Stewart Dominates Three in a Row!
By: Candy Carroll
Saturday night racing action at Swainsboro Raceway was more than just a normal night. Drivers put on one of the best shows in the history of racing with three wide racing action and an outside groove drivers were riding a rail. Twenty-three Zaxby’s Crate Late Model drivers started the night with qualifying. Picking up the fastest qualifying time is current points leader Blake Smith with Shannon Graham grabbing his best start on the outside .011 of a second behind Smith. At the drop of the green, Smith jumps out front with Graham in second but a caution sent the field back to double file restart. On the restart, Graham got a run off four to take the lead in turn one with Smith in second. Lap two, Garrett Shurling moved in to challenge Smith for second in turn four. Moving through the field, Tyler Mimbs found the outside groove. After a caution on lap five, Smith choose outside for the restart allowing Shurling to move into second for a short period. Deano Long hung on the outside coming off turn four as the field bunch together bringing out a caution with heavy damage to Deano Long, Mike Ray, and Ken Ricks. After only six laps, Tyler Mimbs moved into the third position. With only three laps to go after making it almost to the top five, Robert Diekemper night ended early with a flat. Shannon Graham led the field to checkered grabbing his first time win, Blake Smith maintained second, Pearson Lee Williams pulled some late race moves on the outside and picked up the third position, Tyler Mimbs fourth, and Terry Lumley fifth.
Battling for $2000 to win Andy Stewart and Lance Beck led the Sunoco Super Street division to green. Stewart quickly jumped to the lead with Beck on his inside bumper. Beck tried multiple times making ground in the corners but Stewart had the horsepower off the turn. Lap twelve, Benjie Donaldson off the pace gave up the fourth position. Coming to the checkered Beck tries one last move on the outside but falls inches short. Andy Stewart led flag to flag taking home three wins in a row. Finishing out the top five were Lance Beck, Michael McTier, Brent Herndon, and Danny Scarboro.
Hands down the best feature event witnessed in years came with the Daniels Chevrolet Pure Stock division. Battling three wide for first the entire feature was Billy Hopkins, Glen Watkins, and Ricky Strange. Lap one, Hopkins took the lead of Strange. As the top three battled for the lead three wide, Brent Herndon and Tommy Hadden scrubbed metal for fourth. Billy Hopkins fought his way to the checkered inches over Glen Watkins in second, Ricky Strange third, Brent Herndon fourth, and Derrick Screws fifth.
In the Roger Wheeler Construction Road Warrior division, Robbie Bland took the lead over Graham Stevenson. Lap two, Todd Hutcheson passes brother Chad Hutcheson for the sixth position. Graham Stevenson made several attempts to slip by Bland but a caution with one lap to go forced Stevenson to restart on the rear. Robbie Bland took the checkered and earned his first win of the season, Logan Tanner brought home second, Gene Thompson third, Alex Sturkie fourth, and Graham Stevenson fifth.
Ending the night in the 440 division, John Whisnant jumped out front to nearly a straightaway lead. Whisnant led to the checkered earning his first win of the year. Finishing out the top five were John Hooks, Rod Morris, Jordan Thigpen, and Chad Newton.