running both Streets and Late Models in another year or two."
NOTES: Columbus Speedway promoter Rod Taylor announced via Facebook Wednesday night that Durrence Layne Late Models had been removed from the weekend slate due to a "lack of support." Taylor noted just two Late Models showed up to the last race-night at the track. Columbus will host features for Street Stocks, 602 Sportsman, Mini Stocks and Hotshots/Buzz on both tonight and Saturday, with qualifying and heat races for Factory Stocks tonight. The $2,500-to-win Factory Stock B-mains and 40-lap feature will run Saturday.
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