North Alabama Speedway
North Alabama gives R.J. second NeSmith victory
By Roby HelmNeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series
TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (June 20) — Hall of Fame dirt racer Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, Tenn., led flag-to-flag at North Alabama Speedway to become the first two-time NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series winner of the season. Johnson earned $2,500 in the Tri-State Challenge 40 presented by Circle H Concrete Construction.
Johnson took his eighth career series victory by six lengths over the second-place finisher William Thomas of Phenix City, Ala. “I’m glad the cautions flags came out when they did because I didn’t want to race in lapped traffic. Just about the time I caught the lapped cars, the caution flag came out.” Chris Tays of Corinth, Miss., was third followed by Rick Rickman of Columbus, Miss., and Frank Ingram of Woodstock, Ga. Fast qualifier Ronny Lee Hollingsworth of Northport, Ala., sailed over the banking exiting turn two on the 25th lap, knocking him out of contention.
Series points leader Chip Brindle of Chatsworth, Ga., took a provisional starting spot and raced from 23rd to 12th. He holds a 62-point lead over Jeff Fields of Aragon, Ga.
Notes: Johnson's Warrior Race Car is sponsored by Miller Bros. Coal. ... Hard Charger award winner Blake Stewart rallied from 20th to eighth. ... The series is scheduled to run Saturday at Columbus (Miss.) Speedway.
NeSmith @ North Alabama: (1) Ronnie Johnson, (2) William Thomas, (3) Chris Tays, (4) Rick Rickman, (5) Frank Ingram, (6) Eddie Rickman, (7) Ben McCreary, (8) Blake Stewart, (9) Matthew Turner, (10) Todd Hurst, (11) Derrick Rainey, (12) Chip Brindle, (13) Jeff Fields, (14) Danny Joe Thomas, (15) Eric Cooley, (16) Scott Knowles, (17) Justin Carter, (18) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, (19) Larry Boutwell, (20) Tom Maddox, (21) Jay Blair, (22) Brian Rickman, (23) Josh Putnam, (24) Jason Sanderford. Fast qualifier (among 36 cars): Hollingsworth, 13.971 seconds. Consolation race winners: Sanderford, Putnam. Provisional starters: Brindle, Fields.