NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series News Release: Contact â€“ ROBY HELM â€“ (865) 207-4157
August 9, 2014
JOHNSON WINS WILD NeSMITH CHEVROLET DLMS RUMBLE ON THE GUMBO AT GREENVILLE SPEEDWAY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
GREENVILLE, MS â€“ Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN is on his way to capturing his second straight $20,000 NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Championship after picking up his seventh win of the season on Saturday night in the Rumble On Gumbo 50. The race was definitely a rumble held under threatening skies that gave way to a full moon.
Johnson inherited the lead on lap 37 when a multi-car tangle on a restart sent early race leader Johnny Stokes of Columbus, MS to the pits with a cut down right-rear tire. Despite heavy left side damage, and his own tire losing air, Johnson held on to drive the NeSmith Chevrolet Special to his 24th NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series career win.
“This was a win by default tonight because I wasn’t that good at the start of the race, but the car got better as the race went on,” Johnson said. “Johnny Stokes was the man to beat tonight, and it’s a shame he got caught up in that restart wreck. He got sideways in front of me and I tried to swerve to get around him, but everybody just ran into everybody.”
Marcus Minga of Shannon, MS survived the restart pile-up to take his best-career NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series finish of second in the B&M Salvage Rocket after starting 22nd. Not only did Minga turn in his second-straight Top 4 finish, but challenged Johnson for the lead.
Chase Washington of Houlka, MS took the third spot in the Jerry Inmon Racing Special and Peter Hazzard of Greenville, MS was fourth in the Cleveland Medical Special. Michael Blount of Sumrall, MS turned in his best finish of the season with a fifth-place effort driving the Villa South Trak-Star.
Sid Scarbrough of Florence, MS finished sixth in the Villa South Trak-Star and Brent Barrett of Cleveland, MS was the last car on the lead lap in the seventh spot driving the Custom Spraying, Inc. GRT. James Andrews of Itta Bena, MS was the last car running on the race track when the checkered fell and finished eighth, five laps down.
The high attrition in the race saw Stokes finish ninth nine laps down in the Bassett Hound Motorsports GRT, and Ashley Newman of Ripley, TN rounded out the top ten in the Greg’s Sawmill Special, retiring from the race after completing 40 laps.
In preliminary action, Stokes was the fast qualifier among the 28 entrants with a lap around the 1/3-mile black gumbo clay oval in 15.122 seconds. The two ten-lap B-Main races were won by Hazzard and Chris Noah of Rainbow City, AL in the Old Man’s Garage Special. Noah was also the Rookie of the Race.
Stokes took the lead at the start of the race followed by Johnson, Mike Palasini Jr. of Leland, MS in the MP Trucking Special, Ryan Colby of Greenville, MS in the Washington Body Shop Special, and Barrett. Palasini got under Johnson coming off the fourth turn on lap two to take over the second spot. Barrett got by Johnson for third on the next lap with an inside move in turn four.
The carnage of bent race cars began on lap eight when Kenny Carpenter of Cleveland, MS in the C&C Auto Body and Paint Rocket tagged the third turn wall, and then rode on top of the wall before executing a slow roll and coming to rest on the car’s roof to bring out the red flag. Carpenter was able to crawl out from under his car and was uninjured.
Stokes had Palasini, Barrett, Johnson, Colby, Nathan Mayes of Springdale, AR in the Mayes Plumbing Special, John Polasini of Leland, MS in the Polasini Racing Special, Neil Baggett of Shannon, MS in the Montgomery Farms Special, Noah and Washington doubled up behind him for the restart.
Barrett was able to get by Palasini for the second spot coming off the second turn after the restart. Stokes began to encounter lapped traffic on lap 13 with an eight car-length advantage on Barrett. Jason Botsford of Pearcy, AR spun the JBR GRT down the backstretch on lap 15 to bring out the caution flag.
Stokes led Barrett, Palasini, Johnson, Colby, Mayes, Baggett, Noah, Polasini, and Dewayne Estes of Greenville, MS in the Estes Race Car Shop Trak-Star down for the restart. When the green flag came out, Palasini tried to dive under Barrett in turn one, but Palasini got sideways in turn two and triggered a multi-car pile-up.
After the caution flag came out for the third time in the race, the cars of Colby, Noah and Polasini were done for the night. Palasini was ticketed with the caution flag and went to the rear of the field for the restart. That reshuffled the Top 10 that was made up of Stokes, Barrett, Johnson, Baggett, Mayes, Estes, Hazzard, Newman, Washington, and Hunter Carroll of Columbus, MS in the FBG Motorsports Special.
The fourth caution flag of the race came out on lap 24 when Mark Tice of Avon, MS stalled the Precision Marine Special on the back stretch. On the restart, Johnson drove by Barrett to take the second spot coming off the second turn, and Baggett advanced from seventh to fourth. Tyler Arnold of Greenville, MS lost the driveshaft under the Washington Body Shop GRT on lap 33 to bring out the fifth caution flag.
Stokes led Johnson, Barrett, Mayes, Hazzard, Baggett, Estes, Washington, Chase Edge of LaFayette, AL in the Edge’s Gas Company Special and Newman down for the double-file restart. Hazzard and Baggett got by Mayes, dropping him back to the sixth spot when the green flag came back out. Baggett sailed around the outside of Hazzard in turn three on lap 34 to take the fourth spot.
Baggett would give up the fourth spot on lap 37 when he cut down a tire and stopped on the track to bring out caution flag number six. This led to two more lap 37 restarts, as the rumble in the Rumble On The Gumbo was on with a major reshuffling for the Top 10 cars.
On the first lap 37 restart, Hazzard spun in the turn two to surrender the fourth spot, and Estes hit a utility tire used to mark the inside of the race track in turn four ending his night while running sixth. The next restart really changed the complexion of the race. Barrett got into the back of Stokes causing the leader to spin in front of the entire field.
The entire Top 10 tangled up and ended the race for Mayes, Edge, and Carroll. Stokes went to the pits to change a cut down tire. Barrett was ticketed with the caution, and went to the rear of the pack for the restart.
Johnson took over the point followed by Washington, Minga, Scarbrough, Newman, Blount, Baggett, Hazzard, Stokes and Barrett in the top ten. When the green flag came out, the field resembled the walking wounded. Minga got under Washington for second and then dove to the inside of Johnson to battle for the lead.
Baggett lost a tire in turn three on lap 40 which was hit by Newman and Stokes, ending the night for all three drivers and leaving eight cars left on the track for the ten lap dash to the checkered flag. Johnson opened up a five car-length advantage on Minga by lap 45. Blount climbed up to the fourth spot on lap 48, but Hazzard made a pass for the spot on the last turn of the last lap.
Johnson now has a 214 point lead over Noah in the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series point standings. Johnson could miss two of the final five races of the 2014 season and still own the point lead. Johnson’s seventh win of the season also ties him with David Earl Gentry of Murfreesboro, TN for the most wins in a single season. Gentry won seven races in the 2006 season.
The next two races for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series will be on August 30 at Arkadelphia Speedway in Bremen, AL with a 50-lap $2,500-to-win race and on August 31 at Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, MS for a 40-lap $2,000-to-win event.
OFFICIAL RESULTS OF ROUND 18 AT GREENVILLE SPEEDWAY IN GREENVILLE, MS ON 8/9/14:
POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN LAPS $ WON
QUALIFYING (Top 10 Transfer To Main Event):
B-MAINS (10 Laps â€“ Top 7 Transfer To Main Event):
1ST B-MAIN: 1. Hazzard; 2. Estes; 3. Tice; 4. Blount; 5. Arnold; 6. Wilkerson; 7. Scarbrough; 8. Dillon; 9. C. Burns.
2ND B-MAIN: 1. Noah (R); 2. Botsford; 3. Newman; 4. Carpenter; 5. Edge; 6. Minga; 7. Andrews; 8. R. Burns; 9. Jordan.