Posted: Monday, July 7th 2014 at 8:00am
Smith dominates for Talladega NeSmith Chevy DLMS win
By Roby Helm
Jeff Smith of Chatsworth, GA celebrates a dominate win after leading all 40 laps of the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series race at Talladega Short Track Thursday night. / Photo: Courtesy Talladega Short Track
EASTABOGA, AL – Jeff Smith of Chatsworth, GA was the dominant force Thursday night in winning the first of four Salute To America Nationals races for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Touring Division at Talladega Short Track driving the Hill Motorsports Warrior.
Smith never faced a challenger all night, as he was the fast qualifier among the 44 entrants at 14.676 seconds, and then led all 40 laps to record his second career NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series victory.
At one point in the race, Smith held a half straightaway lead on Todd Morrow of East Ridge, TN, who finished second in the A-Plus Collision Center GRT. The only time Morrow could get close to Smith was in heavy lapped traffic in the closing laps of the race, but he took the checkered flag .413 seconds behind Smith.
“We brought the same set up here that we use at Boyd’s Speedway, and the fast right out of the box tonight,” Smith said. “I was a little anxious towards the end of the race in lapped traffic because you never know how close someone is to you. This was a good opportunity for us here tonight because we love running at Talladega Short Track and we love running with the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series. We got the best of both worlds tonight.”
The 12-year-old sensation Cruz Skinner of Oxford, AL showed the world that he is for real, as he to a third-place finish. The youngster showed that he knows his way around his home track where he has three NeSmith Chevrolet Weekly Racing Series Late Model wins this season.
Chris Noah of Rainbow City, AL finished fourth and was the Rookie of the Race. The NeSmith Chevrolet Weekly Racing Series point leader Adam Gauldin of Talladega, AL took the fifth spot at his home track where he also has three wins this season.
Montana Dudley of Phenix City, AL drove to a sixth-place finish and Josh Adkins of Talladega, AL was seventh. Chip Brindle of Chatsworth, GA finished eighth.
The defending NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Champion and current point leader Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN was a man on a mission Thursday night at Talladega Short. In true fashion for the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Inductee, he arrived at the track late, but just in time to unload, and hit the track for his two lap qualifying run.
Johnson had the 10th fastest time which would have transferred him into the main event, but the only problem was, he failed to go through the pre-race technical inspection line and his qualifying time was disallowed. Johnson took a provisional, started 23rd, and finished ninth.
Not only did Johnson dig himself out of a hole, but he gained two points on Mack McCarter of Gatlinburg, MS, who finished tenth in the McCarter Lumber CVR. Johnson left Talladega Short Track on Thursday night with a 12-point lead over McCarter in the battle for the $20,000 NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Championship.
In preliminary action, the three ten-lap B-Main Races were won by Tanner Works of Cleveland, TN, Marcus Minga of Shannon, MS and Jimmy Elliott of Cleveland, TN.
In a race slowed by only one caution flag, Smith completed the 40-lap journey in just a second under 15 minutes. A total of 17 cars finished on the lead lap, and 21 cars were still running when the checkered flag fell.
On the restart, Gauldin jumped to the outside to challenge Noah for the fourth spot and took the position on lap 12. Noah came right back to reclaim fourth on lap 14. Smith was in lapped traffic again by lap 21, as Morrow closed to within six car lengths. Johnson had climbed from the 23rd starting spot to tenth by lap 22.
Johnson sailed around the outside of the his Championship challenger McCarter on lap 30 to take control of the ninth spot. Johnson then moved up to create a three-car battle for the seventh spot with Adkins and Brindle in the last eight laps of the race.
Smith was in heavy lapped traffic during the last two laps of the race. Morrow closed to within a couple of car lengths on the last lap, but with lapped cars all around him, he had nowhere to go to make a serious bid for the lead.
For more information and rules about the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series web site at nesmithracing.com.
NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series
Talladega Short Track - Eastaboga, AL
Race Results - July 3, 2014
POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN LAPS $ WON
1. 1 17s Jeff Smith Chatsworth, GA 40 $2,000
2. 2 8a Todd Morrow East Ridge, TN 40 $1,000
3. 3 11 Cruz Skinner Oxford, AL 40 $700
4. 4 56 Chris Noah (R) Rainbow City, AL 40 $5505.
5 5 17 Adam Gauldin Talladega, AL 40 $500
6. 7 55 Montana Dudley (R) Phenix City, AL 40 $425
7. 9 19m Josh Adkins Talladega, AL 40 $375
8. 10 38 Chip Brindle Chatsworth, GA 40 $350
9. 23 5 Ronnie Johnson Chattanooga, TN 40 $325
10. 8 51 Mack McCarter Gatlinburg, TN 40 $300
11. 6 8 Grant Pearl Anniston, AL 40 $275
12. 11 T35 Tanner Works Cleveland, TN 40 $250
13. 13 J39 Jimmy Elliott Cleveland, TN 40 $225
14. 14 67 Kyle Clifton Ranburne, AL 40 $200
15. 19 B97 Lee Burdett Bessemer, AL 40 $175
16. 12 19 Marcus Minga Shannon, MS 40 $150
17. 15 18 Chase Edge LaFayette, AL 40 $140
18. 20 1 Johnny Stokes Columbus, MS 39 $125
19. 17 05 T.J. Brittain Centre, AL 39 $125
20. 21 5d Rodgerick Dykes Smith Station, AL 38 $125
21. 24 121 Michael Blount Sumrall, MS 38 $125
22. 22 7 Josh Trammell Hoover, AL 22 $125
23. 16 25 Justin McRee Woodstock, AL 13 $125
24. 18 3 Shay Knight Columbus, MS 10 $125
Link: NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series
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