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Roanoke's Dudley dominates Derby

Roanoke's Dudley dominates Derby

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CALLAWAY — Kyle Dudley, a past multi-time Late Model Stock Car (LMSC) series champion at Franklin County Speedway (FCS), made a late November return to his old stomping ground and took the rest of the field to the proverbial woodshed Sunday.

Dudley qualified on the pole and led from wire-to-wire in capturing the checkered flag in the 60-lap LMSC feature of the Southern Turkey Derby, an event staged by Moonshine Capital Promotions that brought down the curtain on the 2019 campaign at the track.

Dudley, who hails from Roanoke, is more than a month removed from claiming a top 10 finish in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway. Sunday, he came close to lapping the entire field en route to his victory.

“This was a super car. It’s been fast every time we come out here,’’ Dudley said. “I knew we’d be really good.’’

Few drivers opted to challenge Dudley on a 3/8-mile bullring where he’s turned more than his fair share of circuits.

“I hate that we didn’t have more cars here,’’ Dudley said.

“…This (car) was just on a rail. I didn’t know where we were in the race or who was close until we started catching (the second-place car). I knew we were in good shape then, and (I) counted down the laps hoping nothing stupid would happen,’’ Dudley said.

Thomas Beane came in and second and long-time FCS series leadfoot Bobby Gillespie was third.

In other races:

– Local leadfoot Todd Philpott held off a late challenge from multi-time FCS championship campaigner Jimmy Mullins to earn a trip to victory lane in the Charger feature.

– Darryl Chrisley was the winner of the Stock 4 feature following the disqualification of the car driver by on-track victor Casey Cupp.

– Cupp fashioned his triumph in the U-Car feature in the same manner when the racer piloted by on-track winner Tony Housman was disqualified.

– Tracy Scott won the Any Car feature.

– Teenager Luke Smith passed veteran A.J. Sanders on the white-flag lap to win the 40-lap Mini Stock feature.

Smith spent the majority of the race filling Sanders’ rear-view mirror.

“I’m going to be honest with you, I can’t believe I just did that,’’ said Smith, 15, who hails from Advance, N.C.

Sanders is past series winner at FCS, while Smith won for the first time in what was likely his first start at the track, albeit Smith had achieved a Mini Stock victory in the Tarheel state prior to his sojourn to western Franklin County.

“(A.J.) drove his heart out and I was just riding and I was trying my best to keep up with him,’’ Smith said. “I got lucky right there (on the last lap).

“(A.J.) is a good driver, and I can’t thank him enough for his help that he always gives us,’’ Smith said.

Sanders settled for second and Chuck Wall came in third.

Editor’s Note: Andy Marquis, managing editor of, provided quotes for this story.

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