Magnolia Motor Speedway
Rickman's demise lifts Hollingsworth at the Mag
By Bryan WimberleyDirtonDirt.com correspondent
COLUMBUS, Miss. (June 5) — Cruising the final 14 laps after a battle with hometown driver Rick Rickman, polesitter Ronny Lee Hollingsworth of Northport, Ala., grabbed a victory Saturday at Magnolia Motor Speedway to capture the seventh annual Coca-Cola Governor's Cup. | Video | Slideshow
Hollingsworth, who crossed the finish line 5.5 seconds ahead of runner-up Stacy Taylor of Jacksonville, Ark., earned $5,000 for the unsanctioned victory at the 3/8-mile oval.
Neil Baggett of Shannon, Miss., advanced 10 positions to finish third while 20th-starting Scott Dedwylder of Vossburg, Miss., and Dane Dacus of Lakeland, Tenn., rounded out the top five.
Rickman, who dueled with Hollingsworth in an exciting battle before pulling away, fell out on the 36th lap with a failed drive flange.
“I hate it for them (Rickman),” Hollingsworth said. “They broke and we were kind of slow to get started. ... We came out here and practiced for two days. We really struggled last weekend, probably the worse than I have ever had in a couple of years. So we went back to the drawing board, worked on this hot rod and man, it was good.”
The race started with a three-wide battle for the lead down the backstretch among Hollingsworth, Dacus and Rickman with Rickman leading the first lap.
The top three pulled away a few laps later and Dacus was closing on Rickman when a lap-10 caution slowed the action. A Justin McRee-Chris Brown tangle brought out another yellow on the restart, and Hollingsworth went ahead when action returned on lap 11.
Hollingsworth opened a two-second lead on Rickman before hitting traffic on lap 17 while Taylor dropped Dacus to fourth three laps later.
Up front, the Hollingsworth-Rickman battle was turning into a tight one as the second-running Rickman began negotiating lapped cars to cut into Hollingsworth's lead. Rickman went back ahead on the 29th lap and edged away before a lap-36 caution for a car in the turn-two wall.
The final caution appeared on the restart when Dean Carpenter spun in turn three, and during the caution laps, Rickman headed for the pits, later discovering the broken drive flange. He ended up 17th.
Hollingsworth inherited the lead for the restart and no one could keep up in the final circuits with Dacus, Taylor and Baggett giving chase.
Hollingsworth had a four-second lead when Taylor took second from Dacus with six laps remaining, and Baggett dropped Dacus to fourth a lap later. Up front, Hollingsworth cruised the rest of the way for his second special event victory of 2010.
Notes: Hollingsworth's Victory Circle chassis is powered by Vic Hill Engine and sponsored by Waddle Trucking, Kelley Electrical Contractors, VP Fuels, Tuscaloosa Chevrolet, Xtreme Graphics. ... The 26-minute feature ended at 11:10 p.m and was slowed by four cautions. .... The 2008 Governor’s Cup winner, Jimmy Cliburn, unloaded but didn’t compete. ... Jason Brock of Vernon, Ala., hit the wall in qualifying and parked for the night. ... Daniel Moore of Brandon, Miss., had terminal engine troubles in his time trials. ... Friday night's PRO Dirt Car Series winner at Central Mississippi Speedway, David Breazeale of Four Corners, Miss., got as high as fifth, before dropping back to a ninth-place finish. ... Chad Thrash of Meridian, Miss., had problems in just his second race in his new car when the driveshaft fell out on pit road before the main event; he lost the rear end cover during the 50-lapper and dropped out with a 21st-place finish. ... Track promoter Johnny Stokes outran Shay Knight in the NeSmith Chevrolet-sanctioned Crate Late Model feature. ... Drivers failing to make the Super Late Model feature included Terry Atkins, Jason Brock, Steve Bryan, Hunter Carroll, Jimmy Cliburn, Jason Downs, Dwight Falcon, Jeremy Glasgow, Leon Henderson, Chance Inmon, Patrick Michelle, Jason Milam, Daniel Moore, J.D. Pass, Randy Boyd Thompson, Mickey Trosclair and Chase Washington. ... The next Late Model special at Magnolia is a July 4 PRO Dirt Car Series event, part of the Firecracker Four Crown minitour over the Fourth of July weekend.
Coca-Cola Governor's Cup: (1) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, (2) Stacy Taylor, (3) Neil Baggett, (4) Scott Dedwylder, (5) Dane Dacus, (6) Jeremy Shaw, (7) Chris Ragan, (8) Jason Cliburn, (9) David Breazeale, (10) Anthony Burroughs, (11) Scott Creel, (12) Wade Byars, (13) Charlie Henderson, (14) Justin McRee, (15) Shane Stephens, (16) Klint Byars, (17) Rick Rickman, (18) Dean Carpenter, (19) Henry Cooper, (20) Bradley Price, (21) Chad Thrash, (22) Wendell Wallace, (23) Brian Rickman, (24) Chris Brown. Fast qualifier (among 41 cars): Hollingsworth, 14.345 seconds. Consolation winners: Baggett, Burroughs, K. Byars.