Submitted by Ted Austad
Photo credits: Francis Hauke
(Senoia, GA – October 21, 2018) Texas hot shoe Tyler Erb made a fast move at the start of Saturday night’s Showdown at Senoia to get past fast qualifier Shane Clanton of Zebulon and then held off all challenges from Winston’s Michael Page to claim his first career win at the icy slick Senoia Raceway capturing the 3rd Annual Showdown at Senoia title for the Super Late Model division.
“When we took off (the car) it was really, really good,” said Erb in victory lane. “Last night (Friday), I put us behind qualifying. I made a couple of changes tonight that I was wishy-washy when I practiced…I should’ve done it and I didn’t. It definitely worked out and we have something to work off when we come back next year.”
Other Saturday night winners included Michael Page in the Crate Late Models, Alabama’s Dylan Knowles in the Late Model Sportsman, Whitesburg’s Blant Duke in the Hobby, Mississippi’s Tony Coffman in the Mini Stock, Rick Ricks of Marietta in the Hot Shots and Dalton Benefield in the Chargers. The annual season finale at the south’s baddest bull ring welcomed over 130 competitors from seven states.
Erb and Clanton traded slide jobs on the opening laps of the main event on Saturday night before the New Waverly, Texas young gun finally wrestled away the lead from Friday night’s big winner. The fans were delighted to witness several slide jobs and attempted slides throughout the field of super fast race cars on the slickest surface many will ever compete on.
Erb pulled away working lapped traffic to perfection as Michael Page and Shane Clanton fought for position. Page would slide up in front of Clanton and then the former World of Outlaw champ would return the favor in the next corner. Those trick moves would create a game changer with two-thirds of the race complete when Page slid in front of Clanton in turn four. Page was up against the front stretch wall as Clanton shot back down to the inside going into turn one. Page cut down to enter the corner and went right over the top of Clanton’s right front wheel. Clanton fought back, but it was apparent that his car received more damage than Page as he slowed for several laps before heading to the pits to change a right front tire during a late race caution.
“I didn’t see him there,” said Page afterwards. “It was just hard racing. We just got together.”
Page was able to continue and gave it one last shot on a restart with three laps remaining. The Winston driver charged hard down the back stretch heading down to the inside while Erb rode the top of the race track. Page slid in front of Erb coming through turn four, but lost momentum as he slid higher and higher trying to turn. Erb shot down low to pass him back and then never looked back posting the victory and claiming the $6000 top prize. Page would settle for second ahead of Toccoa’s Casey Roberts, Kingston’s Tyler Millwood and Austin Horton of Whitesburg.
Senoia’s track champion, Clint Smith, ended up in sixth with fellow Senoia driver Joey Arminstead in seventh. Sylvester’s Steven Roberts, Erb’s teammate for the weekend, was eighth followed by Austin Smith of Rome and Clanton.
Michael Page showcased his driving ability and his prowess for the slick confines of Senoia Raceway in the Crate Late Model Showdown main event. Page lapped all cars but his nearest competitor, runner-up Cruz Skinner of Oxford, AL. Page sliced and diced his way through lapped traffic catching third place driver Marty Lunsford of Newnan as the white flag flew over the field. The win was Page’s second straight title for the Crate Late Model division at the Showdown.
Also winning a second title at the track’s season ending special event was Tony Coffman in the Mini Stock class. Coffman won the first year of the event in 2016 before coming up a little short in last year’s race. The Mississippian did not miss a mark dominating the 20-lap main and bringing home the hardware in front of Tennessee’s Derek Duggan and Alabama’s Bo Minor. Only fourteen four-cylinder cars were on hand for the big weekend’s race schedule.
Wire to wire victories in the Hobby and Late Model Sportsman saw Blant Duke and Dylan Knowles add their names to the Showdown at Senoia history books. Knowles had finished second on Friday night’s Late Model Sportsman feature after having to race from the back of the pack.
Dalton Benefield watched his younger brother Jordan win his first career race at Senoia Raceway on Friday night before turning the tables on Saturday night. The racing brothers from Carrollton split the weekend victories in the Charger division with Dalton winning on Saturday night. Dalton beat his brother, who finished second, and Jackson’s Mike Abercrombie for the victory.
Rick Ricks worked past fast qualifier Jody Dilbeck on lap seven of the Hot Shot Showdown feature and then never looked back posting the win over Dilbeck and Alabama’s Brian Wallace. The Hot Shots entertained thirteen drivers for their best count of the season.
The Showdown at Senoia concluded the 2018 regular racing season for Senoia Raceway. Track promoters Mayes Massey, Bill Massey and Doug Stevens will now regroup and begin planning for the 2019 racing season at the popular show place. They will host the Senoia Winternationals on December 1st before setting their sights on the season opener for 2019 next March.
For additional information, 2019 event schedule, rule changes and more, visit the track website at www.senoiaraceway.com or call the speedway at 770.599.6161.
Official Results – Saturday, October 20, 2018
Super Late Model (Feature): 1-Tyler Erb, New Waverly, TX 2-Michael Page, Winston 3-Casey Roberts, Toccoa 4-Tyler Millwood, Kingston 5-Austin Horton, Whitesburg 6-Clint Smith, Senoia 7-Joey Armistead, Senoia 8-Steven Roberts, Sylvester 9-Austin Smith, Rome 10-Shane Clanton, Zebulon 11-Jason Croft, Woodstock 12-Bubba Pollard, Senoia 13-David Payne, Murphy, NC 14-Ashton Winger, Senoia 15-Mason Massey, Douglasville 16-Cruz Skinner, Oxford, AL 17-Joey Standridge, Tellido Plains, TN 18-William Thomas, Phenix City, AL 19-Ricky Williams, Fayetteville 20-Shane Fulcher, Thomaston 21-Johnny Cloer, Chatsworth 22-Cla Knight, North Augusta, SC DNQ: Lamar Haygood, Douglasville; Kyler Haygood, Douglasville; Zach Leonhardi, Cartersville; Dylan Knowles, Lannett, AL; Ivedent Lloyd, Ocala, FL; Michael Queen, Cartersville; Glenn Morris, Fayetteville Fast Qualifier: Clanton (14.196 seconds – 95.1 mph)
Crate Late Model (Feature): 1-Michael Page, Winston 2-Cruz Skinner, Oxford, AL 3-Marty Lunsford, Newnan 4-Phil Deal, Tyrone 5-Marty Massey, Winston 6-Wayne Harbin, Sharpsburg 7-Jamie Maurice, McDonough 8-Tina Johnson, Senoia 9-Maddie Crane, Meansville 10-Colby Darda, LaGrange 11-Chase Baker, LaGrange 12-Dow Kirkland, Lake Spivey 13-Lee Fuller, Newnan 14-Zach Shelton, Temple 15-Chris Justus, McDonough 16-Josh Copeland, McDonough 17-Woodrow Mullis, Pearson 18-Bobby Mills, Griffin DNS: Matt Dooley, Brooks Fast Qualifier: Page (14.149 seconds – 95.4 mph) Heat Race Winners: Page & Skinner
Late Model Sportsman (Feature): 1-Dylan Knowles, Lannett, AL 2-Wiley McDaniel, Byron 3-Jamie Nicholson, Jr., Locust Grove 4-Tanner Collins, Franklin 5-Billy Stevenson, Locust Grove 6-Chris Steele, Franklin 7-Mark Page, Winston 8-William Blair, Whitesburg 9-Jason Turner, McDonough 10-Parris Simmons, Baldwin 11-Jamie Maurice, McDonogh 12-Rob Johnson, Marietta 13-Nick May, White 14-Morgan Alexander, Locust Grove 15-Jack Mills, Griffin Fast Qualifier: Knowles (15.071 seconds – 89.6 mph)
Hobby (Feature): 1-Blant Duke, Whitesburg 2-Blake Harmon, Mansfield 3-Keith West, Powder Springs 4-Timothy Anderson, Carrollton 5-Tim Harmon, Conyers 6-Joe Hillman, Villa Rica 7-Ted Willingham, McDonough 8-Brandon Jones, Newnan 9-Phillip Wallace, Locust Grove 10-Larry Pierce, Griffin 11-Ben Wells, Milner Fast Qualifier: B Harmon (15.835 seconds – 85.3 mph) Heat Race Winners: B Harmon & Duke
Mini Stock (Feature): 1-Tony Coffman, Florence, MS 2-Derek Duggan, Lenoir City, TN 3-Bo Minor, Ralph, AL 4-PJ Taylor, Auburn 5-Brent Couch 6-JJ Garrett, Auburn 7-Joshua Till, McDonough 8-Dan Bennett, Loganville 9-Jamie Godbee, Carrollton 10-Tommy Faulkner, Newnan 11-John Turner, Douglasville DNS: Bo Chambers, Griffin; Russell Teal, Ranburne, AL; David Brackett, Temple Fast Qualifier: Duggan *New Track Record* (17.292 seconds – 78.1 mph) Heat Race Winners: Duggan & Coffman
Riley’s Warriors Chargers (Feature): 1-Dalton Benefield, Carrollton 2-Jordan Benefield, Carrollton 3-Mike Abercrombie, Jackson 4-Maddie Crane, Meansville 5-RichardDale, Winston 6-Shane Payton, Newnan 7-Dave McWilliams, Brooks 8-Johnny Stinchcomb, Newnan 9-Kayla Boswell, Winston 10-Joshua Allen, Five Points, AL 11-Jason Faircloth, Macon 12-Payton Stevenson, Locist Grove
Hot Shots (Feature): 1-Rick Ricks, Marietta 2-Jody Dilbeck 3-Brian Wallace, Ranburne, AL 4-Logan Johnson, Silver Creek 5-Ernest Turner, Douglasville 6-Jordan Wallaxce, Ranburne, AL 7-Dunie Dillard, Dougaslville 8-Mike Roberson, Dallas 9-Stacey Henderson, Senoia 10-Lucas Pittman, Grantville 11-Cory Wilson, Locsut Grove 12-Cale Burford, Milner DNS: Corey Green, Griffin Fast Qualifier: Dilbeck (19.262 seconds – 70.1 mph)