Submitted by Ted Austed
Photo credits: Francis Hauke
(Senoia, GA – June 10, 2017) Under a full moon at the ‘South’s Baddest Bull Ring’, Senoia Raceway, a pair of wild roll-over accidents stole the spotlight. Newnan’s Corey Payton rode up the front stretch wall at the on-set of the Limited Late Model feature which sent him tumbling several times down the front stretch before coming to rest on top of the turn one retaining wall. The next race saw a similar crash with Atlanta’s Kyle Cochran getting upside down during the Crate Late Model main event. Both drivers were not injured, but the wild wrecks stole the show from those winning on a wild night at the tough 3/8ths mile speedway.
‘Cat Daddy’ Clint Smith of Senoia was again victorious in the Super Late Model feature while Brooks’ ‘Magic’ Matt Dooley picked up the win in Limited Late Model competition. Tyrone’s Jody Knowles picked up the checkered flag for the Crate Late Models, Locust Grove’s Billy Stevenson the Late Model Sportsman and Mableton’s Ryan Ray the Hobby Stocks. Mark ‘Mad Dog’ Newton continued his dominance of the Mini Stocks while Alabama’s Dunie Dillard won again in the Bombers. The Hot Shot Gumboree went to Alabama’s Dean Williams after the first two finishers were disqualified in post race tech.
Jody Knowles took advantage of a late race misfortune by Sharpsburg’s Dennis Lykins, Jr. to snag the lead of the Crate Late Model feature. Lykins had controlled the caution filled race until the race’s final two laps when his mount took a strange turn to the right entering turn three. Lykins kept the car from slamming the concrete retaining wall, but forced a caution which bunched the field up for a crazy, one lap dash for the cash.
Knowles shot out to the lead holding back the advances of ‘Thrillin’ Dylan Knowles of Lanett, Alabama and Cochran’s Will Herrington. The win was Jody Knowles second of the season.
In the Bomber feature, Dunie Dillard waited until the final lap to make his move. Whitesburg’s Derrick Matthews was leading heading into turn three, but Dillard stuck his nose against the interior fence to gain the low side. Coming out of the final turn, Dillard inched his Chevy just past Matthews to steal the win and go to victory lane for the second straight week. Former champion, Mike Nelms of Newnan, finished third ahead of Fayetteville’s Randy Cornwell and Jr. Hardy.
The Hot Shot Gumboree offered the newest division of competition an opportunity to shine with a $500 to win show. Alabama’s Jonathan Merritt was the race’s first leader as he battled with Dean Williams. Moving up through the field was another Alabama driver, Jason Newson, who had to start a bit further back on the starting grid.
On lap 7, Newson moved his station wagon racer to the front as he slung past both Williams and Merritt. Newson would never look back as he was the first to cross the finish line ahead of Merritt and Williams. Canton’s Michael Fullmer and Alabama’s Bobby Duell completed the first five.
Newson and Merritt were disqualified in post race tech after officials declared the two were running different size tires. The Senoia Raceway rulebook does not allow competitors in the Hot Shots to run different size tires as all four corners must be the same size. The disqualifications moved Williams to the winner’s circle and all others up two positions each.
Dominating performances in the Super Late Models and Limited Late Models saw Clint Smith and Matt Dooley run flag to flag for their victories. Dooley’s win was by a half lap over his nearest pursuant ‘Racin’ Jason Williams of Locust Grove.
Billy Stevenson also made it look easy in the Late Model Sportsman as he ran near the outside retaining wall to get past Newnan’s Bobby Arnold on his way to his second straight night in victory lane. Stevenson’s win a week earlier came with an air of controversy as his tires were protested in post race tech. Samples sent to Blue Ridge Labs came back with the benchmark correct and Stevenson was allowed to keep the win.
‘Hard Head’ Ryan Ray overtook Stockbridge’s Josh Pitt on lap four of the 15-lap feature for the Hobby Stocks. He then held off a late charge by Villa Rica’s ‘Smokin’ Joe Hillman to collect his second Senoia Raceway win of the season. Griffin’s John Holcomb was third ahead of Mansfield’s Blake Harmon and Pitt.
In the Mini Stock feature, Mark Newton was nearly uncontested in his fourth trip to the winner’s circle. Rockmart’s Ross Baines tried to catch the speedy Newton, but could not get the job done finishing in second. Baldwin teenager Paris Simmons was third ahead of Locust Grove’s Jamie Nicholson, Sr. and David Brackett of Douglasville.
Fans will flock to the speedway this Saturday, June 17th as the track will host it’s annual ‘Waterless Boat Race’ along with a full night of racing action. The ‘Waterless Boat Race’ features drivers pulling boats withour trailers around the 3/8ths mile dirt track. The object of the competition is not to see who is the fastest, but who keeps their boat from being dislodged from the pulling vehicle. The crash-filled event is a delight to fans of all ages. The track will be providing boats for those wanting to bring a junker car and compete.
“It is always total boat destruction,” said promoter Mayes Massey. “There will be boats that become obstacles on the track and driver will crash into them or push competitors into them trying to knock their boats off. It is crazy.”
The special night will also feature a full night of points racing in the Super Late Models, Limited Late Models, Crate Late Models, Late Model Sportsman, Hobby, Mini, Bomber and Hot Shot divisions.
The pit gates open at 4pm (maybe a little earlier to assist the travelling teams) with the grandstand gates opening at 5pm. Hot laps will begin at 6:30pm and racing will follow immediately.
Grandstand tickets are $12; kids 5-12 are $5; four and under are free. Pit passes and trackside parking passes are $30; kids 5-12 are $20; four and under are free.
Senoia Raceway is located just five miles west of Senoia, GA, on Georgia Highway 16. Easy access from both Interstate 75 and 85.
For additional information, visit the track website at www.senoiaraceway.com or call the speedway at 770.599.6161.
Official Results for Saturday, June 10, 2017
Super Late Models (Feature): 1-Clint Smith, Senoia 2-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 3-Tod Darda, LaGrange 4-Craig Scott, Newnan 5-Ricky Williams, Fayetteville 6-Zach Leonhardi, Cartersville 7-Shane Fulcher, Thomaston 8-Cody King, McDonough 9-P.L. Williams, Dublin 10-Mason Massey, Douglasville 11-Laddie Fulcher, Thomaston 12-Gathan Burns, Piedmont, AL Fast Qualifier: Morris (16.023 – 84.1 mph)
Limited Late Models (Feature): 1-Matt Dooley, Brooks 2-Jason Williams, Locust Grove 3-Bailey Williams, Fayetteville 4-Brant Hardin, McDonough 5-Joseph Darda, Greenville 6-Tyler Thomason, Phenix City, AL 7-Dakota Weeks, Douglasville 8-Hunter Worley, Alvaton 9-Corey Payton, Newnan Fast Qualifier: Dooley (16.368 – 82.4 mph)
Crate Late Models (Feature): 1-Jody Knowles, Tyrone 2-Dylan Knowles, Lannett, AL 3-Will Herrington, Cochran 4-Montana Dudley, Ladonia, AL 5-Coby Darda, LaGrange 6-Matthew Wyatt, Eastonollee 7-Jamie Maurice, McDonough 8-Wayne Harbin, Sharpsburg 9-Tina Johnson, Senoia 10-Dennis Lykins, Jr., Sharpsburg 11-Kyle Cochran, Atlanta 12-Dow Kirkland, Lake Spivey 13-Trey White, Jenkinsburg 14-Zach Shelton, Tyrone 15-Chris Justus, McDonough 16-Marty Lunsford, Newnan DNS: Mike Abercrombie, Griffin Fast Qualifier: Lykins (16.289 – 82.9 mph)
Late Model Sportsman (Feature): 1-Billy Stevenson, Locust Grove 2-Bobby Arnold, Newnan 3-Curtis Turner, Brooks 4-Keith Fields, Griffin 5-Jake Traylor, LaGrange 6-Jamie Nicholson, Jr., Locust Grove 7-Clyde Alexander, Locust Grove 8-Roger Arnett, Lannett, AL 9-Blake Griffin, Grantville 10-Ted Minnix, McDonough 11-Paul Holloway, Hampton 12-Jeff Robinson, McDonough 13-Lee Fuller, Newnan 14-Dustin Newell, Gray 15-Johnny Stinchcomb, Newnan 16-Brandon Huffman, Newnan 17-Nick Carter, Rutledge Heat Winners: Arnold & Turner
Hobby Stock (Feature): 1-Ryan Ray, Mableton 2-Joe Hillman, Villa Rica 3-John Holcomb, Griffin 4-Blake Harmon, Mansfield 5-Josh Pitt, Stockbridge 6-Ted Willingham, McDonough 7-Sam Carter, Covington 8-Larry Bednar, Locust Grove 9-Griffin Alexander, Locust Grove 10-Chris Kozusnik, Newnan 11-Mike Jenkins, Brooks
Mini Stock (Feature): 1-Mark Newton, Hampton 2-Ross Baines, Rockmart 3-Parris Simmons, Baldwin 4-Jamie Nicholson, Sr., Locust Grove 5-David Brackett, Douglasville 6-Tommy Faulkner, Newnan 7-Brandon Jones, Newnan 8-Bobby Faulkner, Newnan 9-Cassie Dingler-Still, Newnan 10-Joshua Till, Atlanta 11-Rocky Johnson, Douglasville
Bomber (Feature): 1-Dunie Dillard, Phenix City, AL 2-Derrick Matthews, Whitesburg 3-Mike Nelms, Newnan 4-Randy Cornwell, Fayetteville 5-Jr. Hardy 6-Wilson Boozer, Jenkinsburg 7-Tim Harmon, Conyers 8-Abe Chase, Valley, AL 9-Charlie Garrett, West Point 10-McKenna Nelms, Newnan 11-Dorough Bright, Newnan 12-Ricky Neill, Whitesburg 13-Carly Arnett, Lanett, AL
Hot Shot (Feature): 1-Dean Williams, Lanett, AL 2-Michael Fullmer, Canton 3-Bobby Duell, Phenix City, AL 4-Remmington Bryson 5-Mark Meyer, Ellijay 6-Shane Davis, Waco 7-Nathan Farrow, LaGrange 8-Morgan Pittman, Grantville 9-Dave McWilliams, Fayetteville 10-Sarah Davis, Waco DQ: Jason Newson, Phenix City, AL (illegal tires); Jason Merritt, Phenix City, AL (illegal tires). DNS: Scott Amoson, Newnan; Jerry Lee Sisson, Rockmart.