HALE STORM AT SENOIA RACEWAY HIGHLIGHTS GUMBO SERIES OPENER

HALE STORM AT SENOIA RACEWAY HIGHLIGHTS GUMBO SERIES OPENER

(Senoia, GA – June 14, 2020)  There were nary a storm cloud in sight Saturday night at Senoia Raceway, but a Hale storm occurred with LaGrange’s Dennis Hale dominating the entire night in the Limited Late Model division.  Hale clocked in the fastest during preliminary qualifying and then led flag to flag to capture his first win of the season.  The victory came as the Saturday night speed plant kicked off their newly created Five Star Chrysler Dodge Jeep of Warner Robbins ‘Gumbo Series’.

 

Others moving to the forefront of the special three event series winning the first round features included Cartersville’s Rodney Martin in the Crate Late Models, Chatsworth’s Booger Brooks in the Late Model Sportsman, Newnan’s Olivia J Gentry in the Chargers, Chris Steele of Franklin in the Hobby, Senoia’s Dustin Smith in the Bomber and David Brackett of Temple in the Mini Stock.  Forsyth’s Tommy Smith was awarded the win in the Hot Shots after the apparent race winner was disqualified in technical inspection.

 

A late race charge by Senoia Raceway’s winningest driver, Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith came up a little short as Dennis Hale had built a large lead.  Smith worked past Winston’s Landon Bagby with five laps remaining to move into third and then shot past Newnan’s Oliver Gentry two laps later.  The four-time track champion Smith could not catch Hale though as he finished nearly five seconds ahead of the charging Smith.

 

In the Crate Late Model feature it looked as though Alabama’s Dylan Knowles would cruise to another Senoia Raceway victory.  Similar to Smith, Knowles is one of the track’s winningest drivers capturing forty-four feature wins since the track returned to dirt in 2010.  Knowles led the race until a crazy situation developed on lap nineteen.  Knowles slowed after overtaking Jimmy Thomas on the back stretch.  Thomas had slowed and exited the track in front of Knowles.  As Knowles slowed for no apparent reason, others running among the top positions also slowed.  Jody Knowles of Tyrone and Tanner Collins of Franklin just moved around the slowing cars before a caution was called because of the dangerous situation that unfolded with cars slowing for no reason.

 

“That was something I have never seen before in all my years of officiating,” said race director Chad Harrington.  “I thought he broke or something, but then everyone else started to slow down too.  I had to call for the yellow before somebody got slammed by one of the drivers that were not slowing down.”

 

After a lengthy discussion by officials, the cars were lined up as they were running when Harrington called the caution to begin.  This placed Jody Knowles in the lead, Tanner Collins in second followed by a few others that did not slow down.  That line-up placed Dylan Knowles on the restart in fifth which he protested greatly to officials.

 

When the race did restart, Jody Knowles took command with Collins trying to overtake.  Rodney Martin also found his car was it’s fastest on the high side of the race track.  He used that groove to track down Collins before making a last lap pass of Jody Knowles on the final lap.  It was Martin’s first trip to Senoia Raceway and his first career win at the 3/8ths mile gumbo clay track.  Jody Knowles hung for second with Collins finishing a solid third.

 

Action in the Late Model Sportsman main event was highlighted by an intense battle for the lead between a pair of drivers from north Georgia.  Colten Jackson and Booger Brooks, both from Chatsworth, were driving each other hard until a lap six restart saw Jackson push it a little too hard in turn two and spinning in front of the field.  Brooks and most of the others were able to avoid Jackson.

 

Brooks took from this point and never looked back posting the win over Evans’ Cody Overton, Byron’s Wiley McDaniel, Chris Hough of Calhoun and Ringgold’s Sawyer Tinker.  Hough and Tinker had never raced at Senoia Raceway before Saturday night and managed top five finishes on the unique slick surface.

 

Former Mini Stock champion, Mark ‘Mad Dog’ Newton of Hampton, made his season debut and captured the pole with the fastest lap in qualifying.  That did not equate to success on the track as Newton got together with Loganville’s Dan Bennett in the early laps of the feature with the result both spinning.  Another former class champion, Newnan’s Tommy Faulkner then slammed into Newton’s car ending the night for both of the former champions.

 

Temple’s David Brackett inherited the lead and then cruised to his second straight win for the four-cylinder racing class.  Justin Brackett finished second ahead of Stephen Chunn in third.

 

Senoia Raceway will begin their season points chase on Saturday, June 20th with racing in the Limited Late Models, Crate Late Models, Late Model Sportsman, Charger, Hobby, Bomber, Mini and Hot Shots.  Drivers will accumulate points beginning with this race continuing through the championship race in September.

 

The pit gates will open on Saturday, June 20th at 4pm with grandstand opening for spectators at 5pm.  The drivers meeting is set for 5:30pm with hot laps and qualifying starting at 6pm.  Opening ceremonies and the first feature race is scheduled for 7:30pm.

 

Tickets are $15 with kids age 12 and under admitted for free.  Pit passes are $30; kids 6-12 are $20 and five & under are free in the restricted area.

 

For more information, visit the track website at www.senoiaraceway.com.   Information is also available on the track’s Facebook page, their Twitter feed and Instagram shares.  You can also call the speedway at 770.599.6161.

 

Official Results – Saturday, June 13, 2020   

Limited Late Models (Feature): 1-Dennis Hale, LaGrange  2-Clint Smith, Senoia  3-Oliver Gentry, Newnan  4-Landon Bagby, Winston  5-Rucker Orr, Newnan  6-Russ Ogletree, Phenix City, AL  7-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville  8-Aubrey Merritt, Whitesburg  9-Dow Kirkland, Lake Spivey  10-Jimmy Price, Oxford  11-Curtis Kline, Dallas  DNS: Josh Nolff, Sharpsburg  Fast Qualifier: Orr (15.878 seconds / 85.0 mph)

Crate Late Models (Feature): 1-Rodney Martin, Cartersville  2-Jody Knowles, Tyrone  3-Tanner Collins, Franklin  4-Dusty Jones, LaGrange  5-Cody Haskins, Marietta  6-Matthew Wyatt, Eastonolee  7-Ricky Culpepper, Hamilton  8-Marty Massey, Winston  9-Ahnna Parkhurst, Evans  10-Wayne Harbin, Sharpsburg  11-Lamar Haygood, Douglasville  12-Travis Price, Conyers  13-McKenna Nelms, Newnan  14-Lance Finn, Flowery Branch  15-Larry Waters, Cumming  16-Jordan Benefield, Carrollton  17-Jamie Maurice, Forsyth  18-Tina Johnson, Senoia  19-Dylan Knowles, Lannett, AL  20-Michael Page, Douglasville  21-Blant Duke, Whitesburg  22-Jimmy Thomas, Phenix City, AL  23-Tod Darda, LaGrange  Fast Qualifier: Culpepper  (15.815 seconds / 85.4 mph)

Late Model Sportsman (Feature): 1-Booger Brooks, Chatsworth  2-Cody Overton, Evans  3-Wiley McDaniel, Byron  4-Chris Hough, Calhoun  5-Sawyer Tinker, Ringgold  6-Chris McKeehan, Winder  7-Jamie Nicholson, Jr, Locust Grove  8-Braxton Barber, Valley, AL  9-Matthew Knight, Villa Rica  10-Jason Turner, McDonough  11-Colten Jackson, Chatsworth  12-Ryan Knight, Villa Rica  13-Griffin Alexander, Locust Grove  14-Brock Love, Wellington, AL  15-Brandon McDaniel, Macon  16-Craig Scott, Woodbury  17-Shane Payton, Newnan  18-Mike Abercrombie, Jackson  19-Bailey Williams, Fayetteville  20-Morgan Alexander, Locust Grove  21-Chris Lovett, Brunswick  22-Chad Kimbral, Canton  23-Taylor Cole, Cartersville  24-Jack Mills, Griffin  DNQ: Jeff Norrell, Macon; Parrish Duncan, Newnan; John Strickland, Jackson; Dalton Benefield, Carrollton  B-Main Winner: Craig Scott  Fast Qualifier: Colten Jackson  (16.000 seconds / 84.4 mph)

Chargers (Feature):  1-Oliva Gentry, Newnan  2-Mike Weed, Franklin  3-Dawson Martin, Oxford  4-Jamie Godbee, Crrollton  5-Will McConnell, Dallas  6-Payton Stevenson, Locist Grove  7-Peter Petropoulus, Jefferson  8-Brant Hardin, McDonough  9-Cody Lively, Locust Grove  10-Shane Tidwell, Whitesburg  11-Kelly Donnell, Carrollton  12-David Martin, Oxford  13-Joshua Till, McDonough  14-Jonathan Flourney, Moreland  15-Jack Smith, McDonough  16-Justin Clark, Monticello  DNS: Jimmy Baxter, Jr., Newnan  Fast Qualifier: Stevenson (16.327 seconds / 82.7 mph)

Hobby (Feature):  1-Chris Steele, Franklin  2-James Swanger, Whitesburg  3-Tim Harmon, Mansfield  4-TJ Joiner, Lithia Springs  5-Landon DeGraff, Barnesville  6-Junior Hardy, Covington  7-Michael Thomas, Whitesburg  8-Michael Couch, Senoia  Fast Qualifier:  Steele  (16.632 / 81.1 mph)

Bomber (Feature):  1-Dustin Smith, Senoia  2-William Blair, Whitesburg  3-Derrick Matthews, Whitesburg  4-Curtis Turner, Brooks  5-Craig Boozer, Jenkinsburg  6-Jim Jackson, Zebulon  7-David Jackson, Whitesburg  8-TJ Boetz, Midland  9-Joey Ward, Newnan  DNS: Ricky Neill, Whitesburg   Fast Qualifier: Turner (17.396 seconds / 77.6 mph)

Mini Stock (Feature):  1-David Brackett, Temple  2-Justin Brackett, Temple  3-Stephen Chunn, Orchard Hill  4-Dan Benett, Loganville  5-Devin Benton, Franklin  6-Mark Newton, Hampton  7-Tommy Faulkner, Newnan  8-Bobby Faulkner, Newnan  Fast Qualifier: Newton (18.067 seconds / 74.7 mph)

Hot Shots (Feature): 1-Tommy Smith, Forsyth  2-Hunter Mowers, LaGrange  3-Stacey Henderson, Senoia  4-Tyler Roberts, Woodstock  DQ: Rick Ricks, Marietta

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