Photo Credits - Francis Hauke
(June 26, 2016 - Senoia, GA) Just one week following the untimely death of this father in a motorcycle accident, nineteen-year-old Dylan Knowles captured the victory in the Crate Late Model feature at Senoia Raceway. Knowles held off a late race charge by Senoia’s Bubba Pollard to secure the victory and honor the memory of his father and crew chief.
“I just want to thank everyone for everything this past week,” said Knowles just prior to a special victory lap.
Other Saturday night winners included Senoia’s Joe Armistead, Jr. and Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith in the Super Late Models and Limited Late Models respectively. Newnan’s Bobby ‘Wild Child’ Arnold picked up the B Cadet laurels while Gary Brand of Hogansville won the Hobby Stock main. Conyers Tim Harmon topped the Bomber division and Dustin Bales pocketed the $500 pay day for winning the Mini Stock 500 special event.
“An emotional night for many,” explained promoter Mayes Massey. “Scott Knowles was a fixture in the pit area and he will be missed. What a great win for Dylan and his family.”
Dylan Knowles qualified second to Bubba Pollard, but used his outside starting position to jump to the lead at the drop of the green flag. Pollard would stay close through the middle stages of the race, but could never muster enough of a run to get alongside Knowles. A late race caution though set the stage for some final theatrics.
On a lap 18 restart, Knowles allowed for Pollard to gain position and make a run for the lead. As the white flag flew, Pollard inched in front of Knowles. The kid fought back and nosed down in front of Pollard to block his last lap momentum before beating him to the finish line for the win. Griffin’s Jack Mills was third ahead of Lake Spivey’s Dow Kirkland and his son Bobby Mills.
|Joe Armistead Jr.|
A couple of win streaks were broken on Saturday night with the first coming in the Super Late Models. Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith came into the night riding a four race win streak having not lost since the middle of May when Shane Clanton won the Billy Clanton Classic. Tod Darda of LaGrange was the fast qualifier electing to start on the outside front row. Joe Armistead, Jr. slid down to start on the inside and rolled out to the early race lead ahead of Darda and Smith.
As Armistead, Jr. built a large lead, Darda and Smith battled for the runner-up spot. Smith would try various lines around the ‘bull ring’ trying to get a run on Darda. Each time Darda would move his mount in front of the charging veteran to block his move. Smith’s efforts paid off on lap 15 as he rode up top in turns one and two before powering along side of Darda down the back stretch. He gained the position through turns three and four and then set his sights on Armistead, Jr.
The race stayed green the entire way and even though Smith was reeling in the leader, he was unable to catch Armistead, Jr. The streak for Smith ended as Armistead, Jr. went to victory lane for the first time at Senoia Raceway this season. Smith was second ahead of Darda, McDonough’s Cody King and Douglasville’s Mason Massey.
Fayetteville’s Randy Cornwell had won five straight features in the Hobby Stock division stretching back to the first weekend of May. A short, but stellar field was on hand to try and stop him his streak.
Brooks’ Curtis Turner was the first to lead the field, but his tenure ended with a crash involving Villa Rica’s Joe Hillman on lap 8. That turned the lead over to Gary Brand with Cornwell in second.
Cornwell fought hard trying to steal away the lead from Brand, but each time he would make a move to the inside the door would be slammed shut. Brand held off all the challenges from Cornwell and then took advantage of contact between Cornwell and Joe Hillman on the final lap. That helped Brand have a clean path to victory lane as Hillman slipped past Cornwell to snare the runner-up position.
One streak did remain intact as Clint Smith ran flag to flag to win his sixth straight Limited Late Model feature. Smith ran off and left fast qualifier Clifton ‘Hog Head’ Moran of Carrollton to battle with Fayetteville’s Glenn Morris. Those two raced hard until contact on lap 14 left Moran up against the inside retaining wall and out of the race.
Smith then cruised to victory ahead of Fayetteville’s 17-year-old Bailey Williams and Newnan’s Brandon Bright. It was career best Limited Late Model finishes for Williams and Bright.
Tim Harmon outdueled Newnan’s Michael Nelms in the Bomber feature to win his second of the season. Nelms finished second with points leader Jim Jackson of Zebulon third.
In the Mini Stock 500, Dustin Bales survived several cautions to pick up the $500 pay day. Bales was the race’s third and final leader with Locust Grove’s Jamie Nicholson, Jr. coming home in second and Bowersville teenager Nathan Bowen third.
The race was halted for forty-five minutes at lap 11 after a scary crash on the front stretch. Powder Springs’ Denver Stepp slammed the front stretch wall sending his Mustang tumbling end over end before Stockbridge’s Chris Middleton slammed into him while he was airborn. Middleton needed assistance from the Coweta County Fire Department to be extracted from the race car.
This upcoming holiday weekend will feature a double-header with racing on Friday and Saturday evenings. The Inaugural Roscoe Smith Shoot-Out will feature the Southern All-Stars Super Late Model Series competing for $4,444 to win. The race will honor Senoia Raceway legend Roscoe Smith with competition on both days.
Friday night will feature qualifying and heat races for the Limited Late Models, Crate Late Models, B Cadets, Hobby Stock, Mini Stock and Bomber divisions. The events will line-up the drivers for Saturday night’s feature races. The Super Late Models will also run a few sets of hot laps on Friday.
Saturday night will include a full night of qualifying, heat races, dashes, last chance events for the Southern All-Stars culminating with the 44-lap shoot-out. The other divisions will run their bonus money races as well. The night will conclude with a giant fireworks display honoring our nation’s birthday.
The pit gate will open at 4pm while the grandstands open at 5pm both Friday and Saturday. Hot laps will begin at 7pm on Friday with racing at 7:30pm while hot laps will crank up at 6:30pm Saturday followed by racing at 7pm.
Friday night grandstand tickets are $12; ages 5-12 are $5 with four & under admitted for free. Friday night pit passes and trackside parking tickets are $20 and four & under are admitted for free. The first 100 kids entering the grandstand will receive a free candy stick from Best Way Mechanical.
Saturday night grandstand tickets are $25; ages 5-12 are $10 with four & under admitted for free. Saturday night pit passes and trackside parking tickets are $35; ages 5-12 are $20 and four & under are admitted for free. The first 200 kids entering the grandstand will receive a free candy stick from Best Way Mechanical.
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 25, 2016
Super Late Models (Feature): 1-Joe Armistead, Jr., Senoia 2-Clint Smith, Senoia 3-Tod Darda, LaGrange 4-Cody King, McDonough 5-Mason Massey, Douglasville 6-Joey Armistead, Senoia 7-Zach Leonhardi, Cartersville 8-Jordy Nipper, Gray 9-Bubba Pollard, Senoia 10-Shane Fulcher, Thomaston 11-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 12-Lamar Haygood, Douglasville Fast Qualifier: Darda (15.949/81.8 mph)
Limited Late Models (Feature): 1-Clint Smith, Senoia 2-Bailey Williams, Fayetteville 3-Brandon Bright, Newnan 4-Shawn Cater, Roopville 5-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 6-Jamie Carr, LaGrange 7-Jayce Southwell, Brooks 8-Trey White, Jenkinsburg 9-Chris Woods, Statham 10-Clifton Moran, Carrollton Fast Qualifier: Moran (15.605/81.3 mph)
Crate Late Models (Feature): 1-Dylan Knowles, Lannett, AL 2-Bubba Pollard, Senoia 3-Jack Mills, Griffin 4-Dow Kirkland, Lake Spivey 5-Bobby Mills, Griffin 6-Marty Lunsford, Newnan 7-Wayne Harbin, Sharpsburg 8-Jamie Maurice, McDonough 9-Nick Carter Fast Qualifier: Pollard (15.628/81.2 mph)
B Cadet (Feature): 1-Bobby Arnold, Newnan 2-Matthew Knight, Villa Rica 3-Parrish Duncan, Newnan 4-Clyde Alexander, Locust Grove 5-Justin Thornton, Columbus 6-Mark Knight, Villa Rica 7-Sam Carter, Covington 8-Jamie Simmons, Tyrone 9-Johnny Stinchcomb, Newnan 10-Billy Stevenson, Locust Grove 11-Ted Minnix, McDonough 12-Jeff Carter, Stockbridge DNS: William Blair, Whitesburg; Scott Gaddy, Newnan Heat Winners: Arnold & Alexander
Hobby Stock (Feature): 1-Gary Brand, Hogansville 2-Joe Hillman, Villa Rica 3-Randy Cornwell, Fayetteville 4-Curtis Turner, Brooks 5-Lee McElwaney, Newnan 6-Mike Jenkins, Brooks
Mini Stock ‘500’ (Feature): 1-Dustin Bales 2-Jamie Nicholson, Jr., Locust Grove 3-Nathan Bowen, Bowersville 4-John Caldwell, Senoia 5-Mike Younginer, Stockbridge 6-Jamie Nicholson, Sr., Locust Grove 7-Tommy Faulkner, Newnan 8-Rocky Johnson, Douglasville 9-Jason Gilliam 10-Denver Stepp, Powder Springs 11-Brannon Knight 12-Chris Middleton, Stockbridge 13-Harold Leath, Hampton 14-Keith West, Mableton 15-Cassie Dingler-Still, Newnan 16-Ronnie Teal, Lithia Springs Fast Qualifier: Gilliam (18.419/73.3 mph)
Bomber (Feature): 1-Tim Harmon, Conyers 2-Michael Nelms, Newnan 3-Jim Jackson, Zebulon 4-Blake Harmon, Mansfield 5-Derrick Matthews, Whitesburg 6-Mike Lilly, Lithia Springs 7-George Purgason, Hogasnville 8-Jeremy Johnson, Snellville 9-Dorough Bright, Newnan 10-Ted Willingham, McDonough