Swainsboro Raceway begins 50th year of racing!
Swainsboro Raceway begins 50th year of racing!
By: Candy Carroll
Saturday night fever hit Swainsboro, GA with over 80 cars on site for the Crank It Up 100 at Swainsboro Raceway! Drivers and Fans packed the house for the first race of the 2014 season. As the Zaxby’s Crate Late Model division qualified for the $2000 to win feature event, 22 drivers took over the 3/8 mile track. Augusta, GA Brian Ligon took the pole position over Ben Faircloth. When the green fell on the 25 lap feature, Ligon lead Faircloth inside in turn one but Ligon pulls off in turn two. Lap four, Robert Diekemper slips by Gib Gibbons for the fourth position as the top four cars are stacked up in each turn. Eight laps to go, tires and laps start winding down as Jordy Nipper joins Ligon and Faircloth to battle for the lead. With only four laps to go, Brian Ligon moves in on lapped traffic and Ben Faircloth makes a move to the inside and sneaks by for the lead. Ben Faircloth took the checkered winning the season opener in the 50th year of racing. In post race inspection, Faircloth was exhausted as he fought hard with a broken upper A-arm to hold off Brian Ligon for the win. Brian Ligon picked up second side by side Jordy Nipper in third at the finish line. Robert Diekemper qualified fifth and gained one position to take home fourth place. Gib Gibbons rounded out the top five in the Zaxby’s Crate Late Model division.
Up next in the Sunoco Super Street division, Bobby Drawdy and Jamie Whitaker led the field to green after picking up heat race wins. Drawdy took the lead as Jimmy Maness falls in behind him for second. Lap two, Whitaker riding the outside lane takes over second from Maness. Lap four, the leader Drawdy brought out the caution in turn two. On the restart, Whitaker led the field but slips in turn one allowing Lance Beck to take over. Lap eight, Jamey Donaldson puts the heat on Jimmy Maness and takes the third position off turn four as Jimmy Maness breaks going into turn one. Lap twelve, Donaldson moves in on Whitaker and takes the second position off turn four but caution flag sends Donaldson back to third. Five laps to go, after a restart, Jamey Donaldson takes over second again as Whitaker battles handling issues and allows Danny Scarboro and Bobby Drawdy both to slip underneath. Taking the white flag, Lance Beck feels the heat as Jamey Donaldson sticks to the inside and battle for the lead. Lance Beck holds off Donaldson and grabs his first win of the season. Jamey Donaldson earned second place, Danny Scarboro moved from ninth to take home third, Bobby Drawdy fourth, and Tommy Clinard fifth.
In the Daniels Chevrolet Pure Stock division, Dustin Watkins and Wesley Coleman both picked up heat race wins. Dustin Watkins took the lead as Brent Herndon shoots inside off turn four. Watkins held on as Herndon fought to hold off Alan Wilkerson on the outside battling for second. Lap two, battling for the fourth position a caution sent Tripp Giffin to the rear. Lap five, Alf Wimberly running in fourth spun off turn two. Half way, still battling for second side by side was Herndon and Wilkerson. Five laps to go, Brent Herndon broke going into turn two. Dustin Watkins led flawlessly picking up win over Alan Wilkerson in second, Wesley Coleman third, Jared Jones fourth, and John Bratcher fifth.
Rolling out in the Mini Stock division, Joey Schoen and Tim Wilkerson held the front row. On the outside, Tim Wilkerson took the lead from Joey Schoen. Lap two, Schoen moves inside as Wilkerson runs high in the turns. Wilkerson fought the entire race to hold off Schoen. Two laps to go, Timmy Thompson joins the battle for the win. Taking the white flag, Schoen moves inside Wilkerson in turn two. Tim Wilkerson took the checkered holding of Joey Schoen in second, Timmy Thompson third, Brad McKenzie fourth, and Tony McCumbers fifth.
Checking out in the Adams Construction Road Warrior division, Tyler Holt took the lead over Terry Cummings. Holt led green to checkered picking up his first win of the season. Finishing out the top five Cummings in second, Jody Ivey third, Derrick Screws fourth, and Jason Kight fifth.
Ending the night in the 440 division, Paul “Donut” Carroll and Justin Thompson took the green after picking up heat race wins. Thompson immediately pulled away on the outside as Carroll fell into second. Thompson grabbed a healthy lead in his brand new ride. With only three laps to go, Blake Williamson making his first appearance gets by Carroll for the second position. Going into turn three, Carroll gets out of the groove allowing Rod Morris on the inside. As they battle for the third position, Carroll blows a tire. Justin Thompson takes the checkered car lengths over Blake Williamson in second, Rod Morris third, Mollie Boyd fourth, and Mark Bunch fifth.