MILLPORT, Ala. -- Like a high-level ball player, Limited Late Model driver Jeremy Shaw was getting by on ability.
In a two-hour span earlier this year, Tyler Castle won a Mini Stock heat race and was nestled behind Donny Andrews in the penultimate lap of the Winter Classic feature at Columbus Speedway. Blood pulsating through his veins and eyes wide open, the 16-year-old Sulligent, Alabama, native was no stranger to running well; the Sulligent High School junior won the track points title at Columbus in 2014. That night, though, he was still hunting for his first feature win. Though the race didn't attract as many Kajun Mini Stock Association drivers as the sanctioned KMSA events, top contenders Bo Minor and Donny Andrews were there. On the final lap, Castle saw the efforts of his first three years of racing culminate in his first career feature win.
In a span of just two hours, Tyler Castle won a Mini Stock heat race and was nestled behind Donny Andrews in the penultimate lap of the Winter Classic feature at Columbus Speedway earlier this year.
It's all going right for Bub McCool. The Vicksburg native had never driven for anyone but his family, aside from an occasional fill-in at major shows. But after last season, McCool teamed with car owner Randy Thompson, whose car was piloted by David Breazeale in 2014. One brand-new chassis and four races into the 2015 Mississippi State Championship Challenge Series, and McCool has three wins.
Competing in races on each side of the state on consecutive nights used to be commonplace for dirt track race car drivers, especially for Super Late Model racers.
Mike Vallentine has been fishing a long time. From Florida to Iowa, Vallentine probably knows where to find a fishery that will land a sizable haul. For the past three years, though, Vallentine has been focused on another search: locating new sites for Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters Tournament Trail. As president of the organization, Vallentine is excited that Illinois and Louisiana have joined the 2015 schedule for the first time. The addition of those states is another step in his effort to help bring more fishing opportunities to local and professional anglers.
Bub McCool finished where he began the Mississippi State Championship Challenge Series Super Late Model race Saturday at Columbus Speedway: first place. McCool held off David Breazeale and Rick and Brian Rickman brothers, all of whom started in the top four, to claim the win and $2,500 in the 50-lap feature.
For Super Late Model racers in the Golden Triangle, the Mississippi State Championship Challenge Series is about the only sure-fire slate of races they'll have in the state each year. While Columbus Speedway and Magnolia Motor Speedway have weekly races around their large-purse feature nights, those typically feature races in other divisions. So when inclement weather postpones MSCCS races, drivers have no chance but to stay home, or to race in other divisions, if they have the opportunity.
STARKVILLE - Luke Reynolds tried everything. That included long meetings with coaches, extra work in the batting cage and even film study of his swing from his days at Hinds Community College, but nothing seemed to work.
Camps are an annual endeavor for the Columbus Falcons youth football organization.
The Team Elite Mississippi Amateur Athletic Union boys basketball team won the Magic City Rumble last weekend in Birmingham, Alabama.
CARROLLTON, Ala. -- Anna Cockrell didn't realize she had been attracting attention for several years.
Vanilla is OK with Billy Clark. In Clark's time as teaching professional at Twin Rivers Recreation Center in Greenwood and at Cleveland Country Club, he played integral roles in helping the facilities to play host to events. Things have been a little more involved -- and tasty -- in Clark's three and a half years in Columbus.
Neal Hanley used to run in the Frostbite Half Marathon in Starkville, so he is well accustomed to all of the activities available to Golden Triangle residents. Hanley also used to be an early morning running partner of Brad Atkins when he lived in Columbus. Hanley fondly remembers the five- to seven-mile runs he and Atkins used to do probably three times a week about a year ago.
Trey Bright was running on a quarter tank of sleep Saturday when he arrived at Magnolia Motor Speedway. Bright, who won the Street Stocks feature at Columbus Motor Speedway on March 27, blew a motor for the second time in a month while turning laps Friday at Magnolia. After borrowing an engine and spending most of Saturday morning preparing his No. 82 car for that night's $2,000-to-win feature race, Bright turned down for a couple of hours before returning to the track.
Trey Bright remembers when area Street Stock drivers were lucky to have one $1,000-to-win race a year at their respective home tracks. Those purses typically still go to drivers in higher divisions, like Super Late Models. Slowly but surely, though, in his 13 years behind the wheel, Bright has built his racing career from the ground up, investing each small purse back into his operation.
After four consecutive weeks of race weekends dashed by rain, snow, and ice, one could tell it had been a while since drivers had turned competitive laps. Five laps into the $1,200-to-win Limited Late Model feature race at Columbus Motor Speedway, there were four caution flags and four drivers who'd been knocked out of the race.
Finally. Or perhaps, to avoid a jinx, the Golden Triangle should say "we're almost there."
1. New Hope standout Johnson signs with East Tennessee State COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Excitement abounds as Starkville HIgh is set to name Woods new coach HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. MSU men's basketball adds four-star prospect Holman COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Shaw picks up pace in Limited Late Model race LOCAL SPORTS
5. West Lowndes' Crawford signs baseball offer with Tougaloo HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS