North Georgia Speedway on a Saturday night….
If you were not at NGS last night you missed one of the best night’s of racing I have seen all year long. The racing just gets better and better….
First it was Eric Hamby and Justin Thomas battling lap after lap, with the 21 car of Hamby showing the way, followed by Thomas and the 34 of Brian Smith, putting on a show in Econo-hobby. Lap 14 saw the duo up front catch some lapped traffic and as Hamby tried to get around some of the back markers the 7 of Thomas managed to pull around him and Hamby ran out of laps following the 7 car of Justin Thomas to the line behind Hamby was Smith and Glen Grimsley.
The Mod hobby field was a Larry Higgins (some people are now calling him the Tunnel Hill Terror) show from the drop of the green, as Larry took the Mickey Long owned #20 to the front and never looked back, Jr. Whitner was second and the battle for 3rd was a super race with the 11 of Mark Bishop, the 34 of Greg Suderth, and the 43 of Tim Ford so close you could of thrown a blanket over all 3 cars, and that is how they finished.
Crate’s was a barn burner, pure and simple with the TEAM17 driver Jeff “Spanky” Smith taking the point followed by team mate, Randy Hill and Darrell Owenby, but coming off of turn 4 Hill in the TEAM17 #17H, got loose and had to gather it up and the 12 of Owenby got around him, and there was the battle for the rest of the race as Randy Hill tried every thing in the book to get back around the 12 of Owenby, to no avail, so at the line it was Spanky Smith, Darrell Owenby, Randy Hill and Jason Deal crossing the line.
The limited race was the top race of the night excitement wise, with the B4 of “Flyin “Brian Jackson and Trig Parris on the front row, with The 17 of Shannon Bearden and Jamie Lunsford on the second row, when the green dropped it was the B4 leading the field into turn one and up on the high side came the 17 of Bearden, as Bearden got around Parris the show was on with Bearden and Jackson neck and neck lap after lap, a couple times bearden got a good run off of turns 3&4 and made it look like he would pull even with the B4 of Jackson, only to watch the B4 of Jackson pull him down the straight and keep his lead. These 2 drivers ran lap after lap so close you could of covered them both with a baby blanket. But at the line it was the B4 of Brian Jackson taking the win followed but Bearden , Trig Parris, and Jamie Lunsford. I want to say that the 41 of Jamie Lunsford was really strong tonight, he has been getting better and better every week, it won’t be long be fore we see him taking a win. Good job to all drivers in the limited race.
When the supers lined up and took the green it looked like the 99 of Ellis was going to win in a cake walk but that was not to be as he broke while leading handing the lead to the M45 of Kevin Gibson who looked pretty strong but lurking behind him was the “Coach” in his red and white #8 and he was on a roll, it didn’t take Payne long to catch and pass the M45 of Gibson and “The Coach” never looked back as he took the win, he was running the #8 pretty hard and I seen the car start to showing signs of overheating in the latter laps but it held together and brought David Payne another win at NGS. Following Payne to the line was the M45 of Gibson and the 88 of Brad Coffey, Gar Dickson rounded out the top 4, but the 29 of Gary Mac multi time track champion was sure looking good running 4th most of the race until a flat right rear sent him to the pits with laps still on the board. There was a few limited drivers who chose to step up and run with the big boys, the B39 of Brian Burke and the 44 of Doug Kilgore both raced hard and had a good night, Davy Davis brought out one of his older cars and ran with the big boys and run 5th.
The Mod Pony cars rolled out and it was the 27 of Grady Stokes leading them to turn one but the 14 of Ralph Langston running the high side passing a couple cars and trying to run down the 27 of stokes, the 32 of Billy Callahan was on a rail too as he joined in the chase of Stokes, the 7 car of caleb Howard who started last worked his way thru traffic and managed a 5th place run behind Langston and the A-1 of Whitt, but at the line it was Stokes, Callahan, Whitt, and Langston.
It was a night that also saw some great Bike races by the kids, with the bigger kid’s riding the entire track, a tip of the hat to all the winners in all classes, Micheal Laymon and Tyler Dixon were to 2 top class winners and I am sorry I couldn’t find the winner of the 6 and under class to get his name. But a good time was had by all. I think the Flagman Steve Stroupes had the most fun as he stood there waiting to wave the checkered, he was rooting each rider on as he stood there with flag in hand. The riders who ran the entire track were looking for oxygen at the finish line, and the winning time for the night was a 1:08:00 for one lap by Tyler Dixon.
All in all it was a super night of racing complete with fireworks for the winners in the bike races, even a little rain before qualifying could not dampen the racers spirits, as the rain fell for about 5 minutes racers were standing around telling stories, most of which I could not print here, but it was fun to listen too… now I am going to have to ask the “Tunnel Hill Terror “ about a trip to the laundry mat, at the Ice Bowl……. not sure I want too….