Talladega Short Track
March 22, 2014
Griffin Wins Chevy Super Series Season Opener At Talladega Short Track
EASTABOGA, AL – Dingus Griffin of Ohatchee, AL drove the Tommy Pope Construction Special to victory on Saturday night in the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series season opener at Talladega Short Track. After starting third, Griffin took the lead on lap three and never looked back to take the $3,000 win.
“This is a big win for us, as we have worked some long hours during the last week just to get the car ready,” Griffin said. “I have to thank Tommy Pope for giving me this opportunity because I haven’t been racing a lot, and I only raced one time last year. This was a great car to drive tonight.”
National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Inductee Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN started sixth in the NeSmith Chevrolet Special and finished second after an exciting battle with Jake Knowles of Tyrone, GA, who took the third spot in the Cedartown Electric Rocket. Knowles was the fast qualifier among the 25 entrants with a lap of 13.347 seconds around the ¼-mile clay oval.
Tyler Crowder of Lamont, FL came from the 12th starting spot to finish fourth in the Crowder Trucking Rocket, and Josh Adkins of Talladega, AL was the Rookie of the Race with a fifth-place effort in the Yellow Hammer Construction Special.
Jacob Grizzle of Blairsville, GA drove the Carolina Performance Special to a sixth place finish and Ross Martin of Talladega, AL took the seventh spot after leading the first two laps of the race in the Dorrsett Trucking GRT. Lavon Sparks of Phenix City, AL was eighth in the Modern Images GRT and 15-year-old Jadon Frame of Winchester, TN finished ninth in the Poultry Electric and Pro Hardware Special.
Adam Martin of Talladega, AL rounded out the Top 10 in the Seals Insurance Special. Griffin, Knowles, Crowder, Grizzle, Sparks and Frame were all making their first career starts with the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series. In preliminary action, the two 10-lap B-Main races were won by Tim Busha of Boaz, AL in the Kilpatrick Racing GRT and Ted Lackey of Munford, AL in the C.S. Beatty Construction Warrior.
Ross Martin took the lead from his outside front row starting spot at the start of the race followed by Knowles, Griffin, Grizzle and Adam Martin. The first of eight caution flags came out on lap three when Steve Kirk of Munford, AL stalled the Advance Lazer and Machine Special in turn three.
Ross Martin had Knowles and Griffin side-by-side behind him for the “Dixie-Style” double-file restart. When the field went back to green flag action, Griffin cleared Knowles off the second turn to take the second spot, and then got around Ross Martin for the lead coming off the fourth turn to complete lap three.
On lap four, Busha charged from seventh to fifth, and then climbed into the fourth spot on lap six. Griffin began to put some distance between himself and Ross Martin in second. Just as Griffin began to encounter the cars on the tail end of the lead lap, the caution flag came out on lap nine when Jake Teague of Oliver Springs, TN spun the Wade’s Body Shop Special in turn two.
Griffin had Ross Martin, Busha, Knowles, Grizzle, Johnson, Adam Martin, Adkins, Jason Fitzgerald of Middleburg, FL and Crowder doubled up behind him for the restart. When the green flag waved, Ross Martin and Busha raced side-by-side for second. Busha drove around the outside of Ross Martin to claim the position on lap ten.
The field was slowed for the third time on lap 12 when Brent Barrett of Cleveland, MS stalled the Custom Spraying, Inc. GRT on the backstretch. The Top 10 for the double-file restart had Griffin leading followed by Busha, Ross Martin, Grizzle, Knowles, Johnson, Adam Martin, Fitzgerald, Adkins and Sparks.
Caution flag number four came out on lap 13 when Fitzgerald spun the M&M Transport Refrigeration GRT House Car out of the eighth spot in turn one. In the one lap of green flag racing, Ross Martin was able to wrestle the second spot back from Busha on the lap 12 restart. Ross Martin would give it all back and then some on the lap 13 restart.
The restart saw Ross Martin drop back to the fifth spot, as Busha, Knowles, and Johnson took over the second through fourth spots respectively behind the leader Griffin. Grizzle was running sixth and spun in turn fourth on lap 15 to bring out the fifth caution flag of the race. The next restart saw the top four drivers picking different racing grooves around the “Hornet’s Nest.”
Race leader Griffin was planted on the bottom groove of the track, while second-place Busha sailed around the outside. Knowles also took up residence on the inside groove in the third spot, while Johnson was a high flyer in fourth. Griffin began to encounter lapped traffic on lap 22, but Busha, Knowles and Johnson were not able to close in.
Griffin gave up a half straightaway lead on lap 31 when the caution flag came out for Teague who stalled in turn four. Doubled up behind Griffin for the restart were Busha, Knowles, Johnson, Ross Martin, Crowder, Adkins, Matthew Turner of Dawsonville, GA, Adam Martin and Sparks.
When the green flag came back out, the fur began to fly when the leaders reached turn one. Busha got a big run on Griffin down the front straightaway. When they got to turn one, Busha got into the left-rear of Griffin, and the leader spun. Race officials ticketed Busha with the caution flag, and Griffin was put back on the point for the restart.
Busha was done for the night with front end damage, and Turner took the Hedman Hussler Hedders Special to the pit area. The Top 10 behind Griffin was reshuffled for the restart with Knowles, Johnson, Ross Martin, Crowder, Adkins, Adam Martin, Sparks, Dana Eiland of Salem, AL and Grizzle running second through tenth respectively.
Griffin pulled away on the restart, while Johnson passed Knowles for the second spot. The field was slowed for the final time on lap 34 when Eiland spun the Andy’s Auto Parts Special in turn four. Griffin was once again able to pull away on the restart, but the action picked up behind him as the laps wound down to the finish of the race.
Knowles drove past Johnson on the restart to the second spot and Adkins got by Crowder for the fifth spot. Ross Martin began to fade after a three-car battle for fourth with Adkins and Crowder. On lap 36, Crowder was up to fourth with Adkins fifth and Ross Martin in sixth.
With ten laps to go, Griffin had pulled out to a half straightaway lead over Knowles and Johnson, who were racing side-by-side for the second spot. With five laps to go, Johnson cleared Knowles to take command of the second spot, but there was no catching Griffin, even though he was mired in heavy lapped traffic. Griffin took the checkered flag with a 1.516 second margin of victory.
The next event for the Chevrolet Performance Super Late Model Series will be on April 12 at East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City, AL for a 50-lap $3,000-to-win $300-to-start race.
CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE SUPER LATE MODEL SERIES
1) Dingus Griffin 2) Ronnie Johnson 3) Tyler Crowder 5) Josh Adkins 6) Jacob Grizzle 7) Ross Martin 8) Lavon Sparks 9) Jadon Frame 10) Adam Martin 11) Frank Wilson 12) Carlton Freeman 13) Chase Edge 14) Mike Combs 15) Dana Eiland 16) David Brannon 15) Tim Busha 18) Mathew Turner 19) Jake Teague 20) Jason Fitzgerald 21) Brent Barrett 22) Steve Kirk 23) Mark Dowdy 24) Ted Lackey 25) Tim Roszell.
NESMITH CHEVROLET DIRT LATE MODEL
1) Adam Gauldin 2) Mathew Turner 3) Dustin Stewart 4) Scott Patterson 5) Maddux Mullinax 6) Justin McGatha 7) Nick Deweese 8) Trey Wood 9) Matt Black 10) Mathew Hamilton 11) Justin Angle 12) Red Farmer 13) Karl Parks.
1) Brad Berry 2) Dallas Cooper 3) Oliver Gentry 4) Adam Cummings 5) Dillon Tidmore 6) Joe Noojin 7) David Kay 8) Shane Criswell 9) Dylan Smith 10) Andy Morris 11) Russell Chapman 12) Jeremy Leopard 13) Austin Horton 14) Adam Lowery 15) Ben Bouck 16) Bubba Lackey 17) Cory Korreckt 18) Jonathon Chapman.
OXFORD LOVE STUFF THUNDERCARS
1) Kenny Taylor 2) Bobby Joe Robinson 3) Luke Gaskins 4) Matt Nicholson 5) Bradley Johnson 6) Joseph Champion 7) Shane Beason.
NESMITH STREET STOCKS
1) Richie Stephens 2) Eddie Brannon 3) Jeff Harry 4) Phillip Haynes 5) Jason Morris 6) Andy Davis 7) #69 Unknown Driver 8) Judd Hurst 9) Donnie Key 10) Josh Yarbrough 11) Kyle Davison 12) Mikey Burt 13) Bobby Clark 14) Brock Love 15) Jeremy McSweeney.
RITEWAY AUTO SALES HOT SHOTS
1) Cory Pressley 2) Mathew Tucker 3) Katelyn Pressley 4) Jimmy McAvoy 5) Terry Graves 6) Roy Brown 7) Thomas Champion 8) Christy Graves 9) Kirk pembrook 10) Luke Hollingsworth 11) Chase McAvoy 12) Quenton Wooten 13) Josh Salisbury 14) Rosh Bennett.
RITEWAY AUTO SALES HOT SHOTS - Trophy Dash
1) Josh Salisbury 2) Quenton Wooten 3) Roy Brown.
1) Andy McCartney 2) Mike Segers 3) Josh Battles 4) Chip Battles 5) Shannon Orr 6) Jo Jo Morgan 7) Jason Gilliland 8) Tim Echols 9) Jesse Wilbourn 10) JT Seawright 11) Joshaua Spears 12) Brannon Knight 13) Josh Morgan 14) David Sanders