Racing action returned to the newly reconfigured and restructured Swainsboro Raceway on Saturday night, April 10. Drivers and fans packed the stands with the largest grandstand attendance on record. Ninety-five cars lined the fields to compete in six divisions.
Drivers in the Zaxby’s 604 Crate Late Model Division tested the newly surfaced track first with 3 laps of hot lap qualifying, setting the pace for 2 heat race events. Starting the 25-lap feature event inside pole Swainsboro’s own “Ironhead” Chesley Dixon and recently dominating all across the state of Georgia, “Little Sexy” Cody Overton. As the green fell, Overton took an initial lead with Will Herrington in second as Dixon got shuffled back. Lap 3, Brandon Carpenter, starting in 10th, quickly moved through field. Jim Rogers, starting eighth, took over the third position riding the high side. Lap 5, Will Herrington pulled a slide job to get by Overton for the lead. Lap 14, Billy Graham became the first to take a hard trip over the concrete wall in Turn 3 and Turn 4. Lap 16, “Hurricane” Henry Carter, returning to his home track, started moving to the front. Five to go, Jordy Nipper took a hard charge for the third position. Three- and four-wide racing throughout the field in the best late model race ever at Swainsboro Raceway, Will Herrington took the checkered. Cody Overton drove super hard to pick up second, Jordy Nipper captured the third position, Jim Rogers fourth, and Benjamin Cranford fifth.
In the Southland Insurance 602 Crate Late Model Division, Ricky McLain and Cody Overton led the field to green. McClain took the lead with Overton second. Lap 2, Cameron Tribble moved into third. With the double-file restart after caution, Tribble made several advances to take over the second position, but Overton held him off. Halfway, McLain began to pull away from the field as Scott Waters fought for third and Terry Lumley moved into the fifth position. Ricky McLain led flag-to-flag for the win, Cameron Tribble made his way to second, Tyler Williams third, Cody Overton fourth, and Terry Lumley finished out the top five.
In the Rustic Grill Street Stock Division, George Williamson and Donnie Bazemore both picked up heat race wins. On the start, Bazemore quickly took the lead with Jaime Whitaker in second. Lap 5, Williamson began to shuffle back in the field. Four to go, Dusty Collins tried to make a move toward the front. Donnie Bazemore grabbed the win, Jaime Whitaker second, Daniel Roland third, Dusty Collins fourth, and Jimmy Maness fifth.
Twenty-five cars turned out for the Daniels Chevrolet Road Warrior Division. After three heat races, Jaime Foskey, Tyler Davis, and Dallas Simmons earned the win. As the green fell on the feature, Jaime Foskey took the lead. Going down the back stretch, Jordan accelerated, trying to move through the field before entering turn three without breaking and monster trucked over the top of Clarissa Ledford. On the restart, Tyler Davis dug down deep to the inside as Foskey rode high. Davis took over the lead, and Dustin Watkins moved into the second position. As the track got slick and tires started wearing down, Davis fought hard to hold off Watkins. Two to go, Dustin Watkins made the move, taking the checkered flag. Finishing out the top five were Tyler Davis, Jordan Johnson, Jared Jones made a last-lap pass for fourth, and Jaime Foskey fifth.
New to the racing agenda and crowd favorite, the Lynn & Bobs Crown Vic Division rolled to the speedway. Super quiet cars with running blue lights brought super excitement to fans. Several would spin and keep going without a caution flag. On the start in the XXX car, Lenny Hobbs took control with Gary Edwards in second. Edwards spun off Turn 4, never slowing down or bringing out caution. Lenny’s son, Trey Hobbs, moved into the second position. Father and son battled several laps side-by-side. Coming to the checkered flag, son Trey Hobbs inched by Lenny Hobbs as they were door-to-door. In post-race inspection, Trey’s first responses was like Forrest Gump, “Man, I gotta pee.” The excitement of this new division has fans on the edge of their seat and cheering for the blue lights. Trey Hobbs took the first-ever Lynn & Bobs Crown Vic win, Lenny Hobbs second, Gary Edwards third, in memory of Tony Purvis and Blue Moon Racing Jared Peebles took fourth, and Christopher Morrow fifth.
Ending the best night of racing action was the Bargain Bucket 440 Division. Battle warriors Tyler Davis and John Hooks came to green. Davis took the lead with Hooks stuck to his rear, starting in the rear, working his way through Justin Stevens. Lap 5, Stevens’ night ended short as he was involved in caution off Turn 2. On the restart, Rod Morris closed in on Hooks for second, but Hooks continued to keep sights on leader Tyler Davis. Lap 8, Hooks tried Davis to the outside, but Davis held on. Tyler Davis earned the win, John Hooks second, Rod Morris third, Terry Davis fourth, and Bradley Bratcher fifth.
Regular racing action will resume April 24, followed by the Pine Tree 100 the first weekend in May. Check out Swainsboro Raceway’s Facebook page for all the latest updates. Thank you, drivers and fans, for the biggest Crank It Up 100 in history!