Photo credits: Francis Hauke
(September 12, 2016 - Senoia, GA) Clint Smith became the first driver in Senoia Raceway history to capture two track titles within the same season. The life-long Senoia resident won his second consecutive title in the Super Late Model division with a third place feature finish on Saturday. He followed that up with a career high fifteenth feature victory in the Limited Late Model division and his second crown of the season.
The other drivers who won track titles on Saturday night included nineteen-year-old young gun Marty Lunsford of Newnan winning the Crate Late Model championship. Parrish Duncan, also from Newnan, won his second straight B Cadet championship while Fayetteville’s Randy Cornwell topped the standings in the Hobby Stock. Another teenager, Jamie Nicholson, Jr., of Locust Grove is the champ for the Mini Stock division and Conyers’ Tim Harmon snagged the laurels for the Bomber division. The track saw nearly 500 different drivers compete thus far in the 2016 season which will culminate with the inaugural ‘Showdown at Senoia’ this November.
Smith started further back in the field than usual this past Saturday for the Super Late Model points finale. Whitesburg’s Austin Horton started up front and led the race flag to flag with Woodstock’s Jason Croft chasing him nearly throughout the entire 25-lap race. Smith would wind up third and become champion for the second straight year.
The race to watch in the Super Late Models was between Senoia’s Joe Armistead, Jr. and his son Joey Armistead. The father and son racers battled back and forth for several laps racing for fourth place. Joe, Jr., made his way past Joey with five laps to go and then settled in to the number four spot. That position also secured the veteran racer’s second place position in the final points rankings. He knocked young gun Mason Massey of Douglasville down one spot to third after Massey could only muster a seventh place finish.
Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith waited until the timing was correct to move into the lead position and eventual victory lane in the Limited Late Model main event. Brooks’ ‘Magic’ Matt Dooley battled back and forth with Fayetteville’s Bailey Williams for several laps at the drop of the green. The hard charging teenagers swapped the lead a few times before Smith would work past both and into the lead on lap fifteen.
Smith would cruise from that point through the checkers winning his record fifteenth Limited Late Model feature win of the season. Points runner-up Glenn Morris of Fayetteville also worked past the teenage duo to lock in a second place finish. Dooley ended up third ahead of Williams and Locust Grove’s Jason Williams.
In the Crate Late Model feature, Senoia’s Bubba Pollard ran flag to flag for his sixth win of the season. Pollard held off a late race scare from Newnan’s Craig Scott after having a several car length lead disappear with a late race caution.
During the restart after that caution, Newnan’s Corey Payton was restarting in third place looking to move up one spot in the final standings. Payton was surrounded as the green flag flew with several cars bumping and banging. The results was the young gun turned sideways in turn one collecting Evans driver Ahanna Parkhurst. The caution would also force Payton to the back for the restart and eventually to the pit area with too much damage done to his racecar.
Pollard won the race with Scott coming home second. Alabama’s Dillon Tidmore ended up in third ahead of Newnan teenager Trey Wood and Sharpsburg’s Wayne Harbin. The top five finish allowed Harbin to maintain his second place point’s ranking just ahead of the disappointed Payton. Point’s champion Marty Lunsford ended up tenth in the final points race of the season, but the title winner had sewed up the season crown four weeks ago.
“This means the world to me and I can't thank everybody enough,” said the young champion Lunsford. “I'd like to thank God first and foremost for watching over not only me, but all the other drivers, crew, track personnel, and most of all the fans because without them we couldn't come out and put on a show every weekend. My crew Steve, Jeremiah, and Andrew because without them I couldn't make it to the track every weekend and be competitive.”
The closest race on Saturday night was in the B Cadets. Defending points champion Parrish Duncan entered the night with a fourteen point lead over fellow Newnan resident Bobby ‘The Wild Child’ Arnold. That would equate into Arnold needing to finish three positions in front of Duncan in order to unseat the champ.
Arnold started on the pole after qualifying the fastest of the eighteen entries. He jumped out front right away as Duncan settled into the number four spot. Duncan would improve his position to third before shooting into second on lap six. Arnold would never waiver doing his best to try and win the title capturing the race victory. Duncan stayed in second and nailed down his second straight season crown while McDonough’s Ted Minnix ran third. Locust Grove’s Billy Stevenson and Clyde Alexander rounded out the top five.
An eight car pile-up on a lap 12 restart for the Hobby Stock feature marred what was a very competitive race. Franklin’s Ben Steele got turned on the drop of the green and everyone started piling in as the team’s charged towards turn one. There were several cars that were damaged beyond repair, but no drivers were injured.
Villa Rica’s Joe Hillman took home the checkered flag with Brooks’ Curtis Turner second. James Swanger of Whitesburg was third followed by Randy Cornwell in fourth. On the strength of his fourth place finish, Cornwell held off a late season run by Turner and won the point’s title for the Hobby Stock.
Alabama’s Brannon Knight won the Mini Stock feature. Knight held back the repeated attempts from Jamie Rowan, also from Alabama. Locust Grove’s Mike ‘Bam Bam’ Younginer was the race’s hard charger coming from near the back of the pack at the start to finish in third.
Jamie Nicholson, Jr. finished in eleventh but it was enough to keep him in front of this father, Jamie Nicholson, Sr., in the final standings to capture the championship.
Tim Harmon won the title in the Bomber division despite being turned around in front of the field coming to the checkered flag. Harmon was leading when Randy Cornwell tagged him in the final turn. Harmon slid down the track and collected an unsuspecting Carly Arnett from Alabama. The sixteen-year-old female was having her best run of the season in third when the final lap crash took place.
Cornwell was disqualified for rough driving which handed the victory to Whitesburg’s Ricky Neill. Franklin’s Chris Steele was second and Buckhead’s Wally Smith came home third. Harmon was scored in ninth and Arnett tenth. The crash did not cause Harmon to lose his number one spot in the final standings as the veteran short tracker notched his first career title at the ‘Bull Ring’.
Steve Pate won the NeSmith Street Stock showcase which featured only five competitors.
The top drivers will be honored with awards and point fund bonuses being presented to them this Saturday, September 17th prior to the night’s racing action. The final standings are posted on the Senoia Raceway website at www.senoiaraceway.com.
Racing action is also scheduled for this Saturday. Competition in the Super Late Models, Limited Late Models, Crate Late Models, B Cadets, Hobby Stock, Mini Stock and Bombers will planned.
The pit gates will open at 4pm and the grandstands at 5pm. Hot laps will take place at 6:30pm with racing at 7pm. The awards ceremony will take place during the show.
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, September 10, 2016
Super Late Model (Feature): 1-Austin Horton, Whitesburg 2-Jason Croft, Woodstock 3-Clint Smith, Senoia 4-Joe Armistead, Jr., Senoia 5-Joey Armistead, Senoia 6-TJ Reaid, Acworth 7-Mason Massey, Douglasville 8-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 9-Montana Dudley, Ladonia, AL 10-Zach Leonhardi, Cartersville 11-Ricky Williams, Fayetteville 12-Gathan Burns, Piedmont, AL 13-Chad Wallace, LaGrange 14-Jayce Southwell, Brooks 15-Jay Elliott, Phenix City, AL Fast Qualifier: Horton (15.753 seconds/85.7 mph)
Limited Late Model (Feature): 1-Clint Smith, Senoia 2-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 3-Matt Dooley, Brooks 4-Bailey Williams, Fayetteville 5-Jason Williams, Locust Grove 6-Dennis Hale, LaGrange 7-Cruz Skinner, Oxford, AL 8-Shane Criswell, Bowden 9-Brandon Bright, Newnan 10-Chris Carr, Newnan 11-Landon Bagby, Lithia Springs 12-Steven Bloodworth, McIntyre 13-Tyler Thomason, Phenix City, AL 14-Aubrey Merritt, Carrolton 15-Chad Wallace, LaGrange 16-Chris Woods, Statham 17-Mark Knight, Villa Rica 18-Tommy Gerralls DNS: Michael Scoggins, Tallapoosa; Clint Thompson, Newnan Fast Qualifier: Dooley (16.125 seconds/83.7 mph)
Crate Late Model (Feature): 1-Bubba Pollard, Senoia 2-Craig Scott, Newnan 3-Dillon Tidmore, Gadsden, AL 4-Trey Wood, Newnan 5-Wayne Harbin, Sharpsburg 6-Bobby Mills, Griffin 7-Kyle Cochran, Atlanta 8-Matthew Knight, Villa Rica 9-Jonathan Harrell, Newnan 10-Marty Lunsford, Newnan 11-Josh Copeland, McDonough 12-Dow Kirkland, Lake Spivey 13-Troy Tyson, Lithia Springs 14-Richard Dale, Winston 15-Ahnna Parkhurst, Evans 16-Corey Payton, Newnan 17-Mike Abercrombie, Jackson 18-Chase Baker, LaGrange 19-Adam Smith, Carnesville 20-Charles Rogan Fast Qualifier: Pollard (16.011 seconds/84.3 mph)
B Cadet (Feature): 1-Bobby Arnold, Newnan 2-Parrish Duncan, Newnan 3-Ted Minnix, McDonough 4-Billy Stevenson, Locust Grove 5-Clyde Alexander, Locust Grove 6-William Blair, Whitesburg 7-Jeff Carter, Stockbridge 8-Johnny Stichcomb, Newnan 9-Brian Womack, Villa Rica 10-Jamie Maurice, McDonough 11-Stephen Hill, Hogansville 12-Brandon McDaniel, Byron 13-Keith Fields, Griffin 14-Jamie Nicholson, Jr., Locust Grove 15-Mike Trull 16-Matthew Knight, Villa Rica 17-Russell Teal, Ranburne, AL DNS: Jonathan Hemmings, Newnan Fast Qualifier: Arnold (16.625 seconds/81.2 mph)
Hobby Stock (Feature): 1-Joe Hillman, Villa Rica 2-Curtis Turner, Brooks 3-James Swanger, Whitesburg 4-Randy Cornwell, Fayetteville 5-Jamie Simmons, Tyrone 6-Larry Bednar, Hampton 7-John Michael Schmear, Auburn, AL 8-Taylor Cole, Carteresville 9-Ryan Ray, Mableton 10-Ben Steele, Franklin 11-Mike Jenkins, Brooks 12-Lee McElwaney, Newnan 13-Ryan Knight, Villa Rica
Mini Stock (Feature): 1-Brannon Knight, Sand Rock, AL 2-Jamie Rowan, Altoona, AL 3-Mike Younginer, Locust Grove 4-Jamie Godbee, Carrollton 5-Jamie Nicholson, Sr., Locust Grove 6-Jason Gillilan, Boaz, AL 7-Tommy Faulkner, Newnan 8-Keith West, Mableton 9-Parris Simmons, Baldwin 10-John Caldwell, Senoia 11-Jamie Nicholson, Jr., Locust Grove 12-Caleb Moss, Brooks 13-Rocky Johnson, Douglasville 14-Marc Leath, Griffin 15-Denver Stepp, Powder Springs DNS: Scott Killilea, Mableton
Bomber (Feature): 1-Ricky Neill, Whitesburg 2-Chris Steele, Franklin 3-Wally Smith, Buckhead 4-Brent Harmon, Mansfield 5-Wilson Boozer, Jackson 6-Jim Jackson, Zebulon 7-Darren Parrott, Sharpsburg 8-Scott Amoson, Newnan 9-Tim Harmon, Conyers 10-Carly Arnett, Lannett, AL 11-Randy Cornwell, Fayetteveille 12-Dorough Bright, Newnan 13-Pappy Powell, Hogansville
NeSmith Street Stocks (Feature): 1-Steve Pate, Talladega, AL 2-Dunie Dilliard, Talladega, AL 3-Derrick Matthews, Whitesburg 4-Herbie Donath, Phenix City, AL 5-Jason Faulk, Albany