It took an extra week but Mobile International Speedway opened the 2010 season Saturday night with the pro late models in a 35-lap feature.
Eric Corvelle of Gonzales LA was the dominant car in the closing laps of the pro late model feature but failed a post race technical inspection.
The veteran driver’s engine had a camshaft that did not meet the specifications established for pro late model engines at Mobile International Speedway
Citronelle’s Donald Crocker who was strong for the entire race leading early on and then posting a second place finish was elevated to the win by the disqualification of Corvelle.
In qualifying, Mobile’s D. J. Vanderley established a new track record for a single lap at 17.279 seconds eclipsing the old mark of 17.342 set by Bubba Pollard in October 2009.
Mobile’s David Jones finished the night in second, with Thomas Praytor also of Mobile third and Josh Bragg of Helena, MS finishing the night in forth place.
Tempers flared late in the race as Bubba Naumann of Milton, FL and John Thompson of Mobile were involved in a collision on the track, then continued to bump each other on the track which resulted in the cars spinning to the infield.
A tussle between the drivers followed but that was quickly stopped by track personnel and both drivers were sent to the pit area for the night by race officials.
Excitement in the Super Stock division started early during qualifying as four cars bettered the track record.
Jessie Reid of Eight Mile, AL was the fastest of the four and claimed to new mark at 19.164. The old record was established in August of 2009 by Irvington’s Howard Langham at 19.533.
In the thirty lap feature race, 2009 Super Stock Champion Shannon Jackson of Pascagoula, MS started on the pole, but could only hold the top spot to lap seven, when Paul Jean of Cordova, AL moved into the lead.
On lap nine, some of the cars begin experiencing mechanical problems, Cantonment, FL’s Randy Thompson and Matt Taylor of Ocean Springs, MS had engines expire.
Lap ten, saw the Reid automobile collected in an incident ending up on the top of turn four with a broken steering system.
Moments later on lap 19 Johnson saw his engine come apart in yet another mechanical failure.
Bobby Baria of Grand Bay, AL was runner up, as Langham was third, Pascagoula’s Darin Matthews forth and Jackson fifth.
Chad Robinson of Mobile started on the pole for the sportsmen 20 lap feature.
Robinson never looked back, held off all challenges to capture the checkered flag.
Mobile’s Johnathan Day posted victory in the fifteen lap bomber feature race.
Day and Rusty Powell, Jr. of Semmes won preliminary races in the bomber division.
It was Brannon Fowler of Molino, FL and Steve Stagner of Chunchula, AL winning the heat races in the sportsmen division.
Mobile International Speedway returns to action April 10, 2010 with the super late models in a 100 lap feature race.
The race is the first of the summer long five race series for the Gulf Coast Championship.
Johanna Long of Pensacola, FL is the defending Gulf Coast Championship title holder.