GREENVILLE, MS – Jake Knowles of Rome, GA stocked his pray for 39.9 laps in the 40-lap Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series race Friday night at Greenville Speedway for Night One of the Rumble On The Gumbo Nationals. On the last turn of the last lap, Knowles pounced to capture the victory driving the Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Special.

            The pray for Knowles in this case was Ashton Winger of Senoia, GA. Winger ran the cushion up against the wall to lead the first 39 laps of the race, while at the same time showing the patience of a veteran driver. Not only did he have Knowles in his shadow, but also the defending and two-time Durrence Layne National Late Model Champion Cory Hedgecock of Loudon, TN.
            The lead trio kept the crowd on the edge of their seats for most of the race that was slowed by only two caution flags. Heavy lapped traffic made the racing fast and furious as the leaders bounced off the concrete retaining walls of Greenville Speedway, and slide jobs were thrown early and often.
            The top three drivers, in heavy lapped traffic, managed to go into turn one on lap 40 three wide with Hedgecock on the inside, Knowles in the middle and Winger on the outside. Winger had the momentum and took the lead down the backstretch for the final time in the race. After never wavering from the outside for 39 laps, Winger decided to cover the bottom for the final two turns.
            Knowles saw his opening and he mashed the throttle on the high side of the track. He bounced off the wall, got a big bite on the Mississippi River bottom black gumbo clay with his Hoosier Racing Tires, and led the final 100 feet of the race for the victory. That was also the VP Racing Lubricants Slick Move of the Race.
            “I saw him go low into turn three on the last lap, and the top was working so well for me, I just stayed there,” Knowles said. “Ashton and I are friends - we travel together and eat together while we’re on the road – and I hated to take that win away from him, but hey, I needed a win too!”
            Winger hung on to finish second in the Keyser Manufacturing Rocket, and the 18-year-old driver was the Cruise With The Champions Rookie of the Race. Hedgecock finished third in the Eagle Racing Engines Rocket. Ashley Newman of Ripley, TN kept the leaders in sight all race long, but took the fourth spot in the Scott Davis Farms Special. 
            Oakley Johns of Hohenwald, TN was fifth in the Johns Timber Special, and Peter Hazzard of Greenville, MS finished sixth in the Cleveland Med Special. Spencer Hughes of Meridian, MS drove the Little Randy’s Hunting Camp Special to a seventh-place finish and first 10-lap B-Main winner T.J. Brittain of Centre, AL took the eighth spot in the Brittain Hauling Warrior.
            Chad Stapleton of Edinburgh, IN won the second ten-lap B-Main Race and finished ninth in the 31 Auto Group Special. Jamey Boland of Cuba, Al rounded out the top ten in the Boland Performance Trak-Star. In preliminary action, Winger was the Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Fast Qualifier by out-qualifying the 30 entrants with a lap around Greenville Speedway in 15.406 seconds.
            The first start of the race was called back when Marcus Minga of Shannon, MS spun the B&M Salvage Rocket in turn one. Winger was able to take the lead on the complete restart followed by Hedgecock, who tried to crossover from the outside to the inside and challenge Winger for the lead. 
            Hedgecock lost his momentum and then found himself battling side-by-side with Newman for second. Knowles held down the fourth spot and Hazzard was riding in fifth. Knowles set up on the high side to drive around Newman for the third spot on lap three, and Winger began to encounter lapped traffic on lap nine. 
            The lapped traffic was intense and took up a lot of real estate. On lap 15, Winger, Hedgecock, Knowles and Newman encountered lapped traffic in front of them racing four-wide for position.
            Winger was trying his best to be patient in the lapped traffic, carefully making his move around lapped cars without losing his momentum. Hedgecock was poised and ready to attack, and got alongside Winger on lap 22. 
            The two leaders were locked in a tight battle for the lead when the second and final caution flag came out on lap 24 when Brent Dillon of Greenville, MS stalled the Commercial Equipment Special on the backstretch. The field lined up for a Dixie-Style Double-File Restart with Winger out front in a row by himself, and the rest of the field doubled up behind him.
            Hedgecock chose the inside with Knowles to his right in the third spot on the outside. Newman, Johns, Hughes, Hazzard, Ryan Colby of Greenville, MS in the Washington’s Body Shop Special, Brittain and Austin Horton of Newnan, GA in the Orr’s Towing Rocket rounded out the top ten for the restart.
            Knowles used the momentum the outside provided him to get around Hedgecock for the second spot on the restart. Newman then began to challenge Hedgecock for the third position while Winger and Knowles pulled away from the field. The lead duo had a half straightaway advantage over the rest of the field by lap 35 when they encountered more heavy lapped traffic. 
            Hedgecock was quick to close in and make it a three-car dance for the lead, with Newman back within striking distance. Hedgecock tried a lap 37 slider on Knowles, and the two cars made contact. All three of the front running cars took turns scraping the outside wall in an effort to stake their claim on the outside groove.
            When the white flag came out, all three drivers must have simultaneously decided in order to pass the car in front of them for the win, one must go where the other isn’t. Knowles looked inside Winger and Hedgecock dove under Knowles in turn one to make it three-wide for the point. Winger had the momentum on the outside and came off the second turn with the lead.
            As Winger dove into turn three for the final time, he went to the inside of the lapped cars in front of him and appeared to be attempting to cover the bottom. That opened the door for Knowles to power around the outside and get to the checkered flag first, as Winger lost all of his momentum coming off the bottom of the fourth turn.
            The Durrence Layne Dirt Late Model Series National Tour will be back at Greenville Speedway on Saturday night for Night Two of the Rumble On The Gumbo Nationals with a $2,500-to-win 50-lap main event, Round 6 of the 2018 season.

            NeSmith Racing is now Durrence Layne Racing! For more information and rules about the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series web site at, or visit the series on Facebook at Durrence Layne Racing. You can follow us on Twitter @DurrenceLayneRacing.


POS      STRT   CAR #  DRIVER                            HOMETOWN                  LAPS    $ WON
1.           4            66          Jake Knowles                  Rome, GA                         40          $2,000
2.           1            12          Ashton Winger (R-YG) Senoia, GA                        40          $1,000
3.           2            23          Cory Hedgecock                            Loudon, TN                      40          $700
4.           3            73          Ashley Newman               Ripley, TN                        40          $550
5.           6            C6         Oakley Johns                   Hohenwald, TN                40          $500
6.           5            7p          Peter Hazzard                 Greenville, MS                40          $425
7.           10          48          Spencer Hughes               Meridian, MS                   40          $375
8.           11          05          T.J. Britain                       Centre, AL                        40          $350
9.           12          32          Chad Stapleton                Edinburgh, IN                  40          $325
10.         14          232       Jamey Boland (R)           Cuba, AL                           40          $300
11.         9            21c        Ryan Colby                      Greenville, MS                40          $275
12.         13          16          Austin Horton                  Newnan, GA                     40          $250
13.         16          84          Randall Beckwith           Kilmichael, MS                40          $225
14.         8            17jr      Tyler Wood                      Hohenwald, TN                40          $200
15.         18          P1         Andy Picklesimer           Ooltewah, TN                   40          $175
16.         7            88          Seth Reed                          Rison, AR                          40          $150
17.         20          1w         Jeff Wells                         Mercer, TN                      39          $140
18.         19          1b          Bryant Marsh (R)           Corinth, MS                     39          $125
19.         24          33          Terry Wilson                   West, MS                          39          $125
20.         23          19          Marcus Minga                 Shannon, MS                    38          $125
21.         22          24          Mark Tice                        Avon, MS                          37          $125
22.         15          7d          Brent Dillon                     Greenville, MS                22          $125
23.         17          22          Austin Burns                    Georgetown, IN               20          $125
24.         21          1y          Jeff Young                        Clarksdale, MS               14          $125

LAP LEADERS: Winger, 1-39; Knowles, 40
LAPS LED: Winger, 39; Knowles, 1
BEYEA HEADERS HARD CHARGER OF THE RACE: Wilson (started 24th and finished 19th)
TIME OF THE RACE: 19 Minutes and 47.156 Seconds
NEXT RACE: Greenville Speedway, Greenville, MS, $2,500-to-win, 50-laps, 6/9/18