Drivers began their quest for racing immortality on Saturday night at Senoia Raceway and Winston’s Landon Bagby picked the perfect time to win his first feature at the tricky 3/8ths mile gumbo clay track.
Bagby netted his first career win in the Limited Late Models to kick off the points chase. He led flag to flag for the victory.
“I finally got it done at the place I’ve wanted one so bad at,” said Bagby afterwards. “We set fast time, and led every lap. I can’t say enough about this race car. I love it.”
Other drivers starting off the season with the points lead after winning their respective main events were Senoia’s Bubba Pollard in the Crate Late Models, Gray’s Cory Compton in the Late Model Sportsman, James Swanger of Whitesburg in the Hobby, Alabama’s Jeff Dean in the Mini Stock, Whitesburg’s William Blair in the Bomber and Rick Ricks of Marietta in the Hot Shots. Connor Younginer won the Chargers non-points feature.
Bagby has struggled for the past couple of seasons competing on the slick gumbo clay at Senoia Raceway. The sometimes frustrated driver has found his piloting skills have grown through the continued challenge of running at the ‘South’s Baddest Bull Ring’. That dedication has paid off this season with top five finishes in all but one race he has entered at Senoia Raceway.
Saturday night, Bagby never wavered as he clocked in the fastest winning the pole position for the second time this year. He shot out to the lead early and held off an early race charge by Gray’s Chaz Haskins. Bagby led the entire way beating Haskins to the line by nearly a second. Newnan’s Marty Lunsford was third with Greenville’s Thomas Mewborn fourth and Dennis Hale of LaGrange in fifth.
Bubba Pollard returned to dirt racing only one week removed from another milestone asphalt win at the legendary Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina. It did not take long for Pollard to get reacquainted with driving on dirt as he clocked in the fastest in preliminary qualifying and then proceeded to lap all but the second place car driven by his track rival Dylan Knowles of Lannett, Alabama.
So far in 2020, when Pollard and Knowles are both in house at Senoia Raceway, they have split those four feature races. Pollard has two wins now with the other coming in early May while Knowles has won two with his wins coming in mid-May.
The 2018 Late Model Sportsman champion, Cory Compton, returned on Saturday night and looked like he was never away. Compton also ran flag to flag for the victory. He was challenged by Locust Grove’s Morgan Alexander in the early stages of the main event, but Alexander ended up having his hands full in a battle for second with Villa Rica’s Matthew Knight allowing Compton a clean getaway.
As Compton pulled away, Alexander maintained second leaving Knight to race for third with newcomer Lee Gray of Rossville. Gray would work past Knight to gain third before the checkers fell over the field. Compton won. Alexander was second followed by Gray and Knight. Newnan’s Bobby Arnold finally had a solid run completing the top five, Arnold has struggled for the first part of the season including a couple of DNFs (Did Not Finish).
Only a few weeks removed from a wild wreck that nearly destroyed his race car, eighteen-year-old Connor Younginer returned to competition in the Chargers division. Younginer made the move past Franklin’s Mike Weed with two laps remaining in the Charger feature and went on to win his second of the season. Weed finished second ahead of Temple’s Andrew Moody, Carrollton’s Jamie Godbee and Newnan’s Johnny Stinchcomb.
Senoia’s Dustin Smith had won the three previous Saturday night races in the Bomber class, but on this night they were coming for him. William Blair set the quick time to sit on the pole and then held off all tries by Smith during the 15-lap feature. Another Whitesburg driver, Blant Duke ran third.
Senoia Raceway will continue the season points chase this Saturday, June 27th with racing in the Limited Late Models, Crate Late Models, Late Model Sportsman, Charger, Hobby, Bomber, Mini and Hot Shots. It will be the last race prior to the track’s annual break over the 4th of July weekend.
The pit gates will open on Saturday, June 27th at 3 pm with grandstand opening for spectators at 5pm. The drivers meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. with hot laps and qualifying starting at 6pm. Opening ceremonies and the first feature race is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15 with kids age 12 and under admitted for free. Pit passes are $30; kids 6-12 are $20 and five & under are free in the restricted area.
For more information, visit the track website at www.senoiaraceway.com. Information is also available on the track’s Facebook page, their Twitter feed and Instagram shares. You can also call the speedway at 770.599.6161.
PHOTOS BY CHRIS MARTIN
Official Results – Saturday, June 20, 2020
Limited Late Models (Feature): 1-Landon Bagby, Winston 2-Chaz Haskins, Gray 3-Marty Lunsford, Newnan 4-Thomas Mewborn, Greenville 5-Dennis Hale, LaGrange 6-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 7-Jacques Daniel, Cartersville 8-Rucker Orr, Newnan 9-Lawson Hill, Dallas 10-Jimmy Price, Oxford 11-Shawn Cater, Carrollton DNS: Mike Bruner, Jr., Dallas; Joshua Nolff, Sharpsburg Fast Qualifier: Bagby (16.072 seconds / 84.0 mph)
Crate Late Models (Feature): 1-Bubba Pollard, Senoia 2-Dylan Knowles, Lannett, AL 3-Ricky Culpepper, Hamilton 4-Wayne Harbin, Sharpsburg 5-Marty Massey, Winston 6-Cody Haskins, Marietta 7-Kyler Haygood, Douglasville 8-Dusty Jones, LaGrange 9-Dustin Elliott, Pine Mountain 10-McKenna Nelms, Newnan 11-Jordan Benefield, Carrollton 12-Tina Johnson, Senoia 13-Ryan Crane, Panama City, FL DNS: Travis Price, Conyers Fast Qualifier: Pollard (15.787 seconds / 85.6 mph)
Late Model Sportsman (Feature): 1-Cory Compton, Gray 2-Morgan Alexander, Locust Grove 3-Lee Gray, Rossville 4-Matthew Knight, Villa Rica 5-Bobby Arnold, Newnan 6-Mike Abercrombie, Jackson 7-Rod Roberts, Danielsville 8-Jeff Norell, Macon 9-Shane Payton, Newnan 10-Craig Scott, Woodbury 11-Jason Turner, McDonough 12-Sam Moore, Coumbus 13-Petey Cochran, Dallas 14-Tyler Peavey, Douglasville 15-Bailey Williams, Fayetteville 16-Jason Williams, Locust Grove Fast Qualifier: Compton (15.795 seconds / 85.5 mph)
Chargers (Feature): 1-Connor Younginer, Locust Grove 2-Mike Weed, Franklin 3-Andrew Moody, Temple 4-Jamie Godbee, Carrollton 5-Johnny Stinchcomb, Newnan 6-Shane Tidwell, Whitesburg 7-Payton Stevenson, Locust Grove 8-Jonathan Flourney, Moreland 9-Kelly Donnell, Carrollton 10-David Martin, Oxford 11-Nathan Pierson, Sharpsburg 12-Landon Frix, Newnan 13-Jim Droskinis, Newnan 14-Jack Smith, McDonough 15-Russell Teal, Ranburne, AL DNS: Joshua Till, McDonough; Jimmy Baxter, Jr., Newnan Fast Qualifier: Stevenson (16.164 seconds / 83.5 mph)
Hobby (Feature): 1-James Swanger, Whitesburg 2-Tim Harmon, Mansfield 3-Landon DeGraff, Barnesville 4-Blake Harmon, Mansfield 5-Michael Thomas, Whitesburg 6-Cory Potts, Newnan 7-Keith West, Powder Springs DNS: Ben Wells, Milner Fast Qualifier: Swanger (15.927 / 84.7 mph)
Bomber (Feature): 1-William Blair, Whitesburg 2-Dustin Smith, Senoia 3-Blant Duke, Whitesburg 4-David Jackson, Whitesburg 5-Craig Boozer, Jenkinsburg 6-Jim Jackson, Zebulon 7-Ricky Neill, Whitesburg 8-Derrick Matthews, Whitesburg Fast Qualifier: Blair (17.295 seconds / 78.0 mph)
Mini Stock (Feature): 1-Jeff Dean, Helena, AL 2-David Brackett, Temple 3-Tommy Faulkner, Newnan 4-Brandon Henderson, Senoia 5-Bobby Faulkner, Newnan 6-Justin Brackett, Temple 7-Stephen Chunn, Orchard Hill 8-Shannon Etheridge, Royston DNS: Cale Burford, Milner Fast Qualifier: Etheridge (18.487 seconds / 73.0 mph)
Hot Shots (Feature): 1-Rick Ricks, Marietta 2-Cory Wilson, Locust Grove 3-Tommy Smith, Forsyth 4-Shannon Stephens, Franklin 5-Eli Bradley, Tifton 6-Ernie Turner, Douglasville 7-Jordan Tillery 8-Dana Thrower, Grantville 9-Spencer Huth, Silver Creek 10-Cory Greene, Griffin 11-Stacey Henderson, Senoia 12-Steve Clinton DNS: Jonathan Sanford, Rockmart Fast Qualifier: Wilson (19.653 / 68.7 mph)