Phot credits: Francis Hauke
(Senoia, GA – March 19, 2017) Former Craftsman Tools World of Outlaws champion, Shane Clanton of Zebulon, set the fast time Saturday night and then led every lap of the Super Late Model feature race to snag the top honors for opening night of the 2017 racing season at Senoia Raceway. Clanton held off a great start by Douglasville’s Mason Massey to retain his lead and then never looked posting his sixth career victory at the tough bull ring 3/8ths mile track. One hundred twenty-two cars packed the pit area to usher in the third season under the promotional direction of Mayes Massey, Bill Massey and Doug Stevens.
Also finding victory lane on Saturday evening were Alabama’s Drew Collins in the Limited Late Model, Tyrone’s Jody Knowles in the Crate Late Model and the Whitesburg Warrior, Blant Duke in the Late Model Sportsman. Stockbridge’s Mike ‘Bam Bam’ Younginer notched the win for the Mini Stock while Whitesburg’s Shane Tidwell outran the field in the Hobby Stock. Newnan’s Dorough Bright was the best in the Bomber and Waco’s Shane Davis captured the checkers for the first ever feature for the newly created Hot Shots division.
Clanton started his 2017 Senoia Raceway campaign the same he finished it last year. Clanton won the track’s finale in November and then dominated the race Saturday night. Mason Massey shot out from his outside front row starting position at the drop of the green, but a rough track caused his mount to hop which allowed Clanton to get back under him exiting the second turn. The veteran racer, Clanton, never looked back leaving all the racing behind him.
Colbert’s Kenny Collins struggled in preliminary qualifying sending him to near the back of the sixteen car field. Collins charged through the field improving nine positions before the checkered flag fell. The only driver he would not catch was Clanton as Collins would finish in second. McDonough’s Cody King ran a solid third place ahead of Douglasville’s Lamar Haygood and Massey.
Drew Collins offered a clinic for his competitors in the Limited Late Models. Collins had to go to the rear of the pack after his car misfired near the midway point of the race. The Alabama hot shoe then charged back through the field and overtook Douglasville’s Matt Black with four laps remaining. Black would fade one more spot in the final laps as Brook’s ‘Magic’ Matt Dooley would move past into second. LaGrange’s Dennis Hale was fourth followed by Greenville’s Thomas Mewborn in fifth.
Former Crate Late Model track champion, Bobby Mills of Griffin, looked like he was going to be the man to beat on opening night. Mills qualified the quickest before jumping out to the early lead over defending track champion Marty Lunsford of Newnan. Lunsford night ended after slapping the back stretch wall on lap seven which opened the door for Tyrone’s Jody Knowles.
Knowles would gain the inside line on Mills coming off the second turn on lap 9 before moving past and into the lead on the next circuit. Knowles would use lapped traffic to keep everyone in his rearview mirror as he won going away ahead of Alabama’s ‘Thrillin’ Dylan Knowles and Mills. Dallas’ Pete Cochran was fourth while Sharpsburg’s Dennis Lykins, Jr. was fifth.
The ‘Whitesburg Warrior’ Blant Duke led flag to flag in the Late Model Sportsman main event. Duke felt a little pressure early on from Hampton’s Richard Goode, but he faded through the middle stages of the race. Lizella’s Monte Vaughn would battle with Goode for the second place position as the two traded spots a few times. Locust Grove teenager Clyde Alexander also flexed his muscles creating an exciting three car war with Goode and Vaughn.
In the end, Duke won his 21st career feature at Senoia Raceway with Goode winning the race for second ahead of Vaughn, Alexander and Franklin’s Chris ‘Ironman’ Steele.
One of the more exciting finishes of the night came in the Hobby Stock feature. Whitesburg’s Shane Tidwell led the race from the drop of the green, but a hard charging James Swanger, also from Whitesburg, challenged him over the final lap. Swanger charged to the high side enterting turn one of the final circuit. Then he swooped low to try and get a run on the leader. Tidwell fought back as the two ran side by side through the final two turns. Tidwell would hold off Swanger by only a couple of feet as the crowd rose to it’s feet in excitement. Mansfield’s Blake Harmon was third ahead of Newnan’s Ricky Garland and McDonough’s Ted Willingham.
Stockbridge’s Mike ‘Bam Bam’ Younginer led all fifteen laps of the Mini Stock feature. Younginer beat Locust Grove’s Jamie Nicholson, Sr. by several car lengths to pick up the opening night laurels for the four cylinder racing division. Carrollton’s Jamie Godbee ran third.
Newnan’s ‘Godfather’ Dorough Bright used the high side of the track to steal the top position away from Alabama’s little lady Carley Arnett in the Bomber main. Arnett had led all the way until Bright found the groove along side the exterior concrete wall. He moved past with only a couple laps remaining and cruised to the victory. Arnett was second ahead of Lithia Spring’s Mike Lilly, West Point’s Charlie Garrett and defending Bomber champion Tim Harmon of Conyers.
Bright also passed a post race tear down of his engine as Arnett protested the winner’s engine.
The final race of the night was also the first race ever for the newly created Hot Shots class. The inexpensive division offers a very affordable option for people who are interested in trying racing, but do not want to invest a bunch of money.
Seventeen cars showed for the first Hot Shots race and the excitement started only a few laps into the race when stay-at-home mom Ashley Amoson of Newnan went for a wild ride down the back stretch that saw her car go end over end before coming to rest on it’s wheels. Amoson was removed from the car and transferred to an area hospital for treatment.
Waco’s Shane Davis led the race never being seriously challenged and winning the inaugural event. Cody Holmes was second followed by Patrick Dees.
Senoia Raceway will host the first of several specials this upcoming weekend as the Schaeffer Oil Spring Nationals visits on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night (March 23, 24 and 25). Thursday night will offer an open practice while Friday and Saturday will be two complete nights of racing competition.
The Super Late Models will race for a $4000 winner’s share on Friday with the Limited Late Models, Crate Late Models, Late Model Sportsman, Hobby, Mini, Bombers and Hot Shots joining them on the schedule.
Saturday night’s Super Late Model main will pay $6000 to the winner which race officials expect will bring in some of the southeast’s top drivers. All of Friday night’s divisions will compete again on Saturday night.
The pits will open at 4pm both Friday and Saturday with the Grandstands opening at 5pm. Hot laps will begin at 6:30pm with racing set for 7pm,
On Friday March 24th, adult general admission is $20.00 and children are $10.00. Pit passes and trackside passes are $35.00 while a kid’s pass in the pits and trackside are $20.00. Kids four & under are admitted for free.
On Saturday March 26th, adult general admission is $25.00 and children are $10.00. Pit passes and trackside passes are $35.00 while a kid’s pass in the pits and trackside are $20.00. Kids four & under are admitted for free.
For additional information, visit the track website at www.senoiaraceway.com or call the speedway at 770.599.6161.
Official Results for Saturday, March 18, 2017
Super Late Models (Feature): 1-Shane Clanton, Zebulon 2-Kenny Collins, Colbert 3-Cody King, McDonough 4-Lamar Haygood, Douglasville 5-Mason Massey, Douglasville 6-P.L. Williams, Dublin 7-Chad Marchman, LaGrange 8-Luther Jenkins, Waleska 9-Dustin Elliott, Pine Mountain 10-Dale Thurman, Cartersville 11-Shane Fulcher, Thomaston 12-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 13-Erc Granger, Douglasville 14-Dalton Cook, Columbus 15-Zach Leonhardi, Cartersville 16-Craig Scott, Newnan DNS: Dillon Tidmore, Gadsden, AL; Ricky Williams, Fayetteville Fast Qualifier: Clanton (13.240 seconds – 102 mph)
Limited Late Models (Feature): 1-Drew Collins, Auburn, AL 2-Matt Dooley, Brooks 3-Matt Black, Douglasville 4-Dennis Hale, LaGrange 5-Thomas Mewborn, Greenville 6-Dakota Weeks, Douglasville 7-Jimmy Price, Oxford, AL 8-Andy Morris, Canton 9-Shane Criswell, Bowden 10-Chris Carr, Newnan 11-Clint Thompson, Newnan 12-Bailey Williams, Fayetteville 13-Hunter Worley, Alvaton Fast Qualifier: Williams (14.609 seconds – 92.4 mph)
Crate Late Models (Feature): 1-Jody Knowles, Tyrone 2-Dylan Knowles, Lannet, AL 3-Bobby Mills, Griffin 4-Pete Cochran, Dallas 5-Dennis Lykins, Jr., Sharpsburg 6-Kyle Cochran, Atlanta 7-Trey White, Stockbridge 8-Jonathan Harrell, Newnan 9-Matthew Wyatt, Eastonolee 10-Dow Kirkland, Lake Spivey 11-Josh Copeland, McDonough 12-Jamie Brown, Temple 13-Jamie Maurice, McDonough 14-Randall Powell, Canton 15-Mike Abercrombie, Jackson 16-Corey Payton, Newnan 17-Marty Lunsford, Newnan 18-Bailey Temples, McDonough DNS: Ashton Winger, Senoia Fast Qualifier: Mills (14.727 seconds – 91.6 mph)
Late Model Sportsman (Feature): 1-Blant Duke, Whitesburg 2-Richard Goode, Hampton 3-Monte Vaughn, Lizella 4-Clyde Alexander, Locust Grove 5-Chris Steele, Franklin 6-Jerry Knowles, Tyrone 7-Dustin Newell, Gray 8-Tate McCullom, Jasper 9-Roger Arnett, Lannet, AL 10-Jake Traylor, LaGrange 11-Keith Fields, Griffin 12-Andrew Moody, Douglasville 13-Johnny Stinchcomb, Newnan 14-Preston Stevenson, Locust Grove 15-Jeff Carter, Stockbridge 16-Jamie Nicholson, Jr., Locust Grove 17-Petey Cochran, Douglasville 18-Lee Fuller DNS: Bobby Arnold, Newnan; Blake Griffin, Grantville; HB Duke, Whitesburg; Lawson Hill, Dallas. Heat Winners: Blant Duke; Goode
Hobby Stock (Feature): 1-Shane Tidwell, Whitesburg 2-James Swanger, Whitesburg 3-Blake Harmon, Mansfield 4-Ricky Garland, Newnan 5-Ted Willingham, McDonough 6-Daniel Doster, Hartwell 7-Robby Stewart, Murrayville 8-Griffin Alexander, Locust Grove 9-Jeremy Butler, Lithia Springs 10-Brandon Huffman, Newnan
Mini Stock (Feature): 1-Mike Younginer, Stockbridge 2-Jamie Nicholson, Sr., Locust Grove 3-Jamie Godbee, Carrollton 4-Marc Leath, Griffin 5-Lucas Pittman, Grantville 6-Cassie Dingler-Still, Newnan 7-Parris Simmons, Baldwin 8-Denver Stepp, Powder Springs DNS: Tommy Faulkner, Newnan; Bobby Faulkner, Newnan
Bomber (Feature): 1-Dorough Bright, Newnan 2-Carley Arnett, Lannet, AL 3-Mike Lilly, Lithia Springs 4-Charlie Garrett, West Point 5-Tim Harmon, Conyers 6-John Holder, Milner 7-Scott Amoson, Newnan 8-Brent Harmon, Mansfield 9-McKenna Nelms, Newnan 10-JR Hardy, Conyers 11-Pappy Powell, Hogasnville 12-Shannon Stephens, Newnan DNS: Ricky Neill, Whitesburg
Hot Shot (Feature): 1-Shane Davis, Waco 2-Cody Holmes 3-Patrick Dees 4-Dean Williams, Lannet, AL 5-Kenny Clark 6-Byron Sisson 7-Cody Carr, Dallas 8-Michael Fullmer 9-Nathan Farrow, LaGrange 10-Chris Woodall 11-Buddy Edmondson 12-Pennington Bryson 13-Bobby Duell 14-Tony Newnan 15-Ashley Amoson, Newnan 16-Morgan Pittman, Grantville DNS: Mark Meyer, Ellijay