Jimmy Thomas won $10,000 with a last-lap pass at Needmore.
What won the race: Sneaking underneath late pacesetter Hunter Peacock coming out of turn four on the final lap, ninth-starting Jimmy Thomas of Phenix City, Ala., captured the $10,000 Crate Racin’ USA victory in Saturday’s Early Bird 50 finale at Needmore Speedway. He finished 0.025 seconds ahead of fast qualifier and pole-starting Peacock.
Quotable: “I was a free there early and as I started running in the bottom down there, I seen they pushed the tires in, so I said, ‘Hmm, I’m going to grab some of this.’ Man, it just took off,” winner Jimmy Thomas said. “They kept washing up off of (turn) two and I knew I could hold a little ground off of two and beat ‘em a little bit."
Key notes: With his last-lap pass, Thomas defended his Early Bird 50 victory after sweeping the event in 2021. … He also secured the Crate Racin’ USA’s E-Z-Go Challenge Circuit, a $5,000 award within the season-long points battle. … Hunter Peacock of Macon, Ga., regained the lead from Mark Whitener on lap 13 and built leads as big as four seconds. But Peacock was unable to hold off a charging Thomas in the final 10 circuits. … Third-starting Jake Rainey of Hiram, Ga., rebounded to finish 12th after drawing a caution on lap three. … The 50-lapper was slowed by five cautions. … The Crate Racin’ USA national tour wraps-up 2022 at Cochran (Ga.) Motor Speedway on Nov. 25-26.
On the move: Clay Harris of Jupiter, Fla., started 18th and finished third.
Winner's sponsors: Thomas drives a Scorpion Chassis sponsored by Five Star Chrysler Dodge, High Roller Recovery, Sugar Land and Wimmers Wrecker Service.
Points chase: After Needmore: 1. Jason Welshan (1,624); 2. Jake Knowles (1,490); 3. Jake Rainey (1,460); 4. Jimmy Thomas (1,350); 5. Matthew Brocato (1,294).
Car count: 26
Fast qualifier: Hunter Peacock
Time: 15.898 seconds
Polesitter: Hunter Peacock
Next series race: November 25, Cochran Motor Speedway (Cochran, GA) $10,000