by Riley Hicks
Everyone dreams of making of history, and last Saturday night 34 drivers lined Senoia Raceway in hopes of adding their names to the history books. They all attempted to best a list of elite dirt racers and win the Michael Head Jr. Memorial Race. With the lights beaming down on the Senoia gumbo and fans seated from post-to-post, the Southern All-Star drivers put on one of the best shows the fans have ever witnessed at the track.
The night of racing kicked off with a feature in the Bomber division. Just like in recent weeks, Dorough Bright took home the checkered flag and claimed the extra $500. Bright has blistered his competition the past few Saturdays, which has helped position himself atop of the division standings. This past week, Bright led every lap while extending himself way out ahead of the pack. The drivers to round out the podium were Curtis Turner and Mike Nelms. It will be interesting to see if any driver can dethrone Bright in the coming races.
In the Hobby class, Keith West drove a near perfect race to capture the feature win. During the month of June, West and Ted Willingham have traded wins while putting themselves as the top frontrunners of the division. West handled this week’s race with Willingham hanging on to finish second. As the points chase starts to heat up in the coming months, look for these drivers to battle it out for the championship.
The third checkered flag was given to Ashton Winger in the Crate class as he led the majority of the 20–lap race to claim the victory. Winger found his sweet spot on the top side of the track and eventually drove his way to the front. He would have to fend off some strong competitors like Austin Horton and Chase Walls as they finished second and third respectively.
Dylan Knowles found himself in victory lane in the Late Model Sportsman as he cruised to a dominating victory. Knowles started the night by qualifying on the pole, and this would be all he needed to drive away from the rest of the field. Cory Compton tried to lure Knowles back in after making it up to second, but he was unsuccessful and finished the race in that position. Keith Fields closed out the podium in third as he drove one of his best races of the season.
In Legend cars, Chris Clanton captured yet another victory at Senoia. During the early part of the race, Clanton battled it out with Nathan Jackson for the top spot. Eventually, Clanton tried to bump Jackson just a little to advance to first, but Jackson lost control and hit the wall to end his night. After this wreck, Clanton cruised to victory ahead of LJ Klemons and Adam Cochran.
The Charger class went to Jamie Nicholson Jr. as he found the winner’s circle. It looked as if Jason Turner would claim the win after dominating early, but he lost control midway through the race and fell to fifth place. Rounding out the podium was Randy Cornwell and Jeff Robinson.
When it finally became time for the Southern All-Stars to take to the track, 24 out of the 34 signed drivers looked to win the 21st annual Michael Head Jr. Memorial Race. The competitors that took the field to green were Mason Massey and Kyle Hardy, as they qualified first in their respective groups. Once the green flag dropped, Hardy bolted out front by finding a good groove on the top side of the track. Hardy held that position until lap 13, where he was passed by Michael Page, who started fifth but worked through the pack to climb up to second. Page ended up holding the top spot for the rest of the race to claim the win and add his name to a list of great drivers to win this historic event. Hardy tried to pull Page back in with some strong racing that saw him even drive over two cars, but ultimately, he was unsuccessful and took the 15-hour drive back to Virginia with a second place finish. In third place was Jason Hiett, who took advantage of a miscue from Massey late in the contest to take away the third spot.
Senoia Raceway will now take the next couple of weekends off to celebrate the Fourth of July. The track will be back in action on the 14th with double points night in each of its eight divisions. For more information visit senoiaraceway.com or call the track at 770-599-6161.