Gentry leads 40 laps for Hattiesburg victory
By Roby HelmNeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series
HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Two-time series champion David Gentry of Murfreesboro, Tenn., survived an early-race tangle to win Friday’s Salute To The Army 40 at Hattiesburg Motorsports Park. The NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series victory paid $2,000 as the tour kicked off a Mississippi tripleheader weekend.
In taking his 11th career tour victory and second of the season, Gentry swept the program by setting fast time and leading all 40 laps as he took the points lead in his quest for a third title.
After surviving a tangle in turn two with Justin McRee of Cottondale, Ala., on an early restart, Gentry held off a late-race challenge from Jeremy Shaw of Millport, Ala. Despite power steering issues, Shaw overcame a full straightaway deficit to reel in Gentry while the lead duo was in lapped traffic
A caution flag with five laps to go cleared the way for Gentry as he took the checkered flag with a 1.185 second advantage over Shaw. Johnny Stokes of Columbus, Miss., also had a mid-race battle with Shaw for the second spot, but had to settle for third.
Chris Cantrell of Chester, S.C., and Larry Harrod of Plains, Ga., rounded out the top five in a race with several early yellows.
Notes: Gentry’s Warrior Race Car is sponsored by Eads Farms and Hardy & Associates. ... Thirteen of 24 starters completed 40 laps. ... Matthew Turner of Dawsonville, Ga., who entered the race leading the series points, started 22nd and finished 12th to earn the Hedman Husler of the Race award. .... Officials dumped double-file restarts after the early cautions. ... Mickey Trosclair of Luling, La., was the third fastest qualifier but broke a flywheel during parade laps. ... Saturday series action moves to Whynot Motorsports Park in Meridian, Miss., and on Sunday to Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, Miss.
Salute To The Army 40: (1) David Gentry, (2) Jeremy Shaw, (3) Johnny Stokes, (4) Chris Cantrell, (5) Larry Harrod, (6) Eric Cooley, (7) Shannon Lee, (8) Daniel Bridgeman, (9) Jake Teague, (10) Cody Kierre, (11) Michael Arnold, (12) Matthew Turner, (13) Brent Barrett, (14) Sid Scarbrough, (15) Chase Edge, (16) Brian Ligon, (17) Marcus Minga, (18) Ronnie Graham, (19) Randy Walters, (20) Marty Hardy, (21) Justin McRee, (22) Chris O’Connor, (23) Michael Blount, (24) Mickey Trosclair. Fast qualifier (among 32 cars): Gentry, 13.391 seconds. Consolation race winners: Bridgeman, Arnold. Provisional starter: Minga.