Turkey 100 at Swainsboro Raceway!
November 26, 2016
By: Candy Carroll
Swainsboro Raceway kicked off Thanksgiving weekend with some beautiful weather as drivers rolled into the track early Thursday morning from all across the U.S. Fans packed the house in the biggest event of the year paying $20,000 to one winner in the Zaxby’s Crate Late Model division.
The weekend started with nearly 100 cars showing up for practice Thanksgiving day. Friday night over 140 cars lined the infields for qualifying and heat races in 6 divisions. In the Zaxby’s Crate Late Model division, 54 drivers competed for twenty-six starting positions in the $20,000 feature event. Local driver, Toombs County native, Jimmy Sharpe Jr picked up the fastest qualifying time in his GRW Competition Racing Engines ride. Sharpe also received a $400 bonus as fastest qualifier sponsored by GRW Competition. After six groups qualified, each group ran heat races locking in the top three cars for Saturday’s feature event. Sharpe earned the front row position with Kyle Bronson outside for $20,000. The cars outside the top 18 returned Saturday night to compete in three consolation races taking the top two from each.
In Saturday nights feature event, the field stacked four wide to salute fans before taking the green flag on the 100 lap event. As Sharpe and Bronson brought the field to green, Sharpe immediately pulls to the lead. Starting sixth, Superman Jonathan Davenport moved to fifth on lap two. Sharpe pulled away from the field and by lap six begin making his way into lapped traffic. Working through lapped traffic allowed Kyle Bronson to challenge Sharpe for the lead. Lap nine, Bronson took the lead off turn four and Brandon Overton took advantage moving into second. Lap fourteen, Davenport slid into third. Lap twenty-five, Sharpe regained ground moving into the second position. Lap twenty-six, Mark Whitener took over fourth off turn two. Lap thirty-five, making moves back toward the front, Jimmy Sharpe Jr was all over Kyle Bronson for the lead. With heavy lapped traffic, Davenport spotted an opportunity and took over second. Just past halfway. Superman flew by Bronson and lapped traffic to take over the lead. Lap fifty-six, Kyle Bronson lost second pitting with a flat. Ten laps later, Bronson already back to the tenth position. Twenty-five laps to go, Brandon Overton and Mark Whitener battle for the second position. Lap seventy-seven, Hudson O’Neal took over third after starting twelfth. Lap seventy-eight, Bronson moved to sixth. After a caution on lap eighty, Bronson took advantage of the double file restart and moved up to fourth, taking third the next lap. Davenport continued to pull away with the lead, Bronson moves in on Whitener off turn four to try for second. Eight laps to go, Jimmy Sharpe Jr and Brandon Overton battle for the fourth position. Superman Jonathan Davenport took the checkered for the second year in the a row nearly two seconds over second place Mark Whitener. Kyle Bronson lead several laps, pitted with a flat, returned to the rear and worked his way back to third. Finishing out the top five were Brandon Overton and Hudson O’Neal.
Battling for $2000 to win, Cody Overton picked up the pole with Chris Steele outside in the 602 Crate Late Model division. As Overton led the field to green, he immediately took the lead. Local driver and former track champion Austin “The Hammer” Scarboro took second from Steele off turn three. Lap three, Morgan Sheffield tried Steele for third. Just past halfway battling hard for third trying both inside and outside, Sheffield unfortunately took a ride off the back stretch. On the restart, Steele took advantage trying the inside of Scarboro for second but failed the attempt. Cody Overton ran off with the lead taking his first checkered flag and earning the $2000 payday plus his first hand carved Turkey 100 trophy. Austin Scarboro grabbed second, Chris Steele third, Morgan Sheffield fourth, and Josh Herringdine fifth.
In the Sunoco Super Street division, Dusty Collins and Luke Scott both picked up heat race wins Friday night leading the field to green in Saturday’s feature event. Luke Scott quickly took the lead by a few car lengths. Lap two, Andy Stewart forced to give up third pitted with mechanical problems. By lap three, Collins was closing the gap in turn three. Timmy Dasher moved inside Monk Gullege to battle for third off turn three. Just past halfway, Dasher took over third off turn four. Lap thirteen, Barry Cates took over the fifth position. Luke Scott took the checkered, Dusty Collins second, Timmy Dasher third, Monk Gulledge fourth, and Barry Cates fifth.
Friday night Johnson County native Brent Herndon picked up heat race win number one in the Daniels Chevrolet Pure Stock division. In Saturday’s feature event paying $2000 to win, 150lb solid wood carved turkey trophy, replica check, and an ice cold turkey, Brent Herndon set the pace leading the field to green. Starting outside front row, Daniel Roland put the pressure on Herndon for a side by side battle. Roland took the lead off turn four and began to pull away. Lap four, Ricky Strange starting 12th, worked hard at the fifth position off turn two. Halfway, Willis McKenzie moved into the fourth position after starting 14th. Lap eleven, McKenzie moved inside Jamey Donaldson to take over the third position. Daniel Roland pulled away with the win but after being protested, Brent Herndon was declared the winner. Herndon picked up his first Turkey 100 win, Jamey Donaldson second, Rak Donaldson third, John Bratcher fourth, and Ricky Strange fifth
Starting front row in the Roger Wheeler Construction Road Warrior division, Graham Stevenson and Seth Clark led the field to green. Stevenson took the lead with Justin Thompson second. After a caution, Thompson tried the inside of Stevenson for the lead. Lap five, Thompson took the lead off two. A caution allowed Stevenson to move back to the first position. After a caution involving Stevenson and Thompson. Thompson took the lead with Robbie Bland second. Justin Thompson took the checkered, Robbie Bland second, Terry Cummings third, Jamey Foskey fourth, and Alf Wimberly finished out the top five.
Leading the field to green in the Scare House of the South 440 division was points champion Rod Morris. Rod Morris took the lead as Alan Carter moved into third. Lap two, Carter took to the outside to pass Tommy Davis off turn two and take over second. Lap four, Carter took the lead from Morris. Halfway, Davis began gaining on Morris for second. Four laps to go, Morris off the pace running second and forced to pit. Alan Carter took the checkered and earned his first Turkey 100 win. Tommy Davis picked up second, Chris Mincey third, Clay Collins fourth, and Keith Bragg fifth.
Finishing off an action packed weekend of racing was the Zaxby’s Crate Late Model Bad Boy Buggies Non-Qualifier event. Bad Boy Buggies sponsored an additional $1000 to drivers competing in the B-Main event. Thirteen cars started the event with Swainsboro Hurricane Henry Carter grabbing an extra $750.