Senoia’s Clint "Cat Daddy" Smith finished up the Senoia Raceway points season with an exclamation point.
Smith won the feature securing his third-straight Super Late Model points title at the tough bull ring.
The veteran was joined by seven first-time points champions crowned this past Saturday night.
Also claiming championships were “Magic” Matt Dooley of Brooks in the Limited Late Models; McDonough’s Jamie Maurice in the Crate Late Models; Keith Fields of Griffin in the Late Model Sportsman; Villa Rica’s "Smokin’" Joe Hillman in the Hobby; Mark "Mad Dog" Newton of Hampton in the Mini Stock and Newnan’s Dorough Bright in the Bomber.
LaGrange’s Nathan Farrow won the inaugural season points title for the Hot Shots.
Smith’s final round victory was not an easy one. He started in row three before working the bottom side of the track to move towards the front.
He slid past Cartersville’s Zach Leonhardi for third before making the move past fellow Senoian Bubba Pollard.
Smith moved to his familiar top side through the middle stage of the feature before Leonhardi found a rhythm using the same part of the track.
Leonhardi squeezed past Pollard coming out of turn two before setting his sights on tracking down Smith.
The 16-year-old caught the wily veteran coming out of turn four on lap 13 lifting him up at the flagstand before spinning himself out in turn one.
“My car was flying tonight,” said Leonhardi. “Just made a mistake that cost us.”
With Leonhardi relegated to the back of the pack for the restart, Smith led the rest of the way posting his sixth points victory of the season and securing his third consecutive title.
Bubba Pollard was second ahead of Douglasville’s Lamar Haygood, Colbert’s Kenny Collins and Leonhardi, who had pushed himself back up to nab a top-five finish.
Fayetteville’s Ricky Williams ran seventh and bypassed Glenn Morris, also from Fayetteville, for the runner-up position in the season points tally.
Hamilton’s Thomas Lewis was the man to beat in the Limited Late Model feature.
Lewis broke out to a sizeable lead over Acworth’s Cass Fowler and Matt Dooley, but lapped traffic allowed the duo to reel in the leader.
Lewis came up on Bowdon’s Shane Criswell with five laps remaining and as he went to pass, the two cars slapped each other, which resulted in Lewis’ tire getting cut.
Fowler and Dooley both scooted past Lewis as he tried valiantly to limp his damaged racecar to the finish line, only to have the right rear tire disintegrate with only one lap left.
Fowler kept Dooley behind him claiming his third win of the year while Dooley won the championship on the strength of his second place finish.
Pine Mountain’s Dustin Elliott finished in the show position while Dallas’ Kenneth Pendley and Dawsonville’s Corey Roulette completed the top five.
Sharpsburg’s Dennis Lykins Jr. led the Crate Late Model point standings for nearly the entire season, but had to relinquish his championship hopes a couple of weeks ago due to a conflict with his work schedule.
Lykins returned Saturday night to flex the muscle he had showcased all season winning the feature in a flag-to-flag fashion.
The Crate Late Models also showcased the great racing that was enjoyed all year, too.
Three and four wide racing for position entertained the fans throughout with many changes in position behind only Lykins.
When the dust settled, Lykins had won his fourth of the season with Alabama’s "Thrillin’" Dylan Knowles garnering second ahead of Sharpsburg’s Wayne Harbin.
Evans’ Ahnna Parkhurst was fourth, and points champion Jamie Maurice notched a top-five finish while grabbing the title.
Early night action in the Late Model Sportsman ended some of the points chase drama.
Brooks’ Curtis Turner crashed during qualifying and damaged his car enough that his pursuit of the points leader Keith Fields was over for the night.
Locust Grove’s Billy Stevenson was able to take advantage of the Turner wreck and bypassed him for the second place points position, but Stevenson could not get enough positions in front of Keith to steal away the championship.
Newnan’s Craig Scott won the feature for the second straight race while Bobby "Wild Child" Arnold, also from Newnan, finished in second.
Franklin’s "Ironman" Chris Steele had his best finish of the season in third while Newnan’s Chad Duncan was fourth and Stevenson fifth.
The top two drivers this season in the Hobby Stock division put on a show again during Championship Night.
McDonough’s Ted Willingham and "Smokin’" Joe Hillman battled back and forth for most the division’s main event before Willingham wrestled away the top spot.
Hillman settled for second, but claimed the title ahead of Willingham.
Whitesburg’s Shane Tidwell was third ahead of Locust Grove youngster Clyde Alexander and Newnan veteran "Shotgun" Scott Sherrer.
In the Bomber Division, Dorough Bright came into the final night of the points with the slimmest lead.
He had a four-point lead over West Point’s Charlie Garrett while Newnan’s 14-year-old McKenna Nelms had an outside chance of winning the points race.
Bright left nothing to wonder as he set fast time and then led every single lap of the feature race holding back all the charges set forth by Nelms.
Bright would win both the feature and the points title, while Nelms would finish second in the race and third in the points.
Fayetteville’s Randy Cornwell ran third in the race, while Charlie Garrett ended up fourth in the race and second to Bright in the points.
Whitesburg’s Derrick Matthews completed the race’s top five finishers.
Mark Newton dominated the Mini Stock Division all year, and he did once again on Championship Night leading every lap in the feature. Auburn’s JJ Garrett was second ahead of Carrollton’s Jamie Godbee, Griffin’s Marc Leath and Barnesville’s Gary Parker. The win was Newton’s ninth of the season.
The 2017 Season Points Champions will be honored this Saturday, Sept. 16 along with the other top drivers in their respective divisions. Drivers will receive their championship awards, point fund money and other prizes offered by track partners. The Super Late Models, Limited Late Models, Crate Late Models, Late Model Sportsman, Hobby Stock, Bombers, Mini Stocks and Hot Shots will also compete with a full night of racing scheduled. A final points rundown for all divisions is available at www.senoiaraceway.com.
Grandstand tickets for this Saturday’s event are $12; kids 5-12 are $5; age 4 and under are free. Pit passes and trackside parking passes are $30; kids 5-12 are $20; age 4 and under are free.
Senoia Raceway is located just five miles west of Senoia, Ga., on Georgia Highway 16. Easy access from both Interstate 75 and 85.
For additional information, visit the track website at www.senoiaraceway.com or call the speedway at 770-599-6161.
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