Story & photos by Phillip Prichard:
Jeff Smith of Chatsworth, GA took top honors and the $2, 000 prize money in the Nesmith Crate Division on the first night of the four night Salute to America Tour. He was the dominator of the 44 entries competing in the event here at the Talladega Short Track Hornet’s Nest. Smith driving the Hill Motorsports Warrior never faced a challenger all night, as he was the fast qualifier at 14.676 seconds, and then led all 40 laps to record his second career NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series victory. Todd Morrow was second.
The 12-year-old Cruz Skinner of Oxford, AL showed the world that he is for real, as he drove the Skinner’s Body Shop Special to a third-place finish. The youngster showed that he knows his way around his home track where he has three NeSmith Chevrolet Weekly Racing Series Late Model wins this season.
Chris Noah of Rainbow City, AL finished fourth in the Old Man’s Garage Special and was the Rookie of the Race. The NeSmith Chevrolet Weekly Racing Series point leader Adam Gauldin of Talladega, AL took the fifth spot in the Adam Gauldin Racing GRT at his home track where he also has three wins this season.
After qualifying, three ten-lap B-Main Races were won by Tanner Works of Cleveland, TN in the D&K Auto CVR, Marcus Minga of Shannon, MS in the B&M Salvage Rocket, and Jimmy Elliott of Cleveland, TN in the Car Smart Auto Sales CVR.
The defending NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Champion and current point leader Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN was a man on a mission Thursday night at Talladega Short Track. In true fashion for the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Inductee, he arrived at the track late, but just in time to unload, and hit the track for his two lap qualifying run.
Johnson had the tenth fastest time which would have transferred him into the main event, but the only problem was, he failed to go through the pre-race technical inspection line and his qualifying time was disallowed. Johnson took a provisional, started 23rd, and finished ninth in the NeSmith Chevrolet Special.
The Chevrolet of Boaz Super Late Model division winner was Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC in his Tommy Pope Construction sponsored number 53 entry. Tim Roswell was second, Jason Hiett was third, Ross Martin was fourth and Terry smith was fifth. Thirteen Super Late models were on hand.
Joe Noojin picked up his first win of the season in the Sportsman division.
Tyler Hurst in picked up the win and $750 in the Nesmith Street Stock Class.
Mike McCrelles made it two in a row, as he seized another victory in the Love Stuff Thunder Car division.
Racing friends please keep the Talladega Short Track Promoter, Lynn “Preacher Phillips, in your thoughts and prayers, he has suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery on 2 July. All went well and he is recovering.
For more information and rules about the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series all-new web site at www.nesmithracing.com, or visit the series on Facebook at NeSmith Racing. Information on the Talladega Short track is found at http://www.talladegashorttrack.com/.