Posted: Wednesday, July 9th 2014 at 2:20pm
Johnson takes 4th NeSmith DLMS win at Arkadelphia
By Roby Helm
Ronnie Johnson, seen here from earlier action, led wire-to-wire for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series victory Saturday night at Arkadelphia Speedway. / Photo: Roby Helm
BREMEN, AL – Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN won the 40-lap NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Salute To America Nationals race Saturday night at Arkadelphia Speedway in Bremen, AL driving the NeSmith Chevrolet Special. The National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Inductee led all 40 laps on his way to his fourth win of the season.
Johnson said hard work from a bunch of guys that took time away from their families to help him during the Salute To America four-day tour was enough motivation to win the race in a car that had a broken an axle tube the night before during hot laps at East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City, AL.
“This win feels good because the guys that volunteered to go out on the road with me for this four-day four-race tour stayed up all night and helped me repair this car after we broke and axle tube last night in hot laps,” Johnson said. “I had to win this race tonight for them because the sun was coming up when we finished up and got to our hotel room. I just can’t thank these guys enough.”
Chase Edge of LaFayette, AL finished second and Chris Noah of Rainbow City, AL drove to a third-place finish for Rookie of the Race honors.
Chip Brindle was fourth and Jon Biles of Centerville, AL took the fifth spot. Shep Lucas of McKenzie, AL started 13th and finished sixth.
Jimmy Elliott of Cleveland, TN drove to a seventh-place finish and Brent Barrett of Cleveland, MS was eighth. Ronny Lee Hollingsworth of Northport, AL took the ninth spot and Johnny Stokes of Columbus, MS rounded out the top ten.
In preliminary action, Edge was the fast qualifier among the 35 entrants with a lap in 15.585 seconds. The two ten lap B-Main races were won by Hollingsworth and Mack McCarter of Gatlinburg, TN.
Johnson grabbed the lead at the start of the race from his outside front row starting spot followed by Edge, Ronald Dunn of Corinth, MS, Biles, and Justin McRee of Woodstock, AL. Johnson caught the cars on the tail end of the lead lap by lap seven, and by the eighth tour, Johnson and Edge pulled out to a full straightway lead over Dunn.
The first of six caution flags came out on lap 12 when Michael Blount of Sumrall, MS stalled the Lamar Auto Salvage Trak-Star on the front straightaway with power steering belt issues. Johnson had Edge, Dunn, Biles, McRee, Noah, Brindle, Heath Minor of Ralph, AL, Stokes, and McCarter doubled up behind him for the restart.
When the yellow light gave way to the green light for the restart, McRee passed Biles for the fourth spot. Stokes powered around Minor and Brindle to take over the sixth spot on lap 14, McRee began to challenge Dunn for the third spot on lap 18. McRee was able to drive under Dunn on the backstretch on lap 19 to take possession of the third spot.
Johnson and Edge held a full straightaway advantage over McRee on lap 20, but that deficit was quickly erased on lap 20 when Dunn spun out of the fourth spot in turn four collecting Stokes in the process to light the yellow caution bulb for the second time in the race. Dunn was done for the night, but Stokes got his sixth spot back for the restart at the halfway point of the race.
Johnson led McRee, Edge, Noah, Biles, Minor, Brindle, Hollingsworth, Lucas, and Elliott down for the restart. Brindle got by Minor and Biles on lap 25 to move up to the fifth spot. By lap 26, Johnson pulled out to a half straightaway lead over McRee. That gap was gone on lap 27 when McRee spun in turn four and collected Edge.
McRee was done for the night, but Edge was able to restart in the second spot followed by Noah, Brindle, Biles, Minor, Lucas, Hollingsworth, Cale Finley of Athens, AL and Barrett. The final caution flag came out on the restart when Minor spun in turn two and collected Finley putting both cars out for the night.
The final laps of the race went caution-free, as Johnson kept Edge behind him and worked through lapped traffic in the last five laps of the race to take a .956 second margin of victory at the checkered flag.
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
Arkadephia Speedway – Breman, AL
Race Results – July 5, 2014
POS STRT CAR # DRIVER
1. 2 5 Ronnie Johnson Chattanooga, TN 40 $2,000
2. 1 18 Chase Edge LaFayette, AL 40 $1,000
3. 6 56 Chris Noah (R) Rainbow City, AL 40 $700
4. 7 38 Chip Brindle Chatsworth, GA 40 $550
5. 4 7 Jon Biles
6. 13 57 Shep Lucas
7. 10 J39 Jimmy Elliott Cleveland, TN 40 $375
8. 15 110 Brent Barrett Cleveland, MS 40 $350
9. 11 19h Ronny Hollingsworth Northport, AL 40 $325
10. 8 1 Johnny Stokes Columbus, MS 40 $300
11. 24 19m Josh Adkins Talladega, AL 40 $275
12. 14 19 Marcus Minga Shannon, MS 40 $250
13. 16 19b Gathan Burns Piedmont, AL 40 $225
14. 21 15m Brad Malone Lacey Springs, AL 40 $200
15. 18 10 Joseph Joiner Milton, FL 40 $175
16. 22 22 Austin Franklin Alabaster, AL 39 $150
17. 17 18f Cale Finley
18. 9 15 Heath Minor Ralph, AL 36 $125
19. 5 25 Justin McRee Woodstock, AL 26 $125
20. 12 51 Mack McCarter Gatlinburg, TN 22 $125
21. 3 17 Ronald Dunn Corinth, MS 19 $125
22. 19 13 Brent Rhodes Boaz, AL
23. 23 121 Michael Blount Sumrall, MS 10 $125
24. 20 8a Todd Morrow East Ridge, TN 5 $125
Link: NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series
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