MERIDIAN, MS – The defending Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series Champion Ashton Winger of Hampton, GA took the lead on a late-race restart to win the Salute To The Navy 50 on Saturday night at Whynot Motorsports Park in Meridian, MS driving the Johnny Doan Plumbing Rocket.

              Winger has taken a liking to the track known as “The House of Hook” because it was the second victory of the season at Whynot Motorsports Park. Saturday night’s race was the first of two Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series events that make up the Salute To The Armed Forces Nationals.

              Winger took to the outside groove on a lap 47 restart to pass the inside riding Casey Haney of Meridian, MS for the lead. Winger had led for 16 laps until Haney, a Durrence Layne Weekly Racing Series Late Model regular at WMP, drove under Winger to take the lead on lap 46.   The two drivers had a few minutes to think about it during a lap 47 red flag period.

              “This has got to be one of my favorite race tracks because I have two wins this season, and they both came here,” Winger said. “I’ve got to thank Jimmy Waldrop for towing all of the way up here from Tampa, FL and letting me drive this car tonight. I drove it earlier this year down in Florida, and it’s a fine handling race car.”

              Winger led the race on three different occasions. He took over the lead on lap 30 when Cruz Skinner of Oxford, AL hit the wall on the backstretch, and then and make two strategic moves to pass for the lead later in the race that earned him the VP Racing Lubricants Slick Move of the Race Award.

              Haney almost posted the upset, but had to settle for second and after starting 18th.  Haney was also the Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Hard Charger of the Race. The defending Durrence Layne Weekly Racing Series Late Model National Champion Evan Ellis of Plantersville, MS took the third spot in the Ellis Welding Special.

              Randy Boyd of Meridian, MS finished fourth in the Meridian Coca-Cola Special and point leader Jake Knowles of Rome, GA was fifth in the Knowles Race Parts and Bodies Special. Oakley Johns of Hohenwald, TN drove the Johns Timber Special to a sixth-place finish.

            Wil Herrington of Hawkinsville, GA took the seventh spot in the Middle Georgia Roofing CVR. Herrington was the Cruise With The Champions Rookie of the Race and the Fullmoon Graphics Lucky 7 Award winner. Tootie Arnold of Meadville, MS finished eighth in the Derek’s Autoshop Special.
            Two-time Durrence Layne Weekly Racing Series Late Model National Champion Jim McDuffie of Meridian, MS was ninth in the Queen City Appraisals Special after earning the Boyd Built Fabrication Fast Qualifier Award with a lap around Whynot Motorsports Park in 13.114 seconds. Skinner led 20 laps of the race and came back from his wall contact to round out the top ten in the Skinner’s Body Shop Rocket.
            In other preliminary action for the Salute To The Navy 50 for the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, the two KRC Power Steering B-Main winners were Johns and Knowles. David Kay of Munford, AL took home the Keyser Manufacturing Hard Luck Award after a 24th-place finish in the Advantage Plus Excavating Special.
            When the green flag came out to start the race, Wood took the lead from his outside front row starting spot, while drivers went four-wide behind him to battle for second. Wood led lap one followed by Spencer Hughes of Meridian, MS in the B.J.’s Tire and Service Center Special, McDuffie, Skinner, and Jake Rainey of Hiram, GA in the Wren’s Body Shop Special.
            Skinner was up to third by lap two, and then got by Hughes for second on lap four. Knowles worked his way up to fifth by lap five. Lap six saw shades of the 2018 season with Knowles and Winger racing side-by-side and dropping McDuffie back to the sixth spot.
            Wood had company by lap nine, as Skinner was able to close and challenge for the lead. Wood was running the inside, while Skinner had his machine wound up on the top shelf of the track, and he sailed around the outside to take the lead on lap ten. Skinner caught the cars on the tail end of the lead lap by the 13th circuit.
            Winger continued his march to the front of the pack, as he passed Knowles for the fourth spot on lap 14. Nine laps later, Winger got by Hughes for third and the two leaders came to him in lapped traffic. Winger drove around Wood for second on lap 26. The backstretch wall got to Skinner on lap 30, and that brought out the first caution flag.
            The Dixie-Style Double-File Restart had Winger taking over the lead with Wood, Hughes, Justin McRee of Woodstock, AL in the High Roller Race Cars Special, Rainey, Ellis, Knowles, McDuffie, Herrington and Haney in second through tenth doubled up behind him. When the field went back to green, McRee moved up to second.
            McRee took up residence on the bottom groove of the track, and he used the short way around to pass Winger for the lead on lap 37. Winger used a lapped car as a pick on lap 40 to reclaim the point with an outside move on J-Mac.   Hughes top five run came to an end on lap 41 when he stalled on the backstretch to bring out the second caution flag.
            The top ten for the double-file restart had Winger as the leader with McRee, Wood, Ellis, Rainey, Herrington, Knowles, McDuffie, Haney, and Boyd doubled up behind him. When the green go bulb was lit back up, McRee got a slow restart, which scrambled the field like a Waffle House Omelet. Wood, Rainey, and Knowles took over second, third and fourth respectively.
            That scramble led to the hash browns. McRee got the party started when he spun off turn two for a yellow flag on lap 45. On the restart, the field got scattered, smothered, covered, and chunked. Wood and Rainey tangled in turn four on lap 46 for a caution. Rainey was ticketed with the caution and went to the pits with a cut left-front tire.
            The field then got stuck on lap 46 like a skipping 45 in a jukebox. Next restart, Herrington spun on the backstretch. If a one car spin wasn’t enough, the next restart saw Skinner and Rainey get together on the backstretch and spin into the infield. One more try and it was Austin Franklin of Montevallo, AL spinning the Franklin Enterprises Special in turn three.
            Boyd jumped the next restart that caused yet another multi-car tangle. The next restart, they made it around to complete a lap, and it was Haney, who methodically worked his way up through the restart carnage, taking the lead from Winger.
            Haney was scored as the leader, but going into turn one, Zack Shelton of Meridian, MS made heavy wall contact with his RDT Metals Rocket, and took out a large portion for safety fence to bring out the red flag. That set up an exciting restart. Haney was camped out on the bottom groove, while Winger preferred the outside.
            When the green flag came out for the three-lap dash to the finish, Winger went to the high side in turn one, while Haney took the short way around on the bottom of the track. The lead duo raced side-by-side down the backstretch, but Winger had the momentum and dove for the bottom groove in turn three to take away Haney’s line of attack.
            Winger pulled away in the final two laps to take a .574 second margin of victory under the checkered flag. The Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series moves to Magnolia Motor Speedway in Columbus, MS on Sunday night for night two of the Salute To The Armed Forces Nationals with the $2,000-to-win Salute To The Mississippi Army National Guard 40.
            For more information and rules about the Durrence Layne Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series web site at, or visit the series on Facebook at Durrence Layne Racing. You can follow us on Twitter @DurrenceLayneRacing.

POS      STRT   CAR #  DRIVER                            HOMETOWN                  LAPS    $ WON
1.           5            9            Ashton Winger                Hampton, GA                   50          $2,500
2.           18          14h       Casey Haney                    Meridian, MS                   50          $1,250
3.           15          73          Evan Ellis                         Plantersville, MS            50          $850
4.           14          118       Randy Boyd                      Meridian, MS                   50          $700
5.           8            66          Jake Knowles                  Rome, GA                         50          $650
6.           7            C6         Oakley Johns                   Hohenwald, TN                50          $550
7.           11          14          Wil Herrington (R)        Hawkinsville, GA            50          $500
8.           10          18          Tootie Arnold                  Meadville, MS                 50          $450
9.           1            760       Jim McDuffie                   Meridian, MS                   50          $400
10.         6            11          Cruz Skinner (R)            Oxford, AL                       50          $375
11.         3            87          Jake Rainey (R-YG)      Hiram, GA                        50          $350
12.         20          05          T.J. Brittain                     Centre, AL                        49          $300
13.         22          19          Marcus Minga                 Shannon, MS                    49          $280
14.         17          25          Robbie Starnes                Houston, TX                     49          $260
15.         16          22          Austin Franklin               Montevallo, AL               49          $250
16.         24          21          Kody Barber                    Bogalusa, LA                   48          $250
17.         2            17jr      Tyler Wood                      Hohenwald, TN                47          $250
18.         13          7z          Zack Shelton                    Meridian, MS                   47          $250
19.         12          84          Randall Beckwith           Kilmichael, MS                45          $250
20.         9            F44       Justin McRee                   Woodstock, AL               43          $250
21.         4            11h       Spencer Hughes               Meridian, MS                   40          $250
22.         19          J8          Jadon Frame (R)             Decherd, TN                     34          $250
23.         23          33          Scott Dedwylder                             Vossburg, MS                  28          $250
24.         21          K5         David Kay                        Munford, AL                    28          $250

LAP LEADERS: Wood, 1-9; Skinner, 10-29; Winger, 30-36; McRee, 37; Winger, 38-45; Haney, 46; Winger, 47-50
LAPS LED: Skinner, 20; Winger, 19; Wood, 9; McRee, 1; Haney, 1
KNOWLES RACE PARTS AND BODIES HARD CHARGER: Haney (started 18th and finished 2nd)
CAUTIONS: 9 (1 Red)

TIME OF THE RACE: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes and 47.898 Seconds