Crank It Up 100 at Swainsboro Raceway!
Saturday, March 18, Swainsboro Raceway held its season opener with the Crank It Up 100. Drivers showed up to compete for the first trophy of the season in 6 divisions. Up first in the Zaxby’s Crate Late Model division, Jimmy Thomas earned the fastest qualifying time over Tyler Turvin. Swainsboro’s “Ironhead” Chesley Dixon made his first appearance after a horrific accident during the 2016 season, qualifying fifth. On the start, Thomas pulled to the lead with Turvin and “Hurricane” Henry Carter side by side off turn four. Dixon moved by Jim Rogers to take over the fourth position. Thomas immediately pulls to a big lead. Lap three, Dixon takes the inside of Turvin for the fourth position in turn four. By lap five, Thomas held a straight away lead over Carter in second. Running thirty caution-less laps, with four to go, Carter worked through lapped traffic also trying to hold off Dixon to maintain second. Jimmy Thomas took the checkered nearly 7 seconds over Henry Carter in second, Chesley Dixon third, Mallory Harvey fourth, and Jim Rogers fifth.
New for the season running for points in the 602 Crate Late Model division, also referred to as Sportsman, local boys Luke Scott and Terry Lumley sat on the front row. CoolHand Luke Scott took the lead over Terry Lumley with Austin Scarboro in third. Halfway, Scott held a big lead as Lumley held off Scarboro for second. Luke Scott led flag to flag for his first win of the season, Terry Lumley second, and Austin Scarboro third.
In the Sunoco Super Street division, Luke Scott jumped out front with Brent Herndon in second. Herndon pushes in the turn allowing Jimmy Maness to make a gain. Lap three, Scott once again held a big lead and on lap four, Herndon pulled away from Maness in second. Lap eleven, Tommy Davis broke ending his night running in fourth. After a caution, Herndon was able to stick Scott bumper for a few laps. Luke Scott swept the event taking his second win of the night, Brent Herndon second, and Jimmy Maness finished out the top three.
Picking up heat race wins in the Roger Wheeler Construction Road Warrior division, Gene Thompson and Alf Wimberly led the field to green. Thompson took the lead as Wimberly made an attempt off turn two. Reigning points champion Logan Tanner began making his way through the field after having to pit on the first restart. Gene Thompson earned the win, Alf Wimberly second, Jamey Foskey third, Jody Ivey fourth, and Logan Tanner fifth.
Twelve cars took the green in the Daniels Chevrolet Pure Stock division with Jamey Donaldson and Clay Alexander both picking up heat race wins. At the green, Donaldson took the lead but Alexander didn’t give up taking over the off two. A caution sent the field back to restart. On the restart Donaldson took the lead once again and Alexander challenges off two. Donaldson and Alexander battled side by side. Lap two, Brent Herndon moved from sixth to fourth and George Williamson third. Lap three, Clay Alexander spins off two losing the second position, forced to pit with a flat. Lap four, Derrick Screws fought door to door with Herndon for third off four to make the pass. Halfway, George Williamson moved in on Donaldson for the lead off four but unable to make the pass. After starting tenth, Karl Willard was in the fourth position. Five to go, three way battle for the lead with Donaldson, Williamson, and Screws. Four to go, Williamson spins running second. Three to go, Screws moves inside Donaldson for second but Donaldson holds him off. Jamey Donaldson earned his way to the checkered, Derrick Screws second, Karl Willard third, Brent Herndon fourth, and Travis Young fifth.
Ending a great first night of racing action was the Scare House of the South 440 division. John Hooks took the lead with teammate Rod Morris in second. Lap four, Tommy Davis moved into the second position. Lap five, three car battle for the lead with Hooks, Davis, and Morris. Halfway, Davis moved inside Hooks off two for the lead but Hooks held on. Five to go, Morris off the pace running third. John Hooks drove hard to take the win over Tommy Davis in second, Richard Lastinger third, Terry Davis fourth, and Billy Williamson fifth.