Mother Nature threw a mid-game curveball at race drivers, fans and officials on Saturday night.
A stray rain shower turned into a heavy downpour during the opening laps of the Crate Late Model feature, forcing five classes to postpone their season points celebrations for at least seven days. The Hobby feature and Bomber feature were completed before the rain washed out the show.
“We are left no choice but to run the remainder of these races next weekend,” said promoter Mayes Massey. “We understand that may conflict with some drivers’ plans, but it is the only weekend we have available with the special events already scheduled for two weeks from now and in October.”
Whitesburg’s James Swanger captured his first career track title with a victory in the Hobby main. Swanger performed the perfect slide job on the opening lap to block the path of fast qualifier TJ Joiner of Lithia Springs. That was the championship move for Swanger as he never looked back posting his second win of the year. Barnesville’s Landon DeGraff was able to wrestle away the runner-up spot from Joiner and also finished in the second place position in the overall season points chase.
Another Whitesburg driver was successful in the Bomber feature as Blant Duke ran flag to flag for the victory. Senoia’s Dustin Smith ran second which secured his championship title after being the runner-up last season. Smith then had to survive a post-race protest/claim that was disallowed as it did not conform to the rulebook.
The only other feature to be completed on Saturday night was in the Chargers division. Oxford’s Dawson Martin looked to be on his way to his second consecutive trip to the winner’s circle before getting loose in turn four on lap 10.
The unfortunate spin allowed Carrollton’s Jamie Godbee to inherit the lead. Godbee then had to hold off Newnan’s Olivia Gentry and a hard-charging Jonathan Flourney of Moreland to claim his second win of the season. Flourney started scratch on the field after missing qualifying. He moved up 12 positions before the checkered flag fell.
The surprise rainstorm came as the Crate Late Models were flying down the backstretch at near 100 mph. Alabama’s Dylan Knowles, Senoia’s Bubba Pollard, along with several others, lost control of their race cars on the wet surface, slamming into the turn three wall as sheets of rain created a slick mud bowl ending all chances to complete the season championships.
Senoia Raceway will host the remainder of these races on Saturday, Sept. 19. The championship races in the Limited Late Models, Crate Late Models, Late Model Sportsman, Mini Stock and Hot Shots will take place and there will also be racing for the Hobby, Bomber and Charger divisions. Drivers, crew members and fans holding wristbands and tickets will be able to exchange them for admission into the event on Saturday, Sept. 19.
“This will be the only event that these wristbands and tickets will be good for redemption,” said Mayes Massey. “This year has been challenging with COVID and the weather cancelations.”
For anyone that does not have a wristband or ticket from Saturday night’s rained out event, tickets will still be available for $15, with kids ages 12 and under admitted to the grandstand for free. Pit passes are $30; kids 6-12 are $20, and five and under free. The pits will open at 4 p.m. and grandstands at 5 p.m. Hot laps and qualifying begin at 7 p.m. with racing at 7:30p p.m.
For more information on this event, the special events coming up and more, 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.
Official Results – Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020
Limited Late Models (Feature): RAINED OUT. Rescheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19
Crate Late Models (Feature): RAINED OUT. Rescheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19
Late Model Sportsman (Feature): RAINED OUT. Rescheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19
Chargers (Feature): 1-Jamie Godbee, Carrollton 2-Olivia Gentry, Newnan 3-Jonathan Flourney, Moreland 4-Ted Willingham, McDomough 5-Cody Lively, Locust Grove 6-Johnny Stinchcomb, Newnan 7-Justin Clark, Monticello 8-Nathan Pierson, Sharpsburg 9-Shawn Heath 10-Trevor Moon, Oxford 11-Dawson Martin, Oxford 12-Josh Scott, Jackson 13-Jack Smith, McDonough 14-Ken Kirkland, Oxford 15-Jimmy Baxter Jr., Newnan Fast Qualifier: Martin (15.313 seconds / 88.2 mph)
Hobby (Feature): 1-James Swanger, Whitesburg 2-Landon DeGraff, Barnesville 3-TJ Joiner, Lithia Springs 4-Joe Hillman, Villa Rica 5-Ben Steele, Franklin 6-Michael Couch, Senoia 7-Ben Wells, Milner 8-Tim Harmon, Mansfield 9-Michael Thomas, Whitesburg 10-Thomas Roberts, Moultrie 11-Brandon Jones, Newnan Fast Qualifier: Joiner (15.661 / 86.2 mph)
Bomber (Feature): 1-Blant Duke, Whitesburg 2-Dustin Smith, Senoia 3-Ricky Neill, Whitesburg 4-Jim Jackson, Zebulon 5-Craig Boozer, Jenkinsburg 6-Joey Ward, Newnan DNS: Curtis Turner, Brooks DQ: William Blair, Whitesburg (illegal trailing arms) Fast Qualifier: Duke (16.748 seconds / 80.6 mph)
Mini Stock (Feature): RAINED OUT. Rescheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19
Hot Shots (Feature): RAINED OUT. Rescheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19