- July 9 - East Alabama Motor Speedway by Sam Holbrooks


NeSmith Racing Series: Thomas Takes Second Straight at East Alabama

Roby Helm

PHENIX CITY, Ala. – July 13. William Thomas of Phenix City, Ala. won his second straight NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series race, and his third of the season Sunday in the “Salute To The Armed Forces 50” at East Alabama Motor Speedway.  


Thomas started fifth and took over the lead on lap 24 when Richie Stephens of Phenix City, Ala. had a major mechanical issue with his Scorpion Race Cars Special and dropped out of the lead and the race.  


 For the remaining 27 laps, Thomas never looked back and took the checkered flag with a half-straightaway advantage over the second place Chase Edge of Lafayette, Ala. The 2010 VP Racing Fuels Rookie of the Year, Larry Harrod of Plains, Ga., finished third.


The NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series point leader Dan Breuer of Troutman, N.C. chalked up his eighth top five finish of the season with a fourth-place effort, and Jake Teague of Oliver Springs, Tenn. took fifth.


The race was delayed for over an hour by late after thunderstorms, but after the race got under way, the first half was a wild affair, as nine the race’s ten caution flags were waved.  Stephens took the lead over Edge, Harrod, Chris Cantrell, and Thomas before Rodgerick Dykes spun on the first lap to force a complete restart. 


 On the double-file restart, Teague passed Thomas for fifth, and on lap two, Cantrell raced to the inside of Harrod to battle for the third position.  The field went yellow for the second time on lap five when Matthew Turner stalled. 


 Mark Tice of Avon, Miss. took his Precision Marine Trak-Star to the outside pit area during the caution period, and he returned to the race track on the backstretch.  The only problem was it was after the green flag came out, and he came out in front of the leaders at race speed.  Stephens just cleared Tice, but everyone from second on back had to scramble to avoid hitting him.  Edge spun to the infield, Cantrell sailed off the turn three banking, seventh-place Dana Eiland and Dykes also crashed on backstretch.  Edge was able to continue, but Cantrell, Eiland and Dykes were done for the night. 


On the double-file restart, Harrod passed Edge for the second spot and Thomas got by Teague for fourth.  After another caution on lap ten, Thomas got by Edge for third on the restart and Breuer passed Teague for the fifth spot.  Darda’s ride in the top ten was short-lived, as he spun on lap 11 to light up the yellow caution bulb for the fifth time. 


When the field went back to green, business once again picked up among the top ten, and as Smith was racing with Stroud for the eighth spot, the two got together coming off the fourth turn.  That knocked Stroud sideways and caused a chain reaction through the rest of the pack, causing Lee and Chris Wilson to both spin.  The incident knocked Wilson out of the race, but Lee returned with half of his body work missing. 


 After another quick caution, The field settled in for a few laps, but they were slowed again on lap 19 when Darda stalled, and when the green flag came back out, Thomas got by Harrod for second, but Stephens had opened up almost a half-straightaway lead by lap 23.  Stephens suddenly found himself the recipient of the Dominator Race Products Hard Luck Award on lap 24 when his car went up in smoke and out of the race. 


 Thomas lined up as the new race leader amd opened up a half-straightaway lead by lap 28, but the field was bunched up by caution for the final time on lap 40 when Rosner stalled on the backstretch, but returned for the finish. 


 When the field took the green flag for the dash to the finish, Edge began to put heavy pressure on Harrod for second.  Edge kept looking inside and finally got enough momentum to make the pass on Harrod coming on lap 46.  Breuer then began looking inside Harrod for the third spot, but Harrod was able to hang on to keep the position at the checkered flag.


East Alabama Motor Speedway NeSmith Racing Series
1) William Thomas, 2) Chase Edge, 3) Larry Harrod, 4) Dan Breuer, 5) Jake Teague, 6) David Earl Gentry, 7) Steve Cooke, 8) Danny Stroud, 9) Mark Rosner, 10) Shannon Lee, 11) Frank Wilson, 12) Tootie Arnold, 13) Mark Tice, 14) Richie Stephens, 15) Kelly Walker, 16) Pat Wall, 17) Tod Darda, 18) Bob Robertson, 19) Cody Smith, 20) Chris Wilson, 21) Chris Cantrell, 22) Dana Eiland, 23) Rodgerick Dykes, 24) Matthew Turner

Fast Time: Stephens (15.670); B-Main winners: Breuer and Stroud. 


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