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Penton Raceway

Thomas dominates Penton for fifth NeSmith victory

May 21, 2011, 6:50 am
By Roby Helm
NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series

PENTON, Ala. (May 20) — Starting outside the front row, William Thomas of Phenix City, Ala., led all the way in Friday's Spring Nationals 40 at Penton Raceway for his fifth career victory on the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series. Thomas earned $2,000 for the Crate Late Model victory.

Thomas swept around polesitter Scott Knowles of Lanett, Ala., through turn one after the green flag came out, and the winner said that was the key to his victory.

“I knew I had to get a good start to get around the outside of Scott Knowles at the start because he is quick around here,” Thomas said. “It was a good racetrack tonight even though it changed a few times during the race, but my car was good enough that I could race just about anywhere.”

Chase Edge of Lafayette, Ala., an 18-year-old who attended his high school graduation earlier in the evening, finished second with two-time series champion David Gentry of Lewisburg, Tenn., in third. Matthew Turner of Dawsonville, Ga., and Albert Cosnahan of Stillmore, Ga., rounded out the top five.

Series points leader Dan Breuer of Troutman, N.C., rallied from the ninth row to finish sixth and earn the Hedman Husler of the Race award.

Knowles lost the second spot on an early restart and retired on the fifth lap.

Notes: The winning GRT Race Car is sponsored by J.W. Miller Land and Timber. ... Eleven of 24 starters completed 40 laps and a dozen were running at the finish. ... The series heads to Senoia (Ga.) Raceway on Saturday for a $2,500-to-win event.

Spring Nationals 40: (1) William Thomas, (2) Chase Edge, (3) David Gentry, (4) Matthew Turner, (5) Albert Cosnahan, (6) Dan Breuer, (7) Tod Darda, (8) Frank Wilson, (9) Jake Teague, (10) Doug Stephens, (11) Shannon Lee, (12) Tootie Arnold, (13) Mark Tice, (14) Paul Walters, (15) Rodgerick Dykes, (16) Mark Rosner, (17) Oliver Gentry, (18) Matt Dooley, (19) Tony Lawson, (20) Steve Cooke, (21) Ryan King, (22) Jimmy Elkins Jr., (23) Scott Knowles, (24) Jake Sanders. Fast qualifier (among 28 cars): Knowles, 14.606 seconds. Heat race winners: Edge, Darda, D. Gentry, O. Gentry. Consolation winner: Tice.

Correction: Fixes winning chassis.

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