IRVINGTON, Ala. (July 23, 2014) – After a one month break, racing is set to resume Saturday night at the Mobile International Speedway. With just five events left on the calendar for the 2014 season, late-season pushes for the local division championships will be the focal points for the drivers who call MIS at home — but the cars and stars of the Southern Super Series have their own agendas when they unload to race on July 26th.
Following his late-race heroics at his home track of Gresham Motorsports Park, 17-year-old Anderson Bowen scored his first SSS win and took control of the series points lead. Arguably one of the most consistent drivers on the tour this season, the Suwanee, Georgia native looks to continue the momentum of his breakthrough win at Alabama’s fastest half-mile.
The last time the SSS was in action at MIS, Bowen finished second to Donnie Wilson despite catching him in the closing laps of the race. Now, fresh off his victory two weeks ago, confidence is high for the teenager.
For Bowen, however; two familiar names in Southern Alabama look to take control of the series points lead on Saturday night.
In the early stages of the season, many were ready to crown Bubba Pollard the series champion. Winning four of the first six races, the Georgia native quickly cemented his spot at the top of the standings – and he remained there until Bowen’s win on July 12th.
One of the most successful drivers in the history of Super Late Model competition at MIS, there is no better place for Pollard to get his season back on track and re-gain control of the championship picture. Winning the Miller Lite Series championship at Mobile in 2009 and 2012, he is also an 11-time winner in Super Late Model competition at the track and has won the Lee Fields Memorial on four separate occasions. Considering his impressive resume at MIS, the 27-year-old can never be ruled out as a contender each time he unloads there.
Fresh off a win the last time the SSS was in town, Wilson, who is in the middle of a career year in the series, can’t be ruled out as well as Augie Grill.
With just six races left before the season is out, Saturday’s Miller Lite 125 at MIS is sure to be exciting. Considering the agendas of the aforementioned, and the incredible parity in the series, it is a must-see for racing fans on the central gulf coast.
In desperate need of a strong run the last time the Pro Truck division was in action at MIS, Jay Jay Day would cash in – but it wouldn’t be easy.
After experiencing issues with his No. 98 truck just hours before the race, Day, a native of Theodore (Alabama) jumped in the unfamiliar No. 3 truck for the remainder night.
After a meticulous charge to the front of the field, Day took the lead for the final time on lap on lap 22. Despite having to hold off the snarling pack of drivers behind him on two separate late-race restarts, Day would end the nigh in victory lane – and cut Okie Mason’s series points lead down to a scant seven points.
Now, as the series returns after a one month break, Day and his fellow Super Truck competitors are all looking to end the season on a high note. With just 37 points separating the top four drivers in the standings, the division’s championship battle is anything but wrapped up.
Not long ago, the championship picture in the Super Stock division at Mobile International Speedway looked very clear. Considering Dave Mader III’s dominance of the division, and he appearing to be in a league of his own, what was a battle for the championship turned into a fight for second-best.
All of that changed, however; when Mader’s race-winning car was disqualified and was awarded no points for the event – effectively blowing the championship wide open for the taking.
Now sitting third in the standings and 83 markers behind leader, Bobby Baria, time is running out for the former NASCAR driver. With just three races remaining on the season, he will more than likely have to rely on the bad luck of the top two in points in order and win out the rest of the season to have a realistic chance.
Arguably the most competitive division at MIS, fans have been treated to a highly contested championship battle between three drivers over the past two months.
Virtually trading wins amongst each other in the last three events, Brannon Fowler, Lee “Red Dog” Reynolds and Mark Barnhill have been the class of the field all season in the Sportsman division. With the three separated by just 39 points, this trio’s championship fight could very well go down to the last turn of the final race of the season.
Winning last time out, Reynolds moved within four points of Fowler in the standings, but if the pattern continues on Saturday night, it will be Barnhill’s turn to score the win and end the 25-lap feature in victory lane – and he could certainly use it.
Following a disappointing seventh-place result following mechanical issues on June 7th, the Irvington (Alabama) driver lost out on crucial championship points as Fowler and Reynolds finished first and second respectively.
With five races remaining on the season, there is still time for Barnhill to make up ground on his championship foes – but Saturday night will be a bell-weather for his championship outcome.
The 2014 season in the Bomber division at Mobile International Speedway can be summed up using one name: BJ Leytham.
Winning every race in the division since the season stated in March, and collecting his own bounty money on the way, the Mobile (Alabama) driver holds a commanding 142-point lead over Matt Jackson in the division points standings.
Despite downplaying his incredible run and crediting it to good luck; during the past month, Leytham has taken his familiar orange and white No. 8 machine to Mobile’s sister track, 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, and his experienced the same fortune.
As the season winds down for the Bomber division, Leytham will look to continue his dominance – but a strong contingent of his foes are looking for their own spoils.
Topping the list is Matthew Jackson, who appeared to have the car to beat the last time the division was in action until losing the handling of his car. Also looking to spoil Leytham’s part is his teammate Gene Denmark, who has finished closely behind him throughout the season and is fresh off setting a new track record in qualifying two weeks ago.
All of the action will get underway at 7pm with qualifying for the Southern Super Series, followed by features for the Bomber, Sportsman, Super Stock and Pro Trucks as well at the SSS Miller Lite 125. Besides adult tickets starting at $15 and $12 for seniors, students and military; children aged five and under are always admitted to the grandstands free of charge.
About Mobile International Speedway: Mobile International Speedway is the longest continuously operating sports facility in Mobile County. It was built in 1964 and has presented weekly motorsports events every year since then. As an indication of increasing community acceptance and enthusiasm, both the Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Mobile Sports Authority became MIS partners beginning in 2013.
Family attendance and participation have been the keys to the track’s continued success. Kids five and under are always admitted free to the grandstands. Family nights and family-oriented shows have always been staples of the annual MIS schedules. Over 30,000 people will attend the 14 scheduled MIS events in 2014.