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Whynot Motorsports Park

Morrow betters McRee in rain-shortened victory

August 30, 2009, 8:05 am
By Roby Helm
NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series
Todd Morrow picks up $2,500. (infieldidiot.smugmug.com)
Todd Morrow picks up $2,500. (infieldidiot.smugmug.com)

MERIDIAN, Miss. (Aug. 29) — Reversing Friday night's finish, Todd Morrow of East Ridge, Tenn., beat Justin McRee of Woodstock, Ala., to capture the rain-shortened weekend finale of the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series at Whynot Motorsports Park. Morrow earned $2,500 for the victory in the scheduled 50-lapper cut short at lap 28 by rain at the 3/8-mile oval. | Slideshow

Morrow led all the way while McRee settled for second. Jim McDuffie of Meridian, Miss., was third with Mike Boland of Cuba, Ala., and series points leader Eric Cooley of Fulton, Miss., rounding out the top five.

Morrow got the hole shot at the start of the race over outside front-row starter Stephen Brantley of Monroeville, Ala., to take the lead in turn one. Brantley, McRee, McDuffie, and Matthew Turner trailed Morrow at the end of the first lap. McRee drove outside Brantley down the backstretch on lap two to claim the second spot. Morrow began to work lapped traffic by the eighth lap.

Boland moved into the top five on lap nine when he got around Turner. Lap 10 saw McRee begin to close the gap on Morrow, who was busy negotiating lapped traffic. The first of two caution flags came out on lap 19 when Chase Washington spun in turn three. Morrow led McRee, Brantley, McDuffie and Boland for the double-file restart.

Brantley began to backslide after the restart, as McDuffie, Boland, and Cooley dropped him to the sixth spot.

By lap 25, Morrow had pulled out to a half-straightaway lead over McRee, but the leader caught lapped traffic on lap 27 and McRee began to close the gap. Michael Blount of Sumrall, Miss., hit the third-turn wall on lap 29 to bring out the second caution flag.

As the field rolled around the track under caution, frequent lightning and a steady rain began to fall. When the track became too wet to compete on, officials checkered flagged the race to make it official three laps past the halfway point.

Notes: Morrow's MasterSbilt Race Car is sponsored by T.J. Hunt Trucking. ... Fifth-place finisher Eric Cooley of Fulton, Miss., has now opened up an 88-point lead over Larry Boutwell of Baker, Fla.; Boutwell finished 13th. ... Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., rallied from 16th-to-sixth for GM Performance Parts Hard Charger honors. ... The series returns to Mississippi on Sept. 4-6 for the Mississippi Labor Day Triple Crown event at three tracks. The weekend starts at Greenville Speedway followed by events at two Columbus-area tracks, Columbus Speedway (east of town) and Magnolia Motor Speedway (west of town).

NeSmith @ Whynot: (1) Todd Morrow, (2) Justin McRee, (3) Jim McDuffie, (4) Mike Boland, (5) Eric Cooley, (6) Bub McCool, (7) Matthew Turner, (8) Stephen Brantley, (9) Chris McElhenney, (10) Wesley Greene, (11) Klint Byars, (12) Tom Maddox, (13) Larry Boutwell, (14) Chase Washington, (15) Ben McCreary, (16) Jason Hiett, (17) Jeff Fields, (18) Marcus Minga, (19) Wiley Williams, (20) Derrick Rainey, (21) Michael Santangelo, (22) Michael Blount, (23) Randy Boyd, (24) Shannon Lee. Fast qualifier (among 30 cars): Morrow, 13.647 seconds. Heat race winners: McDuffie, Boland. Consolation winner: Williams.

NeSmith Chevrolet Series points

(Through Aug. 29)
1. Eric Cooley – 1,436
2. Larry Boutwell – 1,348
3. Derrick Rainey – 1,286
4. David Gentry – 1,272
5. Matthew Turner – 1,262
6. Chase Washington – 1,120
7. Ben McCreary – 1,094
8. Marcus Minga – 822
9. Jay Blair – 774
10. Jason Wilson – 654
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