Submitted by Ted Austad
Photo Credits: Francis Hauke
(August 14, 2016 – Senoia, GA) Michael Page of Winston clean swept the racing action on Saturday night at Senoia Raceway as he qualified the fastest and then led every lap to claim the top prize in the Friends of the Dream 40 presented by Zen Windows. Page held off a late race challenge from Alabama’s Tom Maddox to secure the victory pocketing $3000 in purse money and an additional $2000 in money put up by the fans and sponsors. The race also generated over $2000 for Kids3.org a charitable organization that sends foster children to summer camp.
Newnan’s Marty Lunsford also went to victory lane for the first time behind the wheel of his Crate Late Model while Senoia’s Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith nabbed his twelfth win of the season in the Limited Late Models. Parrish Duncan of Newnan won the B Cadet feature and Whitesburg’s Blant Duke topped the Hobby Stocks. Tennessee’s Brad Gladden made the long trip worthwhile besting the Mini Stock and Junior Hardy of Mansfield one his first career feature at the Bull Ring winning the Bomber division main event.
Page shot out to the lead at the drop of the green flag as he showcased his prowess for the unique ‘gumbo’ clay that continues to bring drivers and fans to Senoia Raceway. Page let the racing for position stay behind him as the 27-car starting field scrambled three and sometimes four wide to gain position on each other.
It was the first time for the Ultimate Late Model Series to visit the ‘Bull Ring’ and many of the series regulars struggled with the slick, but racy surface. Points leader Dennis ‘Rambo’ Franklin of Gaffney, SC, started fourteenth while his nearest points rival, Kenny Collins of Colbert, started just in front of him in twelfth. Franklin would settle into the top side finding some speed as the laps clicked off, but Collins night would end on lap 16 restart after tangling with Clint Smith.
The Friends of the Dream 40 defending champion, Joe Armistead, Jr., of Senoia, began his charge to the front on lap 22. Armistead made his way into the top five before having a left rear tire go flat after battling for the fourth place position. Armistead would be relegated to the rear of the field after having to slide into the pit area.
Lapped traffic slowed the leader Page over the final few laps, but Tom Maddox could not take advantage and settled for the runner-up position as Page crossed the finish line first. Acworth’s TJ Reaid was third followed by Toccoa’s Casey Roberts and Armistead, Jr. who sliced and diced way back into the top five before running out of laps.
Lunsford would get a challenge again later on in the fray as he and fellow teenager Dylan Knowles of Alabama would square off. The two almost duplicated the battle from earlier in the race as they raced side by side touching briefly on the front stretch. Nothing was going to rattle the determined Lunsford as he powered ahead charging to his first career win at Senoia Raceway. He was followed across the finish line by a string of young competitors. Knowles was second. Newnan’s 20-year-old Corey Payton had a strong campaign gaining a podium finish in third while LaGrange’s Colby Darda was fourth. Sharpsburg’s Wayne Harbin rounded out the first five.
As the field charged down the back stretch of the final lap, Duncan secured his position leaving Lykins in second and Alexander hustling in third. Alexander went into the turn a little too hard and caught Lykins in the rear quarter panel with both cars spinning as the checkers flew over Duncan. Covington’s Sam Carter took advantage to move past into second with Newnan’s Bobby Arnold crossing in third.
Hardy would hold the lead and fight off all challenges by current points leader Tim Harmon of Conyers and Dorough Bright of Newnan. The three chased each other, trading paint, bumping a little and racing hard to the checkered flag. Hardy would win his first at Senoia Raceway with Harmon in second and Bright third.
Younginer led the four cylinder tirade until lap nine when Tennessee’s Brad Gladden would figure out the slick surface and pass him using the highest part of the race track. Gladden would then build his lead until the final flag waved. Younginer was second ahead of Good Hope’s thirteen-year-old Grant Roberts in third.
Senoia Raceway’s ‘month of speed’ continues this weekend with a double-header scheduled for Friday, August 19th and Saturday, August 20th. The USCS Winged Outlaw Sprint Cars will headline the Senoia Summer Nationals VII with wide, open, pedal to metal racing in the exciting 700 horsepower racing machines.
“We are excited to come in and try this new surface,” said USCS Series director Pete Walton. “We have heard great things and this will be the first time for our series. These cars are fast no matter where they go, but the slick surface may have them sliding all over the place. It will be fun to watch.”
Friday night’s show will include the Sprint Cars, Mini Sprints, Limited Late Models ($1000 to win); Crate Late Models ($600 to win); B Cadets ($500 to win); Mini Stock ($300 to win) and the Hobby Stock ($400 to win). The pit gates will open at 4pm and grandstand gates at 5pm. Action on the track will begin at 6:30pm with hot laps and racing at 7:30pm.
On Saturday night, the Sprint Cars and Mini Sprints of the USCS will return with action also in the Super Late Models ($2000 to win/$100 to start); Crate Late Models ($600 to win); B Cadets ($500 to win); Mini Stock ($300 to win) and the Bombers ($400 to win). The pit gates will open at 4pm and grandstand gates at 5pm. Action on the track will begin at 6:30pm with hot laps and racing at 7:30pm.
“It will be two complete shows,” explained Walton. “A full show on Friday and then another full show on Saturday. In fact, this is the only place I know where you can see the Sprint Cars and the Super Late Models in the same show.”
Friday night grandstand prices are $15; 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.
Saturday night grandstand prices 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.
The track will also offer discounted admission for weekends passes at both gates.
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, August 12, 2016
Friends of the Dream 40 (Super Late Model Feature): 1-Michael Page, Winston 2-Tom Maddox, Centre, AL 3-TJ Reaid, Acworth 4-Casey Roberts, Toccoa 5-Joe Armistead, Jr., Senoia 6-Jeff Smith, Dallas, NC 7-Clint Smith, Senoia 8-Dennis Franklin, Gaffney, SC 9-Ryan Crane, Panama City, FL 10-Brian Ligon, Augusta 11-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 12-Glenn Elliott, Sykesville, MD 13-Jimmy Sharpe, Jr., Soperton 14-Shane Fulcher, Thomaston 15-Mason Massey, Douglasville 16-Lamar Haygood, Douglasville 17-Russell Brown, Jr., Valdosta 18-Thomas Mewborn, Greenville 19-Austin Horton, Whitesburg 20-Joey Armistead, Senoia 21-Dylan Knowles, Lannett, AL 22-Zach Leonhardi, Cartersville 23-Jayce Southwell, Brooks 24-Dillon Wood, Daytona Beach, FL 25-Kenny Collins, Colbert 26-Ricky Williams, Fayetteville 27-Bobby Mills, Griffin Fast Qualifier: Page (14.747 seconds/91.6 mph)
Limited Late Model (Feature): 1-Clint Smith, Senoia 2-Chris Carr, Newnan 3-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 4-Landon Bagby, Lithia Springs 5-Brandon Bright, Newnan 6-Bailey Williams, Fayetteville 7-Thomas Mewborn, Greenville 8-Jayce Southwell, Brooks 9-Michael Queen, Cartersville 10-Shane Criswell, Bowden 11-Ryan Crane, Panama City, FL 12-Brant Hardin, Griffin Fast Qualifier: Smith (16.11 seconds/83.7 mph)
Crate Late Models (Feature): 1-Marty Lunsford, Newnan 2-Dylan Knowles, Lannett, AL 3-Corey Payton, Newnan 4-Coby Darda, LaGrange 5-Wayne Harbin, Sharpsburg 6-Kyle Cochran, Atlanta 7-Chris Justus, McDonough 8-Richard Dale, Winston 9-Josh Copeland, McDonough 10-Chase Baker, LaGrange 11-Nick Carter, Rutledge 12-Jamie Brown, Temple 13-Jonathan Harrell, Newnan 14-Bobby Mills, Griffin 15-Dow Kirkland, Lake Spivey DNS: Lawson Hill Fast Qualifier: Mills (16.133 seconds/83.6 mph)
B Cadet (Feature): 1-Parrish Duncan, Newnan 2-Sam Carter, Covington 3-Bobby Arnold, Newnan 4-Billy Stevenson, Locust Grove 5-Jeff Carter, Stockbridge 6-Jamie Maurice, McDonough 7-Dennis Lykins, Jr., Sharpsburg 8-Clyde Alexander, Locust Grove 9-Justin Thornton, Columbus 10-Ted Minnix, McDonough 11-Dakota Weeks, Douglasville 12-Keith Fields, Griffin 13-Johnny Stinchcomb, Newnan
Hobby Stock (Feature): 1-Blant Duke, Whitesburg 2-Curtis Turner, Brooks 3-James Swanger, Newnan 4-Jamie Simmons, Tyrone 5-Lee McElwaney, Newnan 6-Randy Cornwell, Fayetteville 7-Pappy Powell, Hogasnville 8-Joe Hillman, Villa Rica
Mini Stock (Feature): 1-Brad Gladden, Georgetown, TN 2-Mike Younginer, Locust Grove 3-Grant Roberts, Good Hope 4-Denver Stepp, Powder Springs 5-Jamie Nicholson, Sr., Locust Grove 6-Cassie Dingler-Still, Newnn 7-Rocky Johnson, Douglasville 8-Jamie Nicholson, Jr., Locust Grove 9-Tommy Faulkner, Newnan 10-Kevin Tullis, Commerce DNS: Parris Simmons, Baldwin; Marc Leath, Griffin
Bomber (Feature): 1-Junior Hardy, Mansfield 2-Tim Harmon, Conyers 3-Dorough Bright, Newnan 4-Randy Cornwell, Fayetteville 5-Carley Arnett, Lannett, AL 6-Scott Amoson, Newnan 7-Brent Harmon, Mansfield 8-Shannon Stephens, Newnan 9-Wilson Boozer, Jackson 10-Ricky Neill, Whitesburg 11-Jeremy Johnson, Snellville