Swainsboro Raceway 17th Annual Turkey 100 Weekend!
Swainsboro Raceway 17th Annual Turkey 100 Weekend!
By: Candy Carroll
Emanuel County kicked it off Dixie Style Thanksgiving weekend with the 17th Annual Southern Dream Turkey 100. Drivers from all over the United States packed the house Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for racing action in six divisions. Thursday night drivers and fans enjoyed practice as the Zaxby’s Crate Late Model drivers prepared to compete the weekend for $20,000. Friday night over 130 cars registered to compete in qualifying and heat races leading up to Saturday nights feature events.
In the 302 Late Model Sportsman division, Austin Hunnicutt and Canaan Cranford both picked up heat race wins Friday night leading the field to green for $2000. After two restarts, the field went green. Hunnicutt fighting handling issues began falling back. Points Champion Austin Scarboro quickly moved from the fourth position to second. As Cranford led the way, he slipped in the turns allowing Scarboro to take advantage and move to the lead. Lap four, Shannon Graham took over the third position from Cranford. Without caution, halfway, Austin Scarboro moved into lap traffic getting caught up in turn three allowing Terry Lumley, Shannon Graham, and Brandon Carpenter to make a pass. The “Tall Cool One” Terry Lumley drove to Victory earning the first hand carved Turkey trophy of the night. Lumley donated his trophy to a special child to the Swainsboro Raceway family, AJ McCullars. Thank you to Terry Lumley for being a racing role model to our Swainsboro Raceway children. Finishing out the top five, Shannon Graham moved from sixth to second, Brandon Carpenter started eighth to finish third, Austin Scarboro fourth, and Canaan Cranford.
Up next, twenty-four cars showed up in the Sunoco Super Street division battling for $2000 to win. Three heat races Friday night set Jay Hendricks, Monk Gulledge, and Luke Scott up front for the feature event. On the start, Johnny Crews was forced to pit with a flat giving up his position third row outside. Monk Gulledge takes the lead for lap one with Jay Hendricks holding on to second. A caution sends the field back to complete single file restart with Hendricks getting the advantage out front. Lap two, Gulledge moves in to try Hendricks for the lead in turn three but fails to complete the pass. Lap three, Barry Cates brings out the caution in the fifth position. On the restart, Luke Scott tries Gulledge for second. Top three battle nose to tail. Scott gets by Gulledge for second off three. Two laps to go, Scott challenging Hendricks every lap for the lead spins off turn two losing the second position. Jay Hendricks earns his first win at Swainsboro Raceway, Monk Gulledge picks up second, Johnnie Tucker Jr third, John Brantley fourth, and Brent Herndon fifth.
In the Zaxby’s Crate Late Model division, forty-one drivers registered to compete for twenty-six positions battling for $20,000 to win and title of Southern Dream Champion. Friday night drivers qualified with Swainsboro’s Ironhead Chesley Dixon earning the $400 GRW Competition racing engines fastest qualifying award and locking in his group for the first heat race of the night. Drivers competed in four heat races taking the top three to Saturday’s feature event. The top three drivers in each heat race were awarded $300, $200, and $100 for their finishes courtesy of Textron Off Road. Drivers not making the top three returned Saturday to compete in three consolation races taking the top four to complete the field. Saturday night, Chesley Dixon and Brandon Overton led the field to green for the 100 lap event. Starting tenth, a fan favorite and repeat two time Southern Dream winner, Jonathan Davenport.
As the green waived, Chesley Dixon took the lead over Brandon Overton. Davenport quickly jumped to the high side to make moves. Lap three, Kyle Bronson starting fifth moved into third. By lap four, Dixon was already moving into lapped traffic. Lap twelve, Bronson moving through the field took third off turn four from Ivedent Loyd. Lap thirteen, Brandon Overton’s night ended early as he took that hard turn to the pits. Lap twenty, Jimmy Thomas moved in on Bronson off turn two to battle for third. Chesley Dixon continues to hold a hefty lead as the battle for top five continues. As laps wind down and tires start to wear, cars began searching for grip. Bronson gets loose off turn two but holds position. Lap sixty-two, after falling back from third early, Brett Hamm moves to fifth. Chesley Dixon sweeps the weekend leading all 100 laps to take the checkered earning his biggest career win and $20,000. Ivedent Lloyd took advantage moving from fourth to pick up second, Kyle Bronson starting fifth took home third, Jimmy Thomas fourth, and Brett Hamm fifth.
Up next in the Daniels Chevrolet Pure Stock division 17 drivers took the green with Dustin Watkins and Kip Poole earning front row. After two cautions, the field went single file with Watkins out front. Lap two, Brent Herndon moves by Poole for second as Poole suffered damage from contact on the second restart. Lap six, Roger McKenzie starting seventh moves into fourth. Lap seven, McKenzie gets inside Brett Sullivan for third. Dustin Watkins leads the night to take the checkered. Brent Herndon second, Brett Sullivan third, Roger McKenzie fourth, and Jared Jones fifth.
Eighteen cars took the green in the Roger Wheeler Construction Road warrior division with Jacob Barwick and Chris Beasley earning wins Friday night. Barwick quickly takes lead holding off Beasley in second. Five laps to go, Graham Stevenson challenges Beasley for the second position. Two laps to go, Dalton Poole get inside Stevenson for the third position. Jacob Barwick takes his first checkered of the season, Chris Beasley second, Dalton Poole third, Graham Stevenson fourth, and John Lariscey fifth. After post race protest, Jacob Barwick received his first win of the season, Dalton Poole moved to second, Graham Stevenson third, John Lariscey fourth, and Jaime Foskey fifth.
In the Scare House of the South 440 division, twenty-two cars showed up to battle for $1000 to win. Rod Morris and Tyler Davis both earned heat race wins Friday night to lead the field to green. Rod Morris takes the lead with Alan Carter moving up to battle side by side. Tyler Davis quickly began experiencing car trouble and got involved in a wreck. Lap four, Carter moves to the lead. Lap six, Davis is forced to pit. After caution, Carter begins experiencing mechanical issues and forced to pit. Rod Morris takes the lead. Moving from the rear, Jonathan Merritt tries Tommy Davis for the second position. Lap ten, Merritt pits. Five to go, Morris out front, the battle of the fours for second between Davis and John Hooks. Rod Morris takes the checkered earning the win after a season of hard luck and leading the field to checkered Friday night with heavy smoke coming from his car. Tommy Davis started fifth and moved to second, John Hooks started last and took third, Bobby Duell fourth, and Ty McDonald fifth.
Hobbs Grading and Clearing sponsored a dash for cash event to the fourth and fifth place drivers from Friday nights Zaxby’s Crate Late Model heat races. Banjo Duke took home an extra $300 for the Dash event. Ending the night in the Textron Off Road Zaxby’s Crate Late Model B-Main event, Ahnna Parkhurst led her way to the checkered earning $750 for the win.
Swainsboro Kart Track held Fall Brawl #2 Friday night. Picking up win in Green Plate Blaze Marcus, Jaxson Monroe, and Ethan Martin. In the Blue Plate division, Hunter McCoy grabbed the checkered, Tucker Baird second, and Marley Meeks third. For Pro Blue, Zach Williams first. Hunter McCoy second, and Katie Pender third. In Purple Plate, Chase Litchfield earned the win, Tucker Baird second, and Jake Brown rounded out the top three. In the Kwik Shop Predator 330 class, Chad Murray took the checkered, second Hank White, and third Johnny Martin. Picking up the win in the Kwik Shop Predator 375 division was Chad Murray, Johnny Martin, and Jordan Willis third. In Kwik Shop Hemi Predator 365 Chad Murray picked up his third win of the night, Taylor Shaw second, and Tyler Godbee finished out the top three. Up next in the Kwik Shop Predator 410 division, Todd Godbee took the checkered, Wayne Edenfield second, and Lynn Godbee third. In the Clone T3 350 division, Ryan Adams earned the win, Justin Diekemper second, and Dylan Litchfield third. Clone T3 375 dash went to Ethan Nipper, Justin Diekemper, and McKenziee McGee. Clone T3 375 Christie Anderson took the win, Justin Diekemper second, Chris Gilgen third. Daren Akridge won the Clone EL 350 division. The Clone EL 375 Dash Justin Diekemper took the win, Brady Whitehead, and Dusty Godbee. In Clone EL 375, Joseph Diekemper picked up a win, Brady Whitehead second, Christian Henson third. For Clone Super Heavy 425 Dash Ethan Nipper earned a win, Brandon Henson second, Charles Nicholson third. In the Clone Super Heavy 425 main event Brady Whitehead, Ethan Nipper, and Charles Nicholson third. Ending the night in the Outlaw division Daren Akridge earned the win over Blake Akridge.
Swainsboro Raceway would like to Thank all drivers, fans, crew, and faculty for a successful 2017 racing season!