Breazeale back to form with Hattiesburg victory
By Joshua JoinerDirtonDirt.com staff writer
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (April 22) – After coming close in multiple races earlier in the season, defending Mississippi State Championship Challenge Series champion David Breazeale finally broke through for his first victory of 2011 when the series visited Hattiesburg Motorsports Park Friday night. | Blog
Breazeale of Four Corners Miss., jumped to the high side of race-long leader Klint Byars of Carrollton, Miss., following the race’s lone restart on lap-25 and completed the pass two laps later. He held off repeated challenges from Byars for the remainder of the 40-lap race to earn a $2,000 payday.
The victory came against a solid field of competitors that along with Byars, included Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series regulars Bub McCool and Chris Wall, as well as talented up-and-comers Billy Moyer Jr. and Dillan White.
“Against the field that was here tonight it feels really good (to win),” said the pole-starting Breazeale, who recorded five MSCCS victories in 2010. “There’s three or four of these cars that race on the national scene and they’re tough. So to come back and get a win against this field, it does mean something.”
While Breazeale did have to work for the victory, he didn’t have to worry about McCool or Wall for very long. Both drivers fell out of contention before a lap was even completed. The second-starting McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., raced side-by-side with Breazeale on the first attempt to start the race, but contact between the two drivers sent McCool into the backstretch wall and ended his night.
McCool blamed Breazeale for the incident, but Breazeale didn’t feel he was at fault.
“I don’t like any controversy on a win,” Breazeale said. “Bub thought I got into him on the start. If I did I apologize. I didn’t really feel like I got into him or even cut him off. ... We’re just chalking it up as a racing deal.”
The third-starting Wall of Springfield, La., ran into trouble on the next attempted start when he got loose in turn one, causing a chain-reaction pileup. He was sent to the rear of the field.
When the race finally got going, it was Byars of Calhoun City, Miss., taking the lead from the outside of the front row, the starting position he inherited due to McCool’s demise.
Byars, a rookie contender who leads the series standings, pulled away from Breazeale and appeared to have the race in hand through a 25-lap green-flag run. But the caution appeared when Joseph Joiner of Milton, Fla., and Wall tangled in turn one, giving Breazeale a shot at the lead.
Breazeale pulled alongside Byars when the race went back green, and the two race side-by-side for two laps before Breazeale finally took control of the position. Byars chased Breazeale for the remainder of the race, but couldn’t mount a charge strong enough to reclaim the point.
“This place you normally don’t run high,” Breazeale said. “I could see that he was rolling (slower traffic) on the outside. The only way I was gonna try it was (on a restart). It was just a hail mary move. If he took the bottom I was gonna hang it out on top and just hope it stuck, and it held for two laps.”
Byars ran the top earlier in the race while navigating slower traffic, and he was surprised by the speed Breazeale was able to carry.
“That caution came and I wasn’t sure which side he was on,” Byars said. “I went through some lapped traffic there on the top earlier on in the race and it just didn’t feel as fast. ... I think the bottom was the better place to be. He just got a little momentum there and could keep it up and got by me.”
Rodney Wing of Meridian, Miss., raced from 13th to finish third while Chad Thrash of Meridian, Miss., finished fourth. Steve Bryan of Collinsville, Miss., rounded out the top five finishers after starting from the 10th position.
Moyer of Batesville, Ark., and White of Crofton, Ky., were both competing at Hattiesburg for the first time and finished sixth and seventh respectively.
Notes: Breazeale's MasterSbilt Race Car is owned by Leon Henderson and sponsored by L&D Trucking. ... The race was Breazeale’s first in the MasterSbilt since he switched to a Victory Circle by Moyer Race Car over the offseason. With his spec motor in the MasterSbilt, he felt it was the better option at Hattiesburg. He plans on being back in the Victory Circle Saturday night when the series moves to Whynot (Miss.) Motorsports Park for a $2,500-to-win race. ... Breazeale swept both MSCCS races at Hattiesburg in 2010. ... Jeremy Broadus ran third early in the race, but pitted under the lap-25 caution. He rejoined the field and advanced to 10th by the finish. ... Byars’s lap time of 13.316 seconds in time trials set a new track record.
MSCCS @ Hattiesburg: (1) David Breazeale, (2) Klint Byars, (3) Rodney Wing, (4) Chad Thrash, (5) Steve Bryan, (6) Billy Moyer Jr., (7) Dillan White, (8) Jim McDuffie, (9) Brooks Strength, (10) Jeremy Broadus, (11) Bo Gordon, (12) Wade Byars, (13) Joseph Joiner, (14) Keith Miller, (15) Shannon Lee, (16) Scott Ladner, (17) Michael Arnold, (18) Chris Wall, (19) Mickey Trosclair, (20) Kody Barber, (21) Leon Henderson, (22) Bub McCool. Fast qualifier (among 28 cars): Byars, 13.316 seconds. Dash winner: Breazeale. Consolation race winners: Joiner, Bryan. Provisional starters: Miller, Henderson.