Dustin Mitchell goes wire-to-wire for All-Stars victory at Dixieland Speedway
By Jami Frankenberry
Sunday, July 29, 2018
MORGANS CORNER — As lightning flashed in the distance and storms threatened, Dixieland Speedway officials hurried to get in Friday night’s marquee event.
No one was in more of a hurry than Dustin Mitchell.
Mitchell, a Princeton, N.C., resident, started on the pole and streaked to the front at the green flag and never trailed to win the annual Budweiser All-Stars Two-Barrell 50-lap championship.
Mitchell steered around three cautions, sprinting away at each restart, to collect $4,000 and dominate a 16-car field that featured some of the region’s top drivers.
“I figured if I could get out front I could run my race,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell held a lead of 4-5 carlengths for most of the race and was rarely challenged.
The top four cars stayed in a pack, but no one pulled onto Mitchell’s bumper until yellow flags on laps 21, 25 and 28.
Mitchell won in his first appearance this season at Dixieland, although he has been a regular at the dirt track’s biggest events in recent years.
“This place drives a lot like my home track at County Line,” Mitchell said, referring to the dirt track in Elm City, N.C. “I think that’s why we’ve been so successful here through the years.”
Brent Robinson (Smithfield, Va.), Robbie Emory (Milton, Del.), Willie Milliken (Roanoke Rapids, N.C.) and John Staton (Chesapeake, Va.) rounded out the top five. Dixieland points leader Billy Hubbard finished sixth in the non-points race.
Three of Dixieland’s other divisions also raced Friday:
In the Rapid Ron’s Racing Sportsman division, Troy Brickhouse won his fifth feature and took over the points lead with a 20-lap victory.
Brickhouse, of Elizabeth City, battled in the opening laps with early leader Roger Bell, but Brickhouse passed Bell on lap seven and pulled away. Bell finished second, followed by Doug Lincoln.
Joe Weiss led the standings by two points heading into Friday, but a first-lap tangle resulted in a flat tire.
He recovered to finish fourth.
In the Biggs GMC Stock Fours, Shane Loving — competing in just his third race of the season — led from start to finish in his first victory in a 15-lapper. Loving, a Suffolk, Va., resident, started on the outside pole and sped to the lead at the green flag.
He outdueled points leader Jason McCauley, who pulled onto Loving’s bumper throughout the race.
McCauley finished second in the caution-free race, followed by James Hissom.
“We’ve been working our tail off trying to figure out what’s wrong with this car,” said Loving, who finished second and 17th in his first two races this season.
In the 20-lap Little Caesar’s Super Streets feature, Kevin Bray continued his dominating season, cruising to his fifth victory in six races. Bray, of Maple, N.C., steered around a first-lap pileup that collected seven cars and finished ahead of Michael Morris and Rod Busitzky.