Photos by Francis Hauke
(July 31, 2016 - Senoia, GA) Jason Hiett jumped the border when his hometrack Talladega Short Track was forced to cancel due to weather and made the trip worthwhile posting the Super Late Model feature victory. Hiett passes Senoia’s Joe Armistead, Jr. on lap 18 before pulling away to his first career win at the tough ‘Bull Ring’ Senoia Raceway.
Other winners on Saturday night included Senoia’s Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith notching his eleventh Limited Late Model feature win of the season; Newnan’s Craig Scott getting his first in the Crate Late Models; Newnan’s Bobby ‘Wild Child’ Arnold in the B Cadets; ‘Smokin’ Joe Hillman of Villa Rica in the Hobby Stock; Monroe’s JJ Garrett in the Mini Stock and Conyer’s Tim Harmon in the Bombers.
Hiett caught up to Joe Armistead, Jr. near the halfway mark of the Super Late Model feature while moving high and low on the slick, but racey ‘gumbo’ clay that has made Senoia Raceway the talk of the short track racing scene in 2016. Hiett and Armistead battled while two other great races developed directly behind.
Armistead, Jr.’s son, Joey Armistead, was dueling with Whitesburg’s Austin Horton for third place while current point’s leader Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith took on a pair of youngsters in Zach Leonhardi from Cartersville and Mason Massey from Douglasville.
As the leaders pulled away from the pack, Joey Armistead and Horton had fans standing and cheering as they raced side by side for the final ten laps of the race. Joey would pull ahead at the line and then the next lap Horton would nose in front at the flagstand. It has become the norm this season at Senoia Raceway as the track has allowed unbelievable side by side racing with multiple grooves for drivers to find their sweet spot.
Clint Smith ran the top side and then slid to the bottom to block off the momentum of Leonhardi as the fifteen-year-old Super Late Model rookie challenged the seasoned veteran with four Southern All-Stars Series crowns on his resume. Not far behind this war for the fifth place position was Massey looking to pounce on any opportunity.
When the checkers finally fell over the field, Hiett was the winner followed by Joe Armistead, Jr in second. Joey Armistead won the race for third with Horton settling for fourth. Leonhardi made the last lap pass on Smith to snare a top five finish and Massey strolled across in seventh behind Clint Smith. Austrailian hot shoe, David Doherty, was eight followed by Griffin’s Doug Stevens and Meansville’s ‘Mad’ Maddie Crane.
The racing was just as intense for the B Cadets as drivers were vying for the $1000 pay day in the main event of the night. Bobby Arnold pocketed the $100 Hurricane Race Engines fast qualifier bonus and started on the pole. His nearest rival in the divisional point standings, Parrish Duncan of Newnan, would flank him on the outside.
Arnold shot out to the lead with the others in chase mode before Tyrone’s Jody Knowles found his groove along the interior concrete gaining track position. Knowles reeled in Arnold before fading back at the midway point.
A few restarts after cautions for spins would scramble the line-up with McDonough’s Jamie Maurice making the most of the situations jumping past several cars on the low side of the track. Those restarts also shoved Knowles to the high side where his car was not working as well.
Locust Grove’s Billy Stevenson found the top side to his liking as he began a charge to the front. That charge would turn into a battle when he closed in on Newnan’s Parrish Duncan and Knowles. The three battled back and forth while Arnold pulled away.
The checkered flag flew first over Arnold. Duncan won the race for second moving in front of Knowles (third) and Stevenson (fourth). Maurice would round out the first five.
Clint Smith slid in front of Limited Late Model fast qualifier Austin Horton in turn two of the Limited feature’s first lap and then never looked back posting his eleventh win of the season. Horton would stay in second with the racing left for position behind the leaders.
Locust Grove’s ‘Racin’ Jason Williams ran third until lap 15 when Fayetteville’s Glenn Morris caught him. The two former late model champions at Senoia Raceway ran side by side for several laps. Williams running the high line along the peppermint colored concrete and Morris on the low line. Not far behind Morris was first time visitor to the ‘Bull Ring’ Zach Pilcher of Rome.
A late race caution for a spun Michael Queen of Cartersville created a two lap dash for the checkers. Smith did not flinch moving out front of Horton. Williams and Morris pushed up the track allowing Pilcher to sneak past and post a podium finish behind Smith and Horton. Williams ended up fourth with Morris in fifth.
Craig Scott went flag to flag winning the Crate Late Model feature. Craig had been a runner-up twice along with a third place finisher in recent weeks, but set his mind to not be denied on this night. Whitesburg’s Blant Duke tried valiantly to stay with him, but would settle for second ahead of Griffin’s Bobby Mills, Alabama’s Josh Adkins and Newnan’s Marty Lunsford.
JJ Garrett also led every lap for the Mini Stocks. He was challenged briefly by Brannon Knight and 13-year-old Good Hope driver Grant Roberts. Baldwin’s teenage sensation Parris Simmons also made a strong run putting on a great racing show with Roberts. At the end, Garrett would win his sixth of the season ahead of Knight, Simmons, Roberts and Marc Leath of Griffin.
Three lead changes highlighted the Hobby Stock main event as Newnan’s Lee McElwaney was the race’s first leader. Whitesburg’s James Swanger worked past him on lap three before Joe Hillman roared past on the high side three laps later. Hillman would cruise to his second straight victory as Brooks Curtis Turner could not reel him in during a fast race. Swanger ended up third ahead of Franklin’s Chris Steele and Alabama’s Randy Renfroe. McElwaney faded to sixth over the final three laps.
Tim Harmon outdueled Dorough Bright before securing his fourth Bomber win of the season. Harmon overtook the points lead last weekend from Zebulon’s Jim Jackson who had led the points all season. Jackson’s night ended early after getting knocked out of the race while running third.
Senoia Raceway hosts their Second Annual Monster Truck Mania event this Saturday, August 6th. Equalizer will return to defend his title from a year ago with challenges coming from War Wizard, Gunslinger and Red Solo Cup. The night will also feature an old-fashioned Demolition Derby, Kids Power Wheels Demo Derby and two special events for the oval track racers in the Crate Late Models ($1000 to win) and Mini Stocks ($2000 to win). The Mini Stock purse has been made possible through the support of USA Repaints and Best Way Mechanical.
The Super Late Models, Limited Late Models, B Cadets, Hobby Stock and Bomber divisions will return to racing action again on Saturday, August 13th when the Ultimate Late Model Series visits the ‘Bull Ring’ for the Friends of the Dream 40 presented by Zen Windows.
This Saturday, August 6th, Monster Truck Mania show will see the pit gate and trackside parking opening at 4pm while the grandstands will open at 5pm. The ‘Pit Party’ where fans can meet the drivers and see the Monster Trucks up close will begin at 5pm with hot laps for the Mini Stocks and Crates taking place at 6:30pm. The Monster Truck Mania show will begin at 7:30pm.
Grandstand tickets are $20; ages 5-12 are $10 with four & under admitted for free. Pit passes and trackside parking tickets are $30; ages 5-12 are $20 with four & under admitted for free.
Kids interested in participating in the Power Wheels Demo Derby, must be eight years of age or younger and wear some kind of head protection (bike helmet is fine).
Demolition Derby ($500 to win) information and rules are available by calling the speedway at 770.599.6161.
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, July 30, 2016
Super Late Models (Feature): 1-Jason Hiett, Oxford, AL 2-Joe Armistead, Jr., Senoia 3-Joey Armistead, Senoia 4-Austin Horton, Whitesburg 5-Zach Leonhardi, Cartersville 6-Clint Smith, Senoia 7-Mason Massey, Douglasville 8-David Doherty, Melbourne, Austrailia 9-Doug Stevens, Griffin 10-Maddie Crane, Meansville 11-Shane Fulcher, Thomaston 12-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 13-Patrick Wall, Columbus 14-Dylan Holmes, Smiths, AL 15-Brian Reese, Sharpsburg Fast Qualifier: Armistead, Jr. (15.855 seconds/85.2 mph)
Limited Late Models (Feature): 1-Clint Smith, Senoia 2-Austin Horton, Whitesburg 3-Zach Pilcher, Rome 4-Jason Williams, Locust Grove 5-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 6-Chris Carr, Newnan 7-John Harbin, Talking Rock 8-Aubrey merritt, Carrollton 9-Jamie Carr, LaGrange 10-Sam Moore, Columbus 11-Hunter Worley, Alvaton 12-Michael Queen, Cartersville 13-Kenneth Pendley, Acworth 14-Clint Thompson, Newnan 15-Trey White, Stockbridge Fast Qualifier: Horton (15,785 seconds/85.6 mph)
Crate Late Models (Feature): 1-Craig Scott, Newnan 2-Blant Duke, Whitesburg 3-Bobby Mills, Griffin 4-Josh Adkins, Talladega, AL 5-Marty Lunsford, Newnan 6-Wayne Harbin, Sharpsburg 7-Jimmy Waldrop, Seffner, FL 8-Cord Dodgen, Lafayette, AL 9-Dow Kirkland, Lake Spivey 10-Matthew Wyatt, Eastanollee 11-Sam Carter, Covinton 12-Richard Dale, Winston 13-Jonathan Harrell, Newnan 14-Mike Abercrombie, Jackson 15-Jamie Brown, Temple Fast Qualifier: Scott (16.080 seconds/84 mph)
B Cadet (Feature): 1-Bobby Arnold, Newnan 2-Parrish Duncan, Newnan 3-Jody Knowles, Tyrone 4-Billy Stevenson, Locust Grove 5-Jamie Maurice, McDonough 6-Jack Mills, Griffin 7-Marc Gooden, Lafayette, AL 8-Chuck Page, Winston 9-Dakota Weeks, Douglasville 10-Mark Knight, Villa Rica 11-Clyde Alexander, Locust Grove 12-Justin Thornton, Columbus 13-Josh Weathers, LaGrange 14-Brian Womack, Villa Rica 15-Ted Minnix, McDonough 16-Justin Angle, Anniston, AL DNS: TJ Joiner, Lithia Springs; Johnny Stinchcomb, Newnan Fast Qualifier: Arnold (16.269 seconds/83 mph)
Hobby Stock (Feature): 1-Joe Hillman, Villa Rica 2-Curtis Turner, Brooks 3-James Swanger, Whitesburg 4-Chris Steele, Franklin 5-Randy Renfroe, Seale, AL 6-Lee McElwaney, Newnan 7-Ben Steele, Franklin 8-Josh Pitt, Stockbridge 9-Chad Foster, Griffin 10-Kip Stanfill, Winston 11-Blake Harmon, Mansfield 12-Mike Jenkins, Brooks 13-Randy Cornwell, Fayetteville
Mini Stock (Feature): 1-JJ Garrett, Monroe 2-Brannon Knight 3-Parris Simmons, Baldwin 4-Grant Roberts, Good Hope 5-Marc Leath, Griffin 6-Jamie Nicholson, Jr., Locust Grove 7-Denver Stepp, Powder Springs 8-Jamie Nicholson, Sr., Locust Grove 9-Jamie Godbee, Carrollton 10-Tommy Faulkner, Newnan 11-Cassie Dingler-Still, Newnan 12-Gary Parker, Barnesville 13-Caleb Moss, Brooks 14-David Brackett 15-Rocky Johnson, Douglasville
Bomber (Feature): 1-Tim Harmon, Conyers 2-Dorough Bright, Newnan 3-Randy Cornwell, Fayetteville 4-Junior Hardy 5-Wilson Boozer, Jackson 6-Carly Arnett, Lannett, AL 7-Shannon Stephens, Newnan 8-Scott Amoson, Newnan 9-Brent Harmon, Mansfield 10-Jim Jackson, Zebulon DNS: John Holder, Milner