Meridian, MS – Kyle Bronson of Brandon, FL piloted his Brandon Collision sponsored Rocket XR1 to victory lane on Saturday night to become back-to-back Southern Crate Late Model Nationals winner at Whynot Motorsports Park in Merdian, MS. Bronson passed race leader Josh Banes of Learned, MS on lap 23 and was able to hold off late race charges from current point leader and defending NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series National Champion Cory Hedgecock and the race’s polesitter, 2016 NeSmith Performance Parts Street Stock Division National Champion Spencer Hughes to secure the $5,000 payday from the 75-lap event.
Hedgeock would follow Bronson under the Sunoco Race Fuels Checkered Flag to claim the second spot, followed by Hughes in third, Jamey Boland in his #232 Traktion Technologies Trak-Star in fourth, and local favorite Jimbo McDuffie in his familiar #760 Queen City Appraisals machine rounded out the top five.
The weekend got off to a hot start with Friday night Sunoco Race Fuels Pole Qualifying. Last year’s NeSmith Street Stock Champion Spencer Hughes of nearby Causeyville, MS proved his driving prowess since moving into the NeSmith Dirt Late Model ranks by putting his BJ’s Tire and Service Center/RBT Motorsports machine at the top of the speed charts with a lap of 13.577 around “The House of Hook”. Hughes would go on to win Hoosier Racing Tire Heat Race #1 putting him on the pole for Saturday’s 75-lap main event. Other heat race winners were Banes in Heat Race #2, Bronson in Heat Race #3, and Hedgecock in Heat Race #4.
With the top 12 locked in for the weekend’s main event, two(2) Chevrolet Performance B-Mains were contested on Saturday to fill the remaining 10 starting spots. The driver currently setting second in NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series National points, Brandon Williams of Crossville, TN, took his B&R Kustoms CVR Race Car to victory in B-Main #1, while B-Main #2’s win went to Saraland, AL driver Monte Skinner in his M&M Lifts sponsored ride. Drivers were then given one more chance to race their way into the night’s $5,000 to win feature by winning a Non-Qualifier’s Race that followed B-Main action. Florence, MS veteran Sid Scarbrough picked up the win in that event in his Villa South sponsored mount and would transfer into the feature with the 26th starting position.
With the field set for the 75-lap event, it was time to get down to the business at hand. The two young drivers that made up the front row, Hughes and Banes, led the field around to take the green flag lighting the fuse on the explosive action that was about to unfold. Banes used his outside starting position to jump out to the lead in his Diversified Pest Management/Tony Barnette Heating and Cooling backed machine. Hughes had his hand full with Bronson as the Florida driver was throwing all he had at the young Street Stock graduate in the early stages. After clearing Hughes #11 machine, Bronson went to work on running down Banes. Bronson began to knock on Banes’ back door, but the Louisiana Tech Baseball player(Banes) never miscued as he is used to being in pressure situations on the track just as he is on the diamond.
Bronson’s repeated charges finally paid off as he was able to slide up in front of Banes to lead laps 17 and 18, but Banes’ remained cool and went to work to regain the lead. When the field came by to click lap 19 on the scoreboard it was Banes who had made the move to reclaim the lead. Banes would lead until Bronson would once again be able to get back by the driver of the #4J to lead lap 23. The first of 5 caution periods would come shortly after Bronson regained the lead on lap 29 for the stalled #121 of Michael Blount setting up a “Dixie-style” double file restart.
Restarting on lap 29, Bronson remained out front, with Hughes, Banes, and Hedgecock all looking to take over the top spot. But caution would wave once again on lap 30 for Neil Baggett who came to stop at the entrance of turn 1 ending his night. This would set up another double file restart, and as the age old adage in racing goes cautions breed cautions, the racing would be slowed again on lap 31 for several cars spinning in turn 4, and the 4th caution would come on the lap 31 restart for a single car spin in turn 1.
With cautions appearing to become more frequent, drivers were looking to take advantage of the double file restarts, and Hedgecock made the most of them getting around Banes and Hughes and settling into second to mount a run at Bronson. Bronson was able to make quick work of lapped traffic keeping a small lead on the #23 Eagle Racing Engines Rocket of Hedgeock. The fifth and final caution of the race flew on lap 48 when Holt, FL driver Cody Smith saw his good night come to an end after parts failure sent his #3 machine spinning into the infield down the back stretch while running inside the top 10.
The lap 48 restart set up what would be the final double file restart. Bronson led the field to green but Hedgecock and Hughes appeared to have kept some tricks up their sleeve as both drivers stayed on the back of Bronson’s familiar blue #40B machine. With laps winding down, Hedgecock and Hughes used the lapped traffic that Bronson encountered to keep themselves ready to pounce, but the Rocket XR1 piloted by Bronson was making quick work of the lappers. With the two to go signal displayed, it appeared that Bronson’s machine would see clear sailing to the finish. But as Bronson passed across the start/finish line he had a harrowing scrape with a lapped car that caused his machine to make contact with the outside wall sending sparks flying. Bronson managed to collect the car and hold onto the lead with Hedgecock closing, but it would be Bronson who crossed under the Sunoco Race Fuels checkered flag 1.766 seconds ahead of Hedgeocck.
For more information on Whynot Motorsports Park please visit their official website at www.WhynotMotorsportsPark.com.
The NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series makes its first ever visit to one of the most historic speedways in the country on Saturday night June 3rd with a stop at “The Home of the Champions” – Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, GA. The $2,500 to win, 50 lap event will run as a companion to the sister series Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series $3,000 to win, 50 lap event marking the first time that the two series have competed on the same night! Competitors and fans are encouraged to make plans to visit Dixie Speedway as this will be a don’t miss event! For more info visit www.DixieSpeedway.com
For more information about the NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series, please visit the official website at www.nesmithracing.com.
You can also follow NeSmith Racing on all of your favorite social media outlets as well:
Facebook – NeSmith Racing
Twitter – @NeSmithRacing
Instagram – nesmithracing
Southern Crate Late Model Nationals Feature Results
|1||40B||Kyle Bronson||Brandon, FL|
|2||23||Cory Hedgecock||Loudon, TN|
|3||11||Spencer Hughes||Meridian, MS|
|4||232||Jamey Boland||Cuba, AL|
|5||760||Jim McDuffie||Meridian, MS|
|6||118||Randy Boyd||Meridian, MS|
|7||73||Evan Ellis||Plantersville, MS|
|8||4||Michael Arnold||Hattiesburg, MS|
|9||5||Mark Whitener||Middleburg, FL|
|10||95||Brandon Williams||Crossville, TN|
|11||14||Casey Haney||Meridian, MS|
|12||7||Hunter Lewis||Moss Point, MS|
|13||17||Matt Henderson||Loudon, TN|
|14||56JR||Colton Horner||Katy, TX|
|15||1P||Andy Picklesimer||Ooltewah, TN|
|16||19||Marcus Minga||Shannon, MS|
|17||7P||Peter Hazzard||Greenville, MS|
|18||00M||Monte Skinner||Saraland, AL|
|19||33||Sid Scarborough||Florence, MS|
|20||25||Josh Huss||Flomaton, AL|
|21||4J||Josh Banes||Learned, MS|
|22||3||Cody Smith||Holt, FL|
|23||121||Michael Blount||Sumrall, MS|
|24||21||Neil Baggett||Mathiston, MS|
|25||11R||Joey Mullenix||Elrod, AL|
|26||128||Grant Garrison||Walton, KY|
Fast Qualifier: Spencer Hughes – 13.577
Provisionals: Blount and Horner
Lead Changes: 3
Lap Leaders: Banes – 1-16; Bronson – 17-18; Banes 19-22; Bronson – 23-75
Margin of Victory: 1.766 seconds
Time of Race: 39 minutes, 13 seconds
Beyea Headers Hard Charger of the Race: Mark Whitener (Started 25th finished 9th)
Cruise With the Champions Rookie of the Race: Colton Horner
Knowles Race Parts and Bodies 6th Place Award: Randy Boyd
Out Pace Performance 16th Place Award: Marcus Minga
Gresham Race Parts 21st Place Award: Josh Banes
2017 NeSmith National Point Standings Top 15 (As of 5/29/17)
|4||Grant Garrison – R||292|
|6||Andy Picklesimer – R||276|
|7||Colton Horner – R||272|
|8||Randall Beckwith – R||270|
|12||TJ Brittain – R||230|
NeSmith Chevrolet, Buick, GMC is the Official Title Sponsor of the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series.
Chevrolet Performance is an Official Sponsor of the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series.
Hoosier Racing Tire is the Official Tire of the NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series.
Sunoco Race Fuels is the Official Race Fuel of the Series.
Knowles Race Parts and Bodies is the Official Parts Supplier of NeSmith Racing.
Cruise with the Champions is the Official Vacation and Rookie of the Year Sponsor for the Series.
RockAuto.com is an Associate Sponsor of the Series and Official Sponsor of the RockAuto.com Winter Shootout Series.
David Smith Carburetors is the Official Carburetor of NeSmith Racing.
Contingency Sponsors Include: Crate Insider.com, AR Bodies, FreeStyle Graphix, and Knowles Racing Parts and Bodies.
2017 Chassis Sponsors are Trak-Star Race Cars, Warrior Race Cars, Rocket Chassis, GRT Race Cars, and CVR Race Cars.
Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel, Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook
- 5.27.17 POWRi New Mexico 305 Wing Sprints Results
- 5.27.17 NCRA Late Models Results