MORGAN’S CORNER — Stephen Flinn picked up his second straight victory – and second of his career – but only after the upstart 14-year-old rookie survived a chaotic 20-lap feature Friday night at Dixieland Speedway.
Three laps into the Little Caesar’s Super Streets race, Flinn brought out a caution flag when he skidded to a stop and nearly hit the wall in turn one. He regrouped, steered around two more cautions and another near-miss with the wall and gained the win after a dramatic final-lap pass.
“My dad said it was going to be seat time,” said Flinn, a Virginia Beach resident and son of former Dixieland driver Doug Flinn. “I’m working on it, with these first two wins. Last week, (the leader) broke an axle, and this week it was luck again.”
A wet track gave drivers fits throughout the night, and the Super Streets got the first taste of it by competing in the opening feature.
Three drivers held the lead, and Scottie Brown appeared on his way to a third win this season when chaos struck on the final lap. Brown was preparing to lap Sean Owens between turns one and two when they tangled. Brown continued through turn two, but he slid to a stop on the backstretch, allowing Flinn to race around him for the lead with half a lap left.
An elated Flinn drove to Victory Lane, an apologetic Owens took second and a frustrated Brown drove to the pits. Justin Pruitt ended up third.
Owens apologized to both Flinn and Brown in a post race interview in front of the crowd.
“I didn’t mean to cause that wreck,” Owens said. “That’s not the way I want to finish second.”
Meanwhile, Flinn drove to another win following his first career victory last week.
“It’s bad for (Brown) because he had it almost won,” said Flinn, who is heading into his freshman year at Kellam High School. “The track was a little wet. It probably had one groove. If you went low you had standing water, if you went too high you were in the wall.”
Dixieland’s four other divisions also battled the track Friday night.
In the Budweiser All-Stars division, Chesapeake’s John Staton extended his points lead with a third victory of the season. Staton lead all 30 laps and finished ahead of Ted Midgett and Tom Wilson.
Elizabeth City’s Matt Meads won his second straight Sportsman feature. Meads avoided the 20-lap race’s only caution and picked up his fifth win of the season in front of Thomas Adams and Pat Gonzalez.
In the Biggs Super Fours 20-lapper, Virginia Beach’ Rickie Waters led from start to finish for his division-leading fourth victory. Waters finished the caution-free race in front of Ron Winterburn and Todd Smith.
Portsmouth’s Robert Fulcher picked up his first R&D Excavating Stock Fours victory. Fulcher drove around two cautions to finish ahead of Scott Hooten and Joe Frank.
Jami Frankenberry is a correspondent for The Daily Advance.