Posted: Tuesday, September 2nd 2014 at 8:00am
Williams inherits Magnolia NeSmith DLMS victory
By Roby Helm
Cliff Williams was awarded the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series win Sunday night at Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, MS. / Photo: Heath Lawson
COLUMBUS, MS – Cliff Williams of Star, MS was awarded his first career NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series victory Saturday night at Magnolia Motor Speedway in the Cliff Williams Plumbing Trak-Star after apparent winner Ronny Lee Hollingsworth of Northport, AL was light at the scales after the 40-lap main event.
Jeremy Shaw of Millport, AL finished second and Johnny Stokes of Columbus, MS took the third spot. Chase Edge of LaFayette, AL drove to a fourth-place finish and Mark Stokes of Steens, MS took the fifth spot.
Defending NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Champion and current point leader Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN finished sixth and Nick Thrash of Meridian, MS drove to a seventh-place finish.
The two provisionals in the race, the 23rd starter, Chris Noah of Rainbow City, AL and the 24th starter, Marcus Minga of Shannon, MS finished eighth and ninth respectively. Noah was also the Rookie of the Race. Joey Mullenix of Elrod, AL rounded out the Top 10.
Johnson now holds a 218 point lead in the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series point standings over Noah, as the National Dirt Late Hall of Fame Inductee is in quest of his second straight $20,000 National Championship. Noah leads the Rookie of the Year point standings.
In preliminary action, Brent Barrett of Cleveland, MS was the Fast Qualifier among the 38 entrants with a lap in 14.203 seconds to earn the pole position for the 40-lap main event. The three ten-lap B-Main Races were won by Shaw, Edge, and Hunter Carroll of Columbus, MS.
Barrett took the lead at the start of the race followed by Hollingsworth, Ryan Oswalt of Northport, AL, Thrash and Justin McRee of Woodstock, AL. The first four of ten caution flags came early and often in the race.
Neil Baggett of Shannon, MS spun the Montgomery Farms Special in turn two on lap two to bring out the first caution flag. McRee was able to get by Thrash for the fourth spot on the restart, but the field was slowed by the caution flag for the second time on lap four when Baggett stalled on the backstretch and required a tow to the pit area.
Barrett had Hollingsworth, Oswalt, McRee, Thrash, Johnny Stokes, Johnson, Williams, Kyle Shaw of Millport, AL and Chad McCool of Millport, AL doubled up behind him for the Dixie-Style double-file restart. After the field went green, Barrett slowed off the pace in turn three to bring out the third caution flag.
Barrett was done for the night and earned the Dominator Race Products Hard Luck of the Race Award. Hollingsworth inherited the lead, but racing action would have to wait some more, as a four-car pile-up in turn three on the restart brought out the fourth caution flag. McRee would get by Oswalt for the second spot on the restart, and Johnny Stokes advanced to the fourth spot.
Thrash got back around Johnny Stokes for the fourth spot on lap six, and then made an inside move on Oswalt to take the third spot. By then, Hollingsworth and McRee had stretched out a half straightaway advantage over Thrash. Williams drove past Johnny Stokes to claim the fifth spot in turn three on lap ten.
The restart saw Hollingsworth leading McRee, Thrash, Williams, Oswalt, Johnson, McCool, Jeremy Shaw, Johnny Stokes, and Edge down to the green flag. Williams moved past Thrash for the third spot on the restart, and he would find himself in what would be the winning position two laps later after Chase Washington of Houlka, MS brought out the sixth caution flag when he stalled on the backstretch on lap 23.
During the caution period, it was discovered that McRee was leaking fuel out of his fuel cell, and he was forced to the sidelines for the rest of the night. Williams moved up to the second spot for the restart followed by Thrash, Johnson, Jeremy Shaw, Stokes, McCool, Edge, Justin Carter of Pontotoc, MS and Mark Stokes.
Johnson got by Thrash for the third spot on the restart, and McCool made a big move from seventh to fourth. Mark Stokes spun in turn two on lap 27 and collected Minga and 13-year-old Cruz Skinner of Oxford, AL to bring out the seventh caution flag. Minga ended up cutting a tire in the tangle that went down on lap 31 for the eighth caution flag.
After falling back as far as the ninth spot, Johnny Stokes had dusted off the top groove of the track, and began a march to the front of the pack. The lap 31 restart saw Johnny Stokes take the green flag from the fourth spot, and then he passed Johnson to move up to third.
Up at the front of the pack, Williams could stay with Hollingsworth, but couldn’t keep enough momentum on the bottom groove the track to make a serious challenge for the lead. Thrash was beginning to fade back through the field, and spun on lap 32 in turn two to bring out the ninth caution flag.
The restart line-up had Hollingsworth leading Williams, Johnny Stokes, Johnson, Jeremy Shaw, McCool, Edge, Carter, and Mark Stokes. The green flag came out with nine laps to go, and business for the top ten positions began to pick up.
Williams went into attack mode on the restart, looking to the inside of Hollingsworth to challenge for the lead. Hollingsworth was able to keep Williams behind him, and began to pull away on lap 34. Johnson, Jeremy Shaw and McCool battled for the third spot, with McCool taking the position on the restart.
Johnson got back around McCool for third on lap 35, but going down the backstretch on lap 37, McCool hooked the left side of Johnson’s back bumper sending both cars spinning and lighting up the yellow caution bulb for the tenth time. McCool was done for the night, and Johnson had to go to the pit area to change a cut down tire.
The final restart for the three lap dash to the finish had Hollingsworth leading Williams, Johnny Stokes, Jeremy Shaw, Edge, Thrash, Mark Stokes and Johnson as the cars left on the lead lap.
Jeremy Shaw was able to get by Johnny Stokes on lap 39 for the third spot, as Hollingsworth would take the checkered flag with a 2.519 second advantage over Williams, only to give it away on the scales after the race. It was Williams who would return to the front straightaway to collect the $2,000 check and the NeSmith Chevrolet Gold Trophy.
There are currently three races left on the 2014 NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series schedule with a pair of $2,500-to-win 50-lap Showdown On The Coast races at Golden Isle Speedway in Brunswick, GA on October 17 and 18. The season finale will be at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, FL on November 21-22 with the $10,000-to-win 100-lap 10th Annual Chevrolet Performance World Championship Race.
If Johnson finishes the first Showdown On The Coast race with over a 200-point lead in the standings, he will clinch his second straight $20,000 NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Championship.
For more information about the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series web site at NesmithRacing.com.
NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series
Magnolia Motor Speedway - Columbus, MS
Race Results - Aug. 31, 2014
POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN LAPS $ WON
1. 10 C11 Cliff Williams Star, MS 40 $2,000
2. 11 1s Jeremy Shaw Millport, AL 40 $1,000
3. 8 1 Johnny Stokes Columbus, MS 40 $700
4. 12 18 Chase Edge LaFayette, AL 40 $550
5. 21 2 Mark Stokes Steens, MS 40 $500
6. 6 R1 Ronnie Johnson Chattanooga, TN 40 $425
7. 3 01 Nick Thrash Meridian, MS 40 $375
8. 23 56 Chris Noah (R) Rainbow City, AL 39 $350
9. 24 19 Marcus Minga Shannon, MS 39 $325
10. 22 11m Joey Mullenix Elrod, AL 39 $300
11. 17 13 Chad McCool Millport, AL 36 $275
12. 16 33 Justin Carter Pontotoc, MS 36 $250
13. 18 11 Cruz Skinner Oxford, AL 24 $225
14. 5 25 Justin McRee Woodstock, AL 22 $200
15. 4 24 Ryan Oswalt Northport, AL 22 $175
16. 15 R3 Chase Washington Houlka, MS 22 $150
17. 19 121 Michael Blount Sumrall, MS 19 $140
18. 13 147 Hunter Carroll Columbus, MS 19 $125
19. 1 110 Brent Barrett Cleveland, MS 3 $125
20. 9 2s Kyle Shaw Millport, AL 3 $125
21. 20 14 Chance Inman Bruce, MS 3 $125
22. 7 6 Neil Baggett Shannon, MS 3 $125
23. 14 73 Evan Ellis Plantersville, MS 2 $125
DQ: 2 B17 Ronny Hollingsworth Northport, AL 40 $125
Link: NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series
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