West Georgia Speedway opened a new era in its history on Saturday night and the new promoters were overwhelmed by the support for the new effort.
Mayes Massey and Doug Stevens were left without a track to promote at the end of 2020 when the lease on Senoia Raceway was not renewed due to the track being sold. They struck a deal to lease the Whitesburg oval and opened to a record crowd and a night filled with great racing.
“Our family is overwhelmed by the support we were shown this evening,” said Massey. “It has been a tough few months, first losing dad (Bill Massey passed away in December) and then being left without a track to promote at the start of the year and then all the work going into getting West Georgia ready to open. It was just a blessing to see all the support.”
Track owner Sammy Duke sat in his truck atop turn four for almost the entire night enjoying something he had never seen since he built and opened the track.
“I have never seen this many people here,” Duke said. “I knew these boys were going to do something special here.”
Acworth’s Cass Fowler provided something special for the race fans to enjoy as he battled with Newnan’s Corey Payton in the Summit Racing Equipment Late Model Sportsman feature. Payton led the way until lap 14 when he was slowed by lapped traffic. Fowler closed the gap and then snuck past down the back stretch.
Payton charged back to the inside of turn three where the drivers collided briefly, but kept on racing. The bumping and banging also allowed Daniel Brewer of Powder Springs to get involved in the battle for the win.
Racing throughout the field and especially on the wild, double-file restarts, drivers were racing three and sometimes four wide on the newly designed racing surface. Doug Stevens removed the inside guardrail last month to create a wider race track. That plan worked out as planned on Saturday night as drivers were able to race almost anywhere on the track.
Fowler held off Payton and Brewer over the final four laps to nab the first checkered flagof the Red Clay Revival. Newnan’s Shane Payton had a solid run to finish in fourth followed by Rob Johnson of Kennesaw in fifth.
The ‘Whitesburg Warrior’ Blant Duke shot past polesitter Kyler Haygood at the drop of the green in the Crate Late Model main event. Duke, who probably has more laps on West Georgia Speedway than anyone else, never looked back running flag to flag for the victory.
Winston’s Michael Page started fifth and fought his way into the second place position, but could not track down Duke. Whitesburg’s Austin Horton, LaGrange’s Jake Traylor and Marty Massey of Winston rounded out the top five.
Whitesburg driver Derrick Matthews dominated the West Georgia Tire Bomber feature. Matthews nearly lapped the field on his way to the win. He was also racing on American Racer Tires and claimed the $250 bonus from the tire company for choosing to run their tires.
Shane Gulledge of Carrollton was not running the correct tires in the Sanders Logging Hobby division and it cost him a victory. Gulledge was stripped of his win when he came through tech and lead inspector Kip Stanfill recognized the wrong tires. The win was handed over to James Swanger.
Other winners on opening night were Temple’s David Brackett in the Massey Towing Mini Stocks and Rick Ricks of Marietta in the Hot Shots.
West Georgia Speedway will be racing again on Saturday, April 17th with the Five Star Chrysler Dodge Jeep of Warner Robins Shoot-Out Series opening round.
The special series offers points racing for All-Division and added purse money for the Crate Late Models and Summit Racing Equipment Late Model Sportsman division. Each of those divisions will race for $1000 to win. There is also racing action in the Sanders Logging Hobby, West Georgia Tire Bomber, Gerber Collision & Glass Chargers, Massey Towing Mini Stock and Hot Shots.
The gates will open at 4pm with the racing set for 7pm. Spectator tickets are $15 with kids twelve and under admitted for free. Pit passes are $30, kids 5-12 are $20 and four and under are admitted for free with an adult. Trackside Parking spaces offering a view of the track from the top of turn four and along the back stretch are available for purchase at the gate.
For additional information, rules, point standings and more, visit the track website at http://www.wgsracing.com or call the speedway at 404-234-6785.
Official Results – Saturday, April 3, 2021
Crate Late Models (Feature): 1-Blant Duke, Whitesburg 2-Michael Page, Winston 3-Austin Horton, Whitesburg 4-Jake Traylor, LaGrange 5-Marty Massey, Winston 6-Marty Lunsford, Newnan 7-Mason Massey, Mooresville, NC 8-McKenna Nelms, Newnan 9-Brian Womack, Villa Rica 10-Daniel Casteel, Roopville 11-Russell Teal, Ranburne, AL 12-Brodie Sharp, Andersonville, TN 13-Kyler Haygood, Douglasville 14-Colby Darda, LaGrange Fast Qualifier: Haygood – 14.415 seconds/93.65 mph
Summit Racing Equipment Late Model Sportsman (Feature): 1-Cass Fowler, Acworth 2-Corey Payton, Newnan 3-Daniel Brewer, Powder Springs 4-Shane Payton, Newnan 5-Rob Johnson, Kennesaw 6-Jamie Maurice, Forsyth 7-Alan Brewer, Avondale 8-Hunter Worley, Gay 9-Jamie Godbee, Carrollton 10-Tim Smith, Phenix City, AL 11-Andrew Moody, Hiram 12-Timmy lenz, Columbus 13-Zach Shelton, Temple 14-Matthew Knight, Villa Rica 15-Stevie Brannon, Cumming 16-Cody King, McDonough 17-Shane Duncan, Acworth 18-William Brown, Cartersville 19-Wade Walker, Dadeville, AL DNS-Shaun Heath, Villa Rica Fast Qualifier: Fowler – 16.101 seconds/83.8 mph
Gerber Collision & Glass Chargers (Feature): 1-Cody Lively, Locust Grove 2-Landon Frix, Newnan 3-Ronnie Teal, Ranburne, AL 4-Cole Barrett, Villa Rica 5-Allen Barber, Douglasville 6-Nick Cordell, Cartersville Fast Qualifier: Barrett – 16.415 / 82.2 mph
Sanders Logging Hobby (Feature): 1-James Swanger, Whitesburg 2-Ben Steele, Franklin 3-Greg Thomas, Whitesburg 4-Corey Glaze, Winston DQ-Shane Gulledge, Carrollton (illegal tires) Fast Qualifier: Swanger – 16.357 seconds/82.5 mph
West Georgia Tire Bomber (Feature): 1-Derrick Matthews, Whitesburg 2-Ricky Neill, Whitesburg 3-David Jackson, Whitesburg 4-Shane Walker, Villa Rica 5-Jordan Wallace, Ranburne, AL Fast Qualifier: Matthews – 17.951 seconds/75.2 mph
Massey Towing Mini Stock (Feature): 1-David Brackett, Temple 2-Michael Poss, Dallas 3-Robert Shaw, Cartersville 4-Shane Walton, Temple 5-Justin Brackett, Villa Rica 6-Mikey Shutley, Dallas 7-Gary Parker, Barnesville 8-Steven Shutley, Dallas 9-Brian Arce, Ranburne, AL DNS-Stephen Chunn, Orchard Hill Fast Qualifier: David Brackett – 17.725 seconds/76.1 mph
Hot Shots (Feature): 1-Rick Ricks, Marietta 2-Ernie Turner, Douglasville 3-Doug McClain, Marietta 4-Brandon Henderson, Senoia 5-Paul Heitsenrether, Marietta 6-Jonathan Nelson, Marietta Fast Qualifier: Ricks – 18.930 / 71.3 mph