Boland avoids last-lap tangle, wins at Greenville
By Roby HelmNeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series
GREENVILLE, Miss. (April 9) — Mike Boland of Cuba, Ala., slipped through a last-lap crash at Greenville Speedway to win the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Rumble on the Gumbo. Boland took the lead from Justin McRee on the third lap and cruised the rest of the way to earn $2,000 in a 40-lapper with a dramatic conclusion. | Slideshow
As Boland entered the first turn after taking the white flag, the lapped cars of Jay Burchfield and Frank Wilson tangled as Boland was on their inside. Boland just got through and went on to take the checkered flag with a 4.298-second advantage.
“I’ve got to thank the Good Lord for getting me through that wreck on the last lap,” Boland said. “I would have really hated to lose the race that way, but He was watching over me.”
Reigning series champion Eric Cooley of Fulton, Miss., was second while Matthew Turner's 18th-to-third run put he and Cooley in a tie for the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series points lead. Johnny Stokes of Columbus, Miss., and 22nd-starting Chris McElhenney of Lake, Miss., rounded out the top five.
The caution-filled race lasted more than 70 minutes with the yellow flying 12 times for spins and debris. Two red flags also appeared, including once for a multicar tangle in turn three on the 27th lap that blocked the track. Cliff Williams of Star, Miss. was hit from behind to trigger the accident.
Notes: Boland drives a Trak-Star Chassis with sponsorship from The Strength Center. ... Wilkerson Diesel and Tire Service sponsored the night's action. ... Chris McElhenney got hard charger honors for his 22nd-to-fifth run. ... Doug Showah won the track's unsanctioned weekly event for Super Late Models. ... The series heads to Jackson Motor Speedway in Byram, Miss., for Saturday's $2,500-to-win race.
Rumble on the Gumbo: (1) Mike Boland, (2) Eric Cooley, (3) Matthew Turner, (4) Johnny Stokes, (5) Chris McElhenney, (6) Michael Blount, (7) Michael Arnold, (8) Jay Burchfield, (9) Frank Wilson, (10) Robert Smith, (11) Shannon Lee, (12) Terry Shaw, (13) Marcus Minga, (14) Charlie Henderson, (15) Cliff Williams, (16) Mark Tice, (17) Evan Ellis, (18) Bubba Harrison, (19) Mike Palasini Jr., (20) Shay Knight, (21) Justin McRee, (22) Larry Harrod, (23) Brooks Strength, (24) Kody Barber. Fast qualifier (among 36 cars): McCree, 14.838 seconds. Consolation race winners: Strength, Burchfield, Lee. Last-chance winner: Wilson.