88-YEAR-OLD PAPPY POWELL NABS SENOIA RACEWAY CHECKERS
May 19, 2012 (Senoia, GA) On a night that featured double main events for all five of Senoia Raceway’s divisions, 88-year-old Pappy Powell stole the spotlight with a feature win during the first round of features for the Bomber division. Powell started racing in 1943 and has won close to one hundred races in his seven decades behind the wheel of race cars, but this was his first at Senoia Raceway since the Moses brothers returned it to it’s original dirt surface.
“I raced here at Senoia the very first night it was opened,” said Powell in victory lane.
Hence Pollard and his wife opened the 3/8ths mile Senoia Raceway track in 1969. Powell was a seasoned short track veteran of twenty-six seasons that night. He was 45 years old on that very first race night. He never imagined he would be winning races at the same bull ring some forty-three years later.
Other winners on this special opening round of Jewel Series racing featured Joe Armistead, jr. clean sweeping the Jodeco Auto Sales Late Models. Marcus Caswell and Chris Arnett splitting the action in the Newnan Bonding B Cadets while Blant Duke and Clifton ‘Hog Head’ Moran each nabbed victory in the Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks. Joe Spencer won his first career feature in the Mini Stock night cap while Brandon Bright picked up the laurels during the first go around. Jonathan Hemmings won the final Bomber race of the night after Powell’s victory in Bomber feature #1.
Powell started the first Bomber feature in the back row, but by the fourth lap he was battling with George Purgason for the third place position. Powell nudged Purgason in turn four to take over that spot before setting his sights on race leader Michael Mills.
On lap six, Mills broke and dropped out leaving Powell in the top spot. The 88-year-old driver from Hoganville held off Newnan’s Jonathan Hemmings and Griffin’s David Johnson to win his first race at Senoia Raceway since the late 1970’s.
Powell exited his race car for the post race interview to many fans standing in honor of his accomplishment. He called for his long time pal, Petey, a jack Russell terrier, and on command, Petey took the young race fan die cast car giveaway in his mouth and delivered it to a lucky young man in the grandstand. The lucky winner was some eighty years younger than the driver who won it for him.
Senoia’s Joe Armistead, Jr. used his lucky draw to start on the pole for the first of twin 20-lap features for the Jodeco Auto Sales Late Model division. He and outside pole sitter, Shane Fulcher of Thomaston, ran side by side for two straight laps before Armistead inched in front going into turn one on lap three. Armistead would never falter picking up his fourth win of the season over Locust Grove’s Racin’ Jason Williams and Thomaston’s Laddie Fulcher.
Jason Williams was racing Saturday night with a broken wrist. An injury suffered two weeks earlier in a first lap crash at Senoia Raceway.
Armistead needed a little luck the second go around for the high powered machines. LaGrange’s Tod Darda shot past Stockbridge’s Trey White and Carrollton’s Carey Smith to snare the lead early. Darda would continue to lead until his engine let loose on the sixteenth circuit. Second place driver Glenn Morris was caught up in the massive oil slick and slammed into the turn one wall. Morris was able to continue and retained his spot as he was not the cause of the caution losing his position due to the mess created by Darda.
Morris was eyeing his first career feature victory at Senoia Raceway, but slid up the track a little coming out of the third turn on lap 19. That slight bobble was enough for a tough fighting Armistead to sneak past at the white flag and then move past to post the clean sweep. Morris would finish second ahead of Laddie Fulcher, Williams and Shane Fulcher.
In the Newnan Bonding B Cadets, Newnan’s Marcus Caswell used a good draw to his advantage in the first round of main events. Caswell jumped out to the race lead at the drop of the green and then did an excellent job of holding back Greenville’s Thomas Mewborn for the checkers. Lake Spivey’s Dow Kirkland was third.
The second feature saw Alabama’s Chris Arnett scoot past West Point’s Charlie Garrett to snare the lead. Arnett then held off Mewborn for his first career win at Senoia Raceway while Alabama’s Roger Arnett charged through the field to finish third ahead of Caswell.
Mewborn’s pair of runner-up finishes gives him five second place finishes in six races. He remains shut out of victory lane at Senoia Raceway.
“I think I have second place down pretty good,” Mewborn posted on his Facebook page after the second round of features were completed Saturday night.
Griffin’s Mike Parker nabbed the lead at the drop of the green flag in the first of two 12-lap features for the Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks. Parker held the spot until lap seven when a battle with Whitesburg’s Blant Duke ended with Duke snatching away the lead. Duke would win his first at Senoia Raceway with Parker second, 2012 LaGrange high school graduate Dusty Jones third, Grantvile high school student Austin Horton fourth and LaGrange’s Lee Traylor in fifth.
“I’ve hit the wall here, there, but I have never won one here,” said Duke on the front stretch for the post race interview. “Now, let’s go win the next one.”
Easier said than done. On the start of the second feature, Duke was caught up in slower traffic on the top side of the track and faded back. Lee Traylor was the race’s first leader until defending division champion Clifton ‘Hog Head’ Moran powered past on a lap five restart. Moran would hold off Dusty Jones for the win with Austin Horton third.
Moran missed the first feature as he hustled to the track from a family wedding. The missed race cost Moran the Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stock points lead. It is the first time since April of 2011 that Moran will not be the divisional point leader.
Newnan’s Brandon Bright won an action packed feature race #1 for the mini stock division. Bright held off point’s leader Stephen Hill of LaGrange for his second win of the season. Douglasville’s Erik Hogsed was third ahead of Newnan’s Brandon Creech and Barnesville’s Gary Parker.
The second feature saw a first career feature winner with Newnan’s Joe Spencer besting the field of nearly twenty four cylinder stock cars. Spencer did a superb job of keeping Hill at bay for the second time on the night. Parker nabbed third while Hogsed ended up fourth and Senoia’s Robert Caldwell fifth.
‘Lil Jon’ Jonathan Hemmings won the night cap in the crash-filled Bomber feature #2. George Purgason finished second ahead of Franklin’s racing lady Terri Thomaston.
Senoia Raceway will celebrate Memorial Day weekend with a special racing card featuring all five weekly divisions and the Modified Minis. The holiday weekend event will close out with a huge display of fireworks.
Gate times and ticket prices will remain this special holiday weekend Saturday night. The pit gates will open at 5pm. Grandstand gates will open at 6pm. Hot laps are at 7pm with the first green flag set to fly at 8pm. Ticket prices are $12 for adult grandstand admission, $5 for children ages six through twelve while children five and under are admitted for free.
For additional information on Senoia Raceway, visit the speedway website at www.senoiaraceway.com, join their family of friends on Facebook or call the speedway at 770-599-6161.
Official results for Saturday, May 19, 2012
LoganJodeco Auto Sales Late Models
Feature #1: 1-Joe Armistead, Jr., Senoia 2-Jason Williams, Locust Grove 3-Laddie Fulcher, Thomaston 4-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 5-Tod Darda, LaGrange 6-Steven Nicholson, Jackson 7-Carey Smith, Carrollton 8-Trey White, Stockbridge 9-Brandon Miller, Newnan 10-Shane Fulcher, Thomaston 11-Donnie Whatley, Ellenwood 12-Troy Tyson, Fayetteville
Feature #2: 1-Armistead 2-Morris 3-Laddie Fulcher 4-Williams 5-Shane Fulcher 6-Miller 7-Tyson 8-Darda 9-White 10-Smith 11-Nicholson DNS-Whatley
Newnan Bonding B Cadets
Feature #1: 1-Marcus Caswell, Newnan 2-Thomas Mewborn, Greenville 3-Dow Kirkland, Lake Spivey 4-Anthony Meadows, Lanett, AL 5-Roger Arnett, Opelika, AL 6-Jeff Carter, Stockbridge 7-TJ Joiner, Lithia Springs 8-Josh Pitt, Stockbridge 9-Justin Clark, Monticello 10-Bobby Slawson, Monticello 11-Johnny Stinchcomb, Newnan 12-Mike Johnson, Jonesboro 13-Charlie Garrett, West Point 14-David Chapman, Douglasville DNS-Corey Payton, Newnan
Feature #2: 1-Chris Arnett, Opelika, AL 2-Mewborn 3-Roger Arnett 4-Caswell 5-Slawson 6-Stinchcomb 7-Johnson 8-Pitt 9-Kirkland 10-Garrett 11-Clark 12-Carter DNS-Payton; Joiner; Chapman
Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks
Feature #1: 1-Blant Duke, Whitesburg 2-Mike Parker, Griffin 3-Dusty Jones, LaGrange 4-Austin Horton, Grantville 5-Lee Traylor, LaGrange 6-Rusty Johnson, Newnan 7-Kerry Carden, Brooks 8-Bill Brown, Loganville 9-Mike Jenkins, Brooks 10-John Landrum, Fayetteville 11-Hunter Worley, Alvaton 12-Zack Sockwell, Newnan DQ-William Blair, Whitesburg DNS-Clifton Moran, Carrollton
Feature #2: 1-Moran 2-Jones 3-Horton 4-Parker 5-Carden 6-Traylor 7-Brown 8-Landrum 9-Johnson 10-Duke 11-Jenkins 12-Blair DNS-Worley; Sockwell
Feature #1: 1-Brandon Bright, Newnan 2-Stephen Hill, LaGrange 3-Erik Hogsed, Douglasville 4-Brandon Creech, Newnan 5-Gary Parker, Barnesville 6-Dorough Bright, Newnan 7-Tim Collier, Hoganville 8-Chase Townes, Villa Rica 9-Robert Caldwell, Senoia 10-Michael Spencer, Hoganville 11-Rocky Johnson, Douglasville 12-Richard Blume, Sharpsburg 13-Bo Chambers, Griffin 14-Brandon Libri, Newnan 15-Billy Jack Jenkins, Jackson 16-Trey Wood, Newnan 17-Randy Brady, Douglasville 18-Tyler Salls, Douglasville DNS-Joe Spencer, Newnan
Feature #2: 1-Joe Spencer 2-Hill 3-Parker 4-Hogsed 5-Caldwell 6-Johnson 7-Michael Spencer 8-Blume 9-Jenkins 10-Salls 11-Wood 12-Townes 13-Brandon Bright 14-Creech 15-Chambers 16-Libri 17-Collier DNS-Dorough Bright; Brady
Feature #1: 1-Pappy Powell, Hoganville 2-Jonathan Hemmings, Newnan 3-David Johnson, Griffin 4-George Purgason, Hoganville 5-Jonathan Archer, Griffin 6-Terri Thomaston, Franklin 7-Michael Mills, Moreland 8-Taylor Cozad, Newnan 9-Steve Davis, Newnan 10-Josh Roddy, Palmetto 11-Jesse Wilson, Newnan
Feature #2: 1-Hemmings 2-Purgason 3-Thomaston 4-Johnson 5-Archer 6-Powell 7-Mills DNS-Davis; Roddy; Cozad; Wilson