Mother Nature shortens Winter Nationals
Racing action at the South’s Finest Dirt Track ended abruptly Saturday night as fog limited the drivers visibility.Due to the unforeseen weather, racing for the remainder of the night had to be cancelled and the top qualifiers in the NeSmith Crate Late Model and NeSmith Street Stock divisions were declared the winners.
Before the fog rolled in there was a great deal of excitement in the Pure Stock division.
Jay’s Tally Warrick led the entire event and seven cautions, which included two red flags, only to see the win slip from his grasp in the final 50 feet.
Warrick restarted the race on lap 19 for the third time and took the green and white flag at the same time, while being closely followed by Michael Emmons.
Emmons was waiting for his opportunity and it appeared coming off turn four as Warrick slid a little high and Emmons put the nose of his car underneath.
The push from the corner was all he needed to edge Warrick by a couple of inches at the start finish line.
During the race there were two red flags for accidents which involved cars rolling over.
On lap 13 the car of Gueston Rogers ended up on its roof coming off turn number two, then on lap 19 the car of Trenton Odom went over in an accident as he an Dalton Morrison touched coming off turn two.
Both drivers were shaken up but okay.
Rounding out the top five were Chris Brown, Jesse James, and Michael Born.
In the Vintage division Blake Martin was seeking to get the win that got away from him the first weekend of the Winter Nationals.
Martin battled hard with Kenneth Tarter and last week’s winner Kraig Crossley in the early going, but it was lapped traffic that provided him the edge to get to victory lane.
After Crestview’s Hunter Ward stalled on the back stretch brought out the last caution on lap 10, Martin proved to be unstoppable the final 10 laps of the night.
Rounding out the top five behind Martin were Tarter in second followed by Crossley, Marvin Cuevas, and Billy Shaw.
Tommy Lowery tried to make the Singer division feature interesting when he jumped the start and was moved back a row by race director Kenny Bullard.
On the restart, Lowery quickly found his way to the front and dominated the night.
Charlie Simmons, who was involved in an early race incident battled his way from the back of the field to finish second followed by Brandon Allen, Kyle Watson, and Josh Douglas to round out the top five.
The fog forced race officials to cancel the last two races of the evening due to poor visibility and driver safety.
Due to the cancellation Harold’s Stuart Wilson won his second consecutive NeSmith Street Stock feature, while Joseph Joiner claimed the NeSmith Crate Late Models feature.
Joiner edged Harold’s Frank Wilson by a mere .211 seconds in qualifying. Most of the NeSmith Crate Late Models field was separated by less than eight-tenths of a second.
The 2017 season will kick off at Southern Raceway on March 11 at 7 p.m. Hotlaps will get underway at 6 p.m. and a free open practice session will be held on March 10.
Racing on opening night will be in the Pure Stock, Street Stock, Vintage, Sportsman 602 Late Models, and Open Wheel Modifieds as well as the pretty car awards being awarded in each class.
Also start making plans for the Spring Break Twin 50’s to be held on March 17 and 18. Both nights will feature racing action with the Southern All-Star Late Models. Saturday night’s late model winner will get $5,000.
For more information about Southern Raceway you can check the track out on Facebook or look them up online at www.southernraceway.com.
Pure Stock Heat 1 – 1. Lane Heaton, 2. Jesse James, 3. Kurt Horne, 4. Wayne Plunkett, and 5. Jason McDaniel.
Pure Stock Heat 2 – 1. Tally Warrick, 2. Chris Gibson, 3. Troy Williams, 4. Dillan Petty, 5. Joshua Howell.
Pure Stock Heat 3 – 1. Michael Emmons, 2. Dalton Morrison, 3. Chris Brown, 4. Bubba Fletcher, 5. Michael Born.
Pure Stock Heat 4 – 1. William Arnett, 2. Jake Senterfitt, 3. Trenton Odom, 4. Ronnie Hardy, 5. Tim Witherington.
Stinger Heat 1 – 1. Tommy Lowery, 2. Charlie Simmons, 3. Robert Wolfe, 4. Kyle Watson, 5. Brandon Allen.
Vintage Heat 1 – 1. Kenneth Tarter, 2. Kelsey Martin, 3. Kraig Crossley, 4. David Warren, 5. Robin Christensen.
Vintage Heat 2 – 1. Blake Martin, 2. Billy Shaw, 3. Tommy Gilmore, 4. Brian Daniels, 5. Hunter Ward.
NeSmith Street Stock Heat 1 – 1. Stuart Wilson, 2. Brandon Kilpatrick, 3. Tim Fowler, 4. Bo Bailey, 5. Howie Reeves.
NeSmith Street Stock Heat 2 – 1. Mike Lane, 2. Sean Goodwini, 3. JC Wilson, 4. Chandler Shaw, 5. Derek Gilmore.
NeSmith Crate Late Models Qualifying – 1. Joseph Joiner 15.644 seconds, 2. Frank Wilson 15.855, 3. Josh Huss 16.030, 4. James Ward 16.107, 5. Colton Leyendecker 16.122, 6. Chris Bayhi 16.166, 7. Todd Jones 16.210, 8. Brandon Hood 16.389, 9. Justin Able 16.437, 10. Kyle Bryant 16.442, 11. Chris O’Connor 16.476, 12. Chris Rutherford 17.277.