Submitted by: Ted Austad
Photo credits: Francis Hauke
(Senoia, GA – April 22, 2018) Woodrow Mullis of Pearson dominated the Crate Late Model feature securing his first ever victory at Senoia Raceway on Saturday evening. Mullis was one of six drivers that won their first career feature at the ‘South’s Baddest Bull Ring’ Senoia Raceway. Locust Grove’s Jamie Nicholson, Sr. picked up career win number one in the Mini Stock division while fourteen-year-old McKenna Nelms also won her first main event topping the field of Griffin Hose & Hydraulics Charger competitors. Mableton’s Keith West, Winston’s Austin Hill and Alabama’s TJ Sanders joined the new winners after their features as well.
“If you win at Senoia Raceway, you have really accomplished something,” said promoter Mayes Massey. “It is not easy to beat the veteran competition on this tough, slick surface gumbo clay. These drivers stepped up their game tonight and joined an elite group of winners.”
Other winners on Saturday night included three-time defending Super Late Model points champion, Clint ‘Cat Daddy’ Smith of Senoia, winning his first Super feature of the young season. Former Limited Late Model points champion, Joey Armistead of Senoia, also won his first feature of the season while Alabama’s Dylan Knowles and Dunie Dillard won again in the Late Model Sportsman and Bomber classes respectively.
Woodrow Mullis jumped out early at the drop of the green and then took advantage of fast qualifier Dusty Jones’ spin in turn three. LaGrange’s Jones shot into turn three nosing in front of Jamie Maurice, but lost grip and could not save his mount from spinning. That was all Mullis needed as he cruised to a four second plus victory over defending Crate Late Model points champion Jamie Maurice of McDonough. The previous week’s winner Marty Massey of Winston was third ahead of LaGrange’s Colby Darda and Wayne Harbin of Sharpsburg.
One of the fan’s more popular wins of the night came when fourth generation driver McKenna Nelms picked up her first career win. The fourteen-year-old young lady practiced earlier in the week to prepare for Saturday night. That practice paid off as she lead every lap leading a battling pack of cars to the finish line. Locust Grove’s Jamie Nicholson, Jr. ended up second with Franklin’s Tanner Collins in third. Senoia’s Shane Payton was fourth ahead of Brooks Dave McWilliams. Nicholson, Jr., Collins and Payton swapped their positions several times during the final stage of the race.
Officials had to intervene to decide the final outcome of the Mini Stock race. Newnan’s Tommy Faulkner caught up to Jamie Nicholson, Sr. in the final turn of the final lap, but Faulkner made contact with the leader exiting the turn. Nicholson spun to the concrete while Faulkner sped past to the checkered flag.
Race Director Chad Herrington had to make the call to penalize Faulkner for rough driving which placed Nicholson in the top position giving him his first career win at Senoia Raceway. Faulkner ended up second as the leaders had lapped all other cars in the field.
“We do not like to make calls that determine outcomes of races,” explained veteran official Chad Herrington. “But, you cannot spin a person out and not be penalized. You have to pass them clean.”
TJ Sanders slid past defending Hot Shot champion Nathan Farrow of LaGrange with only a few laps left on Saturday night to win his first race ever at Senoia Raceway. The two traded the lead position a few times in a very entertaining race. Alabama’s Jayce Swint was third in his station wagon racer with fellow border crossers Jody Dilbeck and Dean Williams completing the top five of the main event that featured a season-high thirteen Hot Shot competitors.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular Austin Hill has been competing at Senoia raceway the past couple of weeks preparing for the annual Eldora Speedway dirt race for the national touring division. Hill celebrated his birthday with a first career win on a dirt surface driving a Legends Car. Hill has won many races in a legends car, but never on a dirt track.
“You can learn a lot about dirt racing on this Senoia Raceway surface,” said Austin’s dad Bryan Hill. “Eldora will get real slick when we race the trucks there this summer. Our racing here at Senoia will go a long way towards our success there.”
It was not his first career win, but it was his first win of the season as Joey Armistead shot past Jody Knowles of Tyrone on lap 7 of the Limited Late Model feature. Armistead used the low side of turns three and four to gain his position and then slid to the top of turns one and two to snag the lead from Knowles. Armistead never relinquished the lead winning by a margin of one and half seconds over Knowles. Newnan’s Rucker Orr was third ahead of Clint Smith and LaGrange’s Dennis Hale.
Clint Smith ran flag to flag to win the Super Late Model feature ahead of Fayetteville Hall of Famer Ricky Williams. Columbus hot shoe Joseph Brown was third with Hamilton’s Ricky Culpepper fourth and Thomaston’s Shane Fulcher fifth.
‘Thrillin’ Dylan Knowles ran flag to flag for his fourth win of the season in the Late Model Sportsman while fellow Alabaman Dune Dillard won for the fifth time in the Bombers.
The NVRA Vintage Cars also made a triumphant return to Senoia Raceway featuring seventeen entries that conjured up memories of the early days of racing at the 3/8ths mile track. Fred Herren used throttle control to move through the field and capture the lead before holding off a valiant effort by Buddy Prosser to take home the victory.
Senoia Raceway will now host the ‘Spring Fling 2018’ race event this Saturday, April 28th. The special event will offer drivers in the Limited Late Models and Crate Late Models a shot at a $1000 pay day. The event will also see competition in the Late Model Sportsman, Griffin Hose & Hydrualic Chargers, Hobby, Mini, Bomber and Hot Shots. The Super Late Model class will have a week off as they prepare for the 4th Annual Billy Clanton Classic and the return of the Craftsman Tool World of Outlaw Dirt Late Model Tour on Saturday, May 5th.
The pits will open at 4pm this weekend with the grandstands opening at 5pm. Hot laps and qualifying will begin at 6:15pm with racing at 7:30pm.
Tickets are $12; ages 5-12 are $5 with children four & under admitted for free. Pit passes and trackside parking tickets are $30, ages 5-12 are $20 with children four & under free,
For additional information, event schedule, ticket prices and more, visit the track website at www.senoiaraceway.com or call the speedway at 770.599.6161.
Official Results – Saturday, April 21, 2018
Super Late Models (Feature): 1-Clint Smith, Senoia 2-Ricky Williams, Fayetteville 3-Joseph Brown, Columbus 4-Ricky Culpepper, Hamilton 5-Shane Fulcher, Thomaston 6-Mason Massey, Douglasville 7-Travis Pennington, Stapleton 8-Steven Bloodworth, McIntyre 9-Corey Payton, Newnan Fast Qualifier: Smith (15.475 – 87.2 mph)
Limited Late Models (Feature): 1-Joey Armistead, Senoia 2-Jody Knowles, Tyrone 3-Rucker Orr, Newnan 4-Clint Smith, Senoia 5-Dennis Hale, LaGrange 6-Bobby Mills, Griffin 7-Chris Carr, Newnan 8-Clifton Moran, Carrollton Fast Qualifier: Knowles (14.824 – 91.1 mph)
Crate Late Models (Feature): 1-Woodrow Mullis, Pearson 2-Jamie Maurice, McDonough 3-Marty Massey, Winston 4-Colby Darda, LaGrange 5-Wayne Harbin, Sharpsburg 6-Dow Kirkland, Lake Spivey 7-Jason Turner, McDonough 8-Austin Hill, Winston 9-Tina Johnson, Senoia 10-Dusty Jones, LaGrange Fast Qualifier: Jones (15.188 – 88.9 mph)
Late Model Sportsman (Feature): 1-Dylan Knowles, Lanett, AL 2-Cory Compton, Macon 3-Tyler Sanders, Dublin 4-Keith Fields, Griffin 5-Levi Campbell, Jackson 6-Chris Arnett, Lanett, AL 7-Jack Mills, Griffin 8-Billy Stevenson, Locust Grove 9-Ted Minnix, McDonough 10-William Blair, Whitesburg 11-Chris Steele, Franklin 12-Dustin Newell, Gray 13-Morgan Alexander, Locust Grove 14-Randy Cornwell, Fayetteville 15-Brandon McDaniel, Byron Fast Qualifier: Knowles – New LMSP Track Record (14.587 – 92.6 mph)
Griffin Hose & Hydraulics Sportsman Chargers (Feature): 1-McKenna Nelms, Newnan 2-Jamie Nicholson, Jr., Locust Grove 3-Tanner Collins, Franklin 4-Shane Payton, Senoia 5-Dave McWilliams, Brooks 6-Halley Adams, Rydal 7-Jamie Simmons, Tyrone 8-Parris Simmons, Baldwin 9-James Maddox
Hobby (Feature): 1-Keith West, Powder Springs 2-Blake Harmon, Mansfield 3-Ben Wells, Milner 4-Jamie Garner, Mableton 5-Ted Willingham, McDonough 6-Tim Harmon, Conyers 7-Larry Bednar, Locust Grove 8-Josh Pitt, Stockbridge 9-Brandon Henderson, Senoia 10-Phillip Wallace, Locust Grove Fast Qualifier: Willingham (16.195 – 83.3 mph)
Bomber (Feature): 1-Dunie Dillard, Phenix City, AL 2-Abe Chase, Valley, AL 3-Mike Nelms, Newnan 4-Larry Pierce, Griffin 5-Herbie Donath, Columbus 6-Shannon Stephens, Franklin 7-Scott Amoson, Newnan 8-Dorough Bright, Newnan 9-John Holcomb, Griffin 10-William Blair, Whitesburg Fast Qualifier: Dillard – New Bomber Track Record (16.719 – 80.7 mph)
Mini Stock (Feature): 1-Jamie Nicholson, Sr., Locust Grove 2-Tommy Faulkner, Newnan 3-Tracy Southerland 4-Denver Stepp, Powder Springs 5-Wesley Patterson, Williamson 6-Joshua Till, McDonough Fast Qualifier: Faulkner (17.940 – 75.3 mph)
Legends Cars (Feature): 1-Austin Hill, Winston 2-Christopher Clanton, Brooks 3-LJ Klemons, Meansville 4-Adam Cochran DNS: Robbie Wooddall, McDonough Fast Qualifier: Clanton (17.896 – 75.4 mph)
Hot Shots (Feature): 1-TJ Sanders 2-Nathan Farrow, LaGrange 3-Jayce Swint, Phenix City, AL 4-Jody Dilbeck 5-Dean Williams, Lanett, AL 6-Ernest Turner, Douglasville 7-Lucas Pittman, Grantville 8-Josh Allen 9-Lucas Green 10-Ben Herren 11-Cale Burford, Milner 12-Stacey Henderson, Senoia 13-Tyler Dilbeck