Joined: 27 May 2016
|Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:05 am Post subject: Johnson Back To NeSmith Winning Ways With Ice Bowl Dominance
|EASTABOGA, AL – After winning three straight NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series National Championships in 2013, 2014, and 2015, Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, TN returned to his winning ways on Sunday by winning the NeSmith Late Model portion of the 27th Annual Ice Bowl at Talladega Short Track to open the RockAuto.com Winter Shootout Series.
“Since joining the Josh Roberts Trucking Racing Team as a driver last season, we had a lot of second-place finishes with the NeSmith Series,” Johnson said. “Our goal for this season was to get back to winning races and championships with our 604 car.”
Not only did Johnson win the race, but he was the fastest car on the race track all weekend. The Chattanooga Flash was the fastest in practice on Friday. On Saturday, he set fast time among the 36 entrants in Qualifying, and he won his heat race. On Sunday, the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame Inductee led all 50 laps of the main event without a challenge.
Johnson took a 1.262 second margin of victory at the checkered flag over the second-place finisher Michael Page of Douglasville, GA in the Troy Baird Trucking Special. Jimmy Elliott of Cleveland, TN finished third in the Mighty Muffler and Brake Center Special and fourth went to Jesse Lowe of Crossville, TN in the CVR Race Cars “House Car.”
Andy Picklesimer of Ooltewah, TN was fifth in the Hyma Motorsports Special and Sam Seawright of Fort Payne, AL took the sixth spot in the J&R Lumber Special. The seventh finishing position went to Dylan Knowles of Lanett, AL in the K-Line Logistics Rocket and Brad Berry of Attalla, AL drove the Berry Racing GRT to an eighth-place finish.
Shane Smith of Fruithurst, AL was ninth in the Jerry’s Trucking Rocket, and Chase Walls of Decherd, TN started 23rd and finished tenth in the Walls Racing Special to earn the Beyea Headers Hard Charger of the Race Award.
In preliminary action on Friday night, Johnson earned the Fast Time honors with a lap around Talladega Short Track in 14.692 seconds. The four ten-lap heat races were won by Johnson, Seawright, Lowe and Elliott. The two 12-lap B-Main Races on Sunday were won by Adam Ray of Smithland, KY in the Three Rivers Marine Special and Jeff Robinson of Greenwood, SC in the Buffalo Bar and Grill Special.
Johnson chose the outside of the front row for the start of the race on the 1/3-mile clay oval immaculately prepared for multiple grooves by “Dr. Dirt” Johnny Stokes. Johnson took the lead at the start of the race followed by Seawright, Page, Lowe and Elliott. Page got by Seawright for second on lap two, and then stayed with Johnson until the caution flag came out on lap 12.
Former Sunoco Race Fuels Young Gun Challenge Champion Cruz Skinner of Oxford, AL stalled the Skinner’s Body Shop CVR in turn four to light up the yellow caution bulb. Johnson lined up in a row by himself for the Dixie-Style Double-File Restart with Page, Elliott, Lowe, Picklesimer, Seawright, Smith, Zack Shannon of Wartburg, TN in the Shannon & Sons CVR, and Heath Carr of Ashland, AL in the Carr Logging Special two-by-two behind him.
The field raced two more laps when the caution flag came back out for a multi-car crash on the front straightaway on lap 14. The wreck eliminated Jason Britton of Alexander City, AL in the AAA General Contractors Special, Ray, and Chris O’Connor of Cantonment, FL in the Dean’s Kitchen and Baths Special.
The first three caution flags came early and often, mostly due to spins from contact involving three and four-wide racing. On lap 16, the third caution of the race came out when Ruben Mayfield of Lenoir City, TN spun down the backstretch. Johnson had Page, Picklesimer, Elliott, Shannon, Lowe, Seawright, Smith, Berry and Knowles doubled up behind him for the restart.
Johnson began to put some distance between himself and Page after the restart. By the halfway point, Johnson had a half straightaway lead on Page, and he began to encounter lapped traffic. Johnson didn’t half to deal with traffic long, and the caution flag came out on lap 29 when Oakley Johns of Hohenwald, TN stalled on the back straightaway in the Johns Timber Special.
Going into the second half of the race with the double-file restart, Johnson now led Page, Elliott, Lowe, Seawright, Picklesimer, Shannon, Berry, Drew Kennedy of Wartburg, TN in the Superior Telecom CVR, Knowles and Smith. Johnson, Page and Elliott broke away from the pack, as fourth on back raced two and three-wide for position.
Kennedy spun out of the seventh spot on lap 34 in turn one to bring out the caution flag. Johnson was able to keep Page behind him on another restart, but racing in close quarters bred caution flags in last 12 laps of the race. The 38th lap saw Austin Freeman of Pell City, AL spin his Freeman Racing Special in turn four to light up the yellow caution bulb.
Behind the leader Johnson, Page chose the inside for the double-file restart with Elliott to his right on the outside. Johnson set sail when the green flag came out, and Elliott battled Page for second side-by-side until the last caution flag came out on lap 41 when Carr spun in turn four. The ten lap dash to the finish was caution-free, as Johnson sealed the deal and checked out on the field.
The RockAuto.com Winter Shootout Series for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series will now move to Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, FL for a trio of races on February 21 through 24 and Chevrolet Performance World Championship Week. There will be an Open Practice on February 21, and then a pair of 40 lap $2,000-to-win races on February 22 and 23.
On February 24, Bubba Raceway Park will present the Granddaddy of the RockAuto.com Winter Shootout with the $10,000-to-win 100 lap 14th Annual Chevrolet Performance World Championship Race.
For more information and rules about the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series web site at www.nesmithracing.com, or visit the series on Facebook at NeSmith Racing. Becoming a fan of the NeSmith Racing Facebook page will make you eligible for special prizes that will be given away each month. You can follow us on Twitter @NeSmithRacing.
OFFICIAL RESULTS OF 27TH ANNUAL ICE BOWL AT TALLADEGA, SHORT TRACK IN EASTABOGA, AL ON 1/7/18:
POS STRT CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN LAPS $ WON
1. 1 85 Ronnie Johnson Chattanooga, TN 50 $3,000
2. 5 18 Michael Page Douglasville, GA 50 $1,250
3. 4 J39 Jimmy Elliott Cleveland, TN 50 $850
4. 3 1cvr Jesse Lowe Crossville, TN 50 $700
5. 9 P1 Andy Picklesimer Ooltewah, TN 50 $650
6. 2 16 Sam Seawright Fort Payne, AL 50 $550
7. 13 66k Dylan Knowles Lanett, AL 50 $500
8. 10 27 Brad Berry Attalla, AL 50 $450
9. 7 14 Shane Smith Fruithurst, AL 50 $400
10. 23 25 Chase Walls Decherd, TN 50 $375
11. 15 6 Clay Harris Jupiter, FL 50 $350
12. 14 Z1 Zack Shannon Wartburg, TN 50 $300
13. 21 45 Austin Freeman Pell City, AL 50 $280
14. 24 45m Kyle McMahon Mount Vernon, IL 48 $260
15. 11 K37 Drew Kennedy Wartburg, TN 45 $250
16. 8 3 Heath Carr Ashland, AL 39 $240
17. 18 00 Ruben Mayfield Lenoir City, TN 37 $220
18. 22 C6 Oakley Johns Clifton, TN 27 $200
19. 20 371 Drew Benfield Toccoa, GA 27 $200
20. 16 14r Jeff Robinson Greenwood, SC 21 $200
21. 12 15 Jason Britton Alexander City, AL 13 $200
22. 17 2 Adam Ray Smithland, KY 13 $200
23. 19 03 Chris O’Connor Cantonment, FL 13 $200
24. 6 11 Cruz Skinner Oxford, AL 11 $200
FAST QUALIFIER: Johnson, 14.692 Seconds
LAP LEADER: Johnson, 1-50
BEYEA HEADERS HARD CHARGER OF THE RACE: Walls (started 23rd and finished 10th)
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.262 Seconds
TIME OF THE RACE: 42 Minutes and 44.663 Seconds
NEXT EVENTS: Bubba Raceway Park, Ocala, FL, February 22 $2,000-to-win, February 23 $2,000-to-win, February 24 $10,000-to-win 14th Annual Chevrolet Performance World Championship Race
POS CAR # DRIVER HOMETOWN CHASSIS TIME
1 85 Ronnie Johnson Chattanooga, TN Capital 14.692
2 16 Sam Seawright Fort Payne, AL Kryptonite 14.709
3 1cvr Jesse Lowe Crossville, TN CVR 14.727
4 J39 Jimmy Elliott Cleveland, TN Longhorn 14.771
5 18 Michael Page Douglasville, GA Stinger 14.787
6 11 Cruz Skinner Oxford, AL CVR 14.788
7 37 Drew Kennedy Wartburg, TN CVR 14.818
8 15 Jason Britton Alexander City, AL Pierce 15.011
9 P1 Andy Picklesimer Ooltewah, TN Longhorn 15.054
10 J8 Jadon Frame Decherd, TN Capital 15.058
11 6 Clay Harris Jupiter, FL Rocket 15.065
12 22 Will Roland Jasper, GA Warrior 15.065
13 66K Dylan Knowles Lanett, AL Rocket 15.130
14 27 Brad Berry Attalla, AL GRT 15.152
15 2 Adam Ray Smithland, KY Barry Wright 15.196
16 3c Heath Carr Ashland, AL Mastersbilt 15.196
17 45 Austin Freeman Pell City, AL Mastersbilt 15.202
18 5 Rodgerick Dykes Smith’s Station, AL Warrior 15.219
19 03 Chris O'Connor Cantonment, FL HRRC 15.229
20 Z1 Zack Shannon Wartburg, TN CVR 15.301
21 45m Kyle McMahon Mount Vernon, IL Barry Wright 15.317
22 371 Drew Benfield Toccoa, GA Rocket 15.317
23 14 Shane Smith Fruithurst, AL Rocket 15.347
24 2b Hunter Blackwell Clarksville, TN Rocket 15.378
25 74 Mike Franklin Winchester, VA Lazer 15.443
26 19 William Thomas Phenix City, AL Scorpion 15.465
27 07 Jimmy Elkins Jr. Talladega, AL Mastersbilt 15.544
28 14 Jeff Robinson Greenwood, SC Longhorn 15.545
29 3 Randy Holder Anniston, AL Rocket 15.548
30 15g Michael Evans Cleveland, TN GRT 15.670
31 32 Jim Wakefield Lineville, AL Rocket 15.915
32 25 Chase Walls Decherd, TN Club 29 DQ
33 6c Oakley Johns Hohenwald, TN Pierce DQ
34 00 Ruben Mayfield Lenoir City, TN CVR DQ
35 51 Brent Beard Silver Creek, GA Rocket NT
36 18 Michael Seibers Chapel Hill, TN Lazer NT
HEAT RACES (10 Laps – Top 4 Transfer To Main Event):
1ST HEAT: 1. Johnson; 2. Page; 3. Picklesimer; 4. Knowles; 5. Freeman; 6. McMahan; 7. Franklin; 8. Holder; 9. Seibers DNS.
2ND HEAT: 1. Seawright; 2. Skinner; 3. Berry; 4. Frame; 5. Dykes; 6. Johns; 7. Benfield; 8. Thomas; 9. Evans.
3RD HEAT: 1. Lowe; 2. Smith; 3. Kennedy; 4. Harris; 5. Ray; 6. O’Connor; 7. Elkins; 8. Walls; 9. Wakefield.
4TH HEAT: 1. Elliott; 2. Carr; 3. Britton; 4. Shannon; 5. Robinson; 6. Roland; 7. Blackwell; 8. Mayfield; 9. Beard DNS.
B-MAIN RACES (12 Laps – Top 4 Transfer To Main Event):
1ST B-MAIN: 1. Ray; 2. O’Connor; 3. Freeman; 4. Walls; 5. McMahan; 6. Franklin; 7. Wakefield; 8. Holder; 9. Elkins DNS; 10. Seibers DNS.
2ND B-MAIN: 1. Robinson; 2. Mayfield; 3. Benfield; 4. Johns; 5. Evans; 6. Blackwell; 7. Thomas; 8. Roland; 9. Dykes DQ; 10. Beard DNS.
NeSmith Chevrolet, Buick, GMC of Claxton, GA is the Title Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models. NeSmith Chevrolet, Buick, GMC is one of the nation’s top GM Powertrain and Performance Dealer seven years running, with free delivery anywhere in the Southeast. Chevrolet Performance Parts is an Official Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models. Hoosier Racing Tire is the Official Tire Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models. Sunoco Race Fuels is the Official Race Fuel of the NeSmith Late Models. RockAuto.com is an Associate Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models. Beyea Headers the NeSmith Late Model Hard Charger Sponsor. Knowles Race Parts and Bodies is the Official Parts Supplier for the NeSmith Late Models. Cruise With The Champions is the Official Vacation and Rookie of the Year Sponsor for the NeSmith Late Models. David Smith Carburetors is the Official Carburetor of NeSmith Racing. Freestyle Graphix is the Official Wrap, Banner, and Sign Company of NeSmith Racing. NeSmith Late Model Contingency Sponsors for 2017 are Out-Pace Performance, CrateInsider.Com, Gresham Racing Parts, Knowles Racing Parts and Bodies, and FreeStyle Graphix. 2017 Chassis Sponsors are Trak-Star Race Cars, Warrior Race Cars, Rocket Chassis, GRT Race Cars, and CVR Race Cars.
"America's Leader in Racing"