By Riley Hicks —
SENOIA — Believe it or not, it’s already time to start that drive towards that coveted points championship at Senoia Raceway. It’s hard to believe that it has already been over a month of racing. While Senoia has quite a few races to go, it is never bad getting off on the right foot when working towards winning a championship.
Eight drivers who took the checkered flag on Saturday night are one step closer to conquering that title.
In one of the first races of the evening, Cory Greene took home the victory in the Hotshots.
Greene managed to work his way from the back to capture the win. That meant him passing 18 cars, which ultimately he managed to do.
Even though Greene claimed the victory, he didn’t have the best car of the evening. Instead, Patrick Gasper started on the pole and led every lap until the last.
Coming out of turn two, Gasper lost control and hit the wall allowing Greene to make the last-lap pass for the win. If Gasper won, that would have been his first-ever victory at Senoia.
Senoia had two drivers return to victory lane for the second time this year following the Hotshots.
First, in the Mini Stocks, Mark Newton cruised to an easy win nearly half the length of the track ahead of second place.
The race would start with six cars, but surprisingly only two managed to complete every lap to the checkered. The other second-time winner went to Curtis Turner in the Bombers.
Turner qualified on the pole and ran a strong race in his brand new body racecar. Dustin Smith, who finished second, tried to charge toward Turner, but Turner just had the better setup on this particular night.
The Modifieds continued its excellent first season at Senoia with another great showing in their feature. Super Late Model driver Michael Page piloted a Modified for the first time and picked up the easy victory.
The best action in the Modifieds went to the battle for the runner-up position between Don Jenkins, Robert George, and Dan Meadows.
These drivers swapped places during the entire 15 lap event and caught the attention of quite a few fans. Jenkins managed to finally gain momentum and took home the runner-up spot.
For the Chargers, this division had terrible luck and could not get any good quality laps down to complete the race.
Every caution was followed by another caution moments later, which caused a time limit finish to crown the winner. Luckily, Darrin Ray stayed ahead of the carnage and took home the victory.
In the three bigger classes of the night, the sportsman again had a great car count with nearly 30 cars in attendance. Veteran driver Jack Mills pulled off a great run in qualifying and captured the pole.
Unfortunately, that lead would be short-lived as he got pushed to the back and later had to pull into the pits ending his night early.
Brandon McDaniel captured the lead very early and took home the win. McDaniel started third, jumped out front in the first turn, and didn’t look back.
Behind McDaniel, quite a few drivers had great runs to the front from midpack. Payton Stevenson came in second and rounding out the podium was Daniel Brewer. Claiming the best race of the evening had to go to the Crate Late Models.
Justin Shipley quickly had the victory in the bag holding off all sorts of drivers throughout the feature. Everybody tried to make a low move on Shipley every restart, but he closed the door every time he came out of turn two.
The victory gives Shipley his first win of the season at Senoia. Behind Shipley, all sorts of action happened throughout the race.
First, Cody Haskins passed ten cars to take home the runner-up position. Also, Ty Ellis saw his best run at Senoia Raceway vanish quickly as he was disqualified after the race for coming in light at the scales, which caused quite the stir in victory lane following the feature.
Luckily for Landon Bagby, this allowed him to move up to third and capture a podium finish.
In the last feature of the night, the weary crowd was woken right back up with a crash on the first turn of the first lap, which would involve every car except for three. Some drivers managed to get back in the race, but the night ended before it even could get started for some.
Once the race got underway, Austin Horton cruised to an easy victory putting him back in victory lane for the second time in 2022. Next week, Senoia Raceway will be back in action again as it welcomes the Sharp Mini Late Models to the track.
This will be the first time the mini-lates have appeared, so the type of racing for this class is unknown, but the drivers will still put on an excellent show for the fans. All other divisions will be back in action again, except for the Mini Stocks and Crates, who will have the weekend off.