latemodelamerica.com - East Bay Raceway Park - Feb.19
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

Shan Smith

Shan Smith captured the Friday night win in a trio of NeSmith Chevrolet Series events at East Bay Raceway Park.  (Neil Miller - photofinishes)

NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series

Smith Cops Crate Win On Night Two of East Bay NeSmith Trio

 By Roby Helm

TAMPA, Fla. - Feb. 19 - Shan Smith of Dade City, Fla. drove the Gardner Racing TNT to victory on Friday night at East Bay Raceway Park in the 50-lap main event for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series. Smith took the lead on lap 22 from polesitter Charlie Henderson of Cottondale, AL then held off a pair of challenges in lapped traffic from Randy Weaver of Crossville, Tenn.

Smith made his bid for the win early in the race, as he bolted from his tenth starting spot and was up to third by the end of the first lap. Lap three saw Smith drive by Weaver in the Cardinal Paint and Body Custom to take the second spot.

“I’ve got a lot of laps around this place, and I’ve got a set up that works good when the track rubbers up,” Smith said. “I knew I had to get to the front early, and we were able to use the track conditions to our advantage.”

Weaver finished second followed by Henderson in the Century Carriers, Inc. Mastersbilt, who was also the Rookie of the Race Award winner. Keith Nosbisch of Valrico, FL was fourth in the Miller Lite Rocket, and Devin Dixon of Apollo Beach, FL took the Race Car Engineering 5th-Place Award in the Night Hawk Towing Rocket.

Doug Horton of Bruceton Mills, WV drove the Adams Used Auto Parts Warrior to the KRC 6th-Place Award, and Shane Hitt of Buchannon, WV claimed the Joe Gibbs Driven 7th-Place Award. William Thomas of Phenix City, AL started the J.W. Miller Land and Timber Scorpion in the 18th spot and finished eighth to take the GM Performance Parts Hard Charger Award and the Race Car Engineering 8th-Place Award.

Shan Smith - Charlie Henderson

Shan Smith battles his way under Charlie Henderson at East Bay Raceway Park on the second night of racing on the NeSmith Chevrolet Crate Late Model tour. Smith ultimately got the win and Henderson settled for third. (Neil Miller)

Matthew Turner of Dawsonville, GA took the Maximum Signs and Graphics 9th-Place Award, and Jeff Matthews of Dover, FL was the KRC 10th-Place Award winner in the Night Hawk Towing Warrior. Defending NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Champion Eric Cooley of Fulton, MS won the Mike’s Customs Tanks 11th-Place Award.

Turner remains the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National point leader with a six-point lead over Cooley in second spot, and a 16-point advantage over Thomas in the third position.

Henderson earned his second straight Pole Award by out-qualifying the 53 entrants with a lap around the 1/3-mile clay oval in 15.344 seconds. Henderson started along side his teammate Justin McRee of Cuba, AL in the Century Carriers, Inc. Trak-Star in the front row for the start of the race.

When the green flag came out, things got busy in a hurry with Henderson leading Weaver, McRee, Smith, and Nosbisch off the second turn. McRee jumped the cushion in turn three on the opening lap, and that dropped him back to tenth by the time he gathered up his race car. Smith passed Weaver for the second spot on lap three, and Dixon moved up into the top five.

The first of three caution flags came out on lap seven when Chris McElhenney of Lake, MS spun the G&M Trucking Trak-Star in turn four. Henderson led Smith, Weaver, Nosbisch, Dixon, Matthews, Horton, Hitt, Steve Mathis of Plant City, FL in the Mathis Farms Rayburn, and McRee back to the green flag.

Matthews jumped one car on the restart, and he would be penalized two positions on the next caution period, which came out on lap 14 when David Pollen Jr. in the B&D Trucking Rocket caught fire. The fire was extinguished by the track safety crew and Pollen was uninjured. Pollen’s misfortune earned him the Dominator Race Products Hard Luck Award.

The top ten for the restart had Henderson leading followed by Smith, Weaver, Nosbisch, Dixon, Horton, Hitt, Matthews, Mathis and Turner. When the field went green, Turner passed Mathis for the ninth spot, and McRee moved back into the top ten with a pass on Mathis on lap 15. Thomas had charged from the 18th starting spot and passed McRee for tenth on lap 17.

Henderson was holding a steady three car-length lead over Smith, but as the leaders approached lapped traffic on lap 20, Smith and Weaver began to close the gap. Smith and Weaver got by Henderson for first and second on lap 22, but a caution flag on lap 24 for the stalled SEG Ramlaw Mastersbilt driven by Mitchell Godfrey of Crawford, GA brought out the third and final caution flag, and kept the field tightened up.

When the field went back to green flag action, Smith was able to open up a six car-length lead by lap 34 when the leader began to encounter lapped traffic. Weaver closed in as Smith began to pick his way around lapped cars running the groove he wanted to stay ahead of Weaver.

On lap 38, Weaver was able to get a run on Smith in turn one on the inside, but Smith was up to the challenge and kept the lead. Weaver would get another opportunity with ten laps to go, but couldn’t make the pass. Once Smith cleared the lap cars, he could keep a three car-length gap between himself and Weaver the rest of the way to the checkered flag.

In preliminary action, the four ten-lap heat races were won by Godfrey, McElhenney, Horton, and Smith. The two 12-lap B-Main races were won by Turner and Larry Harrod of Plains, GA in the Harrod Logging Scorpion.

The NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series returns to East Bay Raceway Park for its three-race finale on Saturday night with a 50-lap $3,000-to-win main event.

PENDING RESULTS OF ROUND 3 AT EAST BAY RACEWAY PARK IN TAMPA, FL ON 2/19/10:

POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN LAPS $ WON
1. 10 17ss Shan Smith Dade City, FL 50 $2,500
2. 4 116 Randy Weaver Crossville, TN 50 $1,250
3. 1 88 Charlie Henderson (R) Cottondale, AL 50 $850
4. 6 101 Keith Nosbisch Valrico, FL 50 $700
5. 5 33x Devin Dixon Apollo Beach, FL 50 $650
6. 9 11 Doug Horton Bruceton Mills, WV 50 $550
7. 11 2h Shane Hitt Buchannon, WV 50 $500
8. 18 22 William Thomas Phenix City, AL 50 $550
9. 19 10 Matthew Turner Dawsonville, GA 50 $400
10. 14 33 Jeff Matthews Dover, FL 50 $375
11. 21 33c Eric Cooley Fulton, MS 50 $350
12. 17 12 Jack Nosbisch Jr. Riverview, FL 50 $300
13. 20 27 Larry Harrod (R) Plains, GA 50 $280
14. 22 47 Shannon Lee (R) Lumberton, MS 50 $260
15. 13 95 Steve Mathis Plant City, FL 50 $250
16. 24 116r Greg Robertson Waynesboro, VA 49 $240
17. 12 31 Brian Force Indiana, PA 49 $220
18. 16 07 Doug Watson Lithia, FL 49 $200
19. 7 21b Mitchell Godfrey Crawford, GA 49 $200
20. 2 25 Justin McRee Cuba, AL 23 $200
21. 8 28 Chris McElhenney Lake, MS 22 $200
22. 15 88p David Pollen Jr. Tampa, FL 13 $200
23. 3 18h Ronny Hollingsworth Northport, AL 6 $200
24. 23 19 Marcus Minga Shannon, MS 5 $200

ENTRIES: 53
FAST QUALIFIER: Henderson, 15.344 Seconds
PROVISIONALS: Minga
LEAD CHANGES: 1
LAP LEADERS: Henderson, 1-21; Smith, 22-50
LAPS LED: Smith, 29; Henderson, 21
ROOKIE OF THE RACE: Henderson
GM PERFORMANCE PARTS HARD CHARGER: Turner
DOMINATOR RACE PRODUCTS HARD LUCK AWARD: Pollen
RACE CAR ENGINEERING 5TH-PLACE AWARD: Dixon
KRC 6TH-PLACE AWARD: Horton
JOE GIBBS DRIVEN 7TH-PLACE AWARD: Hitt
RACE CAR ENGINEERING 8TH-PLACE AWARD: Thomas
MAXIMUM SIGNS 9TH-PLACE AWARD: Turner
KRC 10TH-PLACE AWARD: Matthews
MIKE’S CUSTOM TANKS 11TH-PLACE AWARD: Cooley
CAUTIONS: 3
TIME OF THE RACE: 28 Minutes and 22.578 Seconds

TODAY IN LMA.COM

Updated 11/02/10

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