Wins NeSmith "Mid-State 50 Nationals" at Central Mississippi
WINONA, Miss. – May 8. Chris Ragan of Ramer, TN won the
Mid-State Nationals 50 presented by Kirk Auto Group on Saturday night for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model
Series National Tour at Central Mississippi Speedway driving the Southeastern Ag Transport Trak-Star. Ragan led on
two different occasions, and took the lead for good on lap 31 from Eric Cooley of Fulton , MS .
Ragan made it a “clean sweep” after also being the fast
qualifier with a lap around the ¼-mile clay oval in 14.798 seconds. Ragan led the first 24 laps of the race before
being passed by Cooley, who led the next six laps.
Larry Harrod of Plains, GA finished second in the Harrod Logging
Scorpion, almost one second behind Ragan at the checkered flag, and was the VP Racing Fuels Rookie of the
Race. Cooley, the defending NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series
National Champion, settled for third in the 78 Towing and Recovery Victory Circle .
Cooley was collected by a lapped car while leading the race in
turn two on lap 30. Cooley was able to continue and restart as the leader, but the front end of his race car
suffered enough damage to cause him to lose the lead to Ragan.
A third-place finish for Cooley enabled him to extend his
NeSmith Chevrolet DLMS National Tour point lead to 52 points overMatthew
Turnerof Dawsonville, GA. Turner
was involved in a lap 14 multi-car pile-up on the front straightaway, and ended up finishing
19th in the Turner
Excavating DWB. Turner was the recipient of the Dominator Race Products
Hard Luck Award.
Justin McReeof Cuba, AL
took the fourth spot in the Century Dedicated, Inc. Trak-Star, coming from the back of the pack after an early-race
pit stop. Wesley Greene of Winona, MS grabbed the Race Car Engineering
Fifth-Place Award in the Transport Service Center Trak-Star after starting 15th and improving ten spots to earn the GM
Performance Parts Hard Charger of the Race Award.
Jay Burchfield of Columbus, MS claimed
theKRCSixth-Place Award in the
Burchfield’s Body Shop Mastersbilt, and Chris McElhenney of Lake, MS picked up the Joe Gibbs Driven Oil
Seventh-Place Award in the G&M Trucking Trak-Star after recovering from an early race
spin. Michael Blount of Sumrall, MS was the Race Car Engineering
Eighth-Place Award winner in the Lamar Auto Salvage Trak-Star.
Defending NeSmith Chevrolet Weekly Racing Series Track Champion
Randall Beckwith of Kilmichael, MS took the Maximum Signs and Graphics Ninth-Place Award in the Beckwith Forestry
Rocket, and Kevin Henderson of Cottondale, AL was theKRCTenth-Place Award winner in the Century Dedicated,
Jason Michau of Kilmichael, MS claimed the Mike’s Custom Tanks
11th-Place Award in the Michau Logging Warrior, and VP Racing Fuels
Rookie of the Year point leader Charlie Henderson of Cottondale, AL won the Shorty’s Shock Service
12th-Place Award in the Century Dedicated, Inc.
Ragan took the lead at the drop of the green flag followed by
Harrod, Turner, McElhenney and Charlie Henderson. Cooley andJohnny
Stokesof Columbus, MS in the TJC Mortgage/Maximum Signs and Graphics
Mastersbilt passed Charlie Henderson for the fifth and sixth spots respectively on lap
eight. Ragan had reached lapped traffic by lap
Cooley went to the outside around the lapped traffic, and moved
up to the third spot on lap 12, just before the first caution flag came out on lap 14 when a lapped car suddenly
slowed in front of Turner causing a multi-car pile-up on the front straightaway.
Turner drove under the lapped B&M Salvage Rocket of Marcus
Minga of Shannon, MS, and Stokes drove under Turner. Charlie Henderson and Blount were also collected in the
accident that brought out the red flag. The cars Turner and Stokes were towed to the pit area, while Minga, Charlie
Henderson, and Blount were able to continue. Turner returned to the track later in the race several laps down after
On the restart, McElhenney spun in turn four while running
fourth, and the field lined up again for another double-file restart with Ragan leading Harrod, Cooley, Charlie
Henderson, Kyle Berry of Portageville, MO in the Black MountainGRT,Shannon
Lee of Lumberton, MS in theBilly
RielsRacingGRT, Blount, Burchfield, Michau, and Greene.
Cooley got by Harrod for the second spot on the restart,
andBerrygot by Charlie Henderson for the
fourth spot. Lee stalled in turn two on lap 16 with an ignition problem
to bring out the caution flag. Ragan led Cooley,
Harrod,Berry, Burchfield, Greene, Shay Knight
ofEthelsville,MSin the Dunn’s Autos Mastersbilt, Michau, and Kevin
Henderson down for the restart.
Two drivers were making big moves after the field went green, as
Greene moved into the top five by lap 17, and McRee raced from 11th
to sixth by lap 18. Michau spun in turn four while running tenth on lap 21 to bring out the fourth caution flag of
After the restart, Cooley began to put pressure on Ragan to make
a challenge for the lead. Cooley was able to get underneath Ragan on lap 25 to take the lead coming off the fourth
turn. Harrod also got inside Ragan in turn two on lap 27 to take over the second spot.
While Cooley was able to begin pulling away from Ragan, he began
to encounter lapped traffic. As Cooley rolled into turn two, the lapped NorthCentral MSLogging Mastersbilt of Mike Campbell
ofGrenada, MS spin right in front of the
race leader. Cooley had nowhere to go and t-boned
Campbell was charged with
the caution flag and Cooley was able to restart as the leader despite front end damage to his race
car. Ragan came back to life on the restart, as he went to the outside
groove and passed Harrod for the second spot. Kevin Henderson spun in
turn four on lap 31 to bring out the caution flag.
When the field went back to green flag action, Ragan once again
climbed the banking to run the outside groove, and powered around Cooley to take the lead coming off the fourth
turn on lap 31. The next few laps saw Ragan open up a several car-length lead while Cooley and Harrod battled
side-by-side for the second position, and Greene and McRee raced for the fourth spot.
Harrod took over the second spot from Cooley on lap 40, and was
able to close in on Ragan after the ninth and final caution flag of the race came out on lap 43 when Charlie
Henderson spun in turn two. Ragan pulled away at the drop of the green flag, and Harrod was not able to mount a
challenge for the lead in the final eight laps of the race.
FINISH: (1) Eric Cooley, (2)
Wesley Greene, (3) Matthew Turner, (4) Randall Beckwith, (5) Johnny Stokes,
(6) Shannon Lee, (7) Michael Blount, (8) Brett Delk, (9) Justin McRee, (10) Kyle Berry, (11) Larry Harrod,
(12) Charlie Henderson, (13) Evan Ellis, (14) Mike Palasini Jr., (15) Chris
McElhenney, (16) Chris Ragan, (17) Bobby Jordan, (18) Eric Carr, (19) Marcus
Minga, (20) Doug Sanchagrin, (21) Chad McCool, (22) Jason Michau, (23) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, (24) Jerry Inmon. (31 entries)
Top qualifier: Cooley, 14.647 seconds. B-Main winners: McElhenney, McRee. Last Chance Race winner: Michau