Strong-armed Maddox leads every lap at Wartburg
By Roby HelmNeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series
WARTBURG, Tenn. (July 17) — Fighting a car without power steering, Tom Maddox of Centre, Ala., picked up his second career NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series victory Friday night in the 40-lap main event at Wartburg Speedway. He led every lap to earn $2,000.
“My power steering went out on about the 12th lap, and the car would turn about every direction but left,” Maddox said. “All I could do was hang on, and I about hit the wall one time coming off turn four when the car darted to the right, and I couldn’t get it back. I just have to give all of the credit to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for this win tonight.”
Aaron Ridley of Chatsworth, Ga., tried to make a late-race charge to challenge Maddox for the lead in lapped traffic, but he settled for second. Series points leader Eric Cooley of Fulton, Miss., finished third.
Two-time series champ David Gentry of Lewisburg, Tenn., and Matthew Turner of Dawsonville, Ga., rounded out the top five. Derrick Rainey of Powder Springs, Ga., started 10th and finished sixth to earn the GM Performance Parts Hard Charger honors in the 15-car event.
Hunter Best of Greenback, Tenn., set fast time and the 15-year-old started on the pole position. But at Maddox got the jump at the outset, Best got tangled up in lapped traffic on lap 17, opening the door for Ridley and Cooley to get by for the second and third spots. Best ended up pitting on the 20th lap with damage to the left-front corner of his car.
The race's only caution appeared on the 19th lap for debris in turn four.
NeSmith Chevrolet @ Wartburg: (1) Tom Maddox, (2) Aaron Ridley, (3) Eric Cooley, (4) David Gentry, (5) Matthew Turner, (6) Derrick Rainey, (7) Josh Henry, (8) Larry Boutwell, (9) Chase Washington, (10) Jacob France, (11) Gathan Burns, (12) Ben McCreary, (13) Marcus Minga, (14) Jacob Anderson, (15) Hunter Best. Fast qualifier (among 15 cars): Best, 12.982 seconds.