|Photo credit: Tray Sees Photography|
Submitted by Ted Austad
(June 19, 2016 - Senoia, GA) Randy Cornwell has been racing with a target on his back most of the season as the Fayetteville driver has posted eight Hobby Stock wins and four in a row at the ‘Bull Ring’ Senoia Raceway. It looked like Cornwell would be knocked out of the winner’s circle Saturday night, but the second generation driver inched past Villa Rica’s Joe Hillman at the finish line.
“I want to thank Joe for racing us clean,” said Cornwell afterwards. “That was an exciting finish to a really fun race.”
Cornwell was not the only driver to extend his winning streak. Senoia’s Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith swept the Super Late Model and Limited Late Model features moving his win streak to four and five respectively and nine straight wins overall. Bubba Pollard kept the Senoia residents cheering as he posted his fourth win of the year in the Crate Late Models while Gray’s Chaz Haskins won his first in the B Cadet. Michael Nelms of Newnan and Grant Roberts of Good Hope won the shortened Bomber and Mini Stock main events.
Cornwell survived a few early race attempts by fellow drivers to move him out of his racing groove. He lost the lead position with only two laps to go before the last lap dash. Hillman led going into turn three with Cornwell taking the high line. Hillman’s ride pushed towards the exterior wall out of the final turn with Cornwell pinched tightly against the concrete. The two crossed the finish line as close as they could be without touching and Cornwell ahead by mere inches. Brooks’ Curtis Turner was third ahead of Hogansville’s Gary Brand and Newnan’s Scott Sherrer.
Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith led every lap of the Limited Late Model ‘Summer Sizzler’ special pocketing the extra money offered to the victor. Smith kept Fayetteville’s Glenn Morris at a safe distance throughout the 25-lap feature. Morris closed in on Smith while the duo worked through lapped cars, but once the streak holder cleared the cars he pulled away to notch his fifth straight in the Limited division. Morris would finish a strong second ahead of Brook’s teenager ‘Magic’ Matt Dooley.
The story was similar in the Super Late Model as Smith led flag to flag never really being seriously challenged. Senoia’s Joe Armistead, Jr., worked past Douglasville’s ‘Racin’ Mason Massey on lap eighteen, but could not reel in Smith before the checkered flag waved. It was Smith’s fourth Super Late Model win in a row. Armistead was second ahead of Massey. Bubba Pollard made his dirt Super Late Model debut finishing a very respectable fourth place while Douglasville’s Lamar Haygood finished fifth.
Pollard was one of several drivers to run double duty on Saturday night. Pollard qualified his Crate Late Model on the pole and ran away to his fourth victory within the class. Dallas’ Mike Bruner, Jr. finished as the bridesmaid again while Alabama 20-year-old Dillon Tidmore rounded out the podium finsihers.
The action was intense on the click gumbo clay during the B Cadet feature event. Chaz Haskins battled with McDonough’s Josh Copeland through nearly the entire race which was slowed a few times for spun cars. Haskins kept his car in front including during a wild three wide race with Copeland and Matthew Knight of Villa Rica. Newnan’s Scott Gaddy made a late race charge that fell short when he lost the grip in turn two after moving to second place.
Haskins maintained his position at the front of the field hoisting the checkered flag for his first career win at Senoia Raceway. Matthew Knight was the runner-up for the second consecutive week. Copeland ended up in third place followed by Locust Grove’s Billy ‘The Kid’ Stevenson and Whitesburg’s Michael Blair.
Caution after caution after caution kept the Bomber division from being able to complete the planned number of laps. Several attempts to get an initial start resulted in a single file starting procedure and then a called three lap dash due to the time limit of twenty minutes being reached. Even the final lap had a crash in turn four as Michael Nelms accepted the checkered flag.
“We hate it when the races have laps reduced,” said promoter Mayes Massey. “The competitors have to take some responsibility in racing cleaner and then getting lined up correctly by listening to the officials on the receiver. Just like the old saying ‘ You must first finish in order to finish first’”.
Grant Roberts worked past former Mini Stock champion Harold Leath of Hampton and Powder Springs wheelman Denver Stepp on the third lap. Roberts then never looked back staying in front of the pack to post his second four cylinder victory of the season. Griffin’s Marc Leath came up to finish second ahead of Stepp and his brother Harold. The previous week’s winner, Keith West of Mableton, completed the first five.
The Mini Stock division will gain the spotlight this weekend, Saturday, June 25th as the Mini Stock 500 headlines the nightly action. Also included in the schedule is a full night of racing in the Super Late Models, Limited Late Models, Crate Late Models, B Cadets, Hobby and Bomber divisions.
Grandstand tickets are $12; ages 5-12 are $5 with four & under admitted for free. Pit passes and trackside parking tickets are $25; ages 5-12 are $20 and four & under are admitted for free. The pit gate will open 4pm while the grandstands open at 5pm. Hot laps will begin at 6:30pm with racing at 7pm.
For additional information, schedules, rules and more, visit the Senoia Raceway website at www.senoiaraceway.com. The track also offers an e-mail newsletter (sign-up on the website), Facebook page, twitter feed, instagram and snapchat for social media access to news and information. You can also contact the track directly at 770.599.6161.
Official results from Saturday, June 18, 2016
Super Late Models (Feature): 1-Clint Smith, Senoia 2-Joe Armistead, Jr., Senoia 3-Mason Massey, Douglasville 4-Bubba Pollard, Senoia 5-Lamar Haygood, Douglasville 6-Zach Leonhardi, Cartersville 7-Ricky Williams, Fayetteville 8-Austin Winger, Fayetteville 9-Matt Dooley, Brooks 10-Joey Armistead, Senoia 11-Dillon Tidmore, Gadsden, AL Fast Qualifier: Smith (15.949/84.6 mph)
Limited Late Models ‘Summer Sizzler 2016’ (Feature): 1-Clint Smith, Senoia 2-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 3-Matt Dooley, Brooks 4-Bailey Williams, Fayetteville 5-Shane Criswell, Bowden 6-Brandon Bright, Newnan 7-Thomas Mewborn, Greenville 8-Jamie Carr, LaGrange 9-Jayce Southwell, Brooks 10-Tony Kemp, Carrollton 11-Rucker Orr, Newnan 12-John Harbin, Talking Rock 13-Hunter Worley, Alavaton Fast Qualifier: Smith (16.518/81.7 mph)
Crate Late Models (Feature): 1-Bubba Pollard, Senoia 2-Mike Bruner, Jr., Dallas 3-Dillon Tidmore, Gadsden, AL 4-Marty Lunsford, Newnan 5-Wayne Harbin, Sharpsburg 6-Bobby Mills, Griffin 7-Chris Carr, Newnan 8-Mike Abercrombie, Jackson 9-Jack Mills, Griffin 10-Corey Payton, Newnan 11-Jamie Maurice, McDonough Fast Qualifier: Pollard (16.496/81.9 mph)
B Cadet (Feature): 1-Chaz Haskins, Gray 2-Matthew Knight, Villa Rica 3-Josh Copeland, McDonough 4-Billy Stevenson, Locust Grove 5-William Blair, Whitesburg 6-Parrish Duncan, Newnan 7-Clyde Alexander, Locust Grove 8-Scott Gaddy, Newnan 9-Johnny Stinchcomb, Newnan 10-Brian Womack, Villa Rica 11-Ted Minnix, McDonough 12-Justin Thornton, Columbus 13-Charlie Knowles, Sharpsburg 14-Dennis Lykins, Jr., Sharpsburg DNS: Aaron Calbert; Bobby Arnold, Newnan Heat Winners: Haskins & Knowles Hobby Stock (Feature): 1-Randy Cornwell, Warner-Robins 2-Joe Hillman, Villa Rica 3-Curtis Turner, Brooks 4-Gary Brand, Hogasnville 5-Scott Sherrer, Newnan 6-HB Duke, Whitesburg 7-Kip Stanfill, Douglasville 8-Josh Pitt, Stockbridge 9-Steven Tippens, Douglasville 10-Wesley Scott, Dallas
Mini Stock (Feature): 1-Grant Roberts, Good Hope 2-Marc Leath, Griffin 3-Denver Stepp, Powder Springs 4--Harold Leath, Hampton 5-Keith West, Mableton 6-John Caldwell, Senoia 7-Ben Arnold, Dallas 8-Gary Parker, Barnesville 9-Jamie Nicholson, Sr., Locust Grove 10-Chris Middleton, Stockbridge 11-Rocky Johnson, Douglasville 12-Jamie Nicholson, Jr., Locust Grove 13-Mike Younginer, Locust Grove 14-Tommy Faulkner, Newnan
Bomber (Feature): 1-Michael Nelms, Newnan 2-Michael Couch, Senoia 3-Blake Harmon, Mansfield 4-Jim Jackson, Zebulon 5-George Purgason, Hogasnville 6-Scott Amoson, Newnan 7-Tim Harmon, Conyers 8-Brent Harmon, Mansfield 9-Darren Parrott, Sharpsburg 10-Wilson Boozer, Jackson 11-Ted Willingham, McDonough 12-Ricky Neil, Whitesburg 13-Jonathan Hemmings, Newnan