YOUNG GUNS INVADE SENOIA RACEWAY VICTORY LANE

YOUNG GUNS INVADE SENOIA RACEWAY VICTORY LANE

(May 10, 2015 – Senoia, GA) Four teenage young guns found their way into victory lane this past Saturday at Senoia Raceway. Seventeen-year-old Joey Armistead from Senoia took home the top honors in the Limited Late Model division while fellow seventeen-year-old LaGrange driver Jake Traylor bested the field of B Cadets for the checkered flag. Alabama’s Dylan Knowles, 18 years of age, picked up his third victory of the season in the Crate Late Model with the youngest driver, Cartersville’s thirteen-year-old Zach Leonhardi winning for the first time on dirt in his Legends Car. Armistead used a late race pass to capture his hard fought victory while Traylor beat his nearest rival to the finish line by less than two feet.

 

Other winners on Saturday night were Senoia’s Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith in the Super Late Models, Franklin’s Ben Steele in the Hobby Stock, Newnan’s Brandon Bright in the Mini Stock and Derrick Matthews of Whitesburg in the Bomber feature.

 

Third generation driver Joey Armistead patiently waited for his car to find the perfect set-up in the final stages of the feature race for the Limited Late Models. While Armistead’s car came into the correct set-up, fast qualifier and pole sitter Austin Horton of Grantville had his car’s set-up go away in the final five laps. The nineteen-year-old Horton slid high on the track on lap 12 allowing Armistead to sneak past, but Horton would fight back on the next lap to regain the lead. Horton’s ride again pushed high in turn four on lap 17 with Armistead able to gain ground on the low side. The battling teenagers would swap the top spot back and forth until Armistead secured it as they took the white flag.

 

Armistead pulled away on the final circuit while Horton continued to fight with his pushing race car. Armistead crossed the finish line first with Carrollton’s Clifton ‘Hog Head’ Moran sliding past Horton at the line for second place. Fayetteville’s Glenn Morris was fourth ahead of LaGrange’s Dusty Jones in fifth. The win was Armistead’s first career win in the Late Model division.

 

“He (Horton) gave me the opportunity late in the race and we got on it,” said Joey Armistead. “I am real happy right now.”

 

Young drivers were flexing their muscle throughout the night as Jake Traylor waited for a late race charge as well to capitalize in the B Cadet main event. Jackson’s Craig Scott had led the entire race until the white flag flew signaling the final lap. Traylor gained momentum on the top side of the tight 3/8ths mile bull ring keeping his foot on the floor as the two exited the final turn. Traylor held his ground and beat the veteran Scott to the finish line by less than two feet. Whitesburg’s Blant Duke was third ahead of Lake Spivey’s Dow Kirkland and Newnan’s Johnny Stinchcomb.

 

Cartersville’s thirteen-year-old Zach Leonhardi started racing on dirt less than three months ago. The successful asphalt racer at nearby Atlanta Motor Speedway, Leonhardi did not take long before he was knocking on the door for his first win on dirt. Saturday night he slung the door wide open after overtaking former national champion Bubba Harry of Palmetto just past the halfway mark of their main event. Leonhardi kept Harry and fourteen-year-old Joshua Hicks of Senoia behind him to claim his first career win on dirt. Harry would settle for second with Hicks third. LaGrange’s Jason Treschl was fourth and Fayetteville’s John Ponzio fifth.

 

Only ‘Thrillin’ Dylan Knowles was a returning teenage victor. Knowles ran flag to flag to claim his third win of the season in the Crate Late Models. Douglasville’s Matt Black provided great pressure early on in the feature race, but Knowles never wavered and cruised to a six car length victory over Black. Seventeen-year-old Zack Shelton of Temple was third at the finish line for the Crate engine powered late models.

 

Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith returned to victory lane one week after breaking a drivershaft to claim his fifth win of the season in six races. Smith shot out to a large lead while most of the crowd was watching Senoia’s Joe Armistead, Jr. put on a high side clinic. Armistead missed the set-up in early night qualifying and started scratch on the field. By the midway point of the race, Armistead was among the top five and then he found his groove on the top side of the track. He worked past Phenix City’s Lavon Sparks on lap 20, but could not reel in Smith before the final flag flew over the field. Smith won with Armistead settling for second ahead of eighteen-year-old female competitor ‘Mad’ Maddie Crane of Meansville. Sparks would end up in fourth just ahead of Fayetteville’s Ricky Williams in fifth.

 

Franklin’s Ben Steele patiently waited for the cautions to end to find himself in the number one spot for the Hobby Stock. The crash and spin-out filled feature race saw three different race leaders including Hogansville’s Gary Brand and Tyrone’s Jamie Simmons. But, the only leader that matters is the last one and Steele was the man marking his second win of the year ahead of Covington’s Sam ‘Bam’ Carter and his brother Chris Steele also of Franklin. The Hobby Stock division will be the featured class at this Saturday, May 16th race event. The drivers will compete for a larger purse in their ‘Bonus Race’.

 

Derrick Matthews held off all challenges from Whitesburg’s Blant Duke to win the Bomber Bonus Race. Matthews moved out early leaving Duke to race for second place with Palmetto’s Josh ‘Hot’ Roddy. Not far behind those boys were the duo of Jim Jackson from Zebulon and Winford Minix from Senoia. Those battles for position allowed Matthews to keep his comfortable lead through the finish. Duke would win the race for second ahead of Roddy, Minix and Jackson.

 

Matthews engine was protested following the feature race. His engine heads, camshaft and driveshaft were inspected and found to be legal awarding him the Bonus Race win and his third feature victory of the year at Senoia Raceway.

 

Newnan’s Brandon Bright also notched his third win of the season in the Mini Stock class besting Douglasville’s James ‘Showtime’ Stansel and his father Dorough Bright of Newnan.

 

The Mini Stock main also featured a scary roll-over crash involving defending points champion Harold Leath of Griffin. Leath was racing with Dorough Bright for the second place position early in the race when the two locked horns on the front stretch. The result was Leath climbing the retaining wall and rolling down the front stretch. Leath’s Mustang came to rest on the passenger side door narrowly being missed by several cars before the field could be slowed down. Leath was not injured in the accident.

 

This Saturday, May 16th Senoia Raceway presents one of it’s most popular kids activities with the ‘Rides in the Race Cars’ event. Prior to the evening’s racing program, children of all ages are invited to jump on board with their favorite Senoia Raceway driver for a few controlled laps around the track. It is a unique experience for the kids and has delighted past fans for years.

 

“One of the promotional events the fans have been asking for since we took over is the kids rides in the race cars,” said promoter Mayes Massey. “I guess there are a lot of kids that look forward to it each year.”

 

A full night of racing is also planned in the Super Late Models, Limited Late Models, Crate Late Models, B Cadets, Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks and Bomber. This week’s ‘Bonus Race’ is for the Hobby Stock. If the Hobby Stocks have a starting field of twelve or more, the winner’s purse will increase to $600.

 

The pit gates will open this Saturday at 4pm, grandstands at 5pm and hot laps will begin at 6:45pm. Heat races and qualifying will start at 7:30pm.

 

Grandstand ticket prices are $12; ages 5-12 are $5; four and under are admitted for free. Access to the pit area is available for $25; ages 5-12 are $12; four and under are free. Trackside parking is available on a first come, first serve basis. Trackside parking is only accessible through the pit area and pit passes must be purchased.

 

For additional information, schedules, rules and more, visit the Senoia Raceway website at www.senoiaraceway.com. The track also offers an e-mail newsletter (sign-up on the website), Facebook page and twitter feed for social media access to news and information. You can also contact the track directly at 770.599.6161.

 

Official results from Saturday, May 9, 2015
Super Late Model (Feature): 1-Clint Smith, Senoia 2-Joe Armistead, Jr., Senoia 3-Madeline Crane, Menasville 4-Lavon Sparks, Phenix City, AL 5-Ricky Williams, Fayetteville 6-Matt Dooley, Brooks 7-Cody King, McDonough 8-Lamar Haygood, Douglasville 9-Mason Massey, Douglasville Fast Qualifier: Smith (14.101 seconds/95.7 mph)
Limited Late Model (Feature): 1-Joey Armistead, Senoia 2-Clifton Moran, Carrollton 3-Austin Horton, Grantville 4-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 5-Dusty Jones, LaGrange 6-Jayce Southwell, Brooks 7-Marty Lunsford, Newnan 8-Chris Carr, Newnan 9-Shane Criswell, Bowden DNS: Marcus Caswell, Newnan Fast Qualifier: Horton (14.580 seconds/92.6 mph)
Crate Late Model (Feature): 1-Dylan Knowles, Lanett, AL 2-Matt Black, Douglasville 3-Zach Shelton, Temple 4-Sean Swetnam, Griffin 5-Jamie Brown, Temple 6-Bobby Mills, Griffin Heat Winner: Knowles
B Cadet (Feature): 1-Jake Traylor, LaGrange 2-Craig Scott, Jackson 3-Blant Duke, Whitesburg 4-Dow Kirkland, Lake Spivey 5-Johnny Stinchcomb, Newnan 6-Jake Sanders, Camp Hill, AL 7-Parrish Duncan, Newnan 8-TJ Joiner, Lithia Springs 9-Josh Copeland, McDonough 10-Benny Croy, McDonough 11-Michael Coggins, Tallapoosa DNS: Cindy Anderson, Concord Heat Winners: Coggins & Scott
Hobby Stock (Feature): 1-Ben Steele, Franklin 2-Sam Carter, Covington 3-Chris Steele, Franklin 4-Mike Jenkins, Brooks 5-Jamie Simmons, Tyrone 6-Bubba Allen, Five Points, AL 7-Joe Hillman, Villa Rica 8-Ben Wells, Milner 9-Jerry Scott 10-Lee McElwaney, Newnan 11-Gary Brand, Hogansville
Bomber (Feature): 1-Derrick Matthews, Whitesburg 2-Blant Duke, Whitesburg 3-Josh Roddy, Palmetto 4-Winford Minix, Senoia 5-Jim Jackson, Zebulon 6-Chris Arnett, Lanett, AL 7-Tim Harmon, Conyers 8-Ricky Neil, Whitesburg 9-Blake Harmon, Mansfield DNS: Bobby Arnold, Newnan; Jamie Carr, LaGrange Heat Winners: Matthews & Roddy
Mini Stock (Feature): 1-Brandon Bright, Newnan 2-James Stansell, Douglasville 3-Dorough Bright, Newnan 4-Bo Chambers, Griffin 5-Robert Caldwell, Senoia 6-Darrin Parrot, Sharpsburg 7-Cassie Dingler-Still, Newnan 8-Billy Allison, Jackson 9-Jamie Nicholson, Locust Grove 10-Harold Leath, Griffin
Legends Cars (Feature): 1-Zach Leonhardi, Cartersville 2-Bubba Harry, Palmetto 3-Josh Hicks, Senoia 4-Jason Treschl, LaGrange 5-John Ponzio, Fayetteville 6-Robbie Wooddall, McDonough 7-Tony Armbruster, Covington 8-Tina Johnson, Senoia 9-Dennis Aiken, Villa Rica 10-Bailey Wooddall, McDonough 11-Scott Moseley, McDonough 12-Dwight Pilgram, McDonough DNS: Allen Spence, Sharpsburg

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