Bad blood boiled over at Franklin County Speedway on Sunday as the second chapter in the Kyle Dudley/Brian Sutphin rivalry was written when Kyle Dudley avenged his loss in the previous race by scoring the victory and taking Brian Sutphin out of the race in the process.
“I don’t know what happened over there,” Dudley said. “He (Sutphin) came down on me and I hate it for him. Then, he wanted to act all stupid and run in to me under caution. He showed me, didn’t he? He’s sitting there parked and we won the race. It worked out in our favor and maybe it will make him do some thinking when he’s spending that money.”
The feud boiled over on lap 46 when Sutphin wrecked off the front bumper of Dudley in turn three in a battle for the lead. After the wreck, Sutphin ran in to Dudley under caution and then gestured him as he drove around heading for the pits.
“I wasn’t paying any attention to him,” Dudley said. “I was paying attention to my racing while he was sitting in the stands. This car was a rocket all day and I’m telling you it shocked the heck out of me. I’m very pleasantly surprised with this thing. Today was our day. We had the car to beat. You get days like that. We had one last time and had it kind of taken away from us. I was just trying to make sure we didn’t lose one that way again. Thankfully, it all worked out.”
Brian Sutphin declined to comment after the race.
The incident came one race and three weeks after Kyle Dudley was wrecked off the front bumper of Brian Sutphin’s car on the final lap of the Spring Sizzler. After that race, Dudley said his goal was to win the next race while Sutphin said there were no hard feelings on his side but that there probably were on Dudley’s side.
The incident between Dudley and Sutphin was not the lone incident in the Late Model feature. On the 58th lap of the race, Wesley Thomason and Eric Winslow collided in a horrific incident that ended with both cars destroyed and Winslow’s car lodged sideways against the outside barrier in turn one.
Winslow stated that there had been some history between himself and Thomason prior to the incident.
“It should not have happened,” Winslow remarked. “It was a lapped car. I don’t know what I’ve done to make him so mad other than us wrecking U-CARS and stuff. I’m sick tired of it. It’s going to be awfully hard for Franklin County to get people want to come when they look at that picture with cars on top of the wall. He shouldn’t have torn his car up and I shouldn’t have torn my car up. Hopefully we’ll come back sometime.”
Thomason, who said Winslow deliberately caused the wreck, tossed his helmet at Winslow after the wreck but, in a postrace interview, said he was in good spirits.
“I’m alright,” Thomason stated. “My car’s better off than his car is and it’s going to stay that way next week.”
Devin Steele, who had inherited the victory in the previous race when Dudley and Sutphin got together, once again was put in a position to win this race but went on to finish second. After the race, Steele was miffed over Dudley’s driving style.
“Second place isn’t bad,” Steele said. “I’ll take second place like that any day over driving like (Dudley) does. He wants to sit over there and wreck (Sutphin) and door us. He hasn’t passed a single car up here tonight. We aren’t about to race like that.”
Johnny Cash went on to finish in third and Bobby Griffin rounded out the field of cars that were running at the completion of the 75-lap event.
Gary Ledbetter completed a three day racing weekend in victory lane collecting the bounty placed on Danny Bush in the Street Stock race with a dominant performance in the event. Ledbetter beat out Bush and Lynn Phoenix.
“We saw when they put the bounty on Danny and we knew he was the one to beat because he’s won the last six races or so. We knew he was pretty good. We were close on times in practice and I just got a good start while he got held up a little bit and we had a good race.”
Brittany Cockram scored her second win of the season in a wacky Mod-4 feature over Steve Cannaday and Matt Slusher. Cockram’s victory came after mechanical issues forced her to sit out the last race. The race took several minutes to start when multiple cars had issues during pace laps. The top three finishers were the only cars running at the end.
“A win is a win,” Cockram said. “It’s better to have it than not have it. This car surprised me today. We had a rough start last time and didn’t even get to race so, to come back and do this, it’s amazing and for everything to hold together makes it 10 times better.”
David Burnett scored the victory in the crash-marred Mini-Cup race outpacing Buck Mitchell who had been swept up in an incident earlier in the race, WJ. Altizer scored the victory in the U-CAR feature and JC Morgan put an end to Chris Amos’ winning streak by pacing the Street ModZ feature en route to victory.
Franklin County Speedway will be back in action twice on Memorial Day Weekend, traditionally known as Racing’s Greatest Weekend in the motorsports community. Races will be run on Saturday night, May 24th and on Memorial Day, May 26th. Saturday’s race will start at 7pm and Monday’s race will start at 5pm.