Morgen Lambert (77) tries to pass Doodle Lowe in the 602 Sportsman feature. Photo by: David Miller/Special to The Dispatch
June 22, 2019 11:13:17 PM
Brooks Strength continued his recent run of form Friday, holding off a hard-charging Jason Hollis at Columbus Speedway for his fourth Street Stocks win in seven races.
Strength led every lap, enduring three lap-1 restarts and going unchallenged for the majority of the race. But on the lap 8 restart, Strength's car started to sputter, and with two laps to go, Hollis, who'd climbed from fifth to second, narrowed the gap to just a car length.
"I was just praying for that checkered (flag)," Strength said. "(His car) was getting a little worse and a little worse. Hollis found something on the bottom, and I was thinking, 'there's no way I can give it away like that.'"
Hollis started third but fell to fifth by lap 8 after "jumping the cushion" in turns 3 and 4. But he made up the ground by continuing to run the bottom, which he said had "been there all night."
"At that point, I was thinking, 'I need five more (laps) instead of three,'" Hollis said. "I just had to get up on the wheel at that point."
Strength has been on a tear lately in his STATEMENT! Race Car built by Ben Keith Racing, pocketing $3,000 in a win at Duck River in Tennessee before taking home $1,000 in the Mississippi Street Stock Series feature Friday night. He's also won at Flomaton (Alabama) and at Jackson.
Strength said his last seven races have been as much about competing as it has been testing his car for the Street Stock Nationals at Whynot Motorsports Park in Meridian later this year. Friday night's win yielded good data for the future.
"The worst part was it would do it right in the turn, and it would make the front end shove, or I'd lose the front end a little bit," Strength said. "And that was kind of messing me up, making me run out into the marbles. When it didn't sputter, I knew I was good.
"I was getting a little nervous on the lap traffic because I didn't know how 'racey' the track was going to be," he added. "Other than that, I had a good car."
Hollis also finished second at Moulton, Alabama, last week, a positive progression after "three nights of hell" during the MSSS races at the Clash at The Mag three weeks ago.
Jamey Boland climbed from ninth to finish third in the race, while Johnny Stokes and Hunter Holloway rounded out the top 5.
In other race action, Morgen Lambert won the 602 Sportsman feature. Lambert trailed Doodle Lowe for much of the race but got an excellent jump on a last-lap restart, taking the lead off turn 2 and holding off Lowe at the line. Lowe took second, while Brandon Carpenter, Jimmy Anderson and Brian Hollis rounded out the top 5.
Scooter Ware won the Factory Stocks feature. Johnny Pannell finished second, while Russell Conn, Justin Comer and Aiden Fletcher rounded out the top 5. Pannell was leading early before spinning in the middle of turns 1 and 2 on the third lap, collecting Lee Ray before both straightened out and bolted through the infield to get back in the race. Ray would leave the race five laps later with body damage to the right front of his car.
Mike Minor won the Factory Stocks feature. Brandon Barnett, Adrian Usilton, Doc Wise and Blayne Glenn rounded out the top 5.
Jessie White won the Buzz feature. Hailey Wade, Shauna Browning, Brandon Glenn and Kody Love rounded out the top 5.
3. Sherrill reaches settlement with NCAA COLLEGE SPORTS
5. SEC Media Days MSU notebook: Defense, offensive line, QBs COLLEGE SPORTS