Hubbard quick in Cash Cow 100 practice
By Kevin KovacWorld of Outlaws Late Model Series
COLUMBUS, Miss. (March 17) — Forty-one drivers from 15 states attended Thursday night’s Cash Cow 100 practice session at Columbus Speedway, setting the stage for a spectacular weekend of World of Outlaws Late Model Series competition.
Stopwatch timing unofficially pegged 2010 WoO Rookie of the Year Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., with turning the fastest laps during the over two-hour-long test. The 19-year-old sensation was captured roaring around the third-mile, high-banked oval at roughly 13.30 seconds near the start of hot laps when the outside groove was strongest.
Hubbard, who enters the weekend’s $20,000-to-win event as the highest-ranked WoO regular in the points standings, is making his first-ever start at Columbus behind the wheel of Dale Beitler’s Rocket No. 19. He felt right at home circling the challenging track.
“I like it,” Hubbard said of the speedway known as the Baddest Bullring in the South. “It’s definitely aggressive, definitely high-speed. There’s no easing into the turns here.”
Other drivers who stood out on the stopwatches included two-time defending tour champion Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., who won the second race of his WoO career at Columbus in 2006; three-time series titlist Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., the victor in the tour’s last event at Columbus in 2007; 2008 series champ Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky.; Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., a two-time Magnolia State 100 winner at Columbus; and 2010 UMP DIRTcar Summernationals champion Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill., who opened eyes by rolling the high side of the track in his first visit to Columbus.
The only incident of the evening came early in the practice session when 2011 WoO Rookie of the Year contender Ron Davies of Warren, Pa., slapped the wall between turns three and four after hitting a hole in the surface. He wasn’t injured, but the damage done to his MB2 Customs car will force him to run his backup machine this weekend.
More drivers are expected to join the Cash Cow 100 field for time trials and qualifying heat races on Friday night, including WoO regular Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., and Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga.
On Fridiay, pit gates will open at 12 noon and spectator gates will be unlocked at 4 p.m. for advance-ticket holders and 4:15 p.m. for race-day purchasers. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m.
The schedule for Saturday calls for pit gates to open at noon, with the front gates opening at 3 p.m. for advance ticket holders and 3:15 p.m. for all other fans. Racing is set to get the green flag at 6 p.m. on a program that includes B-Mains and the Cash Cow 100 headliner.
Other divisions on the weekend program are unsanctioned Crate Late Models (running under NeSmith rules) and the Mississippi Street Stocks. The Crate Late Models will compete in full programs for $600 to win on Friday and $1,000 to win on Saturday, while the Street Stocks will chase top prizes of $300 on Friday and $500 on Saturday.