EUNICE, N.M. – Sam Hodges and Jordan Lathram were the big winners at Cardinal Speedway’s season-opening doubleheader.
So was St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Hodges won Friday and Saturday night features for IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks. His $500 in winnings – $200 from opening night, $300 from night two – didn’t stay in the bank long as the former Cardinal promoter called St. Jude’s on Monday to donate the full amount toward children’s cancer research.
“This is the time last year I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I raced opening night in a SportMod, then had surgery and spent the rest of the season as a spectator,” he explained. “I made a deal with the Lord that he saved me and I’d help save somebody else.” “I’m going to donate all the money I win this season,” continued Hodges. “I’ve been good for a year now. Every day is a bonus.”
(The St. Jude’s website is www.stjude.org).
Hodges won from fourth starting on Friday, ahead of Errick Rogers and Gerald Spalding Jr., and from seventh on Saturday, battling both the cold and a dirt storm. Spalding was second and third went to Kenneth Seay. Lathram also had two wins to show for the weekend at Eunice, in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car division.
He drew the Friday pole and checked out in a contest that race 20 laps caution-free. Lathram started outside row one on Saturday and led just the last five circuits. The victories came in his third and fourth starts in a new Medieval Chassis.
“I went straight to the top of the track on Friday. We had the setup right on point from the start,” he said. “We tightened it up a little for the feature on Saturday.” Mark Lord and Carbie McClearen rounded out Friday’s top three. Dustin White was runner-up and Colin Deming ran third on Saturday.
Neal Flowers was first in the opening night feature for Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modifieds, ahead of Toby Herring and Dean Deming. Herring collected the Saturday checkers in front of Jerry Harpole and Cory Davis.
Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMod winners were Dustin Robinson and Cory Williams. Following Robinson to the Friday finish were Tanner Houston and Williams. Brandon Ross was second and Chance McDaniel ran third on Saturday.