Big T's

Big T's

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Turpen First Female To Win At Senoia Summer Nationals

Morgan Turpen
Submitted by Ted Austad
Photo credits: Francis Hauke

(August 21, 2016 – Senoia, GA)  Tennessee’s Morgan Turpen placed herself in the Senoia Raceway record books becoming the first female to capture a Senoia Summer Nationals title.  The high school English teacher held off repeated challenges by fellow volunteer state rival Howard Moore to nab the checkered flag in the USCS Winged Outlaw Sprint Car main event.  She also currently leads the national USCS tour point standings.

Joining Turpen in the winner’s circle were Florida’s Robby Hoffman who captured the Mini Sprint feature, Alabama’s Jason Hiett who won the Super Late Model race and Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith of Senoia claiming his thirteenth Limited Late Model race win of the season.  Newnan’s Craig Scott won the Crate Late Model race with Tyrone’s Jody Knowles besting the field of B Cadets.  Whitesburg’s James Swanger won the Hobby Stock feature and Conyers Tim Harmon was the Bomber winner.  The Mini Stock feature fell victim to the track curfew and will be run this Saturday, August 27th.

The defending United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour National Champion Morgan Turpen of Cordova, TN picked up her fourth win of the season during the 7th Annual Senoia Summer Nationals at Senoia Raceway.  The “Queen of the Wings” held off a hard late-race charge from young gun Howard Moore of Memphis, TN.

Turpen took the lead after a lap 13 crash took out early race leader Eric Riggins Jr. of Charlotte, NC.  Despite a rain delay, the “Carolina Kid” could not make repairs to continue in the race.

After the restart, Moore moved up to challenge Turpen for the point, and actually took the lead on lap 23, but the caution flag came out after Johnny Gilbertson, Jr. of Dover, FL stalled on the front straightaway to negate the pass.  Turpen led Moore down for the restart and was able to hold him off for the win.  Moore settled for second with third place going to Lance Moss of Cherryville, NC.

Robby Hoffman
Robby Hoffman from Tampa, Florida raced to his second USCS Mini Sprint win of the season in their 20-lap main event.  Hoffman took the lead on lap nine after early race leader Brandon Taylor of Cumming had a mechanical failure.  Following Hoffman under the checkered flag were Robbie Smith of Ocala, FL, in the runner-up spot and David Hall of Tampa, FL, in third place.

Jason Hiett

Alabama’s Jason Hiett charged out to the lead at the drop of the green in the Super Late Models with fast qualifier Joe Armisted, Jr. of Senoia trying to track him down using the highest land available on the ‘bull ring’.  The battle was slowed when Cartersville 15-year-old Zach Leonhardi became sideways in turn three and slowly rolled his car on it’s side coming to rest with the driver’s side down on the gumbo clay.  Leonhardi was uninjured, but would not be able to continue.

On the restart, Kingston’s Tyler Millwood jumped to the lowside of the race track that features many racing grooves and moved up to third place to challenge Armistead, jr.  Millwood would scoot past into second on lap six leaving Armistead to battle with fellow Senoia hot shoe Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith.

Another caution allowed the field to bunch back together which allowed Chattanooga’s Riley Hickman to begin making his moves to the front.  Hiett charged to the lead, Millwood and Armistead battled with Smith before the current points leader had to drop from the race on lap 13.

Hickman took advantage of a Armistead wobble with two laps remaining moving to second place, but he could not track down the leader leaving the victory celebration for Hiett.  Hickman was second followed by Armistead, Jr., his son Joey Armistead in fourth and Woodstock’s Jason Croft in fifth.

Clint Smith

Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith did not have any mechanical issues in the Limited Late Model feature.  Smith shot down low from his second row starting position on the initial race start to sneak past a pair of unsuspecting young guns.  Fast qualifier Matt Dooley of Brooks and Whitesburg’s Austin Horton found themselves in a three wide tussle coming out of turn two with the result ending with Cat Daddy in the lead.

The former four-time Southern All Stars Series champion never looked back posting his thirteenth win of the season in the Limited Late Model division.  Horton came home in second with Carrollton’s Aubrey Merritt finishing a season high third.  Fayetteville’s Glenn Morris was the race’s hard charger moving up several positions to finish in fourth followed by Newnan’s Rucker Orr in fifth.

Craig Scott

Craig Scott held off a late race charge from Senoia’s Bubba Pollard to win his second Crate Late Model race of the season.  Scott and Pollard found themselves in the midst of a young gun uprising on Saturday night.  The veteran racers raced the entire twenty laps with 14-year-old Cruz Skinner of Oxford, AL, Newnan’s Corey Payton and Marty Lunsford, as well as, Alabama’s Dylan Knowles.  The fans of Senoia Raceway are entertained each week with developing young talent that call the ‘bull ring’ their home track.

Scott finished ahead of Skinner and Knowles while Pollard dropped to fourth.  Corey Payton finished in fifth while Marty Lunsford broke near the middle part of the race.

The ‘gumbo’ racing surface has allowed the racing to be greater than ever before at Senoia Raceway.  The slick surface is racey from top to bottom and that was evident in the B Cadet feature race.  Jody Knowles ran three wide with Dennis Lykins, Jr. of Sharpsburg an Acworth’s Kenneth Pendley on his way to take on Griffin’s Jack Mills for the lead.  Knowles was able to wrestle away the lead from Mills and then set his sights on victory lane posting his third win of the year.  Mills was second ahead of Lykins, Jr.  Newnan’s Parrish Duncan and Bobby ‘Wild Child’ Arnold finished fourth and fifth.

James Swanger

James Swanger led the Hobby Stock feature from green flag to checkered flag.  The victory was Swanger’s fourth win of the year at Senoia Raceway, but first behind the wheel of a Hobby Stock entry.

Tim Harmon

Tim Harmon worked past Zebulon’s Jim Jackson before holding off Newnan’s Dorough Bright for the Bomber feature win.  Jackson would settle for third.

A midnight curfew caused the postponement of the Mini Stock feature.  Senoia Raceway officials worked through two rain delays and nine divisions of racing to nearly complete the entire racing program, but with less than ten minutes remaining before the curfew, officials postponed the races until this upcoming Saturday.

“It would not have been fair to the Mini Stocks to bring them out and then have to cut them short of laps if there were to be an extended caution or a number of yellows,” explained promoter Mayes Massey.  “They will run double features next weekend.”

The ‘Bash at the Bull Ring’ scheduled for this Saturday, August 27th will feature all seven divisions of racing with the Super Late Models, Limited Late Models, Crate Late Models, B Cadets, Hobby Stock, Bombers and the double features for the Mini Stocks.

Saturday night grandstand prices 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.

The pit gates will open at 4pm.  Grandstand gates at 5pm.  Hot laps will crank up at 6:30pm and racing will begin thereafter.

For additional information, schedules, rules and more, visit the Senoia Raceway website at  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 19, 2016
USCS Winged Sprint Cars (Feature):  1-Morgan Turpen, Cordova, TN  2-Howard Moore,  Memphis, TN  3-Lance Moss, Cherryville, NC  4-Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN  5-Curt Terrell, Bartlett, TN  6-Nick Snyder, Marco Island, FL  7-Danny Sams III, Englewood, FL  8-Brian Thomas, Pendergrass  9-Brandon McLain, Indian Trail, NC  10-Ray Bugg, Iuka, MS  11-Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS  12-Jake McLain, Indian Trail, NC  13-Terry Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL  14-Joe Larkin, Suwanee  15-Johnny Gilbertson, Jr., Dover, FL  16-Shawn Murray, Jacksonville, FL  17-Darren Orth, Jacksonville, FL  18-Eric Riggins, Jr., Charlotte, NC  19-Bob Auld, Largo, FL  20-Tanner Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL  Heat Winners: Moore; Gray; Moss
USCS Mini Sprints (Feature):  1-Robby Hoffman, Tampa, FL  2-Robbie Smith, Ocala, FL  3-David Hall, Tampa, FL  4-Aubrey Black II, Lookout Mountain  5-Bobby Zaiontz, Columbus  6-Dirk Miller, Tampa, FL  7-Bob Trapino, Alpharetta  8-Matt McCullough, Snellville  9-Carl Schumacher, Columbus  10-Remeno Loyal, Snellville  11-Brandon Taylor, Cumming  12-Connor Morrell,  Bradenton, FL  Heat Winners: Smith; Zaiontz
Super Late Model (Feature):  1-Jason Hiett, Oxford, AL  2-Riley Hickman, Chattanooga, TN  3-Joe Armistead, Jr., Senoia  4-Joey Armistead, Senoia  5-Jason Croft, Woodstock  6-Lamar Haygood, Douglasville  7-Mason Massey, Douglasville  8-Rodney Martin, Cartersville  9-Clint Smith, Senoia  10-Tyler Millwood, Kingston  11-Austin Horton, Whitesburg  12-Ricky Williams, Fayetteville  13-Zach Leonhardi, Cartersville  14-Shane Fulcher, Thomaston  DNS: Aaron Ridley, Chatsworth; Glenn Morris, Fayetteville; Laddie Fulcher, Thomaston  Fast Qualifier:  Armistead, Jr. (13.984 seconds/96.6 mph)
Limited Late Model (Feature):  1-Clint Smith, Senoia  2-Austin Horton, Whitesburg  3-Aubrey Merritt, Carrollton  4-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville  5-Rucker Orr, Newnan  6-Cruz Skinner, Oxford, AL  7-Matt Dooley, Brooks  8-Michael Queen, Cartersville  9-Jayce Southwell, Brooks  10-Casey Heatherly, Ringgold  11-John Harbin, Talking Rock  12-Bailey Williams, Fayetteville  13-Matt Black, Douglasville  14-Brandon Bright, Newnan  DNS: Chris Carr, Newnan; Clint Thompson, Newnan  Fast Qualifier: Dooley (14.684 seconds/92 mph)
Crate Late Models (Feature):  1-Craig Scott, Newnan  2-Cruz Skinner, Oxford, AL  3-Dylan Knowles, Lannett, AL  4-Bubba Pollard, Senoia  5-Corey Payton, Newnan  6-Kyle Cochran, Atlanta  7-Wayne Harbin, Sharpsburg  8-Clyde Alexander, Locust Grove  9-Colby Darda, LaGrange  10-Matthew Wyatt, Eastonallee  11-Lawson Hill, Dallas  12-Chase Baker, LaGrange  13-Marty Lunsford, Newnan  14-Bobby Mills, Griffin  DNS: Mark Page, Winston; Richard Dale, Winston; Jonathan Harrell, Newnan; George Wilson, Canton  Fast Qualifier: Lunsford (15.310 seconds/88.2 mph)
B Cadet (Feature):  1-Jody Knowles, Tyrone  2-Jack Mills, Griffin  3-Dennis Lykins, Jr., Sharpsburg  4-Parrish Duncan, Newnan  5-Bobby Arnold, Newnan  6-Kenneth Pendley, Acworth  7-Stephen Hill, Newnan  8-Michael Page, Winston  9-Ted Minnix, McDonough  DNS: Blant Duke, Whitesbrg; John Davis, Winder; Chris McKeehan
Hobby Stock (Feature):  1-James Swanger, Whitesburg  2-Curtis Turner, Brooks  3-Jamie Simmons, Tyrone  4-Jerry Scott  5-Dustin Perry, Carrollton  6-Lee McElwaney, Newnan  7-Blake Harmon, Mansfield  8-Randy Cornwell, Fayetteville
Bomber (Feature):  1-Tim Harmon, Conyers  2-Dorough Bright, Newnan  3-Jim Jackson, Zebulon  4-Wilson Boozer, Jackson  5-Chris Chase, Valley, AL  6-Brent Harmon, Mansfield  7-Ted Willingham, McDonough  8-Scott Amoson, Newnan
Mini Stock (Feature):  Postponed to Saturday, August 27 – curfew