Sunday, March 31, 2019

PixelatedRESULTS: Opening Night for Mobile Speedway Regular Season

Mobile racer Chance Imel piloted his Pure Stock to a third place finish on Opening Night at Mobile Speedway on March 30, 2019. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)

By: Daniel Vining, Twitter: @danielvining

IRVINGTON, Alabama (March 31, 2019) -- Mobile International Speedway kicked off it’s 2019 regular season on Saturday night, March 30th, with five classes competing. A very healthy crowd played witness to both new and old winners in Pure Stocks, Sportsman, Pro Trucks, Outlaw Stocks and Winged Sprint Cars.

The preliminary build up to the night’s feature racing consisted of group qualifying for the Pure Stock and heat racing for the Pro Trucks, Outlaw Stocks and Winged Sprint Cars. Afterward, kids from the stands joined track announcer Bill Roth to roll the dice and determine the number of cars/trucks inverted for the features.

The five classes of Mobile International Speedway went to work in feature racing, putting on a great show for the fans in the stands, with a mix of new winners and returning victors.

In the Pure Stock 20 lap feature, it was all Daryl McDonald. Starting on the pole, McDonald led wire to wire, taking an unchallenged victory to start the 2019 season… his first at Mobile Speedway.

“It was a good race,” said McDonald. “We worked hard every week to get ready for this first race and it was… good.”

At the checkers, Citronelle, Alabama’s Dylan Courtney and Pensacola, Florida native Robert Balkum were second and third respectively. After post race technical inspection, however, both were disqualified for violations in their ignition systems. This handed second to fast qualifier TJ Thompson and third to McDonald’s teammate, Chance Imel.

After battling hard the night prior in Pensacola, BJ Laytham and Mark Barnhill continued to trade blows on Saturday night in Mobile. Laytham got the jump on polesitter Barhnill to start the 25 lap feature in the Sportsman Division, but after a bump in turn three, Barnhill was able to take the point on lap three. From then on, Laytham was able to keep up with Barnhill in the turns, but Barnhill continued to stretch out his lead on the straightaways, taking the checkers and sweeping the weekend with wins at both Five Flags and Mobile Speedway. Laytham held on to second, with Lee “Red Dog” Reynolds in third.

“It feels pretty good to come out here and win,” said Barnhill. “I know we’ve got a lot of good cars and any given night any given driver can win.”

The Pro Truck Division feature started with a wild ride off of the turn four banking for driver Jesse Salazar. At the start, Josh Hicks and Andrew Johnson took youngster Grant Thompson three wide going down the backstretch and into turn three. In the ensuing log jam, Salazar backed up a bit and Eric Courville made slight contact with Salazar’s left rear, sending Salazar up the track and over the banking. Salazar refired his machine, brought it to the attention of his crew and returned to the race after going airborne over the banking.

Up front, Hicks and Johnson again took Thompson three wide on the restart, with Thompson getting stuck up high and quickly losing spots, finding a spot in line behind Salazar in sixth.

Meanwhile, Andrew Johnson worked his way to the lead, around polesitter Brian Wiemer, who then lost the second spot to Josh Hicks. Hicks then began to chase down the leader Johnson before the caution flew on lap 11 for Grant Thompson, who lost power and came to a stop in turns three and four.

This setup a duel between Johnson and Hicks. As the pair checked out from the field following the restart, Hicks kept his machine close to Johnson, and on lap 18 rubbed his way by to take the lead. After Hicks got by Johnson, he got gone… sailing away to the feature win, doubling down on the weekend with victories at both Five Flags Speedway and Mobile Speedway.

“I’d like to thank Curt Britt Motorsports,” said Hicks. “He gave one really fast truck and couldn’t ask for a better truck to drive and win with. I’d like to thank my Mom and Dad couldn’t make it today because they had to to another race for our Bando and Legends Car drivers.”

The Outlaw Stocks put on a whale of show, with the field of cars battling hard in their 15 lap contest. Wesley King started on the pole and quickly began to pull out to a healthy margin over second place Kevin Chase. Chase had Jason Welch all over his back bumper, hounding him lap after lap. On lap six, Welch took second from Chase, then a lap later, dove down low on King to snatch away the lead in turn three. Welch drove off from there to score an emotional victory after not having claimed a win in some time.

“It’s been a long time,” said Welch. “It’s been a long day… no sleep from last night. I know it wasn’t a great car count tonight, but I’m glad you fans came out. We finally got one and it feels pretty damn good!”

The wicked fast Winged Sprint Cars closed out the night, putting on a clinic of raw, ground pounding speed around the Mobile half-mile.

Todd Fayard led the majority of the race while polesitter Ronnie Roberts made surges at the lead, trying to find a way around Fayard. Roberts was no match for Fayard on this night, and was looking at settling for second place until lap 11 of the 25 lap feature. After dominating, Fayard found himself with a major problem, losing power in turn four and rolling to a stop on the frontstretch as the field crossed the line at the start of lap 12.

After the restart, Ronnie Roberts took off, easily taking the checkers. Gulf Port, Mississippi drivers Shane Morgan and Cody Karl finished second and third respectively.

“We finally got all the bugs worked out after last year,” said Roberts. “I think we’ll be alright from now on.”


Pure Stock:

  1. 19 - Daryl McDonald III
  2. 12 - TJ Thompson
  3. 325 - Chance Imel
  4. 4 - Matt Jackson
  5. 21 - Thomas Norman
  6. 92 - Taylor Goudreault
  7. 2 - Michael Moody
  8. 22 - Dylan Courtney (DQ)
  9. 52 - Robert Balkum (DQ)


  1. 3 - Mark Barnhill
  2. 8 - BJ Laytham
  3. 32 - Lee Reynolds
  4. 71 - Tommy Blocker
  5. 1 - Maddox Langham
  6. 35 - Heath Hudson
  7. 55 - Jimbo Walker

Pro Trucks:

  1. 56 - Josh Hicks
  2. 66 - Andrew Johnson
  3. 30 - Memphis Villarreal
  4. 40 - Brian Weimer
  5. 52 - Eric Courville
  6. 18 - Eric Salazar
  7. 1 - Johnathan Langham
  8. 1 - Howard Langham
  9. 54 - Grant Thompson
  10. 51 - Trevor Bowen

Outlaw Stocks:

  1. 21 - Jason Welch
  2. 14 - Wesley King
  3. 15 - Kevin Chase
  4. 95 - Phillip Crownover

Winged Sprint Cars:

  1. 32 - Ronnie Roberts Jr.
  2. 1 - Shane Morgan
  3. 52 - Cody Karl
  4. 88 - Brandon Blenden
  5. 152 - Blake Carrier
  6. 121 - Todd Bliss
  7. 13 - Todd Fayard
  8. 77 - Francis Crowder

The stars and cars of the Mobile International Speedway return to have the “Fastest Fun Around” next week for another week of local division action on April 6th. In an added twist, the feature races will showcase a style of racing called “Black Flag Racing.” The basic premise in this is that the field will run a certain amount of laps before whoever is last will be black flagged, and that driver’s finishing position will be scored at that point. This will continue until there are only two cars remaining, setting the stage for a grudge match dash to the finish. The classes running on April 6th are the Pure Stocks, Sportsman, Outlaw Stocks and Pro Trucks.

For more information, check out the Mobile Speedway Facebook Page, or head over the track’s website at

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