Submitted by Ted Austad
Photo Credits: Francis Hauke
(September 18, 2016 - Senoia, GA) Senoia Raceway honored the top drivers from their season points series on the final night on their summer racing series schedule. Senoia’s Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith accepted the championship award and point fund bonus for two divisions, the Super Late Models and Limited Late Models, prior to capturing his sixteenth victory of the year in the Limited Late Models.
The night also saw Cedartown’s Austin Smith winning the Super Late Model feature while Senoia’s Bubba Pollard won in the Crate Late Models. Bobby Arnold of Newnan moved into the winner’s circle after the B Cadet main and Whitesburg’s James Swanger took home the checkers in the Hobby Stock. Thirteen-year-old Good Hope driver Grant Roberts won his third of the season in the Mini Stock and Newnan’s Dorough Bright won his fourth in the Bombers.
Clint Smith led the drivers being honored prior to the night’s racing action for the final standing in the season points series. Smith won his second straight title in the Super Late Models while also being the first driver to ever win two division titles in the same season capturing his first Limited Late Model championship. Newnan’s teenage sensation Marty Lunsford was honored for this championship in the Crate Late Models while Parrish Duncan, also from Newnan, was honored for his second consecutive points title in the B Cadets. Fayetteville’s Randy Cornwell, Hobby Stock; Conyers’ Tim Harmon, Bombers and Jamie Nicholson, Jr., Locust Grove were also honored for their triumphs for the season.
“The guys were excited to receive their awards,” said track promoter Mayes Massey. “They also like the money from the point funds, but I think they liked hearing the fans cheer for them as they were introduced in front of the grandstand before the night’s racing. That was pretty cool to hear the fans cheer for them all.”
In the racing action, only Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith could back up his season title with a winning effort on awards night. Smith won his sixteenth feature of the year in the Limited Late Models leading flag to flag for the victory.
The racing was intense behind the champion. LaGrange’s Dennis Hale ran second until former champion Jason Williams of Locust Grove made the pass on lap seven. Just behind the race for second was a grueling battle between another former points champion Glenn Morris of Fayetteville, Newnan’s Brandon Bright and a hard charging Matt Dooley of Brooks.
Dooley worked past Bright and Morris racing the high line of the tough 3/8ths mile track before setting his sights on the leaders. Dooley caught up to Williams with five laps remaining. The crowd was on it’s feet several times as the two swapped lanes and positions three times before Dooley finally secured the position. He could not reel in Clint Smith, but did finish in second after starting tenth. Williams ended up third ahead of Morris and Hale.
Austin Smith made only his third appearance of the season at Senoia Raceway, but flexed his muscle early notching the fastest time in qualifying. That effort placed him on the pole for the 25-lap feature and he did not disappoint his fans leading flag to flag in a caution-free race. Senoia’s racing family Joe Armistead, Jr. and son Joey Armistead battled for second for the first part of the race before settling into the second and third place spots while Sharpsburg’s Brian Reese ran fourth and 15-year-old Zach Leonhardi of Cartersville rounded out the top five.
Douglasville’s Matt Black set a new track record for the Crate Late Models during qualifying before leading most of the feature race. Newnan’s Craig Scott was challenging Black on lap 15 when Scott got into his right rear quarter panel while racing down the front stretch. Both of the drivers were able to hold on avoiding a crash, but the contact allowed for Bubba Pollard to scoot past and into the lead. Alabama’s Cruz Skinner followed Pollard through the hole left wide open on the bottom of the track while Black and Craig could not recover the positions lost before the checkers fell over Pollard and Skinner first.
Whitesburg’s Austin Horton wrestled away the lead from Bobby ‘The Wild Child’ Arnold in the B Cadet main event on lap five of a caution-filled race that was called with only seven laps completed after the division’s race time limit ran out. Unfortunately, Horton was light at the scales and was disqualified handing the top spot back to Arnold. Winston’s Michael Page finished third only one week after finishing among the top ten at Eldora Speedway’s World 100 in Rossburg, Ohio.
James Swanger topped a small field of Hobby Stocks. Swanger took advantage of the late race hard luck of Villa Rica’s Joe Hillman. While leading, Hillman’s ride developed engine problems and slowed allowing Swanger to shoot past into the lead.
The same was true, twice, in the Mini Stock feature. Dan Bennett led the race until lap five when his car slowed allowing Hampton’s Mark Newton to move into the lead. That lead was short lived as engine problems would sideline Newton only four laps later. That left the door wide open for the thirteen-year-old Grant Roberts to slide into the top spot. He would lead the remainder besting Jamie Nicholson, Sr. of Locust Grove and Keith West of Mableton.
Dorough Bright climbed through the field of Bombers overtaking Zebulon’s Jim Jackson on lap 6. The veteran driver never looked back posting the win over Jackson and season point’s champion Tim Harmon.
Senoia Raceway will take a couple of weeks off to prepare for the track’s new fall schedule called the ‘Fall Brawl’. The four night series will open on Saturday, October 8th and continue with events on October 15, 22 and 29. Drivers competing on those nights will receive points for each race with top driver in each class receiving a guaranteed starting position in the track’s Showdown at Senoia finale in early November.
To learn more about the Fall Brawl Series and inaugural running of the ‘Showdown at Senoia’, 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, September 17, 2016
Super Late Model (Feature): 1-Austin Smith, Cedartown 2-Joe Armistead, Jr., Senoia 3-Joey Armistead, Senoia 4-Brian Reese, Sharpsburg 5-Zach Leonhardi, Cartersville 6-Mason Massey, Douglasville 7-Lamar Haygood, Douglasville 8-Shane Fulcher, Thomaston 9-Ricky Williams, Fayetteville 10-Jordy Nipper, Gray 11-Laddie Fulcher, Thomaston 12-Jack Mills, Griffin 13-Mike Nasworthy, Macon DNS: Glenn Morris, Fayetteville; Dana Eiland, Salem, AL; Clint Smith, Senoia Fast Qualifier: A. Smith (14.857 seconds/90.9 mph)
Limited Late Model (Feature): 1-Clint Smith, Senoia 2-Matt Dooley, Brooks 3-Jason Williams, Locust Grove 4-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 5-Dennis Hale, LaGrange 6-Jayce Southwell, Brooks 7-Brandon Bright, Newnan 8-Dylan Holmes, Smiths, AL 9-Chris Carr, Newnan 10-Jason Lively, Birmingham, AL 11-Shawn Cater, Roopville 12-Parrish Duncan, Newnan 13-Landon Bagby, Lithia Springs 14-Bailey Williams, Fayetteville 15-Brant Hardin, Griffin 16-Aubrey Merritt, Carrollton DNS: Michael Queen, Cartersville; Corey Payton, Newnan; Clint Thompson, Newnan Fast Qualifier: Smith (14.334 seconds/94.2 mph)
Crate Late Models (Feature): 1-Bubba Pollard, Senoia 2-Cruz Skinner, Oxford, AL 3-Matt Black, Douglasville 4-Craig Scott, Newnan 5-Mike Bruner, Dallas 6-Adam Gauldin, Talladega, AL 7-Marty Lunsford, Newnan 8-Kyle Cochran, Atlanta 9-Ahnna Parkhurst, Evans 10-Wayne Harbin, Sharpsburg 11-Dow Kirkland, Lake Spivey 12-Jim Manka, Savannah 13-Troy Tyson, Lithia Springs 14-Phillip Deal, Tyrone 15-Richard Dale, Winston 16-Jonathan Harrell, Newnan 17-Troy Dixon, Villa Rica 18-Danny Richards, Marietta 19-Bobby Mills, Griffin DNS: Ryan Law, Piedmont, AL Fast Qualifier: Black *new track record* (14.821 seconds/91.1 mph)
B Cadet (Feature): 1-Bobby Arnold, Newnan 2-Michael Page, Winston 3-Jamie Maurice, McDonough 4-Billy Stevenson, Locust Grove 5-Craig Scott, Newnan 6-Petey Cochran, Ball Ground 7-William Blair, Whitesburg 8-Roger Arnett, Lannett, AL 9-Jeff Carter, Stockbridge 10-Clyde Alexander, Locust Grove 11-Stephen Hill, Hogasnville 12-Lawson Hill, Dallas 13-Keith Fields, Griffin 14-Kenneth Pendley, Acworth 15-Ted Minnix, McDonough 16-TJ Joiner, Lithia Springs DQ: Austin Horton, Whitesburg (too light) Heat Winners: Arnold & Stevenson
Hobby Stock (Feature): 1-James Swanger, Whitesburg 2-Curtis Turner, Brooks 3-Andrew Moody, Douglasville 4-Joe Hillman, Villa Rica 5-Daniel Floyd, Marietta 6-Ryan Knight, Villa Rica
Mini Stock (Feature): 1-Grant Roberts, Good Hope 2-Jamie Nicholson, Sr., Locust Grove 3-Keith West, Mableton 4-John Caldwell, Senoia 5-Mark Newton, Hampton 6-David Brackett 7-Tommy Faulkner, Newnan 8-Gary Parker, Barnesville DNS: Denver Stepp, Powder Springs
Bomber (Feature): 1-Dorough Bright, Newnan 2-Jim Jackson, Zebulon 3-Tim Harmon, Conyers 4-Matt Steele, Franklin 5-Wilson Boozer, Jackson 6-Randy Cornwell, Fayetteville 7-Ricky Neill, Whitesburg 8-George Purgason, Hogansville 9-Ted Willingham, McDonough 10-David Johnson, Griffin 11-Darren Parrot, Sharpsburg 12-John Holden, Milner