Shelby Sheedy is on the move in Friday’s Super Late Model Feature at Columbus Speedway. Photo by: David Miller/Special to The Dispatch
April 6, 2019 11:30:01 PM
By DAVID MILLER
Special to The Dispatch
Shelby Sheedy is finally on the board.
The French Camp native had been searching for his first Super Late Model win since breaking into the division in early 2017. Friday, at Columbus Speedway, Sheedy held off a late charge from Jamey Boland to win the 25-lap feature, the first of his career.
"It felt really good to see the hard work and dedication over the years pay off," Sheedy said. "In those last few laps, you're thinking about [the first win], and you have to put it aside and focus in order to achieve it."
Sheedy's focus was tested late in the race as the track started to slick off, particularly in turns 3 and 4. Boland was able to close the gap in turns 1 and 2, but Sheedy was able to extend his lead by making the car stick better exiting turn 4.
"When it slicked off coming off four, I noticed I got to overdriving it a bit, and I had to calm myself and hit my marks," Sheedy said. "I had to be easy off of four and drive it more careful."
Sheedy was piloting a new TrakStar race car that he won for being the highest TrakStar finisher in the 2018 Mississippi State Championship Challenge Series points standings. Sheedy and his team built the car, while Mike and Jamey Boland, of TrakStar, set up the car. Friday marked just Sheedy's second race in the car after he finished eighth at a State Series race at Jackson on March 16.
"Having this car, I can drive it more aggressive than the other one I had in the past," Sheedy said. "We've been trying to get a few little bugs worked out - and have the driver get used to it - but it was really good last night."
Boland finished second, while Robert Moore, Mark Dodson and Kyle Shaw rounded out the top 5.
Sheedy hopes his win Friday is a positive omen for future results on the State Series, which he will again run full-time.
"The competition is something I really like about [the State Series]," Sheedy said. "There's really good competition everywhere you go."
JOHNSON WINS FACTORY STOCKS FEATURE: Alex Johnson hadn't won a dirt track race in more than 20 years - because he hadn't competed in one.
Friday, after spells of bad luck in two races at Pine Ridge earlier this year, Johnson benefitted from a little bit of good fortune, and tough driving to hold off Cody Chism late in the feature.
The race appeared to be a battle between Johnny Pannell and Lee Ray, as both pulled away from the field shortly after the race began. But Ray broke a drive-shaft on lap 4, and Pannell blew a motor on lap 10.
As the smoke emitting from Pannell's car in the pits clouded the track, Johnson was able to hold off Chism on what he called a "fast surface."
"The track was hooked up really good," Johnson said. "You pretty much had to hold it wide open the whole time. Pannell was pretty much gone until he blew up - I'm not sure.
"I thought [Chism] was gonna get around me there a time or two. He was coming off the corner a little harder than me, and I just didn't have enough motor, to be honest. But I got a little lucky."
Johnson previously raced Limited Late Models before getting into drag racing. He said he sold his drag-truck last week and returned to the track for "the adrenaline," and because his wife, Shelly, enjoys it more than drag racing.
Brandon Whitley, Scooter Ware and Jason Bridges rounded out the top 5.
In other race action, Chace Pennington won the 602 Sportsman feature. Jamie Pickard, Corey Pennington, Morgan Lambert and Matt Grable rounded out the top 5.
Brent Mitchell won the Street Stocks feature, and Brandon Barnett won the Mini Stocks feature. Isaac Gipson won the Buzz Class.
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