Hubbard edges Jackson for championship at Dixieland Speedway

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Four Dixieland Speedway 2019 Champions pose for a photo following the season finale on Friday. L-R, Justin Pruitt in the Little Caesars Super Streets, Billy Hubbard in the Budweiser Allstar Late Models, Troy Brickhouse in the Rapid Ron's Racing Sportsman and James Hissom, Jr., in the Biggs Cadillac Buick GMC Stock Fours.

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From Dixieland Speedway

Sunday, September 22, 2019

It came down to the last lap, and it wasn’t until he crossed the finish line before Billy Hubbard knew he had done it again. The Cobbs Creek, Virginia native, earned his third straight Budweiser Allstar Late Model Championship title after finishing second in the 30-lap season finale at northeastern North Carolina’s Dixieland Speedway.

Hubbard said he was glad it was over after climbing from his black Rocket following the event. He came close three times to possibly seeing his title hopes go up in smoke.

The veteran racer needed to finish third or better to clinch the seasons highest award.

Elizabeth City racer Larry Jackson could have taken it from Hubbard if he finished four positions or higher than the driver he has chased all season long.

In turn one on lap six, while running down race leader Brent Robinson, Hubbard slipped and almost spun his car.

Although he lost ground to Robinson, Hubbard was able to carry on without wrecking his vehicle.

Jackson was only two positions behind Hubbard in fourth place at the time.

Nine laps later while trying to overtake the lapped car of Toby Davis, the two almost made contact on the front stretch.

Fortunately, Hubbard took evasive action and avoided the Davis car.

The third time the defending champion almost had catastrophe took place on lap 19. Just ahead of Hubbard, Davis and Bill Coada made hard contact with each other and the outside retaining wall on the front stretch.

Once more, Hubbard was able to narrowly drive by with no issues.

In the end, Hubbard was able to carry on and finish the event in the runner-up spot, one position higher than Jackson, who claimed third-place.

At the finish line first was Robinson, who claimed his second straight victory of the season after leading all 30-circuits of the event.

Brad Cox of Youngsville, North Carolina, claimed the win in the special 40-lap Rapid Ron’s Racing Sportsman feature that paid him $1,000 for his accomplishment.

Will Pritchard of Elizabeth City, competes typically in the Late Model division but elected to run in the Sportsman event to wrap up the season.

He earned the pole position in qualifying but experienced mechanical issues that prevented him from starting the feature.

His misfortune handed the pole position over to defending race winner Joe Weiss.

Weiss, of Elizabeth City, quickly took off and lead the opening 19-laps until car issues cost him the potential victory.

A fuel pump failure slowed the number zero Chevrolet, and he handed the race lead over to Cox, who went on to lead the remaining 21-circuits to claim his first win of the season.

Past champion Pat Gonzales, who races a limited schedule, finished second.

With a third-place finish on Friday, Troy Brickhouse earned another title in the Rapid Ron’s Racing Sportsman division.

The 41-year old Elizabeth City racer was able to finish one spot higher than last year to take the championship that eluded him in 2018.

Defending champion, Mark Gonzales had mechanical issues for the third straight race and was unable to finish the event.

He ended the night early in the garage and was credited with a 14th-place finish. Gonzales fell two positions in the point standings following the last event, going from second to fourth.

Despite the fuel pump issue, Weiss was able to limp along to a seventh-place finish that earned him enough points to claim second in the season-long standings, one spot higher than he entered the final event.

Mark Overman also moved up one place better to finish in third place in the point standings.

Veteran racer Allen Shiflett earned his second win of the season in the Little Caesars Super Streets after an up and down evening in the caution-filled contentious event.

The 54-year old Elizabeth City racer crashed his car on the front stretch while leading the race and trying to overtake a lapped car on lap 11, one circuit past the halfway distance of the event.

He was able to work his way back up to the point in the final nine laps, with the help of four more yellow flags that were surrounded in controversy as drivers made contact with one another sending cars spinning at multiple points during the second half of the race, including leader Josh Letson, points champion, Justin Pruitt, Chris Lincoln, Kevin Webb and more.

Despite the spin, Lincoln earned his best finish of the season, after securing the runner up position and Camden’s Dennis Barnes claimed third-place.

Barnes bounced back after wrecking his car earlier in the evening during the heat races. After starting at the rear of the field, he faced more challenges when he was involved in two more incidents during the feature on laps 12 and 13.

With a little luck and sound driving, he was able to claim the final podium finish.

Pruitt, of Chesapeake, finished the event in fifth-place and earned his first division championship.

The 24-year old competitor earned two wins this season and collected more points than any other driver to receive the divisions highest award. He will be officially crowned at the awards banquet in February.

Barnes finished second in the points race and season finale winner Shiflett moved from sixth place to wrap up the season in third.

James Hissom, Jr. picked up his ninth victory of the season in the Biggs Cadillac Buick GMC Stock Fours and officially earned the division’s points championship.

Hissom was able to hold off Trevor Battoia, who finished second in the 15-lap event and also took second in the points race. Chris Freemon finished the season’s final event in third-place.

The title was Hissom’s first and he and his crew were elated following the race.

After 20-years of trying, Virginia Beach’s Dale Ore, Jr., is now a champion in the R&D Super Fours. The experienced competitor finished Friday’s event in fourth place after being involved in an incident on lap seven.

After the race, he said he thought the title had slipped from his hands after that incident. He was able to carry on and finish the event to secure the title.

Rickie Waters earned his third victory in that division in as many starts this season.

Waters lead all 15-laps en route to the win. Past champion Kyle Barnes of Windsor finished in second-place, and Ron Winterburn earned third-place.

Christopher Kennedy won the special mechanics race to conclude the evening.

With the final event in the rear-view mirror, the off-season has officially begun.

The action will heat back up again next spring to kick off season number 38.

For more information, dial 252-771-5151 or visit online at dixielandspeedway.net.