When the green flag flew Saturday on the Lee Fields Memorial at Mobile International Speedway, all eyes were on the likes of Christopher Bell, Augie Grill and Donnie Wilson. But when it was all said and done, a dominating performance by Garrett Jones was the topic of conversation.
Jones started the 150-lap Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco race from outside the top 10 but worked his way into third by the lap 75 break. When the race went back green, problems for leaders Augie Grill and Donnie Wilson opened the door for Jones who was more than ready to capitalize and run away with the lead.
“We’ve been testing at Hickory (Motor Speedway in North Carolina) and it’s paid off a bunch.” the former Pro Late Model champ said. “We haven’t done a lot of racing this year. We’ve spent countless hours testing.
“It is funny how these things work. We wanted to come back in dominating fashion and that’s what we did.”
The first half of the event was dominated by Grill and Wilson as that pair opened up a full straightaway lead before the break. On the restart however, Grill’s car shot up the track and in front of Wilson in turn one allowing the field to get past the two for several laps, dropping Grill back to 10th, while Wilson was able to settle in line in the sixth position.
“When we went off in the first corner I just thought we had a right front flat. It just wouldn’t turn at all. And the next corner wasn’t much better.” Grill explained after the race. “I was hoping something wasn’t wrong and it finally came back around. But I had lost half a track to Garrett already. And that’s just too hard to make up under green. “We’ll take second. I’m happy with that.”
Grill did make up quite a bit of that ground, charging all the way back to take the runner-up spot.
Wilson, who also got to the runner-up spot during the final half, wore out his tires trying to run down Jones and had to settle for fourth when it was all said and done.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Christopher Bell looked to be the driver to watch as the race went green after topping practice and qualifying in the afternoon. The Norman, Oklahoma driver traded the lead with Grill during the opening laps before settling into the field.
After the break Bell stayed patient and moved his was up to battle with Grill and Wilson in the closing laps for the last two podium spots before taking home third.
For Bell, 150 green flag laps in a Late Model was something new and proved a good test for a Kyle Busch Motorsports team that had been struggling lately.
“Just really happy to be with KBM in this Late Model deal,” Bell said. “They’ve been struggling the last couple of weeks so just glad we could get it turned around a little bit. They’ve been working hard to get this turned back around and I think that showed.”’
“I don’t think I’ve ever run a Late Model race that went green to checkered so that was definitely something different for me. It was good to get a long run in like that,” Bell finished with a smile.
The top-five finish for Wilson extended his points lead heading into the final two races of the Southern Super Series season as he tries to become the next series champion.
Next up for the Southern Super Series will be the Alabama 200 at Montgomery Motor Speedway (AL) September 9-11.
On-demand Trackside Now coverage of Saturday’s Lee Fields Memorial can be found by clicking here.
Lee Fields Memorial Unofficial Results
|13||99N||Wayne Niedecken Jr|
|14||30||Bobby Knox Jr|
-Southern Super Series/51 Sports Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com