Submitted by Ted Austed
Photo credit: Francis Houke
(July 3, 2016 - Senoia, GA) The Inaugural Roscoe Smith Shoot-Out honored a legendary racer at Senoia Raceway Saturday night and the race was won with a legendary slide move on the tenth circuit by Casey Roberts of Toccoa. Roberts set up the perfect pass to get by Tennessee’s Riley Hickman and then never looked back posting the victory and pocketing the $4,444.44 winner’s purse.
The special 44-lap race honoring Georgia Racing Hall of Famer and hometown Senoia, GA, resident Roscoe Smith brought in a stellar field of twenty-nine Southern All-Star Series late models. Roberts was the class of the field right away posting the fastest qualifying time by edging out Southern All-Star Series points leader Hickman.
Hickman was the first to get out front when the green dropped for the main event, but Roberts never let him get too far out front. The hard charging Roberts worked the leader for several laps until a perfect slide move out of the second turn on lap 10. Roberts then used lapped traffic to keep the distance from himself and his nearest competitors.
Winston’s Michael Page made his way past Hickman near the halfway mark of the race, but could never catch Roberts as the race ran caution free.
The leader lapped all but seven cars on his way to victory lane ahead of Page and Hickman. Kingston’s Tyler Millwood was fourth with Tennessee’s Todd Morrow fifth. Roscoe Smith’s son Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith ended up sixth.
Michael Page did not go home without the checkered flag though. The veteran driver was able to win the Limited Late Model feature after getting ahead of Clint Smith. Page’s win also snapped a six race win streak by Smith who finished in second place. Alabama teenager Tyler Thomason ran a very strong third place with Fayetteville’s Glenn Morris fourth and Whitesburg’s Austin Horton coming up through the field to nab a top five.
Riley Hickman also did not leave Senoia Raceway without one trip to the winner’s circle. Hickman fell short in the Shoot-Out, but enjoyed victory in the Crate Late Model feature. Hickman started scratch on the field after missing Friday night’s qualifying round. The three time Southern All-Stars champion used the high side of the ‘Bull Ring’ to move up the leader board until he reached second place. That is where he found Clint Smith with a large lead.
Fortune would come Hickman’s way on lap 13 when Smith’s mount came out of the fourth turn and lost power. Smith would have to drop from the race which handed over the lead to Hickman who never let it go. Newnan’s Craig Scott finished in second ahead of Douglasville’s Matt Black.
One of the more entertaining races of the night featured to young guns in the Crate Late Model division. Marty Lunsford of Newnan and Corey Payton, also from Newnan, battled back and forth with each other sometimes only inches apart. The eighteen and twenty year old drivers respectively showcased a glimpse of future at the ‘Bull Ring’ finishing in the fourth and fifth place positions. Lunsford leads the Crate Late Model season point’s while Payton established position among the top five.
It was a flag to flag victory in the B Cadets for veteran short track ace Jack ‘The General’ Mills. The Griffin driver led every lap leaving the racing for a couple more young hot shots.
Locust Grove teenager Clyde Alexander ran another excellent race keeping Columbus driver Justin Thornton one spot behind. Alexander ended up second to only Mills while Thornton finished a season best third place. Winder’s Chris McKehan returned to Senoia Raceway on Saturday night to finish in fourth while Whitesburg’s William Blair completed the first five.
Brooks’ Curtis Turner had been a bridesmaid more often than he would have liked through the first half of the Senoia Raceway Hobby Stock season. That changed on Saturday night as the Turner was handed the victory after apparent winner Joe Hillman was disqualified. Newcomer to the division, Blake Harmon moved up one spot to second and last week’s winner Gary Brand was handed third place.
Monroe’s JJ Garrett used lapped traffic to his advantage to win the Mini Stock feature. Garrett went low on the track to get around the lapped car of Newnan’s Tommy Faulkner. North Georgia’s Shannon Etheridge was left no other option, but to the highside of Faulkner. Etheridge would have to slow down which allowed Garrett to pull away and secure the win and pocket the $1000 pay day thanks to race sponsor USA Repaints. Etheridge ended up second ahead of Brannon Knight, Dustin Ogletree and Ben Arnold.
Whitesburg’s Derrick ‘Kid Quick’ Matthews overtook Conyer’s Tim Harmon on lap ten of the Bomber feature and then cruised to his third win of the year. Harmon would not lose any more positions to finish second. Newnan’s Michael Nelms came home third ahead of Senoia’s Michael Couch and Zebulon’s Jim Jackson.
Jim Jackson currently leads the season point standings in the Bomber division, but Tim Harmon continues to chip away at his lead. Going into next weekend’s race, Jackson leads Harmon by only 13 points.
All seven divisions will compete this Saturday as the drivers continue to pursue their final positions in the year end standings. All drivers accumulate points for each race they compete through the year with cash awards presented to them at the end of the season.
“We have some pretty good money posted for the drivers who finish among the top drivers in each of our weekly divisions,” explained promoter Mayes Massey. “Not only is a great honor to win a season title, but there is the cash reward as well.”
The pit gate will open this Saturday at 4pm while the grandstands open at 5pm. Hot laps will begin at 6:30pm followed by racing at 7pm.
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 with four & under admitted for free.
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 3, 2016
Roscoe Smith Shoot-Out (SAS) Super Late Models (Feature): 1-Casey Roberts, Toccoa 2-Michael Page, Winston 3-Riley Hickman, Cleveland, TN 4-Tyler Millwood, Kingston 5-Todd Morrow, Chattanooga, TN 6-Clint Smith, Senoia 7-Austin Horton, Whitesburg 8-Cody King, McDonough 9-Skylar Marlar, Knoxville, TN 10-Joey Armistead, Senoia 11-Ricky Williams, Fayetteville 12- TJ Reaid, Acworth 13-Tod Darda, LaGrange 14-Brad Skinner, Spring Hill, TN 15-Richie Stephens 16-Jake Knowles, Tyrone 17-Ashton Winger, Fayetteville 18-Zach Leonhardi, Cartersville 19-Tristan Sealy, Moultrie 20-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 21-Joe Armistead, Jr., Senoia 22-Dillon Tidmore, Gadsden, AL 23-Brian Reese, Sharpsburg 24-Jim Rogers, Statesboro DNQ: Matt Dooley, Brooks; Chad Marchman, LaGrange; Shane Fulcher, Thomaston; Mason Massey, Douglasville; Eric Granger, Douglasville
Limited Late Models (Feature): 1-Michael Page, Winston 2-Clint Smith, Senoia 3-Tyler Thomason, Phenix City, AL 4-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 5-Austin Horton, Whitesburg 6-Rucker Orr, Newnan 7-Brandon Bright, Newnan 8-Bailey Williams, Fayetteville 9-Clifton Moran, Carrollton 10-Jason Williams, Locust Grove 11-Jayce Southwell, Brooks 12-Michael Queen, Cartersville 13-Ted Ray, Ranburne, AL 14-Chris Carr, Newnan
Crate Late Models (Feature): 1-Riley Hickman, Cleveland, TN 2-Craig Scott, Newnan 3-Matt Black, Douglasville 4-Marty Lunsford, Newnan 5-Corey Payton, Newnan 6-Wayne Harbin, Sharpsburg 7-Sam Carter, Covington 8-Jonathan Harrell, Newnan 9-Phillip Deal, Tyrone 10-Rob Temples, McDonough 11-Bailey Temples, McDonough 12-Nick Carter, Rutledge 13-Clint Smith, Senoia 14-Bobby Mills, Griffin DNS: Jamie Maurice, McDonough
B Cadet (Feature): 1-Jack Mills, Griffin 2-Clyde Alexander, Locust Grove 3-Justin Thornton, Columbus 4-Chris McKehan, Winder 5-William Blair, Whitesburg 6-Dakota Weeks, Douglasville 7-Matthew Knight, Villa Rica 8-Mark Knight, Villa Rica 9-Parrish Duncan, Newnan 10-Bobby Arnold, Newnan 11-Josh Copeland, McDonough 12-Billy Stevenson, Locust Grove 13-Johnny Stinchcomb, Newnan DNS: Ted Minnix, McDonough; Luke Pilson, Kennesaw
Hobby Stock (Feature): 1-Curtis Turner, Brooks 2-Blake Harmon, Mansfield 3-Gary Brand, Hogansville 4-Chad Foster, Griffin 5-Daniel Doster, Winder 6-Mike Jenkins, Brooks DQ-Joe Hillman, Villa Rica DNS: Lee McElwaney, Newnan
Mini Stock (Feature): 1-JJ Garrett, Monroe 2-Shannon Etheridge 3-Brannon Knight 4-Dustin Ogletree 5-Ben Arnold, Dallas 6-Ricky Rule 7-Harold Leath, Hampton 8-Jamie Nicholson, Jr., Locust Grove 9-Jamie Nicholson, Sr., Locust Grove 10-Robert Caldwell, Senoia 11-Denver Stepp, Powder Springs 12-Tommy Faulkner, Newnan 13-John Caldwell, Senoia 14-Rocky Johnson, Douglasville 15-Mike Younginer, Locust Grove DNS: Jason Gilliam
Bomber (Feature): 1-Derrick Matthews, Whitesburg 2-Tim Harmon, Conyers 3-Michael Nelms, Newnan 4-Michael Couch, Senoia 5-Jim Jackson, Zebulon 6-Brent Harmon, Mansfield 7-Scott Amoson, Newnan 8-Mike Lilly, Lithia Springs 9-Dorough Bright, Newnan 10-Ted Willingham, McDonough