Fayette County


Senoia Raceway goes old school

By Riley Hicks 
SENOIA — Have you ever heard someone say, the old days were just better. Well, this past Saturday
night Senoia Raceway brought the fans back to the good old days. They did this by welcoming
back the NVRA Vintage Racecars, which is a series of drivers who travel around the southeast
showcasing their vintage built stock cars. Most of these cars are what fans would have seen back
in 1969 when Senoia first opened its gates.
Before breaking down the winners of those races, let’s get a run down of the other classes
that joined the Vintage drivers on a packed nine feature race schedule.
The first driver to make his way to the winner’s circle was Allen Jones, who found
himself once again in victory lane in the Hot Shot division. This Saturday night though wasn’t as
easy as the previous weekends, actually Jones didn’t see the lead until the final five laps.
Before taking the lead following a caution, Jones was chasing down David Pope, who
was by far the most dominant car of the evening. On a late restart, Pope’s car seemed to lose
power which began to drop him to the back. Jones took the opportunity to his advantage and
raced to the lead and eventually the victory making this back-to-back weeks with a win.
After a few weekends off, the Hobbies made their return to the track with a packed field
of cars. One of those drivers would be James Swanger, who is known to have great success at
Senoia Raceway. There was nothing different this weekend as Swanger qualified on the pole, and
eventually led every lap on the way to the victory.
Swanger did have some late competition from Kirk Atkins driving all the way from
midpack to take second place. Unfortunately, Atkins just ran out of laps to catch Swanger and
battle for the lead.
Another division to make its return after a week off was the Modifieds, which have made
quite the first oppression in its first year at Senoia. This was a very competitive race between
teammates Chris Hill and Scottie Hiett that never had over a car length of space from each other
the entire feature. Hill only gained ground for the win after he made slight contact with Hiett,
which slowed him up just enough allowing Hill to gain some leverage for the victory.
In Chargers, after last weekend’s victor Jack Smith made the transition to Sportsman, the
fans were guaranteed to see a new face in victory lane. It was just unclear would it be the runners
up from the previous week Anthony Mayo and Matthew Kade, or was it going to be a wild card.
It turned out to be a wild card as Tommy Faulkner was nearly in another gear and
blistered the field for a flag-to-flag win. Nothing was going to stop Faulker from getting this
victory, not even the numerous cautions that took place. On every restart, he just distanced
himself and drove away from the competition. This is Faulkner’s first victory since moving from
the Mini Stocks to Chargers, and now he is on the right track to work his way up to the
Speaking of Sportsman, the fans got to witness another back-to-back winner as Payton
Stevenson made it two in a row. Stevenson qualified on the pole alongside Taylor Cole, and
jumped to an early lead. Cole closed late as Stevenson had to battle some lapped cars, but he just
managed to hold off Cole to squeak out yet another win.
Making a long awaited return to Senoia Raceway was Dalton Polston in the Crate Late
Models. It’s like he never missed a beat as he qualified on the outside pole next to Cody Haskins,
who for weeks now has just come up short on a victory.
Polston quickly jumped out to the lead in the early stages and seemed to have the race
intact, but Haskins wasn’t going to let Polston walk away that easily. In the closing laps, Haskins
gained some ground on Polston as he battled lap traffic. The distance between the two would
come down within a car length, unfortunately lap traffic slowed Haskins down allowing Polston
to pull away for the win. Sadly, Haskins has to keep the monkey on his back for yet another
Senoia did get to add another name to the history books with a first time winner in
Jacques Daniel in the Limited Late Models. With Austin Horton not making the trip down this
past weekend, the Limiteds were destined to finally see someone new in the winners circle.
Daniel’s has always raced strong at Senoia, he just didn’t have enough to battle for a win. On
Saturday, everything was locked tight and running strong as he started by qualifying on the pole.
When the green flag dropped, Daniels blistered the field and drove away from his strongest
competitor Bailey Williams. The race went caution free and Daniel led flag-to-flag for the
Finally, in our NVRA Vintage series, the cars were split into two fields, the full body
stock cars and open wheel modifieds.
In the Full Stock, Mike Nasworthy didn’t even qualify as he was a late arrival to the track
and had to start at the rear of the field. Nasworthy gained ground early, he eventually cut down a
tire and had to pull in and start at the rear again.
On the restart, Nasworthy didn’t have a great start and wasn’t gaining much ground,
fortunately for him another caution came out bringing the field back together. This go around,
Nasworthy used this to his advantage and finally worked himself into fourth. Coming to take the
checkered flag, Nasworthy drove outside and made a move in turn three passing the top three
drivers allowing him to take the lead and capture the victory.
Senoia’s last feature winner went to Woody Callaway in the Open Wheel Modifieds.
Callaway had such a great car and was just a step better than the rest of the field. He went
flag-to-flag to come home with the win.
It’s always fun and exciting when the Vintage cars come to Senoia as fans get to take a
look at the past and see how far racing has come in the last 50 years. If it wasn’t for these drivers
and these cars racing may not be what it is today. It’s great to see the Pollard’s returning to its
roots and where it all began back in 1969.

By Michael Cuneo

Michael Cuneo is a news and sports reporter for the Fayette County News. Michael graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in Journalism in 2020. In his off time, Michael enjoys torturing himself as an Atlanta Falcons fan. Follow Michael on twitter @michaelcune