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Jackson Motor Speedway

Cooley outruns McRee, Boland for Jackson victory

April 11, 2010, 2:58 pm
By Roby Helm
NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series

BYRAM, Miss. (April 10) — Reigning NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series champion Eric Cooley of Fulton, MIss., picked up his first series victory of the season Saturday night Jackson Motor Speedway's Spring Nationals 50.

Cooley took the lead from Justin McRee of Cuba, Ala., on lap 32, and then held off a late-race challenge from Mike Boland of Cuba for his second career series victory and the 2010 points lead.

“It’s really an accomplishment to come here and beat Mike Boland on a track that he has been so successful at through the years,” Cooley said. “He gave Justin and me the bottom groove on the lap-30 restart, and we got under him. I almost gave it back on the last lap because I got into turn three a little too hard and pushed up coming off turn four. I was looking for him on my left, but I never saw him.”

Boland, who led laps 14 through 30, finished second and McRee, who led lap 31, took the third spot. Polesitter Johnny Stokes of Columbus, Miss., led the first 13 laps of the race, was involved in a lap-20 tangle, and came back to finish fourth.

Larry Harrod of Plains, Ga., started 18th and rode the high side of the track to finish fifth and earn the GM Performance Parts Hard Charger honors.

Award, the Race Car Engineering Fifth-Place Award, and the VP Racing Fuels Rookie of the Race Award.

Action at the quarter-mile oval was slowed by eight yellows and two red flags, including on the tangle that involved Stokes when the track was blocked by a multicar accident.

Notes: Cooley's Victory Circle Chassis is sponsored by 78 Towing and Recovery. ... The event was sponsored by M&E Oil Services, Scarbrough Homes, and Permanent Exterior Solutions. ... Ten drivers completed 50 laps. ... Fifteen were running at the finish. ... Next up are April 30-May 1 events at Central Mississippi Speedway in Winona, Miss.

Springs Nationals 50: (1) Eric Cooley, (2) Mike Boland, (3) Justin McRee, (4) Johnny Stokes, (5) Larry Harrod, (6) Jay Burchfield, (7) Matthew Turner, (8) Frank Wilson, (9) Shannon Lee, (10) Jared Smith, (11) Charlie Henderson, (12) Chris McElhenney, (13) Lamar Furr, (14) Marcus Minga, (15) Brooks Strength, (16) Sid Scarbrough, (17) Cliff Williams, (18) Kyle Berry, (19) Michael Blount, (20) Shay Knight, (21) Chad McCool, (22) Chris Ragan, (23) Evan Ellis, (24) Kody Barber. Fast qualifier (among 28 cars): Stokes, 16.564 seconds. Consolation race winners: Berry, Ragan. Last-chance winner: Turner. Provisional starter: Minga.

NeSmith points

(Through April 10)
1. Eric Cooley – 536
2. Matthew Turner – 522
3. Justin McRee – 462
4. Charlie Henderson – 456
5. Shannon Lee – 428
6. Marcus Minga – 410
7. Chris McElhenney – 406
8. Larry Harrod – 356
9. Jay Burchfield – 330
10. Frank Wilson – 326
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