WILD NIGHT OF WRECKED CARS AT SENOIA POINTS OPENER
April 15, 2012 (Senoia, GA) The 2012 charge to the championship at Senoia Raceway was wilder than anyone expected. Several race cars were nearly destroyed as wrecks highlighted the first night of points racing at the 3/8ths mile speed plant. Johnny Stinchcomb rolled end over end down the front stretch while Blant Duke destroyed his race car with a hard hit against the front stretch wall after tangling with William Blair in a battle for the lead.
When the checkers finally flew over the final feature, Newnan’s Craig Scott and Corey Payton had claimed round one of the point series for the Jodeco Auto Sales Late Models and Newnan Bonding B Cadets while defending Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stock champion Clifton ‘Hog Head’ Moran of Carrollton picked up where he left off with a feature victory. LaGrange’s Stephen Hill ended up on top of a wild Mini Stock main and Newnan’s Lee Owenby topped the Bombers.
In the Jodeco Auto Sales Late Models, LaGrange’s Tod Darda set the early qualifying mark with a near 92 mile per hour lap, but then rolled a three inverting the top three cars for the 25-lap main event. The dice roll placed Craig ‘Zero Hero’ Scott on the pole flanked by Phenix City’s “Top Dog” Dana Eiland on the outside.
Eiland and Scott worked side by side through the first two laps before Eiland edged in front heading into the first turn on lap 3. Eiland’s car came around at the apex of the corner collecting Scott and a hard charging ‘Racin’ Jason Williams while the field scattered and spun to avoid. Locust Grove’s Williams slammed the brakes to avoid heavy contact with both Eiland and Scott.
On the restart, Scott held off Williams with Darda, Thomaston’s Shane Fulcher and Stockbridge’s Trey White fighting for track position. Fayetteville’s Glenn Morris ran sixth while the lead pack pulled away.
The race for seventh was a highlight with LaGrange’s Jamie Carr in a battle with Newnan’s Parrish Duncan, Thomaston’s Laddie Fulcher, Locust Grove’s Randy Brown, Jr. and recharged Dana Eiland. That race ended up with Laddie Fulcher and Parrish Duncan drawing a caution after hooking together exiting the fourth turn.
Craig Scott pulled away from Jason Williams over the final laps of the race to claim the first points race of the season. Williams was second followed by Darda and Shane Fulcher. Final charges by Glenn Morris and Dana Eiland moved Trey White back a couple of spots leaving Morris fifth, Eiland coming back to finish sixth and White seventh.
In the Newnan Bonding B Cadets, sixteen year old Corey Payton of Newnan led every lap of a wild, crash-filled feature. Payton looked like he may give away the hardware on the final lap when he slid high in turn two allowing Greenville’s Thomas Mewborn to jump low and Lake Spivey’s to sneak a peek at a three wide scenario. The three charged through the final two turns nearly three wide, but Payton won the drag race to the finish line by only a foot over Mewborn. Kirkland finished third ahead of 63-year-old Buck Williams of Watkinsville. Stockbridge rookie contender Bill Pitt rounded out the first five.
The Newnan Bonding B Cadets main event was red flagged on lap 17 after a scary crash involving Johnny Stinchcomb. The Newnan veteran was running among the top four when defending division champion Jeff Carter of Stockbridge drove up under the rear end of Stinchcomb’s Chevrolet. The front nose piece and frame dug into the front stretch clay which resulted in Stinchcomb flipping wildly end over end down the front stretch. Stinchcomb climbed from the car a few minutes later, but his race car was nearly destroyed and required two wreckers to carry the remains back to the pit area.
An apparent retaliatory crash in the Summit Racing Equipment resulted in another nearly destroyed race car. Whitesburg’s Blant Duke took over the lead from Griffin’s Mike Parker on lap 6 and then found himself in a dog fight with fellow Whitesburg driver William Blair. Blair moved past Duke on lap 12 when Duke climbed up the track in turn four. Duke would charge back to retake the lead with a run down the back stretch two laps later. Blair took offense to Duke repassing him for the lead and hooked the leader exiting the fourth turn. The result was Duke slamming the front stretch wall and nearly going up into the fence. Duke’s car was severely damaged while Blair was black flagged for the incident.
All the crashes and skirmishes aside, the race was filled with great battles throughout the field. Defending champion Clifton ‘Hog head’ Moran and Mike Parker battled for position behind Duke and Blair. Their battle for position resulted in Parker cutting a tire after a rub from Moran. Both of the drivers were relegated to the rear of the field, but Parker would have to pit and change a tire.
While Blair and Duke went through their crash on the front stretch, Moran climbed back up through the field to chase down a patient Austin Horton of Grantville. Horton had just waited for all the dust to settle and found himself in the lead at the white flag. Moran was chasing him, but was down a quarter of a lap. The ‘Grantville Grenade’, Horton, was poised to win his first career Hobby Stock main when he lost control of his ride in turn three of the final lap. Moran scooted past to win his third of the season. Brooks Kerry Carden ended up second followed by Franklin’s Gary Brand.
The win was Moran’s third of the season. He won eighteen last year on his way to the season points title in the Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks.
Bumping and banging was not as prevalent in the Mini Stock feature. A front five race between Griffin’s Bo Chambers, Newnan’s Dorough Bright, Stephen Hill, Barnesville’s Gary Parker and Newnan’s Brandon Bright had the crowd on the edge of their seats.
“You could throw a blanket over the top five cars,” said track announcer Ted Austad.
In the end, Stephen Hill would be handed the number one spot. Dorough Bright would end up second. Defending champion Gary Parker was third while Hogansville’s Matt Swancey and Senoia’s Robbie Scadron completed the top five.
The final feature of the night was the calmest of all. Newnan’s Lee Owenby passed fellow Newnan competitor Taylor Cozad on lap 4 and then held off Cozad and last week’s winner David Johnson to become the third different winner in three Bomber division feature races this season.
This upcoming Saturday, April 21st, Senoia Raceway will host one of the most popular special events on the schedule. Kid’s Rides in the Race Cars will be offered prior to the evening’s feature races. Children of all ages are invited to hop on board with the favorite Senoia Raceway driver and ride the high banks for a few controlled laps. The special activity became a favorite of fans and drivers last season.
“I love giving the kids a ride around the speedway,” said Glenn Morris, driver of the Morris Muffler #27 Late Model. “Their smiles are huge. It’s the most fun I have ever had in a race car.”
The Kid’s Rides in the Race Cars will be complimented with a full night of points racing in the Jodeco Auto Sales Late Models, Newnan Bonding B Cadets, Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks and Bombers. Fans are encouraged to invited friends and family that have not experienced the kids rides.
“We have people calling all the time asking when the kids rides will be,” said Senoia Raceway promoter Tim Moses. “Everyone talks about it and how much fun it is.”
This Saturday, April 21st, 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. The Kids Rides in the Race Cars will take place after the qualifying heat races and time trials. 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. There is no additional cost for the rides in the race cars.
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 14, 2012
Jodeco Auto Sales Late Models
Feature Finish: -Craig Scott, Newnan 2-Jason Williams, Locust Grove 3-Tod Darda, LaGrange 4-Shane Fulcher, Thomaston 5-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 6-Dana Eiland, Phenix City, AL 7-Trey White, Stockbridge 8-Randy Brown, Jr., Locust Grove 9-Laddie Fulcher, Thomaston 10-Parrish Duncan, Newnan 11-Jamie Carr, LaGrange 12-Brandon Miller, Newnan 13-Troy Tyson, Fayetteville DNS-Sam Carter, Covington Fast Qualifier: Darda (14.739 seconds)
Newnan Bonding B Cadet
Feature Finish: 1-Corey Payton, Newnan 2-Thomas Mewborn, Newnan 3-Dow Kirkland, Lake Spivey 4-Buck Williams, Watkinsville 5-Bill Pitt, Stockbridge 6-Jeff Carter, Stockbridge 7-Chris Justus, Hampton 8-Robert Chandler, Sharpsburg 9-Johnny Stinchcomb, Newnan 10-Marcus Caswell, Newnan 11-TJ Joiner, Lithia Springs 12-Josh Pitt, Stockbridge 13-Mike Johnson, Jonesboro 14-Kevin Betsill, Griffin Heat winners: Payton & Kirkland
Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stock
Feature Finish: 1-Clifton Moran, Carrollton 2-Kerry Carden, Brooks 3-Gary Brand, Franklin 4-Bill Brown, Loganville 5-Robert Hardy, Jr., Austell 6-Mike Parker, Griffin 7-Austin Horton, Grantville 8-Mike Jenkins, Brooks 9-Blant Duke, Whitesburg 10-Todd Hatchett, Concord 11-Wayne Scott, Athens DQ-William Blair, Whitesburg DNS-Winford Minix, Senoia; Rusty Johnson, Newnan Heat winners: Duke & Johnson
Feature Finish: 1-Stephen Hill, LaGrange 2-Dorough Bright, Newnan 3-Gary Parker, Barnesville 4-Matt Swancey, Hogansville 5-Robbie Scadron, Senoia 6-Trey Wood, Newnan 7-Dylan Parmer, Hogansville 8-Chad Cleveland, Roopville 9-Bo Chambers, Griffin DQ-Lane Wilt, Newnan; Brandon Bright, Newnan
Feature Finish: 1-Lee Owenby, Newnan 2-David Johnson, Griffin 3-Taylor Cozad, Newnan 4-Jonathan Hemmings, Newnan