Tri-County Race Track (Brasstown, North Carolina)

John Ownbey of Cleveland, TN became the tenth different winner in ten races for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Touring Division on Friday night in front of a standing-room-only crowd at Tri-County Race Track. Ownbey led the last nine laps of the 2nd Annual Bill Hendren Memorial 40 to take the win in the Auto Depot Special.

“It’s been 13 years since I’ve been to this track, but this is a new team, and everything just seemed to get better for us as night went on,” Ownbey said. “The car was pretty tight early in the race, but the longer we went, the race track came to us and we had what we needed at the end.”

After taking the lead on lap 32 from polesitter Matt Henderson of Loudon, TN, Ownbey began to pull away and took the checkered flag with a 2.615 second margin of victory over Ryan King of Seymour, TN, who was the Cruise With The Champions Rookie of the Race and had his best finish of the season in the Brian King Roofing Stinger.

Defending Tri-County Race Track Late Model Champion Jason Deal of Copperhill, TN finished third in front of an appreciative hometown crowd in the Deal Trucking Special. Another local favorite Ricky Smith of Hiawaussee, GA was fourth in the Dills Construction Special and Jimmy Elliott of Cleveland, TN finished fifth in the Car Smart Auto Sales CVR.

Ryan Crane of Panama City, FL drove his Clint Smith prepared Panama City Cycles Rocket home to a sixth-place finish and Cody Martin of Christiana, TN took the seventh spot in the Martin Motorsports Warrior. Chase Edge of LaFayette, AL was eighth in the Edge’s Gas Company Special.

Race Promoter Ray Cook of Brasstown, NC tagged on to the tail of the field, started 20th and finished ninth in the Capital Race Cars Special to earn the Beyea Headers Hard Charger of the Race Award. The defending and two-time NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Champion Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN rounded out the top ten in the NeSmith Chevrolet Special.

Johnson remains the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series point leader with 844 points and has a 62-point advantage over Edge, who has 782 points. King’s second-place finish moved him to within 28 points of Edge in the third spot, and King also leads the Cruise With The Champions Rookie of the Year point standings over Henderson, Crane, and Martin.

Henderson turned in his second Fast Time Award of the season after topping Jacky Jones Chevrolet Qualifying with a lap around the ¼-mile clay oval in 13.367 seconds driving the Rebel Diesel Rocket #H2 Duayne Hommel Tribute Car. That earned Henderson the pole position for the $2,000-to-win 2md Annual Bill Hendren Memorial 40.

Henderson took the lead at the start of the race followed by Paydon Shook of Young Harris, GA in the Bulldog Restoration Special, Ownbey, King and Johnson. King raced past Ownbey and Shook on lap two to move up to second.

Drew Deaver of McCaysville, GA brought out the first caution flag of the race on lap six when he stalled the W.H. Allen Contracting Warrior in turn two. The field doubled up behind Henderson for the “Dixie-Style” Double-File Restart with King choosing the inside in second with Ownbey in third to his right on the outside.

The movers and shakers on the restart were on the outside, as Ownbey powered around King for second, and Johnson took the high line around Shook for the fourth spot. Ownbey moved up to challenge Henderson for the lead as they hit lapped traffic on lap 15. Henderson had dusted off the top shelf of the race track, while Ownbey was taking the short way around on the bottom groove.

At the halfway point in the race, Ownbey kept the pressure on Henderson for the lead, and things got tight in lapped traffic when Henderson made contact with a lapped car and turned him sideways in front of Ownbey. The second-place driver got slowed down enough to miss the lapped car, that straightened himself out, and the field remained under green.

The second caution flag of the race slowed the field on lap 23 when Nick Lyons of Centrailia, IL in the F&L Salvage Special and Sylvan Schuette of Blairsville, GA in the Fast Fab GRT tangled on the front straightaway.

With Henderson leading the way for the restart, Ownbey chose the inside behind him in second with King, Johnson, Deal, Smith, Elliott, Kenny Collins of Colbert, GA in the Collins Signs Rocket, Crane, and Martin in third through tenth respectively.

Shook brought out the caution flag on lap 25 when he spun in turn three. After the field slowed under the caution flag, some drama began to unfold for Johnson, the defending champion of the Bill Hendren Memorial 40. During the caution period, Johnson had to give up the fourth spot with a cut down right-rear tire that forced him to the pit area.

When the field went back to green flag action, Ownbey once again began to pressure Henderson for the lead. On lap 32, Henderson slipped just enough in turn two that Ownbey shot underneath the take the lead. Johnson brought out the final caution flag of the race on lap 33 when he spun in turn two.

With the race inside ten laps to go, Ownbey led a single-file restart back to green followed by Henderson, King, Deal, Smith, Elliott, Crane, Martin, Cook and Edge in the top ten. King got by Henderson for second on lap 35 down the backstretch. Henderson was suffering from handling issues and fell back through the top ten to finish 11th.

Ownbey was not challenged the rest of the way, and cruised home to claim his first career NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series win and the $2,000 top prize. The NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Touring Division will now travel to 411 Motor Speedway in Seymour, TN for the $4,000-to-win 4th Annual J.T. Kerr Memorial 40 on Saturday night.

NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series:
1) 44j John Ownbey $2,000
2) 30 Ryan King
3) 7j Jason Deal
4) 88s Ricky Smith
5) j39 Jimmy Elliott
6) 10c Ryan Crane
7) 21m Cody Martin
8) 18e Chase Edge
9) 53 Ray Cook
10) 5 Ronnie Johnson
11) h2 Matt Henderson
12) 19 Marcas Minga
13) 7 William Overbey
14) 21 Mario Gresham
15) 1 Kenny Collins
16) 22 Will Roland
17) 88 Paydon Shook
18) 2x Nick Lyons
19) 14 Sylvan Schuette
20) 12d Drew Deaver


Super Late Model:
1) 1c Kenny Collins
2) x15 Shawn Chastain
3) 38 Jamie Oliver
4) 8 David Payne
5) 34 Glenn Barnett
6) 96 Bobby Panter
7) 13 George Mashburn
DNS) r12 Rodney Weeks
DNS) 00 Johnny Chastain




Interstate Welding Modified Street:
1) 34 Greg Suddereth
2) 44 Robert Elkins
3) 5 Kenny Taylor
4) 14 Charles Devine, Jr.
5) 22 Mike Bryson
6) 50 Charles Devine, Sr.
7) 03 Lynn Griggs
8) 79 Bradley Hulbert
9) 7 Danny McLeod
10) 98 Tyler Taylor
DNS) 818 Jeffrey Wood



Street Stock:
1) 27 Drew Bowers
2) 91 Marlin Gunter
3) 31 Andy Morrow
4) 191 Brantley Stillwell
5) 05 Ronnie Gill
6) 55 Wayne McCall
7) 00 Adam Thomason
8) 3 Josh Deese
9) t11 Ty Crisp
10) 17 Charles Toomey
11) 7 Johnny Burnett
DNS) 7 Dylan Truhan


1) 56 Jason Berrong
2) 55 Jamie Cross
3) 45 Brandon Elliott
4) 22 Jamie Saunooke
5) 33 Cory Stonsell
6) 7 Jacob Garland
7) 11 Colt Thomason
8) 68 Bill Clark
9) 1 Marty King
10) 01 Billy Stuelke




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