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Ray takes victory in Street Stocks feature race


Jamie Pickard (21) holds off Zach Combs in the 602 Sportsman feature Friday at Columbus Speedway.

Jamie Pickard (21) holds off Zach Combs in the 602 Sportsman feature Friday at Columbus Speedway. Photo by: David Miller/Special to The Dispatch






Special to The Dispatch 


Lee Ray followed up a pair of runner-up finishes last week with a win in the Street Stocks feature Friday at Columbus Speedway. 


Ray passed Jason Hollis down the backstretch on the first lap and never looked back, holding a two-second advantage by the time he took the checkered flag. Hollis had won the lone heat race earlier in the night. 


"It got kind of tight there for a minute," Ray said, "but I knew [Hollis] wasn't going to give me no room, and I wasn't going to give him none. We just kept hammering on 'em and pulled that one off." 


Hollis finished second, and Bryan Fortner took third. 


Ray finished second at both Magnolia Motor Speedway and Flomaton Speedway in South Alabama last week and has earned five wins in Durrence Layne Racing Street Stocks races this season. He has 12 runner-ups in the competition, including four at Magnolia Motor Speedway. 


Ray entered Friday night leading Fornter in the Durrence Layne Racing regional points table. 


Ray said he'd more than likely compete Saturday for another shot at Durrence Layne points after only seven Street Stocks showed up Friday to Columbus. Durrence Layne points drop from a 50 to 40-point scale if seven or fewer cars enter the feature. 


Fortner said he came to Columbus Friday after hearing the car-count was low. Drivers estimated the final tally, which included both Mini-Stocks and Buzz divisions, was below 30 cars. The fan turnout was just as sparse for The Bullring, which recently adjusted its 2018 races from Saturdays to Fridays to better accommodate schedules at other tracks. 


Fortner, though his car was set up for Moulton Speedway in Alabama, said he showed up to Columbus to support Ray. 


"I believe if I needed [Ray] for car count, he would show up," Fortner said. "But we just had way too low of a gear, and we didn't have enough straightaway speed. Lee got around Jason, but I run out of 'go' and just couldn't make it happen." 


Fortner and Ray said they were disappointed in the turnout and weren't sure why Columbus hasn't been able to draw enough cars for weekly shows. 


"I'm at a loss for words," Fortner said. "I'm just thinking, 'what is going on?' I really don't know. It's run on Friday nights before and done better than this; it's run on Saturday nights and done better than this. I don't know if it's just so dang hot that everybody's trying to find an air conditioner." 


"[Taylor] ain't been cutting the money, so you got to take your hats off to Rod for doing what he's said on that deal," Ray added. 


In other race action, Jamie Pickard won the 602 Sportsman feature. 


Final race results were not provided before press time. 




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