NEW FACES VISIT VICTORY LANE AT SENOIA RACEWAY
April 8, 2012 (Senoia, GA) It has not been since 2010 that Shane Fulcher has been in the Senoia Raceway winner’s circle. The Thomaston driver held off a late race challenge by Newnan’s Craig ‘Zero Hero’ Scott to post his first win since August of 2010 in the Jodeco Auto Sales Late Model division.
Lithia Springs’ TJ Joiner notched his first career win at the 3/8ths mile clay oval by besting the field of Newnan Bonding B Cadets. Douglasville’s Matt Thompson also won his first race with a victory in the Mini Stock main while David Johnson of Griffin picked up the checkered flag in the Bombers. The only repeat winner was in the Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks Clifton ‘Hog Head’ Moran won for the second straight week.
Shane Fulcher used the top side of the raceway to get into the lead in the Jodeco Auto Sales Late Model feature. The crowd was raised to it’s feet for the second straight week as the powerful late models went three wide during the opening laps. Craig Scott shot down low in turn two leaving pole sitter Tod Darda of LaGrange stuck in the middle with Fulcher up against the concrete wall. Fulcher stayed in place while Scott stepped back not wanting to slide up into Darda coming out of the fourth turn.
The move proved to be the game winner as Fulcher set the pace the remainder of the race. Craig Scott came up over the final eight laps to work Fulcher hard. Scott would sneak down low looking to create a run on the inside, but Fulcher would slam the door shut on each attempt.
In the end, Fulcher had his first win since 2010 and Scott would settle for second. Fast qualifier, Racin Jason Williams of Locust Grove ended up third ahead of Shane Fulcher’s father, Laddie, in fourth and Locust Grove’s Randy Brown, Jr. in fifth.
It was all TJ Joiner in the Newnan Bonding B Cadet main event. The third year driver used his pole position starting spot to his advantage, but did not have an easy time notching his first career feature win. Greenville’s Thomas Mewborn tormented him throughout the 20-lap race as Lake Spivey’s Dow Kirkland and Newnan’s Marcus Caswell jostled for the third place position. The battling duos kept the fans scanning the track as the separation between the lead pairs was nearly a straightaway at times.
During a late race restart, Caswell shot up to the outside of Kirkland and Mewborn trying to gain advantage. Kirkland slid up the banking in turn two pinching off the opening night victor along the outside retaining wall. Caswell took offense to the move and chased down the former track champion in turn four where he clipped the left side quarter panel of Kirkland causing him to lose control for a second. The necessary slow down cost Kirkland the position in which he would never regain.
Up front, Joiner held off all challenges by Mewborn and moved out to a three car length victory. Caswell ended up third ahead of last year’s point champion Jeff Carter of Stockbridge and Kirkland.
“It’s been three years trying to get here,” said an ecstatic Joiner during the trackside victory lane interview. “It feels great to finally win one. The competition is so good here (at Senoia Raceway) that is truly an accomplishment to win a feature. You’ve really done something if you win here at Senoia.”
In the Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stock division, the ‘Grantville Grenade’ Austin Horton launched out to the early lead as Whitesburg’s William Blair ran second. A three wide battle developed right behind the leaders as the previous week’s winner Clifton Moran shot down to the low side of Loganville’s Bill Brown and Whitesburg’s Blant Duke. Moran would use the three wide move to snare third place in his quest for his second win of the young racing season.
Blair would slide by Horton for the lead on the third lap, but his time on the top of the leader board was short lived as Moran moved him down a spot on lap five. Blair would fight back, but would lose the battle as his car retired early from the race for the second straight week.
Moran would battle with Blant Duke over the final half of the race, but held back the hard charger to win his second straight race of the season. Moran won an unprecedented eighteen features in 2011 on his way to the track title for the Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks. Rookie of the year candidate Dusty Jones completed another strong performance in third with Austin Horton and Kerry Carden rounding out the first five.
Douglasville’s Matt Thompson was another driver to complete his first trip to victory lane on Saturday night. Thompson survived a charge by 14-year-old rookie Brandon Libri of Newnan. Libri was making his first career start and was racing Thompson for the lead when they came up on lapped traffic. Thompson moved up the track allowing Libri room to move past as well, but Libri lost control of his Ford Mustang and crashed into the front stretch concrete.
Thompson went on for the victory ahead of fellow Douglasville driver Rocky Johnson. Senoia’s Robert Caldwell completed a solid run in third place.
“I gave him plenty of room on the bottom,” explained Thompson. “I don’t know what happened after we got past the lapped car. But, it is a win and we needed the win.”
Griffin’s David Johnson won the Bomber feature with a dominating run. Newnan’s Taylor Cozad and Griffin’s Bubba Harris were the only other competitors in the short field on Saturday night.
Senoia Raceway cranks back up this Saturday, April 14th as the season points championship opens. All divisions of racing will open their points chases including the Jodeco Auto Sales Late Models, Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stock, B Cadet, Mini Stock and Bombers. Defending champions Jeff Carter (Newnan Bonding B Cadets), Clifton Moran (Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks) and Gary Parker (Mini Stocks) will be back to try and secure a second straight title. Defending Jodeco Auto Sales Late Model champion Lavon Sparks is not expected to make a full season run. Drivers will accumulate points through the end of the season in September to determine divisional champions. The top ten in each division will be honored at the end of the season along with the top rookie competitors in each class.
This Saturday, April 14th, 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 unfurl at 8pm. Senoia Raceway offers affordable ticket prices to maintain a spot on the entertainment calendar for many families. Ticket prices are $12 for adult grandstand admission. $5 for children ages six through twelve. 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.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Jodeco Auto Sales Late Models
Feature Finish: 1-Shane Fulcher, Thomaston 2-Craig Scott, Newnan 3-Jason Williams, Locust Grove 4-Laddie Fulcher, Thomaston 5-Randy Brown, Jr., Locust Grove 6-Troy Tyson, Fayetteville 7-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 8-Joe Cobb, Newnan 9-Tod Darda, LaGrange 10-Brandon Miller, Newnan 11-Ted Ray, Carrollton 12-Michael Martin, Lutherville 13-Lyle Lowery, Covington DNS-Rucker Orr, Newnan; Sam Carter, Covington Fast Qualifier: Williams (14.626 seconds)
Newnan Bonding B Cadet
Feature Finish: 1-TJ Joiner, Lithia Springs 2-Thomas Mewborn, Newnan 3-Marcus Caswell, Newnan 4-Jeff Carter, Stockbridge 5-Dow Kirkland, Lake Spivey 6-Johnny Stinchcomb, Newnan 7-Lee Fuller, Newnan 8-Corey Payton, Newnan 9-Buck Williams, Watkinsville 10-Mike Johnson, Jonesboro 11-Robert Chandler, Sharpsburg
Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stock
Feature Finish: 1-Clifton Moran, Carrollton 2-Blant Duke, Whitesburg 3-Dusty Jones, LaGrange 4-Austin Horton, Grantville 5-Kerry Carden, Brooks 6-George Purgason, Hoganville 7-William Blair, Whitesburg 8-Donnie Whatley, Ellenwood 9-Bill Brown, Loganville DNS-Winford Minnix, Senoia
Feature Finish: 1-Matt Thompson, Douglasville 2-Rocky Johnson, Douglasville 3–Robert Caldwell, Senoia 4-Robbie Scadron, Senoia 5-Trey Wood, Newnan 6-Brandon Libri, Newnan
Feature Finish: 1-David Johnson, Griffin 2-Taylor Cozad, Newnan 3-Bubba Harris, Griffin