by Riley Hicks
One time a year, Senoia Raceway has the privilege of welcoming some of the best drivers in the country when the World of Outlaws comes to town. This past Saturday night, fans lined the speedway from fence post to fence post waiting to watch some of the best in the business take on the 3/8ths-mile dirt track. When it was finally time for the Super Late Models to crank their engines, 32 cars were scheduled to participate in the 50-lap, $10,000 to win race honoring the great Billy Clanton.
Before the Outlaws took to the track, a few other divisions had the chance to earn some extra cash as well. The first class was the Late Model Sportsman that saw a competitive field of drivers try to end the winning streak of Dylan Knowles and capture the $800 winnings. Breaking Dylan’s streak would come to be a difficult task as he qualified on the pole for the 20-lap race. Once the green flag dropped, Dylan jolted way ahead of the rest of the pack and led flag-to-flag in a dominating fashion to pick up his 7th win of the season. Driver Wiley McDaniel finished runner-up and was the only car to give Dylan any kind of competition. Cory Compton rounded out the top three in the race.
In the Crate Late Models, this division had a chance to claim the $1,000 prize. Among this group of cars, a few drivers took to the gumbo for the first time and had no problem adjusting to the new surface. Senoia regular Clint Smith cruised to the win starting the race on the pole and leading flag-to-flag. A couple times during the race, there were chances to pass Smith, but he kept closing the door on any driver who tried to pass him. The drivers to round out the top three were Senoia newcomers Monte Skinner and Wil Herrington.
The Legends division held one of the tightest races of the evening, but in the closing laps Chris Clanton broke away from the rest of the field to capture the checkered flag. In the opening laps, Jacob Owens kept the lead away from a charging Clanton, but eventually, he lingered away the top spot and fell to fourth. The drivers to round out the podium were Chris Wilson and LJ Klemons. For Clanton, this was a big win for him and his family as he won on the night that honored his grandfather.
When in finally came down to the huge showdown to find out who would take home the $10,000 pay check, the World of Outlaws put on quite a race for the fans in attendance. Before the 50-lap race, the field had to be lowered down to 24 cars that could take the checkered flag. In the heat races, the 32 cars in attendance were divided into four heats and the top four would advance to the showdown. The winners of the four heats were Mike Marlar, Devin Moran, Chris Madden, and Chase Junghans. This meant these drivers would start the race in the top four positions. Once the rest of the field was finally set, the field was stacked full of competitors that had the chance of claiming the huge pay day. From the moment of the dropping of the green flag, the driver known as Smokey Chris Madden dominated the event leading flag-to-flag and looked as if nobody had anything for him the entire night. With this win, Madden continues to lead the World of Outlaw series hoping to win his first championship in that division. Finishing behind Madden was Michael Page, who took advantage after a caution and had a great restart at the green to jump ahead of quite a few cars, and eventually, he would make his way to second place. The driver to round out the podium was Dale McDowell, who barely made 24 car field but won the last chance race to qualify for the showdown. When the green dropped, McDowell drove high and low to work his way to third, but not him or any other driver had anything to catch Madden.
Senoia Raceway will now take the weekend off before welcoming back the Southern All Stars in two weeks. That night will also have its regular eight divisions running that night as well.