Photo credits: Francis Hauke
(July 17, 2015 - Senoia, GA) After completing a perfect slide job on a pair of young hot shoes, veteran short track ace Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith of Senoia roared on to his sixth Super Late Model feature win of the season at Senoia Raceway. Smith slid in front of Douglasville’s Mason Massey to gain second before performing the same feat two laps later to gain the lead over Senoia’s Joey Armistead.
“Finished second tonight, got passed on slider with a few to go. And finishing right behind someone with as much practice and experience as Clint isn't something to be upset about,” said the 19-year-old Armistead. “On the bright side I learned a new move tonight.”
Smith also captured the Limited Late Model feature victory while Alabama’s ‘Thrillin’ Dylan Knowles won the main event for the Crate Late Models. Griffin’s Jack Mills grabbed the checkered flag for the B Cadets and Curtis Turner of Brooks claimed the top spot for the Hobby Stocks. Dorough Bright of Newnan won for the second straight week in the Bomber division competition and Griffin’s Marc Leath brought home his first win of the season besting the Mini Stock class.
Young Joey Armistead flexed his muscle early as he and Douglasville’s Mason Massey battled for the lead position in the Super Late Model feature. Each time Massey tried to get a run on his fellow teenage competitor Armistead would slam the door shut.
The two battled for several laps teasing the good crowd of spectators until lap 17 when Clint Smith ran low in turn one sliding up the banking in turn two to shut off the momentum of Massey and steal away second place. It was two laps later that he performed the exact same move on Armistead to claim the lead as the field was given the five to go signal. Smith pushed his lead to a few car lengths while Armistead and Massey continued their dogfight for the runner-up spot.
On the final lap with Smith firmly in the lead and pulling away, Massey tried to gain the low groove on Armistead as the two slid sideways out of the final turn. While the two gained control, Joey Armistread’s dad, Joe Armistead, Jr., tucked his car up against the wall and snuck past the unsuspecting Massey to steal away third by less than a foot at the finish line.
Clint Smith waited until the last lap to create his heroics in the Limited Late Model race. Locust Grove’s ‘Racin’ Jason Williams had been leading since the drop of the green flag when Smith began knocking on the door with two to go. Williams ran high out of turn two on the final lap allowing Smith to shoot down low. The two races side by side into turn three with Smith gaining the advantage just before the finish line. The former Limited Late Model track champion, Williams, would settle for second place followed by Newnan’s Chris Carr in third. Carr ran his best race of the season nabbing his first podium finish of 2016.
Great racing was evident all night in all of the classes as the gray gumbo clay has proven to be an equalizer with drivers searching the high side and the low side for the fastest way around. Some will choose the low groove and keep it against the interior concrete while others will run it nearly wide open on the top side. It depends upon how each driver sets up their car and it has created some of the best racing seen in the southeast region in years.
The story remained the same in the Crate Late Model race as teenager Dylan Knowles battled with the defending track champion Bobby Mills of Griffin for the lead throughout the 20-lap feature race. Mills tried valiantly to shake and rattle the young driver’s line, but could not get the job done as Knowles kept him at bay to win his fourth of the season. Mills would come home second ahead of Newnan’s Craig Scott, Alabama’s Montana Dudley and current points leader Marty Lunsford of Newnan.
In the B Cadets, another young gun at Senoia Raceway, Locust Grove’s Clyde Alexander, led the field for the first seven laps. Alexander battled hard with Newnan’s Bobby Arnold until a caution slowed the action when Whitesburg’s William Blair slammed the front stretch wall after a run-in with McDonough’s Jamie Maurice.
On the restart, Alexander found himself in the middle of three wide tussle with Billy ‘The Kid’ Stevenson of Locust Grove and Griffin’s Jack Mills. Stevenson would steal away the lead using the top groove momentum to shoot past both Alexander and Mills.
Just before the final caution of the race, Mills mimicked ‘Cat Daddy’ from earlier races completing the perfect slide job on Stevenson to snare the lead. Stevenson would bump Mills on the last lap restart, but to no avail as Mills won his second of the season with Stevenson ending up in second. Jamie Maurice came back to finish in third ahead of Newnan’s Parrish Duncan and Alexander.
Curtis Turner took advantage of Franklin’s Chris Steele misfortune. Steele was leading the Hobby Stock main event when his car lost power on lap six and had to drop from the race. Turner led the rest of the way keeping Whitesburg’s James Swanger behind him. Villa Rica’s Joe Hillman came home third.
Marc Leath led flag to flag without a single caution to win the Mini Stock race. Baldwin’s fifteen-year-old Parris Simmons ran second in his first ever visit to the tricky ‘Bull Ring’. Current points leader Jamie Nicholson, Jr. came home third.
Dorough Bright also led the Bomber race flag to flag winning his second straight feature. Conyers Tim Harmon was second with his son Brent Harmon of Mansfield in third. Zebulon’s Jim Jackson was fourth.
Jackson’s points lead is down to four as Tim Harmon picked up six points on the leader. The two have been battling all season for the season points title.
The racing continues at Senoia Raceway this Saturday, July 22. The Super Late Models, Limited Late Models, Crate Late Models, B Cadets, Hobby Stock, Mini Stock and Bomber will all be racing again this weekend.
“The track has ironed out and is really racy,” said track promoter Mayes Massey. “Anybody could win a race on this surface.”
The pit gates will open this Saturday at 4pm, grandstands at 5pm and hot laps will begin at 6:30pm with racing at 7:30pm.
Grandstand ticket prices are $12; ages 5-12 are $5; four and under are admitted for free. Access to the pit area is available for $25; ages 5-12 are $20; four and under are free. Trackside parking is available on a first come, first serve basis.
Senoia Raceway is located five miles west of Senoia, GA on Georgia Highway 16. Easy access from both Interstate 75 (Griffin, GA) and Interstate 85 (Newnan, GA).
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 and twitter feed for social media access to news and information. You can also contact the track directly at 770.599.6161.
Official results from Saturday, July 16, 2016
Super Late Model (Feature): 1-Clint Smith, Senoia 2-Joey Armistead, Senoia 3-Joe Armistead, Jr., Senoia 4-Mason Massey, Douglasville 5-Zach Leonhardi, Cartersville 6-Tod Darda, LaGrange 7-Shane Fulcher, Thomaston 8-Madeline Crane, Meansville 9-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 10-Ricky Williams, Fayetteville 11-Kelly Guy, Evans Fast Qualifier: Joey Armistead (16.067 seconds/84.1 mph)
Limited Late Model (Feature): 1-Clint Smith, Senoia 2-Jason Williams, Locust Grove 3-Chris Carr, Newnan 4-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 5-Oliver Gentry, Newnan 6-Bailey Williams, Fayetteville 7-Jamie Carr, LaGrange 8-Jayce Southwell, Brooks 9-Rucker Orr, Newnan 10-Clint Thompson, Newnan DNS: Clifton Moran, Carrollton Fast Qualifier: Williams (16.298 seconds/82.8 mph)
Crate Late Model (Feature): 1-Dylan Knowles, Lannett, AL 2-Bobby Mills, Griffin 3-Craig Scott, Newnan 4-Montana Dudley, Ladonia, AL 5-Marty Lunsford, Newnan 6-Ben Faircloth, Swainsboro 7-Corey Payton, Newnan 8-Richard Dale, Winston 9-Dow Kirkland, Lake Spivey 10-Zack Shelton, Temple 11-Colby Darda, LaGrange 12-Matthew Wyatt 13-Mike Abercrombie, Jackson 14-Wayne Harbin, Sharpsburg Fast Qualifier: Payton (16.125 seconds/83.7 mph)
B Cadet (Feature): 1-Jack Mills, Griffin 2-Billy Stevenson, Locust Grove 3-Jamie Maurice, McDonough 4-Parrish Duncan, Newnan 5-Clyde Alexander, Locust Grove 6-Marc Gooden, Lafayette, AL 7-Sam Carter, Covington 8-Benny Croy, McDonough 9-Jamie Simmons, Tyrone 10-Bobby Arnold, Newnan 11-William Blair, Whitesburg DNS: Johnny Stinchcomb, Newnan; TJ Joiner, Lithia Springs Heat Winners: Alexander and Arnold
Hobby Stock (Feature): 1-Curtis Turner, Brooks 2-James Swanger, Whitesburg 3-Joe Hillman, Villa Rica 4-Josh Pitt, Stockbridge 5-Lee McElwaney, Newnan 6-Blake Harmon, Mansfield 7-Dustin Perry, Bremen 8-Gary Brand, Hogansville 9-Steve Davis 10-Chris Steele, Franklin 11-Randy Cornwell, Fayetteville
Mini Stock (Feature): 1-Marc Leath, Griffin 2-Parris Simmons, Baldwin 3-Jamie Nicholson, Jr., Locust Grove 4-Mike Younginer, Locust Grove 5-Jamie Nicholson, Sr., Locust Grove 6-Denver Stepp, Lithia Springs 7-Tommy Faulkner, Newnan 8-Gary Parker, Barnesville 9-Rocky Johnson, Douglasville
Bomber (Feature): 1-Dorough Bright, Newnan 2-Tim Harmon, Conyers 3-Brent Harmon, Mansfield 4-Jim Jackson, Zebulon 5-Derrick Matthews, Whitesburg 6-Randy Cornwell, Fayetteville 7-Josh Roddy, Palmetto 8-Scott Amoson, Newnan 9-Shannon Stephens, Newnan 10-Winford Minix, Senoia