THOMAS SWEEPS NIGHT ONE OF THE DURRENCE LAYNE COCHRAN CLASH
COCHRAN, GA – Jimmy Thomas of Phenix City, AL swept night one of the Cochran Clash for the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series on Friday night at Cochran Motor Speedway driving the Jenwood, Inc. Scorpion. Thomas set Fast Time, started on the pole position for the main event, and then led all 40 laps on his way to the $2,000 top prize.
Thomas held off a mid-race challenge from Jake Knowles of Rome, GA and a late race challenge from Travis Pennington of Stapleton, GA to take just under a second margin of victory at the checkered flag in Round 5 of the 2019 Durrence Layne Chevrolet Winter Shootout Series.
“We did what you want to do and that’s set fast time, lead all of the laps, and win the race, but it wasn’t easy tonight,” Thomas said. “On that last restart, I saw Travis up on the outside, and I knew I had better not make a mistake. The track got better as the race went on, and I think tomorrow night we’ll be able to race all over this thing.”
Pennington had to settle for second in the U.S. Duffie Hauling Special, and the defending Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Champion Ashton Winger of Hampton, GA took the third spot in the Keyser Manufacturing Rocket. Pearson Lee Williams of Dublin, GA charged from the 16th starting spot in the Dublin Tire Special and finished fourth.
Clay Harris of Jupiter, FL was fifth in the Dunnrite Construction Rocket, and the defending Winter Shootout Champion and current point leader Jimmy Elliott of Cleveland, TN drove the Car Smart Auto Sales Special to a sixth-place finish. All Elliott has to do is start Saturday night’s race at Cochran Motor Speedway to clinch his second straight Winter Shootout title.
Joseph Brown of Columbus, GA finished seventh in the Lewis Auto Sales Rocket and Walker Arthur of Forest, VA was seventh in the Cecil B. Arthur Beef Farms Special. Wil Herrington of Hawkinsville, GA took the ninth spot in the Middle Georgia Roofing CVR, and Knowles came back from a lap 38 spin to round out the top ten in the Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Special.
Thomas was the Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Fast Qualifier with a lap around Cochran Motor Speedway in 14.417 seconds, and led the field down for the start of the race from the pole position. Thomas took the lead coming off the second turn followed by Winger, Knowles, Brown and Elliott.
Harris brought out the first of four caution flags in the race when he stalled in turn four, but he was able to restart the race. Thomas led the field down for the Dixie-Style Double-File Restart with Winger, Knowles, Brown, Pennington, Elliott, Parker Martin of McIntyre, GA in the Vaden Automotive Special, Shane Riner of Guyton , GA in the Lawn Products Rocket, Jody Knowles of Tyrone, GA in the Clayton Signs Rocket and Logan Palmer of Acworth, GA in the Prather Special doubled up behind him.
When the green Flag came out, Thomas pulled away with the lead, but Jake Knowles powered around the outside of Winger to take over the second spot, and Pennington dusted off the top shelf of Cochran Motor Speedway and sailed around the outside to advance from fifth to third. That earned Pennington the VP Racing Lubricants Slick Move of the Race Award.
By lap 12, Thomas caught the cars on the tail end of the lead lap, and Knowles began to reel in the leader and make up a 12 car-length deficit. Knowles made it to Thomas’ back bumper by lap 14 and started to look inside the leader.
The lapped cars went away on lap 19 when Drew Kennedy of Lancing, TN cut down a right-rear tire on his Schubert Monument Sales Rocket on the backstretch to bring out the caution flag. Thomas led Jake Knowles, Pennington, Winger, Brown, Riner, Herrington, Martin, Williams, and Riley Hickman of Cleveland, TN in the Hickman Manufacturing CVR in second through tenth respectively down for the restart.
Winger was on the move at the halfway point in the race, as he drove inside Pennington to take over the third spot, and Brown got by Pennington for fourth on lap 22. Pennington got to the inside of Brown on lap 25 down the front straightaway to reclaim the fourth position. Lap 28 saw Elliott pass Brown for the fifth spot.
Thomas once again found himself in heavy lapped traffic on lap 31, but he methodically began putting lapped cars between himself and Knowles. On lap 38, Knowles was trying to knife his way through the lapped cars when he drifted high in turn four, got sideways, clipped Pennington has he moved underneath, and spun to bring out the caution flag.
Knowles had to go to the tail of the cars on the lead lap for the restart with three laps to go. Thomas led Winger, Pennington, Elliott, Brown, Herrington, Williams, Harris, Riner and Arthur down for the double-file restart.
When the green flag came out to begin the three lap dash to the finish, Pennington stepped to the outside and pulled alongside Thomas going down the backstretch. The top two drivers battled side-by-side for the lead, and just before the white flag was to come out, it was replaced by the yellow flag when Riner stalled on the speedway.
This brought about a green-white-checkered finish with Thomas leading, followed by Winger, Pennington, Williams and Brown doubled up behind the leader. Thomas was able to quickly open up a five car-length advantage over Winger and Pennington, who were battling side-by-side for second. Thomas was unchallenged to the checkered flag, while Pennington got by Winger for second. Williams finished fourth, while Harris rallied home to a fifth-place finish.
The Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series returns to Cochran Motor Speedway on Saturday for Night 2 of the Cochran Clash and the finale of the 2019 Durrence Layne Chevrolet Winter Shootout with a $3,000-to-win 50-lap race.
For more information and rules about the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series web site at www.durrencelayneracing.com, or visit the series on Facebook at Durrence Layne Racing. You can follow us on Twitter @DurrenceLayneRacing.
OFFICIAL RESULTS OF WINTER SHOOTOUT ROUND 5 AT COCHRAN MOTOR SPEEDWAY IN COCHRAN, GA ON 3/8/19:
POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN $ WON
1. 1 22 Jimmy Thomas Phenix City, AL $2,000
2. 7 01 Travis Pennington Stapleton, GA $1,000
3. 2 12 Ashton Winger Hampton, GA $700
4. 16 121 Pearson Lee Williams Dublin, GA $550
5. 14 6 Clay Harris Jupiter, FL $500
6. 4 J39 Jimmy Elliott Cleveland, TN $425
7. 5 92 Joseph Brown Columbus, GA $375
8. 12 87 Walker Arthur Forest, VA $350
9. 10 14 Wil Herrington Hawkinsville, GA $325
10. 3 66 Jake Knowles Rome, GA $300
11. 18 21d Corey Dunn Milledgeville, GA $275
12. 9 6jr Parker Martin McIntyre, GA $250
13. 17 21 Tyler Sanders Cochran, GA $225
14. 8 21r Shane Riner Guyton, GA $200
15. 11 14p Logan Palmer Acworth, GA $200
16. 19 H2 Todd Hurst Lineville, AL $200
17. 6 66k Jody Knowles Tyrone, GA $200
18. 15 R1 Riley Hickman Cleveland, TN $200
19. 13 K37 Drew Kennedy Lancing, TN $200
20. 20 04 Colby Boyett Bainbridge, GA $200
21 21 K9 Dana Eiland Salem, AL $0/DNS